When you desperately want a baby and a baby doesn’t come your life can begin to feel very very empty. For me I began to feel physically empty as my friends bellies grew with new life while mine stayed flat(ish). Our flat felt empty as I am imagined the baby noises and laughter that should be filling the rooms. Even my relationships began to feel empty as I withdrew from my friends and family and the activities that had once fulfilled me seemed pointless.
It is common for those without children to find replacement babies, other things that we can love and nurture while our maternal instinct is screaming out to be used. I have ended up with 6 babies in 4 years!
I encourage you to read this blog with my favourite technique in mind. When ever you see or hear about others whose lives are going as perhaps you wish yours was, instead of turning away and feeling that life is unfair turn towards it and say “Yes please that is what I want”. I’m working on a blog entitled ‘Why envy and fear are positive emotions’. All emotions serve a purpose and if we did not experience fear around never becoming a parent or envy when we see others having and caring for their children how would we know that that is what we want in our own lives? So please read this blog and declare “Yes please” if any of my babies bring up feelings of longing in you. (To read more about the ‘Yes please’ technique read Is this it? The IVF 2 week wait rollercoaster.)
The first of my six babies is Embrace Fertility. She started life as my personal journals and then I decided that I wanted to share the mindbody techniques I was finding so useful with others who, like me, were struggling with infertility. At first I decided that publishing a book would be the way to go but I wanted to share these ideas immediately and talk to others about the things that were helping them. So I started a blog and running fertility support group sessions in London. At the second meeting there were only two of us but the group grew and now our secret Facebook community has 240 members. What started as a personal account of my own journey through IVF, miscarriage and the many repercussions of infertility has grown up to become a career. I retrained as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and offer online mindfulness courses and MP3s alongside one-to-one support.
Arriving the evening before we started our first IVF round my little cat Mia is most definitely my second baby. A scrawny half starved stray she sauntered in through the back door and made herself comfortable in our living room. We adopted her a week later and she has been a constant source of comfort ever since. She was with me when I took the test that confirmed our first cycle was unsuccessful and during my miscarriage following our second round. To read more Mia inspired blogs check out Fight, Flight or Freeze and the Fox! and More Joy in July.
Jasper was conceived naturally four months following the miscarriage and I found out on my birthday. My miracle baby who has brought so much joy to our lives. I still can’t quite believe that he exists. To read the full story see The 46th month is the charm!
Embrace Bump to Baby was conceived at the same time as Jasper. I signed up for my hypnobirth training before finding out I was pregnant which was a huge gamble as I didn’t know if I would have the strength to work with pregnant ladies if I was still childless myself. The gamble paid off and as Jasper grew in my belly my pregnancy and birth support offering grew as well. Check out the pregnancy page of this site for MP3s and our Mindful Pregnancy support group. I also run an online video course alongside group classes in Oxfordshire.
As mentioned Jasper took 46 months (+9) to come, baby number five was conceived in the the first week we decided to start trying for a second baby! Jasper will become a big brother a month before his second birthday!
My final baby evolved, as each of my ventures, as an extension of me and my personal struggles in life. As much as I have always wanted to be a mum and spent the first six months of Jasper’s life in a delighted blur of gratitude, as he approached his first birthday I was feeling the strain and missing me, where had I gone? I knew I needed to restore some balance to my life, start writing again, start using my mind creatively in a way I hadn’t for awhile. So I have created Mum & More, currently a group for mums to share and support each other to be the best parents they can be while not losing themselves along the way. This final baby needs to be nourished and nurtured and will grow and develop into various forms of online and in person support.
So it turns out that for me not having a baby when I first wanted one has led to so much more. My life now is so so full and my replacement babies have grown into children that are still demanding my care and attention and for that I will always be grateful.
What ‘babies’ do you have in your life that you nurture and nourish? Leave a comment below or come and join the conversation within our free fertility support community.
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