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  • Writer's pictureAllison Ramsey, MS, LCMHC

Envisioning Fertility Success

Infertility Counseling Success

Envisioning Fertility Success

Like a good Ashevillian I was mountain biking this weekend. I’m newish to the sport and was becoming aware of the process of my mind looking for hazards and trying to avoid them. I started to notice that sometimes when I saw a rock I’d like to avoid, I ended up hitting it directly. So I started trying instead to look at the path I wanted to take. Focusing intently on the clear path in front of me as a opposed to the obstacle I didn’t want to get in my way. When I was able to do this, I felt more focused, my attention more purposeful, even if the ride was still bumpy.

I see a lot of women in my office who are in the process of fertility treatments such as IVF or IUI. I’ve noticed a trend where women won’t let themselves imagine if the procedure actually works. It’s as if seeing the clear path ahead of them is too scary. That if they focus on the rock, the failure, then at least they’ll know what to expect and somehow they can protect themselves from being hurt. But that is not what actually happens. The thing is that we can't have good without bad, we cannot have love without hurt. Desire to be a parent means you are willing to have your heart walk around outside of your body. There is no protection from pain in parenting. If your IVF fails, you’ll be in pain, no matter what. But you have to let yourself want it, really want it. You can’t get what you want by closing off your heart, by staring at the rock you’d rather not hit.

So what if you were to allow yourself to clearly see yourself with a child? Sit with your breath for a few minutes, let the image come to you. Allow yourself to feel the warmth, your face smiling, matching your breath with your child’s. Maybe the image is of an infant, or of an older child. Most importantly allow your mind to give you images of yourself on the other side of this struggle. By visualizing what you want, you’re not focused on eradicating the rocks. You accept the rocks as a part of the ride, on the way to connecting with your desired future.

To envision success can feel risky, but risk is a part of the journey in parenthood. Protecting yourself from the range of emotional experiences may feel safe, but it may limit you from getting what you want. Write your image down, read it to yourself daily as you hold the image close to your heart. Imagine, with a bit of courage, that you will become a mother someday.

Allison Ramsey is a licensed professional counselor and fertility counseling specialist in the Asheville area. She’s a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and completed their certificate training in mental health counseling for infertility. Contact her to start feeling better.

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