IVF: Choosing Faith Over Fear
The months leading up to the embryo transfer were the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt. As the date got closer I had bouts of paralyzing fear. So much was riding on this. We were using the only two embryos we had. What if it didn’t work? What if we had just wasted $50K and so much time, energy and heart?
Fear surfaced in so many ways – rational and irrational. Out of nowhere I became afraid I would get skin cancer and it would block a pregnancy. So off I went to get an exam with a dermatologist. I was nervous someone would hit me when I was driving. Even in the days before the transfer, I had my thyroid numbers run (yet) again, fearing they’d be an issue, even though we had just done them. And obviously the most gripping fear I experienced was what the hell are we going to do if this doesn’t work? I wanted it so badly.
I knew that how I related to my fears would help or hinder the outcome. In the past I’ve used language like fuck your fearsand bust through your fear, etc. While that might be great when you need to overcome self-doubt related to something very much in your control, like a business decision, those approaches are also a form of resistance. Resisting the fear. I felt I needed to be in the ultimate state of allowing in order to allow a little soul to come down to me. I had to approach this fear differently.
I did use some of my trusty tools when I felt it would help, not as a way to resist the fear but to emotionally process it. For example, I remember one afternoon doing a solid hour of tapping, which helped me feel and release some fear related to old patterns. Those old patterns have a way of popping up in new situations. For example, fear of being alone or fear of failing. For me something that came up was choosing for this to not be a struggle. I chose to let this be easybecame a mantra for me.
But the primary way I related to my fear in this situation was to allow it. Yep, just allow it. Allow the fear to stop me dead in my tracks, no matter what I was doing. Allow it to fully surface. Allow myself to be paralyzed by it. Allow myself to feel like the fear was stealing my breath away. Allow myself to feel the fear physically in my body.
I chose to let my fear flow.
I didn’t try to combat the fear I felt by using my mind. I didn’t come up with alternative ways to view this situation. I didn’t try to examine any limiting beliefs and up-level them. I didn’t try to justify the fear. I allowed myself to feel the fuck out of the fear and the anxiety. I breathed through it. I didn’t rush it. I allowed the fear to live inside of me. I chose to notice it as part of my experience, a very human experience. I wasn’t trying to beat the shit out of the fear, smother or kill it. I gave it space through my breath. I allowed it.
If that sounds simple, it is, but it also takes a ton of mindfulness and courage. Because most often we resist our fears.
Many times, after a few minutes of surrendering and allowing the fear, it didn’t need to be center stage anymore and it subsided. On days that fear kept flowing, the best I could come up with is realizing, holy shit I AM ALIVE!!! I AM ALIVE! I am having this crazy, intense, emotional experience that not many creatures on this earth can have. I’m not going to say I felt grateful to be experiencing it J, but it did help me see it as a part of life, a part of living, which is aligned with allowing new life into my experience.
When the fear surfaced, I had to constantly notice the automatic reaction to deny or stuff it and remind myself it is safe to feel fearful AF right now. That the fear is part of my experience, but it isn’t who I am or what I truly believe in.
What I believe is that there is a power much greater than me orchestrating things beyond my comprehension. I believe that higher power is benevolent and wants to give us what we want, if we allow it. What I believe is that our moments of greatest fear create the opportunity for greater faith. To surrender deeper to feeling that you are being carried and supported by a force greater than yourself. That you don’t have to do anything. You just have to be. You are already being taken care of by something greater than yourself, who isn’t trying to screw you or deny your happiness or wishes. It’s safe to hand this fear over and get help from a greater power.
The coolest thing happened when I approached fear this way. I felt completely in flow with myself still. Ever notice how you can feel derailed by fear or other “negative” emotions? It might sound like…. Uhhh, I was feeling so great, and then this happened, and now I’m off balance. I was able to relate to fear in a way that I remained centered during it and after it. Because I wasn’t resisting it. I was experiencing it. I didn’t feel blocked or unbalanced. I felt deeply connected with myself.
It enabled me to continue to feel other emotions, like joy, while still allowing the fear to be a part of my experience. I didn’t have to let the fear consume me as I planned an attack against it. I allowed it to simultaneously flow with the other experiences and emotions I was feeling.
On days where it was beyond my ability to flow with, I got some help.
I worked with an energy healer, who I consider more of a consciousness coach. She helped me get back into flow with my faith and allow the fear to run through me without creating a block. (If you want her info, please email me.) At first I saw her monthly during the IVF process, and closer to the date of transfer I saw her weekly. There’s no shame in getting support when you need it! 🙂
I also allowed myself to tap into others’ faith during the IVF process.
Both of my doctors shared their faith practices in our fertility journey. Our fertility doctor prayed over my body after the embryo transfer. A week before the transfer my Chinese medicine doctor told me she’d begin daily prayers. While the three of us have different faith systems, I believed in their belief in their higher power. (And PS how lucky am I that I got to work with such amazing people??!!!) I also had people in my personal life whose faith and belief I leaned into.
Feel your Fear. Choose Faith.
Processing my fear and leaning into my faith enabled me to remain aligned with our desired pregnancy. I didn’t become a prisoner to the fear, which would have completely brought me out of alignment. I KNOW that had a positive influence on our outcome. And you can do the same.
I also know how paralyzing the fear can be. But you have nothing to lose to trying to flow with your fear. Notice it. Allow it. Don’t judge it. Don’t rush it. Allow it. Flow with it. Allow it to be a part of your overall experience without getting completely hung up on it. Feel it, don’t analyze it. Offer your fears over to that loving higher power that has your back. Watch how different you feel doing it that way than when you’ve resisted your fears in the past.
Molly Hamill, MA, is a certified life coach, Kundalini yogini and mediation enthusiast. She works with people around the country helping them lose their stress and feel their best. After recovering from her own health journey (Hashimoto's Hypothyroiditis, Adrenal Fatigue, and Leaky Gut), she is especially passionate about helping others establish mindsets and habits that support their health and happiness. For more information about Molly, get her weekly emails (sign up in green bar below), follow her on her Instagram and Facebook page, or chat with her in her private Facebook group, where she posts daily to help keep you connected with truth, dreams and desires. Prior to breaking free of the 9-5 life, she was an award-winning human resources executive for a national healthcare company.