The PCOS Pregnancy Secret: Being Fertility-Focused [Podcast]
The simple shift in focus from infertility to fertility can make all the difference when a woman with PCOS is trying to conceive, says Aimee Raupp, a well known author, acupuncturist, and herbalist. In her New York practice, Aimee has treated countless women with PCOS who have found their fertility by embracing their physical and emotional health first. Listen as Aimee guides us through:
- the power of optimism and why it works
- how letting go of grief, fear and jealousy boosts your fertility
- the wisdom we can gain from the mind-body link of Chinese medicine
- how self-care prepares a healthy space for your child and you for motherhood
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A complete transcript can be found below.
About Aimee Raupp
Author, acupuncturist, and herbalist Aimee Raupp is a women’s health and fertility expert. Her mission is to educate and inspire women, improve their health, celebrate their beauty, prevent disease as well as increase their fertility. Aimee helps her clients reconnect to the presence of their optimal health.
Aimee is the author of Chill Out And Get Healthy (Penguin, 2009) and Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: The Diet That Will Improve Your Fertility Now & Into Your 40’s (Self Published, 2012). Aimee’s third book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: How to Improve Your Fertility Now & Into Your 40s (Demos Health, June 2014), which was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, combines her clinical expertise and personal experience helping scores of women—many of whom have been told they had poor fertility outlooks—to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have healthy babies.
In alignment with the belief that everything women ingest should be fertility friendly and of the highest quality, organic, natural ingredients, Aimee developed her own skincare line, Aimee Raupp Beauty ( AimeeRauppBeauty.com).
Aimee is in private practice in Manhattan, the Hamptons and Nyack, NY. She is licensed by the State of New York to practice acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbology, and is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Aimee offers an online fertility coaching program– both private and group sessions are available.
For additional information about Aimee, please visit YesICanGetPregnant.com, AimeeRauppBeauty.com and AimeeRaupp.com.
Amy: Hello and welcome to another PCOS Diva Podcast. This is Amy Medling. I’m a certified health coach and founder of PCOS Diva. Today we’re going to be talking about shifting from an infertility-focused mindset to a fertility-focused mindset. We’re going to be talking about our mental and emotional state and how that relates to our fertility. I am thrilled to have Aimee Raupp. She is an author, an acupuncturist, and herbalist with us to join our conversation. Welcome, Aimee.
Aimee: Thank you so much for having me, Amy. I’m so excited to be here.
Amy: Let me tell our listeners a little bit about your work. You are an author of two books, “Chill Out and Get Healthy” and the book that we’re going to be talking about today, “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant, How to Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s.” You combine your clinical experience as an acupuncturist, an herbalist, and your personal experience helping scores of women, many of whom who have been told that they had poor fertility outlooks. You help them to get pregnant, to stay pregnant, and have healthy and happy babies.
Amy: I can totally relate to that experience of being told that you have a poor fertility outlook. I remember very clearly being a, I think a college sophomore in the college clinic, and the doctor telling me that one day they’re going to have to jump through hoops to get me pregnant.
Aimee: Oh, terrible.
Amy: Yeah, to be a young woman given that information, it was definitely a little disheartening. I have to say that I really never took that as my truth. Going to doctors in my twenties, I often heard, “It’s going to be really hard for you to get pregnant,” or, “You’re going to have a lot of fertility struggles.” I just, for some reason and I don’t really know why, maybe it’s because I knew my mother had some infertility issues and was able to get pregnant with me that I just thought, “Yeah, yeah yeah. That’s not really going to be my story.”
I think that played a huge part in my fertility journey because I was kind of coming at it, maybe more from that fertility-focused perspective than the infertility-focused. It really boded well for me because now I have three beautiful children. I do hear from lots of women with PCOS who have been told that they’ll never get pregnant, they’ll never have babies, and they have accepted that as truth. That has really, I think, added to the infertility struggle. Let’s talk a little bit about that shift and how do we make a shift, once we’ve been told that we’re never going to have children or it’s going to be hard to, jumping through hoops to get your pregnant. Where do we go from there?
Aimee: I think Amy , you’re very lucky that it didn’t become your truth. I think what happened is whether or not you have a diagnosis like that you got at a younger age before you were thinking about having children or you’re just surrounded by friends of yours maybe that are struggling or worried about your age and your fertility that it becomes this, I call it a fear-based belief, that somewhere deep inside of you, you’re starting to doubt your ability to get pregnant. It is becoming part of your truth. I see it so often in the clinic.
Even myself having just recently had a baby, and now I’m forty-one, but I got pregnant at forty, it was fortunately, for me, very easy. I was pregnant in the second month we tried, and I carried to term, and he’s perfect. I saw myself in the Western medical community all of a sudden and age was brought up every single appointment I had. They reminded me of my age and of my chances of miscarriage, doctors reminded me of my chances of stillbirth.
There’s a lot of fear surrounding any diagnosis and then you couple that with age, especially with fertility, and so I think women are just starting to get all of this feedback, even if it’s themselves or just their friends, that their fertility is at stake regardless of their age. I’ll see young women in their mid-twenties and same thing as you. They were told that they were going to have a really hard time getting pregnant and they’re paranoid. It has become their truth.
I have a section in the book that says, “Shifting your focus from being infertility-focused to fertility-focused,” and the whole premise of that is really that there’s a lot more fertility going on than infertility. If you look at the numbers, sure, there are seven million women and their partners affected by fertility challenges, but infertility in and of itself means that you’re broken, that you’re unfixable, and a lot of women come to me or come to my book with that idea that they are unfixable and powerless in the situation. What I often really try to do is to shift their focus.
One of my first questions to anyone I work with is, “Do you believe that you are going to have a baby?” I’d say 9.9 out of 10 women say yes. I know that deep down in their heart they know that they will, they’re just in this place of fear right now. I gently kind of work with them to start focusing on the pregnancies that are around you. Look at all the women that have gotten pregnant in their forties or in their thirties or look at all the women that have gotten pregnant with PCOS. Ovulation disorders are the most common cause of fertility struggles. In my clinical experience, they’re the easiest to treat, so I’m not really worried when I get a PCOS patient. They’re very worried but I’m not.
I just try to encourage them to start to believe in their bodies again and give them the tools to empower themselves and realize that, ultimately, their health is in their hands and that if they improve their health, they improve their fertility. That’s really how I start to try to get women to shift that mindset and to really stop using the word “infertility.” I ask them, my readers in the book, that after that first chapter we don’t use that word anymore. We can say we’re fertility-challenged. We can say we need some fertility rejuvenation.
I understand it’s just words but words are very powerful and it’s a belief system. The more you say, “Oh, I have infertility,” or, “I’m struggling with infertility,” and you use that word, it really becomes this belief within your whole system. I think on a cellular level your body starts to believe it and you start to have doubt and there’s a lot of negativity in your mindset and in your body and in your health. If we can start to even shift the language a little bit where you don’t use that word anymore, you just say, “I’m fertility-challenged at the moment,” but that it’s not so black and white, that you can change it.
You can improve the quality of your eggs, you can improve your condition, like PCOS, you can definitely improve that. You can’t necessarily change your age but there’s a big difference between chronological age and physiological age. That’s scientifically proven. I really just try to arm women with this knowledge that we really do have the power here and to not give up hope or faith in our bodies. I really see a shift in them once they do. From a Chinese medicine perspective, too, our emotions are quite powerful.
All illnesses have an emotional correlation in Chinese medicine. Whether it was the chicken or the egg, it doesn’t really matter, but it can worsen the situation. We see that doubt or hopelessness, how it truly affect the uterus itself. We almost see it as it creates an inhospitable environment. The more negative-based you are, the less likely it is that some other being is going to want to inhabit your uterus. Really start to send love and kindness, not just to your whole body, but to your uterus specifically.
You start believe in the fact that you can conceive and maybe it’s just taking you a little bit longer and there’s probably reasons behind that because you need to really optimize your health first. You’ll be grateful for that in the long run, have a healthier pregnancy, and therefore healthier baby. To really start to get women to embrace their overall health and see fertility as secondary to optimal health and that their emotions clearly and truly affect their health as well, and their fertility. Shifting from that negative mindset to more of a hopeful and optimistic one.
Amy: Yeah. I often tell clients that weight loss and fertility really is a byproduct of bringing your body back in balance.
Aimee: I say it all the time. I always say my goal is optimal health. When you’re in optimal health, you should be able to get pregnant with PCOS, with endometriosis, when you’re forty-one. You really should be, even with advanced maternal age or poor ovarian reserve, we’re talking about quality, not quantity when it comes to eggs. PCOS, obviously, there’s not a quantity issue for many of the girls, but sometimes there’s a quality issue a lot of the time.
There’s so much, and you know that, working with your demographic, there’s so much you can do to shift the PCOS diagnosis. You can completely control it, really, through diet and exercise, and I think meditation, stress management, and some supplements, things like that. To just really arm women with this knowledge that we have the power to not give it up. I see that so often, that women just give up.
They say, “Oh, I’m just going to need fertility treatments and everybody else is doing IVF. I’m going to have to do IVF.” It’s this sense of total loss of faith in their body. My biggest mission is to really restore that faith. When I see that faith restored, I see pregnancy happen. Then they start to love and respect their bodies again so they start to treat them better and eat the right foods and sleep enough and hopefully meditate and practice stress management reduction techniques. Their health shifts and then boom, their fertility shifts.
Even after a miscarriage I’ll see a woman, she completely cuts off emotionally. You know, it’s traumatizing, obviously, and very devastating. It’s hard for a lot of women to get back in the saddle, if you will, and try again because they’re so afraid of that miscarriage again. When you get them to shift and realize, “Okay, I did get pregnant and maybe that was just bad luck, if you will, or the chance of it happening again are low,” that type of thing, and empower them with the knowledge of how to improve their health and have faith again in their body, you see the shift happen again. Then all of a sudden they’re getting pregnant and holding up the pregnancy. The mind is very powerful and to not underestimate even the use of a simple word like “infertility,” I just wouldn’t use it. I think it’s extremely derogatory towards ourself.
Amy: Let me, if you don’t mind, I wanted to share a little excerpt of your book that relates to what we’re talking … I thought you really stated this beautifully. You’re talking about that idea of labeling yourself as being infertile. You say here that, “It doesn’t serve you. By serving you, I mean it doesn’t help you in this process. It doesn’t make you feel good. It doesn’t fill you with optimism. Rather, it only serves to make you feel inadequate and fearful. Worse, it feeds the ‘I’m not fertile’ belief inside of you and becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy.”
Then you go on to say, and this is really beautiful, “Now I am encouraging you to form an ‘I am fertile’ belief because that belief serves your fertility for the better. As I always say to my patients, there is so much good that comes from being optimistic. Optimism brings joy and hope into your heart and to your uterus. When you are trying to conceive, optimism serves you. Hope serves you. Believing in your fertility serves you.”
I think for women with PCOS, there really is a lot of hope to grab onto. One of my well-worn books on my shelf by PCOS pioneer, Dr. Walter Futterweit, I think he’s one of the PCOS pioneers. In his introduction to his book, A Patient’s Guide to PCOS, he said the good news is that women with PCOS can and do have healthy babies.
Aimee: All the time.
Amy: Yeah, all the time. There’s a really interesting study; I wrote about it recently on my blog about how women with PCOS remain fertile longer than their non-PCOS counterparts. Those women, they’re thirty-five and they’re feeling like the clock’s ticking, well …
Aimee: They have more of an ovarian reserve, yeah.
Amy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. At thirty-seven, and I hear from women all the time having babies into their forties. I think there is a lot of hope.
Aimee: I see it all the time. That’s my biggest message. Even for myself when I got pregnant, that in and of itself was a challenge to tell my patient population because I have so many women who are struggling to get pregnant and they have understandably difficulty with someone when they find out they are pregnant. I was like, “But I’m forty. This should serve as an inspiration.” Why don’t we start finding those stories and talking about those stories more than the stories that are negative? There are so many positive stories out there. It’s the same as when you’re pregnant. I want to hear the positive pregnancy stories. I don’t really want to hear the horrible pregnancy stories.
Shift your focus. Not to not give those women a stage to express themselves because I think that’s really important and the community is extremely important, but how we go about it, not to really induce such fear with the doctor telling you at a young age you’re never going to get pregnant. It’s fear-based medicine. I’m strongly opposed to it and I get extremely upset by it. To start to focus around you, ask people, ask PCOS patients, “How long did it take you to get pregnant?” Listen to their success stories. Don’t focus on all the unsuccessful stories.
Another thing to point out is the women who struggle to get pregnant, I could say in my ten years of clinical practice, almost every single woman I have ever come in contact with has had a baby. I think all but two or three wound up without children and we’re talking hundreds and hundreds of women that I’ve seen in my practice over the ten years. It’s highly unlikely that you will not have a child if you want one. Start to just believe that again and not subscribe …
I also think this is a huge part too, to not let your diagnosis become your identity, that maybe you could say, “Yes, I have PCOS but I’m managing it,” or, “I have PCOS but I’m learning how to deal with it.” “I have PCOS but I’m shifting it,” or, “I’m having a hard time getting pregnant, but I’m hopeful that it will happen,” and to embrace … One of my favorite mantras is, “I’m always where I’m supposed to be.”
To just try to get to that place of, “This is your path for some reason,” and embrace it and know that you’ll get from point A to point B but perhaps there’s a different course for you and to settle into that and really find the optimism and hope. There’s a lot of research out there too, right, that stress affects our health and our fertility and PCOS. If we’re walking around with this negative believe system that I am infertile, that is very stressful for you. That will further hinder your chances.
I do always say, I love that quote, too, that you pulled from the book. I actually just did my Instagram quote this morning from that quote, the end of it. I always say to people in my practice, “What is the harm in being optimistic?” Really, at the end of the day, I think there’s no harm in it. If anything, you feel good. If you do get your period and you’re not pregnant, okay, we’re disappointed. We know that maybe the next month it can happen, to just stay in that optimistic place that the negativity really does not serve us, not just our fertility but serve for anything.
Amy: Yeah. One of my Diva tenants of my Jumpstart program, the pillars, is the idea that is “powerfully positive.”
Aimee: I love that.
Amy: I think that’s what I loved about your book, is you have this traditional Chinese medicine background or traditional Oriental medicine background and you really have infused your book with that Eastern philosophy. I was wondering if you could speak to the concept of your child’s palace. You introduced this in your book and how you can improve your fertility with focusing on more optimal emotions than the worry, anxiety, fear, and trauma.
Aimee: As I was saying before, every disease and every organ in Chinese medicine has an emotional component. There’s negative emotions that affect … anger can negatively affect the liver, we say. Joy can positively affect the heart whereas trauma can negatively affect the heart. We see emotions that play a very significant role in disease states. By disease I mean dis-ease, anything that’s causing discomfort in your life, basically. It could be anything from a headache to PCOS to cancer. When these emotions are in play, they can really hinder our ability to heal.
It’s almost like joy is the antidote to trauma. When we’re feeling discouragement, say, and if when we’re feeling negative or doubtful or hopeless about our fertility, it’s going to further affect your health and your ability to get pregnant. The antidote is to find more joy in your life and focus on the things that bring you joy right here, right now. I always say, “Don’t be happy when, you have to be happy now.” That’s definitely a TCM, Chinese medicine philosophy, but it’s also my own work. I do a lot of my own meditation and inner work. My teachers have taught me that as well, too. Let’s focus on our joy in our life right here, right now. That will improve our health and our fertility.
We have this beautiful analogy, if you will, in Chinese medicine that the uterus, the term for uterus is Zi Gong, spelled Z-I G-O-N-G, and the literal translation is “child palace.” It doesn’t really have any other major functions other than it’s to have a child, your uterus. Obviously it has to do reproductive system as well, but the uterus itself, really, is just the child’s palace. I really drive that home in the book and even in my clinical practice of if this is a palace, we need to treat our whole body like a palace so that we can really improve the environment of that child’s palace so that it’s the most hospitable place it could be.
Joy and love really make it very warm and open and cozy whereas fear and trauma and worry about doubt and anger block it off. It blocks off blood flow throughout your whole body but it really blocks this blood flow to the uterus and really affects that ability to conceive and carry to term. We go as far as, in Chinese medicine, that when you pregnant, you shouldn’t watch any scary movies or any violent movies because that fear or trauma, even from the television, can affect the baby’s emotional state because you’re letting this emotion in. Really surround yourself with beautiful objects and beautiful books and beautiful movies to further enhance the baby’s emotional state.
To us, it’s extremely important that the emotional shift occurs. That’s what I came to see in my practice and that’s really why I wrote this book. I really needed to get that message out there that we just need to restore faith in our bodies and I really think everything else will come. All the other pieces will fall into place. It came from this emotional space that all these women were so knocked down. They were so traumatized. They were so fearful. All of those negative emotions, if you will, really shut down all the important organs in reproduction in our body. Then we’re left with challenges in being pregnant.
It’s not just my own personal belief system. This is a tenant of Chinese medicine that the emotions have to shift in order for a pregnancy to occur. There are, sure, plenty of women who get pregnant who are angry or traumatized or hopeless, but we see that, too, as that emotional state is not the healthiest for the baby to thrive in. Although you hopefully carry to term, the emotional state of the child is affected. My job, as I see it, is I want to get you in the best health mentally, emotionally, physically, nutritionally, possible.
You get pregnant, you carry that state through pregnancy, and then you bring home this healthy, happy baby into a healthy, happy home. It’s not just, “I want you to follow this diet for three months and then you get pregnant.” It’s a lifestyle shift. It’s an emotional shift. I want it to affect every aspect of your life. If there’s no joy in your workplace, maybe you should consider shifting that. Maybe that’s further hurting your fertility or if you’re in a bad relationship, maybe we should examine that before we try and have a child in that relationship
To really encourage self-awareness and self-love, I think that’s the root of it all and to understand that the more love and joy we have in our heart, that opens up into the uterus and creates this very healthy child’s palace, that one is extremely hospitable. You bring a happy, healthy baby into the world.
Amy: You talk in your book about letting go and I think a lot of women struggle with all of these emotions that you’ve been describing–the fear, the anger, the grief, the worry, the sorrow–and they want to get to joy. They want to get to happiness, but they’re struggling with, maybe their friends or family members are getting pregnant and they’re not so there’s some anger there or fear that that’s not going to happen for them, or maybe they’re grieving the child that they lost in a previous miscarriage and they’re just sort of stuck. I’ve found that a lot of women that I work with, if they just are able to let go and surrender and sometimes give up the fertility …
Aimee: Yes, I agree.
Amy: Journey for six months and we’re just going to give it a break, that’s when the magic happens.
Aimee: I couldn’t agree more.
Amy: Yeah. Maybe you could give us some tips on how we can let go. What is that bridge that we need to cross and how do we do that from the negative emotions to the positive?
Aimee: I have an interesting piece that I wrote, I don’t know, maybe a month or two ago. I had a conversation with Deepak Chopra about exactly this, about this letting go. We were talking about fertility and he does all this epigenetic research which is basically how we live our life affects our genes and their expression, whether they turn on or turn off, and how that affects the aging process and the disease process. I was asking him about fertility. Of course he believes that nutrition and meditation and sleep and all these things will improve fertility regardless of the woman’s age and help increase the fertility and optimize egg quality. He said the key component is they have to let go.
I write about it in my book and I said, “How do you recommend this?” because I can’t walk into a brand new patient and say to her, “Okay, we just have to learn to let go.” I’ll never see her again, and I realize that. It’s a very fragile emotional space that you’re in. What I got from the conversation with him was, and what I talk about in the book, I call it the self-love health mission. If you can get to the space of …
I agree with you on the putting it aside, like, okay, we’re not going to try to conceive for the next three months or we’re going to give ourselves a six to nine month time frame to conceive and not month to month. Month to month drives women berserk. I even saw it in myself. It was like, “Oh gosh, when am I going to get pregnant?” It’s not next month. It’s very easy to fall prey to that month to month deadline.
To say, “Okay, in hopefully a six to nine month period I will get pregnant,” and you let go of this monthly time work and this, “When am I ovulating? We need to have sex,” mindset. I’d rather get into this mindset of, “I want to be healthier. I want to feel better. I want to look better. I want my PCOS symptoms to be better managed. I’m going to adopt this healthier lifestyle that includes some dietary changes and this meditation and maybe I’m not going to think about fertility at all because it brings me down.”
I would have women do a gratitude list every morning. What are five things you’re grateful for right now? It could be as simple as, “I had a good night’s sleep,” to, “My pillow is super cozy,” to, “It’s a gorgeous fall day.” Whatever it is, to just start shifting to a gratitude mindset. You don’t have to even focus on fertility, especially if it brings you down. Shift into anything that brings you joy in your life. I’m sure you see the same thing, when I give women tools with their diet or with their lifestyle or meditation and sleeping more and exercising, journaling, gratitude lists, they generally start to feel better, to embrace the self-love health mission and not focus so much on the fertility aspect.
I know that, as Deepak would say, you can get from point A to point B, there’s a million ways to get there. If you stay focused that you will get there, but to let go of the how and the when. Again, not as easy as …to say is to do it and not as easy to do it as to say it but that there’s power in the letting go. There’s power in finding joy in your everyday life right now without pregnancy or a child and to also give yourself the time to grieve or to mourn and that it’s also okay to be angry if your sister gets pregnant and you’re still not pregnant.
I always give women the space for that. I always say, “These walls can handle it. You get it out. Don’t keep it in.” Express your disappointment, even if it’s just in a journal or in a confidential relationship, but to get that out and to know that will be me one day. Try to picture it. Try to visualize it. Try to feel it if you can go to that space and it actually gives you joy. If you can’t, then I would just say move beyond it. Express your disappointment, probably in a journal, never tell anybody about it, and move on. What else in my life brings me joy? I feel good focusing on my health because that’s empowering me and I know that if my health is in good shape that my fertility will improve as well. Really, just start saying loving, kind things to yourself.
There’s so many ways we can practice general joy. I talk about it in the book as well. Let’s get back to some things that you used to do that made you really happy. So many women tend to put their life on hold when they’re trying to get pregnant. “We can’t take that trip because I’m ovulating,” or, “I can’t go skiing because I could be pregnant.” Something like that. I always encourage it. I say, “No, I want you to live your life. I do. If you want have a couple drinks that week, you have a couple drinks that week. Make smart choices. Don’t go on a bender, but try to get back to living your life and allowing joy in because the lack of it is really cutting off the circulation and flow in your whole body and to your uterus.”
There’s many ways I think you can get in to surrender and to let go. Each woman is so entirely different. For some it’s journaling. For some it’s exercise. For some it’s the gratitude list. For most, I do see when the fully embrace these lifestyle changes and really start to feel better, it’s an easier shift that I’m going to say, “Oh, I’m just going to focus on my health. Whatever happens in my fertility happens in my fertility,” and to put it aside a little bit.
Amy: Yeah. I love what you said about finding something that brings you to joy and do it. I know years ago when I read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, I’m sure you’re familiar with it. In the back of her book, she lists all of … What she calls it, the list, the different physical problems that you might experience. One day I went through and I highlighted all of the issues of PCOS. I thought this is a real aha moment for me because ovaries, the probable cause, she says it represents the point of creation and creativity.
The new thought pattern is, “I am balanced in my creative flow.” I can tell you after years of working with women with PCOS I found that those who are struggling the most have lost touch with their creativity and have suppressed their creativity. I think that what you’re seeing, too, is women who get in touch with what brings them joy and often that’s their creative expression. That helps with fertility and I just thought, “Wow, that’s so on point,” because your ovaries are the point of creation. If you’re not nurturing that creative side …
Aimee: You’re shutting it down.
Amy: Yeah, you’re shutting it down. I really encourage women to try to remember what brought them joy as a child and try to reconnect with that. It might be dancing or now these all these wonderful adult coloring books. Just coloring can be a wonderful expression. Yeah, I definitely encourage people to try to find a creative outlet. I think women with PCOS are very creative women. You need to share that with the world. I loved what you said there.
Aimee: Absolutely. I think creativity is fertile ground to use an analogy. It’s giving birth to these new things. I talk about that in the book too, to give birth to your new story. That’s another way you could do it. I find, for me, writing works best which is why I write books. It’s an easy space for me to go to. Why don’t we tell our new story from an optimistic perspective? I always have women who, usually when they’re on the other side, when they do get pregnant, they’ll look back and they’ll be like, “You know, if I would have gotten pregnant then, this would have never happened in my life. I would have never pursued that or I would never …” Or, “It’s made my marriage stronger.”
If you just start to step back and look and say, “Okay, what are the things that are actually coming to me right now that I’m not recognizing because all I’m focused on is the fact that I’m not pregnant or don’t have this child?” When you get people to step back and see that and they are actually creating in their life and they’re almost not even recognizing it, which I think can be just as stagnating as not being creative.
To start to shift that mindset of, “What is going on in my life right now? What’s bringing me joy? Let’s go dancing, we haven’t done that in forever. Let’s take that trip.” Really, I’ll see girls get pregnant on that trip that they’ve been holding off on taking because they were trying to get pregnant. I’m the first one to encourage it. I’m the first one to encourage quitting the job that they hate because I think it’s stifling. I see all of those things are affecting your health and they’re affecting your ability to get pregnant. I’ve seen girls get fired from their job because they’re not present at all because they’re so focused on their fertility and they get pregnant the next month.
Granted, we’ve been doing work so I feel like all the other pieces were in place or they were following the diet and meditating more or journaling or things like that or doing their gratitude list. That life then leads you, if you will, to the right path. I think that’s the really big takeaway, too, is to trust that you’re on the right path. I think the control that we try to exercise comes from fear that we’re maybe not on the right path. It’s just like, every time we’re trying to control something, it’s really because we’re scared. It’s a fear-based expression. To surrender more and trust that you’re where you’re supposed to be.
I’ll often have women think back to when they met their partner and how badly they wanted to meet their partner. When they finally let go that they met the person. I give them other things to look at in their life. They’ll realize it. I don’t always think it’s all stress or all lack of joy in our life but I definitely think it’s a huge factor. It’s definitely part of the puzzle that needs to be really, I think, looked at more and investigated for women. I do think, too, the more you dive into your heart and what brings you joy and the more you practice self-love no matter where you are the better the mom you’re going to be. You can access your joy better and more easily. You can share that with your child.
I do think there’s this overall global transformation happening that needs to happen for certain women to get pregnant. Even for myself, I look at it as, I wanted this probably ten years ago when I started thinking about when I wanted children and it just didn’t happen for me until I met the right person and then we had this beautiful child. I wouldn’t have changed it. Now, looking back, where you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I needed to go through this transformation to now become the person I am so that I can be the mother and the wife I want to be.”
Amy: Yeah. Absolutely. Like you said, trusting the process. I think in terms of having a diagnosis like PCOS, I think we go through those Kübler-Ross stages– grief and denial–and hopefully come to a certain place of acceptance and even thinking of it as a blessing. I think you can sort of look at this space of when you’re trying to conceive and it’s not happening, if you can look at it as a place of blessing because it gives you the opportunity if you can live in the moment to really discover yourself in so many ways. I think you’ve done a beautiful job in your book of putting those steps together, how to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the child, how to create that child’s palace which I think is a beautiful image.
We don’t have time to talk about it now but you had a really great chapter on becoming one with nature and looking at the cues from nature to bring your body back in balance. If a woman is listening today and is trying to get pregnant and wants a different approach, a refreshing, optimistic approach, I really highly recommend your book, Aimee, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant. Can you …
Aimee: I think there’s … Yeah, go ahead.
Amy: No, go ahead.
Aimee: I was going to say the getting in touch with nature chapter, becoming one with nature, one of my teachers once gave me this image to think about when I was feeling very impatient for something that I wanted so badly. She said, “When you plant a seed in the ground, you don’t water it all day long and expect it to pop up tomorrow,” stomping on the ground like, “Where’s my corn? Why hasn’t it grown yet?” You understand that you planted the seed, you have to tend the soil, you need to nurture it and it needs to go through a certain season and get a certain amount of sunlight in order for it to grow and healthfully come up to the surface and be ripe enough and all these things so that we can then actually enjoy it.
I think it’s the same thing, to understand that you’re planting these seeds and that they require some patience and some tending to and some reflection and gratitude. It’s a process and it’s an understanding and patience and I don’t think anyone’s wrong for being impatient, but to be kinder to yourself about it. Nurture yourself. I think that’s the real key. If we could get to this space of really focusing on nurturing ourselves rather than thinking getting pregnant is going to be the be all, end all, and I’m going to be the happiest I’ve ever been, because chances are you will be happy in that pregnancy but then there’s still voids that are following your life. Why not look into them now and begin that self-transformation?
I think generally it makes us better moms, really, at the end of the day. When we love ourselves, it’s so easy, then, to spread that to the world and that’s really what I would love to see, to bring our babies into an environment where we have enough self-love for ourselves that they, then, learn that from us. I think that is the root of all the problems, it’s a lack of love and joy.
Amy: Amen. I thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about this really wonderful, positive message for fertility and for women who are trying to conceive. Aimee, can you tell us if somebody wants to learn more about your work, how can they each out to you?
Aimee: Go to my website for the book. It’s called yesicangetpregnant.com. On there, you can actually email me if you wanted to, but there’s videos and there’s recipes and there’s meditations. You can actually purchase a book from there as well. It’s a wealth of information on this topic and all the other topics that I discuss in the book. Yesicangetpregnant.com.
Amy: Great. Well, thank you and thank you, everyone, for listening. Bye bye.
Aimee: Thank you so much.