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Yesterday I went to my third ever Reiki session with Lisa. When we sat down, she asked me how I had been doing and I told her that we’ve decided to move on to IVF and will be starting that at the end of this month. I also told her that I’ve been feeling so much less stress and pressure lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like IVF is going to work for us, or if I’m just over my obsession, but whatever it is, I feel good. So she said let’s get started and see what comes up.

She started by putting her hands over my eyes and normally within a minute she takes her hands off and we talk about something. The first session she said “You’re all in your head, aren’t you?” and the second session she said “Tell me how you’re feeling about moving on to IVF.” This time, she had her hands there for a good 5 minutes and didn’t say a word. Finally she moved on to my head and she said “You REALLY are feeling so much more calm.” I agreed and said that I felt so much less stressed about everything. I mentioned how we had told my parents about our upcoming IVF cycle, actually our fertility struggles in general, and how they had offered to watch our dogs and go to appointments with us and everything. I said how it was nice to know that we had their support. By this point she had moved her hands over to my chest and she immediately said “So tell me what it is about telling your parents that has left you with a heavy heart?” Shock. That’s all I could come up with was shock. I started giggling because I immediately knew what she was picking up on, but I was so shocked on the inside. While telling my parents did not go at all how I had envisioned it going, I certainly didn’t feel bad, sad or hurt about the way it went. Or did I?

So I explained to Lisa what had happened, and mentioned that I was surprised by what she had picked up on because I didn’t even know that I felt anything other than impartial about the subject. She said that there was definitely a blockage in my heart about this subject and we needed to fix it. Lisa sensed that the “little girl” part of me felt like she was hurting and that she wanted recognition from her mom. Like when you were little and fell and skinned your knee, you wanted mommy to pick you up, take you inside, clean you up and make you feel better. I didn’t get that from my mom when we told her about the IVF and the little girl inside of me wanted that recognition of her pain and struggles, but it never came. So Lisa had me envision a younger version of me and had me tell young me that it was OK. That mommy didn’t even realize that we were struggling with infertility and didn’t know how to react. Mommy didn’t mean to be hurtful in the way she responded, she just didn’t know how to respond in any other way. And as hokey as it sounds, it worked. Though I can’t honestly say that I felt hurt by it, I did find myself replaying the whole discussion with my parents over in my head once or twice a day, so it was probably weighing on me. Since my Reiki session, I haven’t thought about it at all (until I started to write this post, that is).

After that, most of the rest of the session was devoted to getting myself into a “good place” for the start of our IVF cycle. She had me ask my mind, body and spirit to clear any blocks that might be in the way of our success and then to give thanks for all of the work that my mind, body and spirit have done so far. At the end of the session, I felt good and ready to start on our IVF cycle in a couple of weeks.

In other IVF news, we got our home equity loan squared away so we’ll have the money ready to go when we need it. Our plan is to put the whole shebang onto 3 or 4 credit cards (gotta get our points!!), then pay those off immediately with the home equity loan. Then we will likely use some of those balance transfer checks that we get in the mail all of the time to transfer the money from our 7.45% interest home equity loan onto “no interest until September of ‘09” credit cards. I think that we’ll definitely be able to handle things financially and hope to have the debt paid off in three years or less.

We also got a rough estimate of our IVF calendar yesterday. I was concerned about the timing of everything since Mark was supposed to go to Vegas for work the week of September 21st and I also though that was going to be the week of my retrival. As it turns out, my estimates were off by a week and I won’t go for retrieval until the week of the 28th, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s crazy how having that calendar right there in front of me makes me realize how real this really is. Two weeks from now I should be popping my daily birth control pill and we couldn’t be more excited! How crazy is that?

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Yesterday I fell in love. Not with another man, but with Reiki and Divine Coding. This is funny and strange to me because Reiki is not something that I really even believe in or understand. Just telling Mark about my session makes me feel embarrassed and silly because it sounds so hokey and ridiculous, but it really does work wonders for me.

While my Reiki lady Lisa is doing the Reiki, she uses her Devine Coding skills (which I’m even more skeptical about than the Reiki itself) to intuit how I’m feeling and what’s going on with me. It’s absolutely amazing what she is able to glean from placing her hands on my face for just a few moments. She uses whatever vibes she’s getting from me to guide our session and to talk through things.

This second session was very different from our first session. At our first session, after she determined that I was “all inside my head” and told me that I needed to find a creative outlet, the rest of the session was just Reiki and quiet time, no more talking.

Yesterday’s session was much more like a mini therapy session. We did so much more talking than we did last time and tried to come up with ways to cope. The first thing that we worked on was the fact that I need to not be mad or upset with my body, regardless of how betrayed or upset I am by it. She made an analogy about how if I were to go to my place of work and I knew that everyone there didn’t like me and thought I was doing a crappy job, would I want to go to work and do a good job? The answer is no, of course not. That’s how I need to view my ovaries and reproductive system. If I’m feeling negative towards my body and my ovaries, of course they won’t respond in the way I want them to. Instead of projecting animosity towards them, I need to give them love.

So she had me imagine sifts or screens beginning at my feet and sifting all the way up through my body and up to the top of my head that would filter out any negative feelings towards my body. Then she had me imagine tossing those screens full of negative gunk into a bonfire so that all of the negative energy burned up and then she had me replace the empty spaces where the negativity was with love. I felt so much lighter after the screens had sifted all of the negative energy away and then when I replaced those empty spaces with love I felt a tingling swirling sensation, which was really cool. Again, it sounds silly, I know, but it really works for me.

The second thing that we worked on is that I need to focus on the here and now. Instead of getting myself all worked up about IVF right now, I need to focus on this cycle. There is a potential that we may not even need IVF and I really need to focus my energy on this cycle right now, and send good positive thoughts towards what we’re dealing with at this moment. This struck a chord with me because I mentioned in my last post that I’m pretty much dismissing this cycle and already looking towards IVF. So I will renew my focus and try to work as hard as I can to stay positive about this cycle and where we are now and not stress about the possibilities of what might happen in the future.

Throughout all of this, I found it very interesting that while I was laying there, my mind kept wandering back to two specific trips that I taken when I was younger. One was a trip to DC in the summer after 8th grade and the second one was a three week trip to Europe in the summer after my sophomore year. While I thoroughly enjoyed both of these trips, I don’t often think about them, so I wondered if there was some significance. I mentioned these images to Lisa and she kind of helped me to discern what importance they might have for me and why I would keep conjuring them up.

Ultimately, I think that these images were coming to me because these were journeys that I went on that I really had no part in planning. I’ve been on lots of trips since those two trips, but I’ve been the coordinator and planner extraordinaire for said trips. These two particular trips were different in that I paid my money, went on the trip and enjoyed myself. Someone else did all of the planning, research, and coordinating for me…all I had to do was show up. I’m sure that this is some way of my subconscious telling me that I need to just go with the flow a bit more and trust in my care providers so that I can enjoy my life as it is now without all of the worry of this other, very different, journey that I’m on.

Anyway, that’s the recap of my Reiki session for this month…definitely worth the money and time investment. I took my last 5 Femara pills last night, and I’m sending lots of love and appreciation to those ovaries of mine so we’ll see what it all adds up to on Monday when I go for my ultrasound.

This weekend we went up north to spend time with Mark’s family. His mom is retiring from teaching 5th grade this year, and the school district threw a party to honor all of the retirees. The drive to his parents’ house is approximately four hours long, so we had plenty of time to talk and what did we talk about? Baby names, of course.

We’ve had baby name discussions before. In fact, before we were even married, we’d already picked out our future daughter’s name, Atlanta Terra. Mark thought it would be super cool to have a daughter named Atlanta AND have her initials be ATL. Then he read Freakonomics, which said something about how people with “non-conventional” names face uphill battles in regards to getting accepted to college and in the job market (or something to that extent). I think that soured his feelings about the name, and over time, my fondness for it has diminished as well.

So we’ve brought up names randomly in the past when we heard one that sounded good, but we haven’t really had any formal discussion as of late. I think that is mostly because we are both tired of dealing with infertility and just don’t want to let ourselves get too wrapped up in the fantasy of actually getting to name a child.

Anyway, I’m not sure how the whole discussion started, but before I knew it, we were in the midst of a two hour round of the name game, suggesting names to each other back and forth. It was fun and funny and it was nice to be able to allow ourselves to think about actually having a baby again. It’s been so long since we’ve even acknowledged that we could get pregnant someday that it was kind of a relief of sorts.

And here are Mark’s definite choices if we were to end up with boy/girl twins: Emmy and Oscar, like the awards, with middle names of Pebbles and Bam Bam respectively. As you can tell, the conversation was less than serious at times. It was a nice break from the seriousness and stress and pressure of trying to conceive.

On a completely unrelated note, I caved when I was at the store the other day and bought a three pack of pregnancy tests. I was getting some contact lens solution one aisle over, and when I walked by the HPT’s, I just quickly grabbed a pack and kept on walking. I know I shouldn’t have done it…if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that if there are HPT’s in the house, I WILL pee on them. It doesn’t matter if it’s too early or if I still have the Ovidrel trigger in my system, I’ll still pee on them.

But I don’t have a plan in mind as to when I will start peeing on them this time around. Ideally it would be best to wait until the 29th which would be two weeks after ovulation, but I’m fairly certain that I won’t be able to hold out that long. Right now I’m shooting for the 27th, and it shouldn’t be too difficult since this weekend is Memorial Day weekend and we will be pretty busy and distracted most of the time. Of course a little part of me wishes that I would have peed on one a few days ago so that I could have finally seen a test with two lines, even if the two lines were due to the trigger lingering in my system still. Today is ten days past trigger, so it has probably already passed through my system and wouldn’t show up on a test.

Anyway, I’m still living life day by day. The meditation CD is working wonders for me in regards to getting a good night’s sleep, so I will definitely continue using that. I’m still trying to find a good time to try out my yoga DVD…I’m hoping I can find a block of time this weekend while Mark’s at the park with the dogs to try it out without distraction. Oh, and I’ve scheduled another Reiki appointment for June 5th, so if this cycle is a bust, at least I have that already scheduled as an additional comfort and stress reliever. So all in all, things are good right now. Let’s hope this trend continues!

I’m still riding the wave of goodness that was my first Reiki session. I am blown away by the fact that I can go for hours without even thinking a single thought about TTC. I realized that when I do think about it, I’m thinking more about the women in my support groups, both online and in real life, than I am about myself. I find myself wondering how they are doing and what is new for them, both in regards to TTC and just life in general. It’s amazing how attached you can grow to people that you endure a stressful situation with and I want nothing but the best for all of them.

A week or so ago I asked my acupuncturist if she thought that my body was ready to be pregnant. A couple of the women in my support group have been told that it will take them 3-6 months or 6-12 months before their bodies are ready to carry a baby, so I wanted to know what she thought of my situation. She was quick to remind me that those are just impressions, and that any woman could become pregnant at anytime. Yes, yes, I understand all of that, what I want to know is whether my body is ready or not. She mentioned that my strong stomach pulse could be problematic for me, I believe was an indication that my adrenals were overworked, or something to that effect. She said it was a sign that I was “burning the candle at both ends.”This struck me as odd, and I was surprised by it. I’ve been trying really hard to keep myself stress free lately, hoping that it will have a positive effect on my body. As such, I’ve only been doing what I want to do and in fact, feel like I’ve gotten quite lazy because of it, so the fact that she got the impression that I’m overextending myself really shocked me. She suggested that I see another practitioner there named Lisa who does Reiki. She said that Reiki can really help you to let go of things that are bringing you down and help you to re-center yourself to focus on the important things.

My mom was really into Reiki a few years ago and so I let her do a few sessions on me. Though I felt pretty open minded about it, I felt as though I never really got much out of it. I could feel heat where she had her hands, but other than that, I usually just fell asleep. Because of this, I was a little hesitant to sign up to give away $60 just for a nap. As the days went by, and I felt more and more stressed over where my cycle was going (or not going, as it were), I realized that money was just money and that I owed it to myself to give this a shot. I’m already spending nearly $1,000 each cycle, so another $60 certainly wouldn’t hurt, and if it might help, then it was worth it to try it.

I arrived at the appointment and she explained that she uses not only Reiki, but also something called Devine Coding. My acu had mentioned this to me before, so I had a chance to research it a little bit before I went in. Reiki is basically about using universal energy to re-tune the body, and Devine Coding uses angelic power and energy as well. Yes, it’s all a little hokey, but I’m desperate and willing to try anything. She went over my brief intake questionnaire and noted that I’ve been having a lot of left shoulder pain lately.

We began the session with some music and diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing). Then she began doing the Reiki on me. After about five minutes, she says to me “You’re all in your head, aren’t you?” Wow. Yes, I really am. I was amazed that she was able to deduce that just from feeling my energy.

She asked if I had any “creative” outlets; anything that I can “lose” myself in and lose complete track of time. The sad truth is that other than infertility research on the internet, no, I really don’t. I could sit on the computer reading about various infertility subjects from the second I get home from work up until the minute I went to bed and be completely engrossed in it. But that’s not relaxing. That’s not an outlet. And it’s certainly not healthy.

So she suggested that I find something that I can use as an outlet. It could be yoga, running, painting, reading, swimming; anything that I can do that will get me “out of my own head.” This makes sense. And it’s something that I’ve TRIED to do, but I think I just wasn’t ready to commit to it, and that’s why it didn’t work for me.

After she discussed finding an outlet, she continued on with the Reiki. She had me think of a relaxing color (I chose green) and had me envision green energy flowing from her hands into my head. With every breath in and every breath out, the green energy was filling in the cells of my body and the spaces around the cells, resulting in complete relaxation.

That was pretty much the extent of the session. She would move from my head to my shoulders and all the way down to my feel all the while telling me to relax and envision the green energy flowing into me. Then she worked back up and spent what seemed like a lot of time on my stomach area.

The next thing I knew, she was telling me that we were done. She said that she could feel that I let go of a lot of things and she thought that it was a very productive session. She said she could tell that I was very, very relaxed and had let my mind go. I thought that I might have fallen asleep, but she was pretty insistent that she thought that I was just in a highly meditative state. In either case, it was definitely an interesting experience. I left assigned with the homework of finding myself an “creative” outlet or two, and trying to let go of things that are holding me back.

While I was walking up to the desk to pay for my session, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I felt a little bit better mentally, but I still wasn’t convinced that it was all that I thought it would be. My shoulder still hurt even though I knew that the Reiki was supposed to help with that. On my drive home though, things started to click into place.

I realized that I felt lighter, like a giant weight had been lifted off of me. I realized that instead of thinking about how this session will hopefully lead to a BFP in the end, like I do after all of my acu sessions, I was only thinking about how great I felt. It sounds so clichéd and I feel ridiculous even saying it, but it was like I was a whole new me. A new, refreshed, ready to meet the world me. And it feels great! There were absolutely no tears on cycle day one, and more importantly, no sadness about it either. As crazy as it sounds, I’m actually looking forward to this next cycle, instead of dreading it.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve realized that TTC is no longer at the forefront of my mind every second of the day. I don’t know how it works, but I do know that Reiki worked for me. Whatever it is that I was able to let go of, has made such a drastic change in me. Instead of fear, sadness, anxiety and depression, I just feel relaxed and at peace with where we are and what we’re going through. The change is just phenomenal.

Additionally, I realized the morning after my session, that my shoulder wasn’t bothering me at all anymore. All this time I’ve attributed my shoulder pain to a bike that doesn’t fit me well. Now I wonder if it wasn’t just a bunch of built up stress all along.

And there’s one more major physical change that just blows my mind. That really strong stomach pulse? It is nearly non-existent now.

I ordered a yoga DVD and a meditation CD to help me to relax and I’m signing up to use a pottery studio over the summer. I will also be going in for Reiki once a month during my “off” week from acupuncture. My focus will be on trying to keep my mind relaxed, enjoy my life and focus on all of the good things that I already have instead of dwelling on the things that I don’t have. I am looking forward to each and every new day now instead of dreading them.

I am now a firm believer in the powers of Reiki.

 

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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