For the 10% of couples suffering with infertility in the U.S., treatments such as in-vitro fertilization and other medicated cycles can be quite stressful. One of the most common (and annoying) comments that women receive when dealing with infertility is “Just relax”. If only it were that easy.
During my first in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle I saw an acupuncturist twice a week. I loved getting acupuncture and fell asleep almost every time. It was the most relaxing hour of my day. But acupuncture comes at a price and a high one at that. Patients without insurance coverage can expect to spend $50-75 per appointment unless you can work out a monthly plan (which I was able to do). Though my first IVF ended in a miscarriage I was not going to stop trying for a baby. We began to prepare for a second cycle but this time we were on a budget. The first thing I gave up was acupuncture because it was simply too expensive. Still, I wanted to find something as relaxing as acupuncture, just a little more cost-effective.
That is when I came across Anji Inc. Anji was founded by Jennifer Bloome, an occupational therapist who struggled with creating her own family. Her company offers meditation CD’s for infertility, pregnancy and women’s wellness as well as one-on-one sessions via phone or Skype. You also have the option of downloading the meditation CDs directly to your iPod.
After much perusing I finally chose IVF package #3, two meditation CD’s for $53.90. I chose to download my tracks to my iPod, made easy with the help of my husband and instructions from Jennifer. The first CD was Meditations for the Fertile Soul; the second was Imagery and Meditations in Support of an IVF cycle. My Fertile Soul download came with three tracks, each one about 24-27 minutes in length. The IVF cycle contains four tracks, tailored around the various stages of a general IVF cycle. While I don’t want to give away all the wonderful details about the Anji tracks, I will share some of the points Jennifer covers in Meditations for a Fertile Soul.
Track One is titled New Hope. In this first track Jennifer focuses on acceptance of your body. Through imagery she helps you release negative energy and thoughts so that you can accept new inspirational energy and thoughts. This is especially effective for women who have begun to hate their body and feel betrayed by it due to the infertility they’ve experienced. Track Two is titled Finding Stillness. This track is about finding and reconnecting with the peaceful space that we all have within ourselves. Jennifer also has you focus on your body, placing trust within it that your body can do its job and letting go of the need to know when and how you will have a baby. Track Three is titled Opening your Heart and was my favorite track from this CD. It focuses on healing and finding peace within your heart. The most powerful part of this track came from the following statement: “From this perspective you can see that while adding a child to your life will bring you a new source of joy, you cannot wait for that child to come to you to feel joy. Rather a child is an expression of the joy and connection you already have in your life.”
Overall the Meditations for a Fertile Soul touched only a little on fertility-related imagery. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was expecting when I bought the CD. It focused more on finding peace and acceptance within yourself so that you can help your body achieve a better balance for conception of a child. Still, the purpose of the tracks was for relaxation and Jennifer certainly achieved that. I found it most effective and relaxing when I was lying in my bed at the end of the day. The best thing about this particular CD is that you don’t have to listen to all three tracks at once. You can choose to listen to one each day or even pick your favorite track to listen to exclusively. Obviously that doesn’t work for the IVF cycle CD because those tracks are specifically for certain stages in your cycle but it works perfectly for the Meditations for a Fertile Soul. The only drawback I found is that it seems to be the most generalized CD of her infertility selection and would probably not be as useful by itself. For example, it will be hard for a women with no tubes to imagine her body as a lush, fertile ground for conceiving naturally. For those women I would suggest a package deal which includes the Fertile Soul CD and another CD which is more specific to the treatments they are going through. Luckily Anji Inc. does offer infertility CD’s for women with PCOS, women going through natural cycles, women going through medicated cycles and package deals such as the one I bought.
I would recommend Meditations for a Fertile Soul as either a supplementary CD in a package or to women who are just starting out with infertility treatments, especially when they are just doing timed intercourse and not the more advanced treatments. For my particular situation I’ve found the IVF cycle CD to be more helpful. In general, Anji Inc. has done an excellent job with their meditation CD’s and I found them to be truly relaxing. I hope that they will be even more helpful during my next IVF cycle and perhaps one day I’ll be able to purchase their pregnancy meditation CD’s.