Elizabeth’s story

Empowering Infertility

By Gina Calderone

Elizabeth was a 32 year-old newlywed who was having a difficult time conceiving. Once she started following her cycle, she realized she lacked balance. She had taken birth control pills for over twelve years, which carries a myth of disturbing the gestation process. Her cycle was inconsistent so Elizabeth sought acupuncture regularly and found that it helped regulate her. She changed her diet by decreasing her sugar, soy and alcohol intake. Still nothing. Now the real concern began to set in and she found herself starting to follow a mental rulebook of when to have sex and at what time, certain positioning, what not to eat, what to eat…uncontrolled panic.

The interesting part is that it wasn’t like she couldn’t get pregnant because she had been several years ago when she was with someone with whom see saw no promising future. Isn’t that ironic? You can get pregnant with a guy you don’t want to have a baby with, but when you are married and ready you have trouble getting pregnant? Life’s bizarre lessons.

Elizabeth began to feel uncomfortable about the topic of sex and even having it with her husband. It felt forced with a strange energy to conceive a child. For over a year, she had moments where she swore she was pregnant and then finding out that she wasn’t, it was hard to trust if she ever was going to be, so she and her husband stopped having sex for a while to ease the situation. They were not interested in looking into artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. Elizabeth was beginning to lose control of herself and her body at this point not knowing what to do or where to go, but she knew she needed “something.”

When we started working together, I was in the infancy stages of starting Empowered Health Foundation. Elizabeth’s pain was her inability to conceive a child and start her own family. I listened to her explain her stressors that doctors categorized as contributors to the problem: a demanding job and the unexpected loss of her father within the last year. The grief and sadness were overwhelming and I could see it all bottled up in her frame. I don’t even know if she noticed when she talked to me her eyes would well-up. She told me she was deeply sad and didn’t know why, but I saw even more and wanted to help.

We’d done her Archetypal Chart three years prior when she was seeking a more deep-rooted spiritual path. It was a time when she’d wanted more understanding and clarity of her life. I remember one archetype that stood out in gleaming gold letters: the “Wounded Child”. For Elizabeth, the Wounded Child archetype resides in the fourth house for her, which is the “home”. This has to do with the home she grew up in, the home she lives in and the home of her body. Yes, her b-o-d-y. This house is also the area of the breast tissue associated with nurturing and caretaking within the feminine energy of the home. As for Elizabeth’s body she admitted to a constant struggle with body image and her relationship with food. She also voiced that she never really wanted to be a mother or even thought about it until she was married for a year and then it consumed her.

She described herself as being in her mind quite often and constantly over-thinking things. One thing that always sat with her is the fact that her parents are much older than her peer’s parents. She found it difficult to connect with them. She expressed this with tears in her eyes and I could sense her longing for connection and the most crucial part of this story. Elizabeth was adopted at birth. When we had worked on her chart years ago, I didn’t feel experienced enough to take her down this path, but here we were again, presenting itself in another light for her to heal her life.

Physically, Elizabeth had already been taking Pilates connection and understood the abdominal core connection. What I don’t think people understand is that this area is also the second chakra associated with the emotional center of our bodies. I sensed that Elizabeth was entangled in her own emotion leaving her confused about what to feel and the right to feel it. I didn’t think it was necessary to dig into the adoption area of her life and search for her biological mother. What she needed was to permit herself to feel her life as it had been all these years.

Our first official meeting was great. She was so humble and open to learning and walking down another path. I started off by asking her what she wanted to provide for her children that she didn’t have and she said, “less structure and formality with more connection; not just physically there”. I also asked her what kind of mother she envisioned herself to be and she listed, “laughing, happy, adventurous, spiritual, musical, mentoring, respectful and also a friend.” Lastly, I asked her to write a soul letter to her wounded child. This one was tough for her and assigned as homework. She was apprehensive about it, but I felt that if she could work through this particular pain she could possibly be pregnant in three months. For some reason, it didn’t seem like it would take long because she had already done so much work towards a balanced life.
Two days after our initial meeting I received an encouraging email from Elizabeth:

“Second morning journaling. I’m going through some serious emotions that frankly I‘m not sure what to do with it. I know that is okay, but I’m surprised at how much is coming out and how many tears are coming with it. I have blocked a lot of this because I didn’t think I needed to “dwell” on these things. I see them reflect in the behavioral patterns that stifle my true energy.”

I knew she got it. She plugged right into her second chakra and truly connected with her emotional body and the willingness to feel her emotions. She recognized and felt the truth of the abandonment from her birth mother. Most people would think that she couldn’t even carry such a thing since she was a newborn during the adoption process, but it is part of her soul. The energetic state of her unaligned body and trapped emotion was inhibiting her ability to connect to the reproductive energy and ovaries that are located in the second chakra.

The next time I met Elizabeth she seemed troubled, which I saw as a good sign for her because she typically appeared so even keel about everything, possibly to her own detriment. It was difficult for Elizabeth to stand up for herself and what she believed which is affiliated with the survival archetype of the Prostitute, one that we all have. It sits in her first house of ego and personality. It is who she is at the core and it is going to take great work for her to be strong and stand up for her spirit. She admitted it was how she handled most of her life and at the time she had work and family situations that were playing out that scenario exactly.

She also came back reporting that her menstrual cycle was starting to regulate. She was embarrassed to say that the blood flow was actually gushing and she was worried that she may need to go to the doctor. I saw it as change and that her body was processing her emotions and that she was connected to the “flow of life”. It had only been four days of journaling and in this time she recognized the Prostitute archetype. Physically, this house represents blood. I asked her what color her blood typically was and she said that it was always dark. That is indicative of old blood. I said that she needed to see signs of fresh new blood that is bright red in color. “Oh wait! Two days ago my blood was bright red!” She was shocked. I still don’t think she made a connection that she was on her way to health. I saw it. It was bright and it involved a baby.

This session I saw a moment of humility with Elizabeth. She realized so much emotion was pouring out of her and she wondered if so much was coming out, how was it all inside? Her eyes welled up and her feelings of abandonment, anger and anxiety began to arise. Journaling is key at this point.

Elizabeth was apprehensive about talking truthfully about her childhood because if she stated how she truly felt it may come off as ungrateful or negative. She was adopted into a good home with a stable mother, father and their biological son. They lived in a prominent area of Northern California and she attended good schools. However, there was a side she didn’t like and I had to pull it out of her.

“Our family dinners were so formal and unreal. I felt angry and an overwhelming sense of anxiety, but didn’t know what to do with it.” As a child she described herself as having no voice because she wasn’t allowed to make her own decisions and strived to make her parents happy and proud by being perfect. Her brother was the imperfect one and she tried desperately to balance it out. “I was the good one, I was the special one. I just wanted to be broken and real.” And if I could have added another sentence for her to say, it would have been, “how could a mother give her child up for adoption?”

Two days later, Elizabeth sent another enlightened email:

“I always thought my relationship with my brother was a bad thing. I am recognizing that this was meant to be a challenge to overcome at this stage of my life. Thirty years of selling out my voice with my brother and my family is coming to an end. I’m sharing my voice and empowering my mom with her own voice by teaching her that it should be no other way. Demanding that to be a part of this family you have to love, support, have a voice and listen to everyone else’s. It’s a mandate that I’m setting in motion in my family. This feels so big. I’m still giving it all the space to settle in just as it needs to; the realization is empowering. Thank you.”

Can you sense the energy change? Hence, why the foundation is called Empowered Health Foundation? Elizabeth found her power. She took a month to process her journey. She described the journaling to be so awakening and found she is much more aware of the challenges, patterns and opportunities that she comes across daily. She felt physically lighter with this new awareness. As she approaches family and work challenges, she is able to use her new outlook and it puts the entire situation into a better perspective.

The next time we met, I found it important to touch on the seventh and eighth houses of the Sacred Contract. The seventh house consists of marriage and relationships and physically with the ovaries. Elizabeth’s Mentor archetype fell into this house. She is the teacher within her marriage and her family. She had just said in her previous email about how she was teaching her family to use their voice. Elizabeth is the healer of her home. She also said that one of the ways she wanted to connect with her child is to be a mentor–to guide and teach, very much like the teaching she needed in her own life about her feelings. Since she was unable to express herself it inevitably created a lack of self-esteem masking itself as female body image issues while feeding into her Addict archetype, which had tended to unconsciously control her in her twenties. So, by plugging into that energy of the last email about her family and their voice it cleared away some of the obstacles to her ovaries.

The uterus is another important part of the process when trying to conceive a child and that is involved with the eighth house of “other people’s resources”. It is how other people use you. The Vampire archetype resides in this house for Elizabeth. She allows others to take and suck the “blood” right out of her. How can she menstruate longer than two to three days when people are draining the life force right out of her because she allows it? Elizabeth couldn’t agree more with this part of her life. Allowing people to drain her energy made it impossible to conceive a baby when her energy sources were depleted. She became more aware of refilling her energy stores and conserving them for herself.

Elizabeth decided to join a last minute trip to Canada with her mom to celebrate her grandmother’s 96th birthday. She mentioned that she hadn’t intended to go, but felt an overwhelming need to connect with her roots. Before she left, she had this overwhelming premonition to make sure she had sex with her husband. So, she did and never thought about it again.

She learned a lot that trip about their family dynamics by going through old pictures of generations of her mother’s family and talked about putting a family tree together. She loved holding hands with her grandmother and drinking tea. Elizabeth described it as so sweet and that she had never felt that kind of emotion before; it was just what her soul needed. Her Student archetype fell into the fifth house of “creativity and good fortune”. It is also the house of children. I believe it was an integral part for her to learn about her roots. They may not be her actual DNA, but it is her family and the ones that have loved her for her entire life.

Shortly after her return, she had a lengthy trip scheduled to go to Asia with her husband for fun. She had planned to write in her journal and focus on her life and it ended up being everything but that for her. She couldn’t understand why she had no desire to write anything in her brand new blank journal in Canada or Asia. It sounded like a time where she and her husband threw the “shoulds” out the window and just had some fun. They were not looking at ovulation time or wondering when they were going to get pregnant. Elizabeth was enjoying sake and sushi with her soul mate on a fabulous vacation. She noticed that her breasts were tender, but she brushed it off and didn’t even think about pregnancy because she was just having fun drinking, eating and not caring about much in the her life but living in the present moment.

When Elizabeth returned from her trip she did feel pregnant this time, but this wasn’t uncommon for her and she was reluctant to take another test. She was excited and couldn’t wait any longer…within seconds the positive sign appeared and stamped a valid seal of pregnancy. She had an appointment to see me because she wanted to tell me in person, but couldn’t make it because of the nausea. She tracked it back to the day she left for Canada, which happened to be three months exactly. Interesting, eh?

Elizabeth healed her pain by connecting with her true emotions and voicing her feelings. She was clear of the abandonment she had always felt down to the symbolic actions in her life, such as always choosing the lonely, bruised banana. Her husband joked with her because she never chooses the ripe bunch of bananas, always the stray one. She admits to feeling so sad and wanting to cry when she sees a stray animal. “Why do I do that Gina?”, she asked. “Because if we look at our life symbolically it may not hurt as much. It is easier to look at a lonely banana than to step foot into an orphanage because at that level there is a lot of pain, however it is very healing,” I said.

Elizabeth has been an integral part of creatively directing and building the website for Empowered Health Foundation. We joked that we helped each other birth two different kinds of babies. She is also the first person who was excited for me to write her story and one that I hope will inspire others to consider their inner pain that is blocking the path of conception.

During our third month of work, Elizabeth conceived and became a mommy in August 2011!

As of 2016, she is a mommy of two beautiful little girls.

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