We interviewed Beatriz Tierno, better known for her blog: Original Mom. Psychotherapist and fertility specialist, she was a mother at the age of 37 of María after four In Vitro Fertilizations (IVF).
Thanks to her experience and training, she accompanies other women on their journey towards motherhood through mindfulness, brain integration techniques, neuro-linguistic programming and other tools.
- If you had to choose three words to describe how your assisted reproduction process was, what would they be?
Hope, despair and miracle.
- On your blog, there are several articles from your personal diary recounting each phase of the treatment, but assisted reproduction for many patients is still something taboo or difficult to share with others… Why do you think this continues to happen today?
The truth is that starting an assisted reproduction process is complicated by all the emotions that we have to face. I myself wasn’t able to tell while I was at it. There were already too much news and feelings that I had to digest to add exposure to unfortunate comments and opinions and having to set limits on what I wanted to share or not…
I believe that each person should do it when they feel ready to tell naturally how their process has been and how they have felt.
When I felt strong and had personally worked to overcome all the grief in the process, including a pregnancy loss, it was easier for me to talk about it.
It is true that every time a person dares to talk about it, the taboo dissolves a little and the way is made easier for those who come after to share it as a process that is more natural and frequent every day, and not as something embarrassing or that you have to hide.
- At Ovoclinic we have a department dedicated to providing personalised follow-up and accompanying the patient from the moment they visit us for the first time until the end of the process. As a former assisted reproduction patient and fertility psychotherapist, do you think that patient care is what is most valued during treatment?
I think that when you go to the first consultation, you don’t know how hard it can be and you don’t see it as necessary or value it as much.
But when the road lengthens, without a doubt, an emotional accompaniment becomes necessary to be able to live the experience in the best and least traumatic way possible.
I also see this support from Ovoclinic as essential in order not to give up along the way before achieving it. Because many times the only secret to achieving it is to insist, on fine-tuning the treatments, of course. However, the experience is so hard that some people are forced to leave before having fulfilled their dream.
So, I think that without a doubt it is worthwhile to offer this support in all clinics, knowing that getting it the first time is not the most common and that stress and sadness accompany many women in assisted reproduction treatments. and it is very necessary to be with them.
- How did the idea of creating a group of women and helping them on their way to motherhood come about?
I had been accompanying women with infertility individually for a couple of years when I started going to a women’s circle. I found that safe and judgment-free space in which you share everything you feel so healing and powerful that I wanted to replicate the model to help infertile women.
And at the same time, I wanted to provide them with tools to be able to live the process with more compassion and more peace of mind. And for that, mindfulness is the best.
- What exactly is the circle of mindfulness and fertility? What is the purpose of this circle?
A circle is a space in which we promise to show ourselves as we are and to listen to other women without judgment or advice but from the heart. And as human beings are really more alike than we think, and even more so women living at the same time the frustrated desire for motherhood, because it turns out that what one shares, resonates with another and what one heals or accepts, that other one does it at the same time.
In addition, feeling understood alleviates much of our suffering. Many times what happens to us does not hurt us so much as the isolation and misunderstanding in which we live.
And as for the full attention or mindfulness circle, it is a space where we work on the ability to be present. Often we also suffer from being stuck in the past or thinking about horrible hypothetical futures (the terrible what if…?). If we were able to live in the moment here and now and focus only on the next step, the path to fertility would be easier. That is why in this circle, we also learn mindfulness tools and share our practice and our doubts through a WhatsApp group (open to anyone).
- What advice would you give to a girl who, after several treatments, has lost her self-confidence and does not have the strength to try again?
To rest a bit, it’s okay to stop even for a couple of months. And that she takes advantage of that time to learn to relax and manage her emotions, recover the illusion of forgotten projects, bond more with her partner if she has one, and heal the wounds that the infertile path has left in her.
Because it is important to reach the goal and become mothers, but without getting lost along the way and reaching the goal with enough strength to receive our baby whole and not cut into “little pieces”.
And I would also tell them that if they want to keep trying:
- Look for examples of girls with similar cases who have succeeded.
- Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.
- Find a clinic where the medical team is trustworthy and where you feel listened to, respected, and accompanied throughout the process.
- Allow themselves to be accompanied emotionally by someone who knows about the subject.
- And to be compassionate with themselves so that they know that if they cannot go with the illusion of the first transfer to the fifth, that it is normal and that what they are is human and very brave to be there again, nothing more.