Yoga Gave Me Strength Off the Mat

As moms, we understand the importance of self-care, and we are here to help busy moms like you find time to prioritize your wellness. Our hope is that you feel encouraged and equipped to value and prioritize nutrition, self-care, fitness and a healthy body image through these personal stories from experts in the fitness industry in our Health & Fitness Series.

Yoga Gave Me Strength Off the Mat | Twin Cities Moms Blog{Photo credit: Nik Linde}

Going through a 10-year battle with infertility made me realize how much my yoga practice gave me strength. During this time, I needed to be in the present. Dwelling on the past or thinking about the
future was all too painful. Every time I stepped onto my yoga mat it helped me connect to the present
moment. When I was in an emotionally dark place, it got me back to a healthy mindset. Honestly, my
personal struggle is not significant. It’s not unlike the many other women that struggle with trying to
have a baby. Many have it a lot harder than me and face a great deal of more challenges. What is worthy of attention, no matter your specific situation, is how this struggle creates a feeling of being alone, emotionally out of control, stressed, confused, hurt and depleted. Here is my story…

It’s truly a miracle when a baby is conceived. Completely mind blowing! Everything the body needs to do to prepare… Wow! So why was my body failing me? I was young, athletic, and healthy. I needed answers and so began my journey. After going through a series of tests and procedures, one of them being the dreaded hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test, which shows whether the fallopian tubes are opened or blocked, I was told that everything looked good! But then I was told that I needed to see an infertility specialist. What? I didn’t believe I needed a specialist. I was just told everything looked good. Did I mention I was young, healthy and had a killer yoga practice? All I needed was more time to try on my own. Looking back now, I was in total denial.

A few years later, I was still trying to get pregnant and completely hopeful! My mantra was, “Just Get Pregnant.” Over the years, I repeated those words billions of times. Month after month I was devastated that my body kept failing me. I was still not ready to admit that I had infertility. I absolutely believed I could “naturally” get pregnant. Once again, I was in search for answers. This time I decided to work with a Homeopathic Doctor. For six months, I prepared my body and got into the best physical and mental health I had ever been in… AND I got pregnant! I was shocked. I was in disbelief. It worked! All my hard work and dedication had paid off. I was looking at two little pink lines! I immediately shouted out to the world, “I AM PREGNANT.”

Yoga Gave Me Strength Off the Mat | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time is magical. Instant connection to “I am going to
be a MOM!” Then you immediately start thinking about the future. Boy or girl? What will he or she
look like? What will they be like? What kind of parent will I be? And the mind just goes… You
continue to get more and more excited as the weeks go by, especially as you get past the scary first
trimester.

One week into my second trimester, the heartbeat stopped. I had a miscarriage. There is no word that can fully describe the feeling of this loss. It was so painful that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My OB/GYN explained that I had two options: continue down the natural route or I would be referred to a doctor who specializes in infertility. There was that word again: INFERTILITY. Obviously, I chose the natural approach. I beefed it up and added acupuncture, Chinese herbal meds, massage, meditation, and I even met with a psychic.

Several years passed. I was exhausted and sick of herbal remedies. Also, super sick of people saying, “It will happen when you least expect it.” Honestly, I expect it now. I am ready to take the necessary measures to get pregnant. I completely let go of control, ego and surrendered. I HAVE INFERTILITY.

I made an appointment with a specialist. Finally, I got some answers as to why I was not getting pregnant! Low ovarian reserve and egg quality. Plus, a large grapefruit-sized cyst that was preventing ovulation. I was so relieved to have some answers and guidance. All I had to do was have my cyst removed and I could possibly get pregnant “naturally.” I felt hopeful, but it wasn’t that easy for me. The journey to getting pregnant was going to take longer. My cyst came back full force within two months, decreasing my chances. My next best bet was Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). After a year of failed attempts, I started to think this may never happen. My husband and I began to research other options: IVF, surrogacy and adoption. My mind was spinning, and I was losing control. The only thing that kept me mentally balanced was my yoga practice and communication with close friends and family. After a lot of research, my husband and I decided In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was the next step.

On April 2016, I got a phone call… I was pregnant! The IVF procedure worked. I was so happy! I knew in my heart this was really happening. When I got the call that I was pregnant, I was also advised not to workout. Especially the kind of physical yoga workout that I loved and had been doing for years. I needed to completely relax and avoid any stress. Once I was well into my second trimester, I could go back to my yoga practice and workouts, but I wasn’t ready. I decided the best way to serve my mind and body during this pregnancy was to slow down and just breathe. Enjoy the moment! This was my yoga practice for the next 9 months… to be calm and breathe.

Fast forward to December 12, 2016, where I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful girl, 7lbs 7oz. Here name is Lettie, and it means The One Who Brings Joy.

Yoga Gave Me Strength Off the Mat | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Yoga was with me every step of the way during my battle with infertility. I may not have practiced physically during my pregnancy, but my years of yoga practice gave me the awareness to slow down and listen to my body. It gave me the strength to endure. It helped me live in the moment. To breathe. It gave me the chance to connect with something greater than just myself. It supported life.

Sending light and love to all the mamas that have been faced with this struggle. My heart goes out to each of you. Namaste.


Jamie Nelson has worked in the fitness industry for 16 years with a focus on group exercise, personal training and yoga. Jamie has a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences, is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer and a NETA Certified Group Exercise Instructor. She is also trained in YogaFit and graduated from The Yoga Center of Minneapolis and CorePower Yoga. Plus, she has studied with other recognized teachers including: Dharma Mittra and Judith Lasater.

Jamie is a happy person that loves chocolate, eats ketchup on eggs, will eat a good burger, loves yoga/fitness, believes family and friends are most important, loves animals and views the glass as always half full. When not teaching yoga classes, Jamie is the Director for the MN Franchise CorePower Yoga & Spa studios (Edina, Woodbury, Maple Grove and Apple Valley). Also, you can find her spending time with her beautiful daughter Lettie and husband Keith, walking her two crazy boxers and binge watching Netflix.

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