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Recent Episodes

Episode 1: Happiness And Why A Baby Will Not Make You Happy

Struggling in the fertility journey has been proven to be as stressful as someone experiencing cancer or heart disease diagnosis. And many people are walking around in complete misery and sadness feeling completely overwhelmed by the whole experience.

So it’s easy then to think that finally getting pregnant will be the thing that allows you to be happy again. Unfortunately this is not the way our brains work.

This podcast explores:

  • Why a baby will not make you happy
  • How playing the: ‘well when that happens, THEN I’ll be happy’ game is dangerous
  • How our thinking shapes how well we cope with our challenge
  • The happiness bar and whether yours is set too high
  • How to start to get some happiness back into your life NOW, and
  • How being happier can affect your fertility journey.


Bella xx

Bella Hilton Transcript:

Hey everyone, I’m your host Bella Hilton from Studio Fertility, and welcome to the Miracles Happen podcast today from wherever you are listening in the world. I’m excited as always to be sharing with you anything I can that can help you on your successful journey to conceiving your baby or babies.

In this podcast and subsequent podcasts, I’m going to be sharing with you how powerful your mind and emotions are in the journey to conceiving your baby. And why they matter. Your mindset is important.

And so much with my clients I help them to discover that challenges with fertility – well this is a process of self-discovery, an opportunity to completely overhaul your life, to get your life back on track with what your soul is telling you is important to you. And honestly when you do, it shifts your energy into aligning with conceiving. It’s empowering and exciting.

And that’s why I want to talk to you today about happiness. There is nothing more soul-destroying and will put you in an utter state of powerlessness than having challenges with trying to conceive a baby.

Maybe in the past you have just followed the rules or worked harder to get a promotion, or studied harder to get a better grade or gone to the doctor and everything was ‘fixed’ with an antibiotic or other pill – no problem BUT now no matter how much work you are putting in to conceiving your baby you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Because it’s so black and white isn’t it – either you have a baby or you don’t. There is NO in-between.

You can take all the pills and vitamins you want, visit as many acupuncture appointments, maya massage therapy sessions, see a naturopath etc. And you may see improvements in your cycle or how many eggs you collected at IVF and more. And these can be really encouraging things and make you double down on the efforts you have put in – but until you hold the positive pregnancy test or see that first comprehensive scan with no issues or for some hold that baby in your arms, there is a very real danger of dragging around this overwhelming and craze inducing feeling of sadness, dread, panic, anxiety and utter miserableness.

It’s intense.

And I totally get it. And I do this work because of not only the challenges I faced with my fertility but other challenges I have overcome in my life, to help women to thrive during the journey and live their best life yet despite their life circumstances. So i really do get it.

AND, I want to talk to you today about your happiness and how a baby will NOT MAKE you happy. And quite honestly, I want to stress this. A baby will NOT MAKE YOU happy. A baby can’t do that. You make yourself happy. And honestly this is a lot of pressure to put on a little baby – to be the source of your happiness.

Now of course, having a baby is a miraculous and wonderful, life-changing and affirming experience and I would expect you to be nothing short of estactic when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. But two years down the track, when you are used to having your baby in your life, what then? Do you feel a void in your life right now about your career, your relationship, your passions, your friends, your family. Because all of that will resurface.

And honestly, parenthood itself is also filled with constant and never-ending challenges.

  • And if you’ve strained your relationship on the journey to getting pregnant

  • If you’ve forgotten how to nurture yourself and look after yourself

  • If you’ve forgotten how to have fun

  • If you’ve developed mistrusts in your body and your life

  • If you’ve alienated friends and pushed people away

  • If you’ve put your life on hold for what-ifs

  • If you walk around in a dark fog most days because of your challenges getting pregnant and are going on years like this

Well, I’ll say this with all the love intended here, those two pink lines on that pregnancy test are NOT going to melt all of that away.

In fact, once that baby is born and life’s challenges present themselves, you are going to have the same issues resurface, just about a new challenge.

  • You’ll fight and miscommunicate with your husband
  • You’ll stop taking care of yourself and start drinking too much again
  • You’ll stop having fun
  • You’ll alienate your friends
  • You’ll put things on hold
  • You’ll walk around in your dark fog about your new challenge

Is this the kind of life you want to live? Is this the kind of life that you dreamed of having? And is this the kind of parent and example you want to be to your kids when you finally have them?

You know the point of life is not human misery and suffering. And yet, so many of us settle for this less than average experience and life that is causing us a lot of anguish with or without fertility challenges.

You know, we don’t believe in ourselves to achieve our dreams, we lack self-esteem, we put up with sub-par relationships that don’t provide us that deep connection that we truly want, we put up with careers and jobs that do not light us up and that we are not passionate about. And we don’t bother to ask ourselves what we truly want anymore because somehow – this will do? Yuck!

And this is what I look at with my clients. I look at EVERYTHING – firstly because, I’m trying to find what is causing the most stress in their lives to help them to decrease their stress and cortisol levels and get their hormones balanced, and this helps my clients be more fertile and have success but also, because I want them to enjoy their lives now and not wait for something outside of their control to happen so they can be then decide to be happy. I want to build their lives up NOW so they can thrive on the journey along the way.

The waiting to be happy game is one I played for YEARS!

I think I learned this lesson early on in life, and the hard way. My parents were going through a divorce when I was 17 and I’d been quite depressed throughout my high school years and the divorce of course made this worse. And I’d always just kinda gotten myself through by thinking that as soon as school was over, I could move out of home and I would have a different life and things would be better again and I would be happy. And I think I got to about half way through my final year at school, which is Year 12 in Australia and I could see the end of the year looming and suddenly realising that this magical deadline i’d set for myself where everything was going to be better, was just NOT going to happen like that. I wasn’t going to suddenly be happy. That’s not how our bodies and minds work.

If you are saying to yourself, when this happens then I’ll be happy, you are setting yourself up for a fall. Because what if that thing never happens? When I get a promotion, then I’ll feel good about working here. When I lose 5kgs or 10lbs then I’ll feel good about my body. When I get pregnant, then I’ll be happy again.

Again what if these things don’t happen? Will you be miserable the rest of your life? That just sounds horrible. You don’t deserve to be miserable for the rest of your life, just as much as you don’t deserve to be having the challenges you are having right now. But also, this state of misery is not setting your body up for success.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to be happy about your failed IUI or IVF cycle or anything like that. I’m just saying that pinning ALL your happiness on this one thing that you can’t control is a dangerous game.

And I’d like to say that I had the realisation and did the work from that point to change things and I did eventually but firstly, being 17 I spiralled down even further, because I felt alone and didn’t feel like I had any internal or external resources to help my situation and my mental health. I had a lot of depression and a lot of hormones, and no knowledge of how to impact my thoughts, my emotions and my life. And I had no support. It wasn’t pretty.

And that is also why I encourage people to reach out for support because we don’t know what we don’t know. And we all have our own blindspots that we just need help with from someone else. Plus on this journey, it just makes SUCH a huge difference to have someone who is fully in your corner.

So getting back to 17 year old me. I had a lot of practice at being depressed and down and seeing the miserable side of life, and no vision or clue for what happiness for me looked like. I was very much the victim of my life, of my thoughts, or my circumstances as I continued to practice negative thinking. I knew no other way.

See when we are practiced at being negative then that is how we have train our brains. The only difference between that super happy and optimistic person you might know and the super drama queen you might know is the way that they think, and what they believe about themselves and the world around them.

So my question is: Do you have a vision of what happiness is for you? Who are you when you are happy? What do you do when you are happy? How do you act when you are happy? What things do you do for yourself when you are happy? What do you say to yourself when you are happy? And I mean regardless of having a baby or not? Do you have that vision?

And just to add further to this: I was on a call with a client the other day, and she is such a beautiful soul and as we were talking about happiness and was listening to what I was saying and answering my questions she got this lightbulb moment and she was like “You know I’ve always thought that something had to happen for me to be happy, but I can see now that it doesn’t”.

And for me – that was just SO MUCH YES! Do you know those people who get up in the morning and are just happy? Have you ever asked them why they are happy? I think most of the time you get responses like – because I’m alive! Because I woke up this morning!

See, so many people make these rules for themselves about WHEN they can be happy. And they set the bar SO HIGH that they rarely ever meet those rules for being happy, so they rarely experience those feelings. And happy people set the bar so much lower for what it takes for them to be happy. How cool is that?

Have you set your bar too high for happiness? Are you in that mode of saying to yourself, when this happens then I’ll be happy? When I have a baby, then I’ll be happy? When my husband starts cleaning up after himself, then I’ll be happy? When I get a promotion or have more friends or get more money or whatever else you say, then I will be happy.

And what I want to say to you is this, and I am not in any way diminishing what you are going through, because shitty things happen in life that we do feel crap about. And fertility challenges are just about the worst. But you do need to take a look at your life and start to see what is good in your life, because I’ll bet you there is a lot of good there that you have been shutting out.

And if you want to deal with your challenge with more ease and more grace and get back to enjoying your life, then you actually need to start to look at your thought patterns.

You actually need to expand your life and identity and meaning you have created for your life, beyond that of your current fertility challenge.

Because when all we focus on is that one challenge that we have, well then, of course, that’s all our life will be about.

Let me put it this way, if all you did was watch stories of freak weather conditions like 12- 16 hours a day, everyday you’d be afraid to step outside your house despite it being a sunny day.

If all you did for 12-16 hours a day was research murderers, visit them in gaol, get into the most intricate details of the workings of their minds, you’d either start to become one of them, think murdering was normal, or again, just think there was actually no good left in the world. You’d be afraid your own shadow. You wouldn’t be able to trust anybody.

If all you did 12-16 hours a day was train for cycling in order to be the best cyclist, then you might be very boring to talk to at a party because your topics of conversation would be limited to yourself and your cycling career.

What we immerse ourselves in, is the view we have of the world. It starts to shape our thoughts and beliefs. And it starts to affect the results we have in our lives. And it starts to shape who we are.

So when we spend 12-16 hours a day just doing and thinking about conceiving a baby – then all we are doing is highlighting the ‘lack’ we have in our lives. But I as I said, I challenge you because your life is rich right now. You just have to stop and see it, remember it.

Positive psychology always goes on about finding things you are grateful for in life and honestly it can sound like so much shit, writing a gratitude list. But what it is doing, is literally training your brain to see what is positive in your life. Yes, you can practice being happy, just as much as you can practice being depressed. And when you stop to notice the good in your life, well isn’t it easier to feel good?

And when you do, it will light up different neural pathways in your brain and it will start to strengthen those neural pathways for positivity and happiness.

I mean right now, just close your eyes, of course not if you are driving or operating heavy machinery or need to keep them open for some reason, but if you can just close your eyes, take a deep breath in and breath out completely. And right now I just want you to go back to a time in a the past when you felt amazingly happy, maybe it was something big like your wedding day, or a birthday party, or even your first kiss. Just choose a moment when you really felt happy. And just notice what was going on. What can you see, who is there? What can you hear – is somebody laughing or cheering or maybe you are just in nature and hear animals or maybe it is something you are saying? What are the sounds that are important here? And what are you feeling inside? Can you feel that happiness, that joy from that moment in time? And what are you saying to yourself? What is that positive self-talk that you are hearing yourself say? Now just breath it all in for a moment.

And now I want to you to go an imaginary place that you can now create in your mind. And we are going to call this your happy place? And it can be absolutely anywhere. It can include nature or high-rise buildings, it can be in any country or in space or in the clouds or in a void, whatever makes sense for you. And you can be alone or there can be other people there. I really want you to construct this place in vivid detail here and see where you are. Are there other people there or are you alone? What feels good? And what sounds do you hear? A waterfall? A unicorn? let you’re imagination create whatever feels amazing to see and hear. And how do you feel in this place? what emotions come up for you? Do you feel calm and at peace? And what textures can you feel on your body? Is there sand? Is there water? Is there softness? Or some other texture you are feeling against your body right now?

And when you have experienced the full extent of your happy place that you can go in your mind at any time, I just want you to come back to now, feeling great.

Okay – how did you go with that? If you really got involved you will notice that nothing happened in order for you to feel amazing except your mind. You felt great because of your thoughts. Now in the first scenario sure, something happened in your life when you felt truly amazing – maybe your wedding day, but in the second one, I asked you to construct something that doesn’t exist, a ‘happy place’ and this also caused you to have feel good emotions. Right?

Your mind is powerful and the thoughts that you think have the power to cause you to feel happy. and I want to empower you to see this, to hear this, to feel this and to experience this.

And I want this for you because

a) life is meant to be enjoyed. There is no magic and no secret to life – it’s about enjoying it and evolving and expanding. and experiencing gate full richness of life. That’s it.

b) Because being happier and pumping out more feel good hormones will signal to your body that you are in a good place and it will decrease your stress levels, decrease your cortisol levels, balance your hormones and start to set your body up for success.

c) It will help you to make better decisions about your fertility journey and not just make decisions out of fear but actually get you to make decisions because you feel aligned to that being the very next best step for you.

So remember, a baby will not make you happy, it will not fill that void.

Now, I’m not saying it is so easy to suddenly switch your emotions from being miserable to being happy, particularly if you are going through a miscarriage or something right now or have been on this journey for SO LONG.

It can be a process. But the thing is, I just want you to start to turn around those thought and beliefs and emotions now because it will help you not only cope on this journey but eventually thrive on this journey and will help you be more fertile.

Take some time to think about what is good in your life and get into the emotion of it. Or go to your real or imagined happy place or remember happy events in your life. However, you need to practice feeling good is just perfect right now.

And I challenge you to not only find joy and meaning in your life right now but to paint that vision of happiness for yourself. What does happiness look like for you right now without a baby? Are there things you need to tweak about your life to fulfil that vision?

Do you need to connect with your husband more, follow your passions, have a girls night and connect with your friends again? Do you need to forgive someone for saying something insensitive who just doesn’t understand your journey?

Whatever it is, start small and just do it. Daily. Choose to let in a little bit of the light that you may have been blocking out because you may have been focussed too heavily on getting pregnant.

Thanks for tuning in today, I’m Bella Hilton from Studio Fertility and I look forward to podcasting with you again soon.

I look forward to hearing about your visions and how you are making them happen.

Big hugs to you all. xx And remember, Miracles Happen.