I excitedly told my mum, and her words were “it will probably happen really quickly, you know that aye”, coming from a family of very fertile women!
I naively thought the same, like most women, thinking a month or so of actively trying would surely result in a pregnancy.
How wrong was I!
The next 5 years took me, (and my husband), on a roller coaster of emotions; frustration, self doubt, confusion and isolation.
A fertility journey can be incredibly painful, and you often suffer alone as it’s not an easy topic to be open about.
The moment you start wanting your own baby, it seems like EVERYONE except YOU is pregnant, babies are everywhere - all the time.
You log onto Facebook and see yet another friend is pregnant; you simultaneously feel happy for them, while also wanting to smash the computer or phone screen.
You have person after person asking “when are you guys going to have kids” or even worse, “oh, don’t you guys want kids”..... you always answer with the same vague politeness, but you really want to say “If you had any fucking idea!!!”
You start to wonder what’s wrong with you, maybe it’s something serious.
You become slightly obsessive about your menstrual/ovulation cycle, and think about sex in a ‘mechanical’ way.
You develop a hawk-eye for your own body, and think any slight change in physical symptoms must FINALLY be pregnancy, only to pee on your hundredth pregnancy test to see yet another negative result.
You tell yourself, and have others tell you again and again that “it will happen when it’s meant to”....
And you also go through bouts of just giving up, and thinking that maybe motherhood just isn’t meant for you.
Our goal was natural fertility, I didn’t want medical intervention so we were committed to the hard slog. We gave ourselves until the end of 2017, and if we weren’t pregnant, then we would go to a fertility clinic..... we ended up getting a referral to a fertility clinic, with the painful words “infertile” written on both of our forms.
In the end we found out we were pregnant 1 month before going to the appointment.
Our natural methods worked.
Over the years we did numerous pathology tests (that I conducted) and made some dietary and lifestyle changes.
The tests and changes I’m describing isn’t a guide as to what everyone needs to do, but these we’re specific to our journey due to our health history.
- Diet and exercise was already on track
- Food intolerance testing
- Stool analysis
- MTHFR (which is a biggie that is often overlooked in mainstream testing)
- Heavy metals
- I started getting my mercury fillings removed
- My husband quit smoking
- Stress management (yoga, meditation, time outdoors)
- We removed chemicals from the home
- We followed a Ketogenic diet
- We went 6 months alcohol free, immediately before conception
- Took an array of different supplements
- We gave up actually “trying” and let nature take its course alongside our changes
- Then took a holiday in Bali (with alcohol reintroduced ) and finally conceived
The day we found out we were pregnant was Fathers Day. I was a few days late for my period, we had planned to have a few drinks so thought I better check. Thinking nothing of it and peeing on that stick with such detached emotion by this stage, that I was in no way ready to see a positive result. We probably completed about 5 pregnancy tests in the next 24 hours just to be sure!!! In fact I never really believed I was pregnant until I witnessed the heartbeat on my scan for the very first time.
A fertility journey is tough, it is gut wrenching, lonely and something I wish no one had to endure. But on the other side of it, I am actually grateful I was gifted this challenge. Although it tested me, and tested us, it also taught me a lot of invaluable lessons, and gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the human body, and ultimately of life.
The purpose of my story is to both inspire, and to stand by in solidarity, anyone else who is going through a fertility journey. You are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. Your body has not abandoned you. And yes, you do deserve a baby. And you will have one, one way or another.
I believe that fertility is achievable, for the most part - completely naturally, when the right changes, care, and compassion is put in place for your body.