My Fertility Story
About your Holistic Fertility Therapist
I am one of four grown-up children, my mum conceived very easily and so did my sister. As I grew up through my 20’s, I was hoping to meet the man of my dreams and have a beautiful family just like most of my friends had. I then hit my 30’s and still no man, I pledged that if I hadn’t met anyone by the time I was 35, then I was going to look at sperm donation because I dreamed of motherhood.
Natural Conception – The monthly battle
Then Adrian came along and I instantly knew that we would be forever. Our relationship was great so we decided to start a family. We were trying for about a year and nothing, every agonising month went by tracking, temperature taking, knowing my body inside and out but mother nature kept showing up. I started to panic and sadden as I knew age was a factor to be considered, I also wondered if my lifestyle prior had any effect on trying to conceive, I successfully kicked some bad habits that were holding me back, I also had a very busy demanding job in the Armed Forces, stress and anxiety were always prominent in my life.
Being newly married was becoming challenging, constantly thinking about becoming pregnant, anxiety was hitting an all-time high, I kept asking myself if it would ever happen and would I ever become a mother I’ve longed to be, why is everyone else getting pregnant with ease? I began reading every book I could find guides to fertility issues, diets to help optimise fertility or what’s the best therapy to focus my mind on my fertility. I spent a fortune but I knew it was worth it and I absorbed all the information and knew so much more about my problem and how it could help me move forward.
After extensive fertility testing, the problem seemed to be with my partner as he had a low sperm count and motility and became the main focus, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) seemed to be the answer to this problem. Now, we were feeling quite positive because our eggs were being fertilised, but disaster struck! The fertility problem then moved to me and I was suffering from unexplained infertility.
Heartache and Failure
We experienced 4 failed cycles; failed fertilisation, implantation failures and miscarriages and everything appeared and felt hopeless as our dreams felt like they were impossible to reach. The consultants gave us two options: a different protocol and a different set of medications or we should perhaps be thinking of the possibility of donor eggs. It was yet another agonising financial and emotional decision we had to make.
Will it be our last cycle?
One thing we did make clear to ourselves was that this cycle would be the final part of our journey, we found the process was all-consuming and we couldn’t keep living with all the devastating emotions that accompany the IVF journey. We were exhausted and I’d found I had reached the point where my mental wellbeing was affected. So, we decided to give it one more go and this time, we put absolutely everything into this cycle. New medication and protocol, mind-body therapies, massage, dietary tests and taking time out from work before treatment, we were also treated for recurrent miscarriage and were offered prednisolone and aspirin. By now, I had definitely overcome my fear of needles and my outlook was of excitement for this cycle and I even looked forward to administering the injections every day.
Seeing the light
During this cycle, I began to notice something about myself, I had developed so much more self-awareness and my entire demeanour was changing, my mind-set was different. I suddenly had an epiphany, there must be a reason why I’ve gone through this fertility journey. I knew I had to learn from my experiences and become a better version of myself, to be the person who I was meant to be.
For the first time in my life, I felt whole, I felt completely aligned with my mind and my body and I just knew I would have my rainbow baby. I had 2 embryos transferred and I felt them implant as I woke one night in pain and the little tugging about in my uterus was very cute as I visualised them burrowing into my uterus.
Getting up for a pee in the night, the vivid dreams and cramps were all positive signs too as I was doing my very best to keep the negativity of the other cycles to the back of my mind. Although the 2-week wait felt like a lifetime, I felt newfound confidence and love for my body and didn’t even test until the official test date (otd).
Finally, there it was a Big Fat Positive (BFP) and a distinctive solid blue line on the pregnancy test. Seeing that word…pregnant was truly amazing and I felt like nothing could bring me down.
I knew this baby was meant to be as I was in a self-actualised state, where nobody could hurt me, break me or dampen my spirits. Just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I kept on having to do a pregnancy test, even if it was to see those lines again. I had completed so many pregnancy tests that I should have shares in them.
The wait wasn’t over, I had another month to wait for the first scan at 8 weeks to check if there was a heartbeat and if I was going to have my baby. I was so nervous that I couldn’t speak much at all, the mix of excitement and anxiety hit me and I just wanted to see the little heartbeats so much. I looked at the screen and there was no heartbeat! Just a little sac with my little embryo that just wasn’t strong enough to make it.
No it can’t be…
I was heartbroken as my husband squeezed my hand and the nurse looking at me in with sadness in her eyes. The nurse moved the probe around my belly to see if the other embryo was present and just as I felt the disappointment from the first embryo, my eyes widened to see a perfectly formed embryo with the strongest heartbeat I had ever seen.
My emotions were mixed from knowing that one embryo didn’t make it to oh my god I’m having a baby, I had to put my thoughts into the little might who had made it but remember that the other was just not ready for this world.
My Rainbow baby
My pregnancy was the best experience of my life and I felt like the luckiest person alive. We found out the sex of our baby and I wanted to find a better connection and visualise what our baby would look like, my husband surprised me with the news that we were having a boy. We were discussing names and Lloyd just popped into the frame and it was just right.
Every day, I had to pinch myself to know this was all real and that it wasn’t just a dream. I loved stroking my belly and watching it move. It was nearing the due date and I was panicking and fearful, what if I lose him after all this? I know you can’t think negatively, I just had this fear. I used my therapy techniques to work out why I wasn’t excited and I managed to clear the limiting beliefs that were stopping me enjoy this beautiful moment. I practised hypnobirthing, which was amazing and bought me an abundance of relaxation and positivity.
Our son Lloyd finally entered this world, I didn’t realise you could love another human being as much as I love this little boy.
Let’s go again – Another BFP
I was 40 and I knew age was not on my side, we quickly decided to go for treatment again, if I could get pregnant once, I could do it again. I was so shocked to find myself pregnant again, we were delighted. I have faced my fair share of adversity and it looked like life was going to plan for once.
3 agonising weeks
As ever things never seem to be straight forward, the 8-week scan showed that the embryo had a weak heartbeat and growth wasn’t very good either, and once again we were faced with yet another difficulty. We struggled through 3 weeks of continuous scanning and hoped that our little embie was going to make it, but the nurses didn’t seem hopeful.
My embryo finally gave up and I lost my baby, a biopsy revealed it was due to chromosomal abnormalities.
We followed some months later with a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) with no pregnancy, I was now facing a secondary unexplained infertility issue and I just wasn’t sure how I could carry on this journey. The losses were taking its toll on my mental health but I knew I had to keep going.
We had 5 embryo’s left and after the many losses due to chromosomal abnormalities (CA), we, therefore, decided to have all the embryos tested for (CA) to give us the best chance possible. It was another tough decision to make because the embryos have to be thawed they may not make it and who knows if they would be any good. Luckily, two of the five were good with no signs of CA, unfortunately, the other three had and were donated for medical research.
I wanted to do everything I could to cover all bases of uterine health and to make sure I was in the best shape possible to help the embryos implant into my uterus lining.
I underwent the Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA) and Endometrial Microbiome Metagenomic Analysis (EMMA) examination to cover all bases.
I had an FET which resulted in the embryo failing to implant.
I have just attempted a final FET cycle with our last remaining embryo and I was pregnant which resulted in miscarriage.
2020 – What a year
2020 has been a rollercoaster year for me and my family, I left the Armed Forces to begin a new life and business whilst navigating COVID 19. We moved into our forever home and thought I could have a baby on top of this.
Having looked at my past cycles, it is my belief that stress and anxiety has played a part in the majority of IVF failures.
It is why I am passionate with helping other women to find balance, resolve, love and trust in their lives, so they can go on to conceive like I did.
I conceived my son when I felt the best I had in my life and I am determined to reach that place again. Before I do, I must let my life settle and re-gain practise in self-care.
It is vital that you carry out IVF at the right time and be open to asking for help. Trying to get a balance right in your life is tough, especially if you are working full-time.
My husband and I are discussing future options but I am determined to get this right. I am blessed to have my family and I feel very lucky.
I can say that I have experienced different scenarios you can go through and had to make some very expensive and big decisions with my husband.
If only I knew
I never really knew about people specialising in fertility therapies before and if I had when my journey began, I know this story would be written differently, I would certainly have more money in the bank and my stress levels would be lower.
I went through the ups and downs of my fertility journey and learned so much along the way so I could be the best person to help you achieve your optimum fertile state and help you achieve your dream of parenthood.