Lets talk

IMG_8990It’s been almost 2 years since I openly spoke on Facebook about going through IVF treatment for infertility. Where has the time gone! I remember feeling so nervous about that post. But the response was overwhelming and the nerves soon lifted. Probably because I didn’t feel like I was hiding anymore. People I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years kindly got in touch to share their own personal experiences and struggles with conceiving. It was so comforting and I felt really supported. So thanks again to those of you that reached out!

Experiencing infertility and communicating about it is difficult and challenging. Not only for the ones going through it but for the people you engage with about it. It can be awkward. People don’t know what to say and sometimes your own reaction can catch you off guard. For a long time close family and friends were the only people who knew of our struggles. I felt embarrassed and inadequate as a woman. I still do to a degree. Accepting where we are and my diagnosis is something I’m working on and I’d imagine so until I have a baby of my own.

Discussing fertility issues, conditions and the treatments available will undoubtedly raise awareness, educate and support women/men/couples/families going through it.  My fertility is something I think about and deal with daily in some shape or form. There are triggers everywhere; a mum playing with her child, seeing someone pregnant, or recognising the massive knot in my stomach when I think about starting treatment again. It’s a barrage of emotions. Someone innocently sharing their happy news that they are pregnant for example, I instantly feel sick. Don’t get me wrong I am genuinely happy for them. But deep down I wonder whether I’ll ever experience that feeling, when will it be my turn. Then soon follow feelings of guilt and shame for feeling upset or hard done by. My life isn’t bad but I feel I sense of loss. Ugh it’s just rotten. I know it’s normal to go through these feelings and I definitely feel a sense of relief voicing them. I know millions of other people out there would too. I understand that it is a private and intimate subject, but I wish for the sake of anyone else battling with fertility issues that it was spoken about more openly.

So fast forward to where we are now. This year we started treatment with a course of hormone injections over a month to induce ovulation. I felt like it was worth a shot before heading down the IVF route again. My positive hat had really hoped it would work.. but it wasn’t meant to be. I think I’ve ovulated once in the last year so the chances were extremely slim. I felt pretty upset when we were told that my body wasn’t responding to the treatment and therefore the Dr’s pulled the plug on it. Again we were told IVF is going to be our only real chance. Mentally I feel ready to go again.. I think! Bah I feel like a fraud saying that as I have a niggling voice telling me otherwise. Okay, I’m shitting myself!! After having a break from treatment it’s hard to distinguish if this is what we even want anymore or whether we are just going through the motions. I tell myself frequently that I no longer want a baby as a means to protect myself from any upset again. But deep down I know I do. Would it be easier to accept that we are happy as the two of us, maybe so. But at the back of my mind if I don’t try again I’ll always wonder. It’s worth another shot because I don’t want any regrets.

I’ve decided to journal my journey, I’m not really sure to what degree yet! I’ll write my blog and I’ll no doubt use Instagram along the way. Being a Personal Trainer has encouraged me even more to share this as people have you on a pedestal of health. I workout regularly, eat well, practice yoga, sleep 7hrs a night so nothing will be wrong with me.. nope, I’m afraid not. I’m human and deal with health issues too. My mental health, jeez, that’s been very up and down since we were diagnosed. I do what I can to control my anxiety but I have good days and bad days like anyone else. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, that isn’t what this is. I just feel compelled to go with this blog again as it’s an outlet for me. I was at a very low point in my life post IVF and I want to avoid that happening again. I want to use this experience positively to raise awareness and help anyone else out there experiencing similar issues. I have discovered that there’s no right or wrong with this. You feel what you feel and you have to ride it out. We know what to expect now so this can only work in our favour. There are details that I will keep private but for the most part I want this to be an honest representation of me. I hope this talks to someone and brings them comfort. You’re not alone.

Menstrual Health

I’ve thought about posting on this topic for sometime but wasn’t confident about discussing something so personal. However I recently read a great article Fitness & Menstrual Health published on the Precision Nutrition blog and felt I should share and help raise awareness to all my female budding athletes and clients out there. What I’ve come to realise is that when you begin talking about fertility issues, you realise that you’re not alone and you can gain a lot of support from others experiences in similar situations. This brings so much comfort to what can be a very stressful time for a couple/family. 
If you are very active and you have an absent cycle I would encourage you to visit your Doctor. Don’t wait until you want to conceive to have the problem investigated. It is a problem. The difficulty with hormonal imbalances is that there are so many factors that can cause it – stress, lack of sleep, intense exercise, diet. How many of you when you look at that list have troubles with more than one of the above? I know I do. I exercise most days for an hour and 85% of the time it’s intense. I don’t always sleep as much as my body probably needs. I get stressed out quite easily. I get stressed if I have a bad weekend of eating!! I get stressed when I don’t exercise. I personally am doing what I can to control my stress levels and using alternative therapies such as acupuncture and mediation to de-stress. It’s very difficult as it’s a time when you want and need to be calm but the situation itself is stressful! Your mind is so powerful and without realising it you may be harming your body and how it functions. 
Read the article and take it seriously. Your fertility is so precious!! 
Click here to read the article.