Infertility struggles and how I used Naturopathy and IVF
You are not alone. In fact, more people that you think are struggling with infertility but you probably have no idea. The issue is, no one really talks about it.
I want to change that.
I wasn’t at first but now I am an open book when it comes to my infertility journey. When I realized that my story might help others, I decided to talk about it.
My husband and I got married in 2008. We had NO idea what was ahead of us. We were just thinking “Get married and have kids.” Easy right? Ha! No! There was a different path for us. One that I believe was absolutely meant to be because if it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
When we started trying we were hoping and expecting (like everyone does) to fall pregnant reasonably quickly.
But six months went by and nothing happened. A year went by and still nothing. We saw fertility doctors and we both had every test done under the sun. Not so bad for the male but not so fun for the female! You are poked and prodded and feel very uncomfortable most of the time. But you just keep going and hope that every test is a step closer to falling pregnant. We also started to see a naturopath who specialized in infertility. I had heard about people falling pregnant from changing their lifestyle habits and I wanted to do what I could to get my body in the healthiest condition possible.
So we cleaned up our lifestyles, minimized our intake of processed foods, alcohol and sugar. We ate organic where we could and increased our intake of leafy green vegetables. We were also taking daily herbs and supplements. That’s when I also learnt that what I was putting on my body could also be affecting my fertility. I switched my skin care, kitchen and laundry products and avoided ingredients such as fragrance (which is a loop hole in the beauty industry where companies can add hundreds of undisclosed ingredients including formaldehyde), parabens and retinyl palmitate.
Did you know many ingredients have been linked to infertility, cancers, learning disabilities, allergies and asthma? Read more about that here.
Those who have been on the infertility journey know what an emotional roller coaster it is. Every month you hope this is going to be the month, and then once again it’s not. You cry, curse, get angry and depressed but you keep trying and trying. Then you have to deal with all the questions and comments from well meaning individuals.
Here are a few things that you might want to think twice about saying…
“When are you guys going to have a baby? It’s about time!” (Try not to say this to couples who have been married for a while. You have no idea what they’re going through. It took everything not to scream back “We can’t!!!”)
“I just had to look at my husband and I got pregnant!” (Good for you. I’m happy for you but I really don’t need to hear that.)
“It will happen, just relax and it will happen when you least expect it.” (Yep, very helpful, thanks.)
Image via Etsy
While you are dealing with these comments, people all around you seem to be falling pregnant and it’s all over social media. While you are so happy for your friends, you are sad for yourself. You just want it to be your turn. I was always happy for my friends and didn’t want them to feel bad for me. It wasn’t their fault they fell pregnant so quickly and I was struggling. That is how life goes! No one can plan these things.
It was time to take charge.
Although all the professionals were telling us it could happen naturally, we didn’t want to keep waiting. After years of trying we decided it was time to try to IVF. I was excited. Excited to get the process started. I knew I was at the healthiest possible point in my life.
You might think that spending all those years with a naturopath was a waste of time but I disagree. Those years changed my life for the better. I always thought I was healthy but I learnt how to be healthier. My husband and I started to eat better and make new healthy habits. We switched to clean products in our home. I did so much research and came out the other side with so much knowledge that would benefit my future family. My eggs were extremely healthy too. My husband and I liked to joke that we had super eggs as the first one split after it was implanted and we ended up with identical twins! The second egg we implanted two years later (from the same batch) also took straight away. I truly believe that my change in lifestyle had a positive impact on my IVF journey.
The IVF journey itself came with challenges.
Our first attempt didn’t work because I made a mistake with the medication. It might not sound like much but it was devastating. We were SO close and one wrong injection cancelled the whole cycle and I had to wait three months to try again. It felt like time stood still. I couldn’t imagine waiting. I was a mess. Thank goodness for my husband. He was my rock throughout all of this. He let me sob in his arms and just held me for hours. It was all he could do. I also had counseling which really helped put everything into perspective. I strongly advise seeking counseling if you are going through infertility. It helps so much.
Now I look back and think… “Thank goodness that happened otherwise I wouldn’t have my three girls!”
So, if you are on this journey I am here for you. Reach out if you want to talk. Everyone’s journey is different. I know I am one of the lucky ones. There are many amazing people out there that deserve to have a baby and are still waiting. I’m praying for you. XX
*If you a ready to switch to safer products, click here for what I love to use in my home. From the laundry and kitchen, to personal care products, I’ve got you covered!