I am the 1 in 6 affected by infertility in Ireland.
This happens to other people, right? Well, I’m still somewhat taken aback by the fact, but I am that person. I’ve been where you are. I know how lonely fertility investigations and treatment can be. Now, I want to share my story and open up the conversation.
Where did it all go wrong?
I felt conflicted about having children for all of my 20’s. I was reared to be an independent woman – educated, financially secure and ambitious. The subject of children came up occasionally. Long before I met my husband, when friends asked if I thought I wanted children, I told everyone I just didn’t see myself as a mother.
As a young girl, the future automatically came with a husband and a few children. By the time I was a ‘grown up’ I was dismissing the idea as completely bonkers. I liked my life just the way it was and didn’t fancy the notion of sharing it with a clatter of kids. I saw having children as a sure path to losing my freedom and independence. If I was being honest though, underneath that armour of nonchalance, I still believed I could and would be a mum one day.
When I was 31 I met and fell in love with the man I would marry. When the time came, we talked at length about what it meant to be married, why we wanted to marry and if we wanted children. We both did and yet, we discussed the possibility that we might not be able to. Maybe on some level we knew there would be challenges ahead, nonetheless we chose to take our time to start a family.
The clichéd rumblings of concern began from our families. “Any plans?” The conversations with married friends switched from plans for holidays to plans for maternity leave. The dynamic was shifting and we were behind the curve.
In spite of that, I felt confident in my fertility. Having studied nutritional therapy for 3 years I understood the complex web of body systems and knew how to support and optimise my fertility with real food. I had been practicing yoga since I discovered it at 19 and was pretty adept at managing stress levels and staying fit and strong. Even at the ‘ripe old age’ of 36, I knew I was in good shape. Before we knew it, we had been trying for 2 years and almost a year into investigating why I wasn’t getting pregnant.
What was going on?
I had no idea how tough simply not knowing could be. Waiting for test results, being advised to have further tests, putting everything on hold to move country, it was excruciating. Throughout that time, I felt completely averse to having conversations about our fertility struggles with anyone. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of unsolicited advice. I certainly didn’t want to be defined by our story or pitied by anyone.
One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to pay attention to the journey. I knew there was a very clear destination in sight, but I didn’t want to lose myself to that, or allow my life to pass by in a blur as I focused on the ‘prize’.
I wanted to keep myself in optimum health, for my own benefit and to ensure I had the best chance of getting pregnant in the future. I wanted to nourish my relationship with my husband and my family. I needed to feel that I was in charge of my fertility treatment. If I couldn’t do that, I knew I would lose myself to the process and that wasn’t a place I wanted to go.
I decided to build a programme for myself, a programme I knew would help me to stay the course. Now I am offering that support to you, to help you to get through your fertility treatment, feeling nourished and happy whatever the outcome. It is possible – with my help you can transition to a healthy, fulfilling life, all on the way to having that longed for baby in your arms.