Thursday, 1 January 2015

Infertility to Mother - The Beginning

How I became a modern day Hippie or something close to it- The Beginning:
I’m telling you my story (which I never intended or had the desire to do)
1.Because it's my New Year's resolution: To give you more of ME (lucky you)! 
2.Bo Eason said so, and BO KNOWS (Okay he's not that Bo, but I just can't help it)!!
Bo made a great statement that stuck with me over the last months of 2014: "It’s your story that makes it personal." Ironically my story has nothing, but yet everything to do with children. I started Marc's Treasure Basket to share my knowledge on play and creativity, that I have gained over the years working with children in many different settings. But the nutrition part started to take over, when trying for our own children became a challenge.
My Hippie journey started many years before I ever thought twice about the fact that I might be becoming a modern day hippie (OMG - I just googled Modern Day Hippie and it’s actually a real thing- there’s even 11 Steps to becoming a Modern Day Hippie and Let LifeIn outlines 4 different types of Modern Day Hippie: Neo-Hippie, Granola Children, Techno-hippie and Rippies & Yunkers – SERIOUSLY? WTF!!) I didn’t and still don’t have a problem with old and new hippies, I just wasn’t one and didn’t give much thought about being one- that’s all. Now that I’m truly on my way to being one (FYI, I’m closets to a Granola Child), I’ve embraced it with two hands and a foot. I say foot, because one foot is still dragging on the floor, screaming you should have taken the BLUE pill!

I use the word hippie to best describe how I live my life, what kind of person I want to be (more on that subject later) and because more people can relate to fun-loving-hippies, not the strong growing Paleo (spell check doesn’t even recognise the word) community. “I’m Paleo” that just sounds weird to me! Becoming a Granola Child (this nick-name makes me laugh, as I don’t even eat granola! I might need to come up with a new one soon) didn’t happen overnight. In all actuality, as I’m sitting and writing this, it’s taken 6 years and 2 months. Technically 4 years of that I wasn’t on the path to becoming a Hippeo (everyone else is making up words, why can’t I), but the best way to tell my story is to start from the beginning, because even though those 4 years might not have seemed to amount to much, it's had a big impact on the last 2.
This is the starting point- 6 years and 2 months ago: My husband and I were together for eight years, married for four of those years, before we even started trying for kids. YES, this is another infertility story (sorry to disappoint some of you)! I was a young 27 and he had just turned 30. (Old in my in-law's eyes- They had 3 kids by this stage.) 

This was me at the end of 2008 (doing my best Sarah Palin impression) -
Fit, healthy, active, happy, in love, wide hips and ready to push one out! I only used the pill 3 months of my life and hated it, so I was and always have been a regular cycle kind of girl. The only thing I struggled with was the occasional ovarian cyst, but no major issues like PCOS or endometriosis - so why the duck wasn’t I getting pregnant!?

Have you heard that the first year is the hardest?
Well they're right. Looking back my first year was hell.

*Everyone else is getting pregnant: This was SO true for me. 3 of my besties, who were all living in Scotland near us, started trying to conceiving at the same time (this was not planed, that would have just been weird). Anyways, 2 of them got pregnant within months, my sister-in-law and everyone else in the whole world - for real, I'm not joking. If you're still NOT pregnant after 6 years of trying, I don't know you because everyone else in my life has had a baby or 2 (some 3)! In the early years it was hard. I tried my best to be the supportive friend and sister and I think I did a good job, but duck, the emotion of being left out of the club, simply sucks. I soon (that's a lie) 3 or so years later, I got over this feeling. I luckily realised the only reason I felt this way, was because I was choosing to feel this way (here's where the Hippeo starts coming out)! 

Moms New Stage
TIP: Until you emotional decide to LET IT GO, you're going to cause more pain, heartache and sorrow, to yourself than any pregnant woman can do to you! To help fight these self effected emotions look on the bright side and stay positive - you can do it! YES, YES- easily said, than done I hear you saying, but remember- I KNOW! Whatever it is in your life that you love, embrace it- sports, dance, nights out, going to the movies, family, friends, weekends away, lying in bed, spur of the moment whatever's (cause you know that's not going to happen after you have kids) - be grateful for them ALL and love the life you're living!

*The Not knowing: If I had a problem or an issue that I knew about, it would have made things so much easier! (Spoiler Alert: we finally found out what the possible issue is 5 years and 6 months latter.) The not knowing is as hard as the not being in the club feeling, (that's another lie) it's harder! At lest whatever feels or emotions your having you can work on and get over in your own time, the scientific knowing is left to the doctors (more on that subject here). It was SO frustrating not to be able to wake up one day and decide I wasn't going to feel or be this way anymore - it sucked - I had no control. The only thing that got me through this was the fact that no one had told me I couldn't- So in my mind, I could and will (ahhh- another lie, I haven't always felt this way! It wasn't until the Hippeo in me came out that I started to really believe this.) So when we finally got an answer, I started doing everything in my power to make it happen.

Live Luv Create
Advice: Weather you know the issue or not, find the right SOMEONE (book, friend, doctor, nutritionist) out there, that will help you end your journey- baby or no baby! For me I've had two SOMEONES- the first was a book called Is Your Body Baby-Friendly?: Unexplained Infertility, Miscarriage & IVF Failure - Explained by Alan E. Beer, M.D. SOMEONE finally said, there's a reason you're not getting pregnant, dig deeper and find out! The second was a good friend, who was so passionate about nutrition he offered to pay for us to see a Functional Medicine Practitioner. We didn't take his money, but I did start seeing a great Functional Medicine Practitioner.

*Could this be THE issue?: As I just said, I struggled with not having a problem to work at, but in my mind not getting pregnant was the problem. So I started to grasp at anything and everything that might be a problem- my occasional ovarian cyst (they didn't interfered with my cycle, but duck, when they popped, because that what mine did, it hurt like hell!), I wasn't ovulating early enough, I wasn't ovulating, I didn't have enough progestin and I had too much oestrogen. So what did I do when the doctors weren't giving me answers- I turned to good old Doctor Google!
Advice: STOP! (more on that subject here).
So after the first year of trying, we spent the next 2 years testing. Sperm, blood, urine, scans and the lovely laparoscopy (which I sailed through, but have a horrible scar to show for it. I’m sure when people see it; they think I tried to piercing my belly button with a nail gun!)  The testing for us, was great at ruling out what could of, should of, would of. But nothing was brought to light and we were left in the total dark - still. The doctor’s best advice was to eat your five a day, cut down on alcohol (more on that subject here) and keep trying! We ended up moving from Scotland to England at the end of summer 2010, which meant I had to register with a new gynaecologist. When my notes were transferred and they did ONE more vaginal scan for good measure (at this point I've had more people look up my lady parts, than I've had sexual partners), I was finally told IVF was the next step.
So that's the beginning. Told ya, not too much hippieness yet, trust me we'll get there!

How I became a modern day Hippie or something close to it: The Wonderful World of IVF

Side Note:
After 18 to 24 months of trying, I knew that we were heading down the road towards  IVF. I never for one moment thought it was going to be THE answer, but I was hoping it would give us AN answer and maybe even a baby. In the UK a round of IVF is something the NHS (run by the UK government, paid for by taxes payers) funds, as long as neither partner has a child of their own. So the prospect of doing IVF was okay with me and I was even telling my American family and friends we’ll get funding- it’s all right, we’re not going to be financially ruined by it. So when I went to my final gynaecologist appointment (3 years down the line) and got told the next step was IVF, I was prepared. But when he said, but unfortunately you’ve just moved to one of the three districts in the United Kingdom that doesn't fund IVF- I burst into tears. I tried to control my emotions as I walked out of the office straight into the toilet and cried harder than I had ever before! (There are moments in a journey that you will never forget- this is one.) Some of you will totally understand my emotions; some of you will think that crying over money is lame- either way, that’s what happened. I only cried like that two more times in my life- once right before we did the first round of IVF and once
after it failed.
A group for women and men looking to gain knowledge
and support about health and wellbeing during their infertility journey.

Other great post about my journey -

If you'd like any support in your own journey or have any questions Let's Talk
  Please remember that this is simply my story and what I have gone through. These are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. I am open to change, challenges and new scientific developments. What works for me, may not work for you. I am not a doctor and all medical advice, should be gotten from a qualified professional. If you feel like your doctor isn't reading from the same nutrition and lifestyle book as you are (or want to be), go find one that is!

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