Saturday, 10 October 2015

Infertility to Mother - The Pregnancy

How I became a modern day Hippie or something close to it- The Pregnancy
Being a Hippeo is a never ending journey. The moment you think you've made it, you soon realize you have a long way to go. This couldn't be truer at the moment for me.  I'm now 10 months into my New Year’s resolution and I've fallen sort on my promise to give you more of me and have battled to keep up my new way of thinking and living.

There are definitely two types of people in the “infertility was a part of my life, but now I’m pregnant” world - those who talk about it and those that don't. And even though I've been really honest and open through the years, I found myself being much more quite about the whole thing. I totally became a little superstitious about it all and still find myself not being overly excited. So now after a long break and 33 weeks of astonishment, discovery and worry, it’s time I get over that BS and continue on with my New Year’s resolution and start celebrating the life inside me!

Still to that day, I hadn't seen a positive pregnancy test. I know a lot of women buy loads of cheap test and test early, during and after, just to double check or see the lines again and again, but when I was pregnant last summer I never did. I just had a blood test and got told over the phone the good news. This time around, my clinic changed their procedure- The morning the clinic told me to take a home pregnancy test I could have walked for miles, just to not have to take it- damn this first pee thing!! My husband was away, so I was on my own. (I totally had a bottle of red wine in the house which would have got popped early- you got to get your comfort from somewhere!!) I took the test, left it to do its thing and blasted Notorious BIG (wtf- right) while I took a long shower- I just didn't want to look. So when I finally found the courage, a simple smile and a little water in my eyes was all that I had for those double pink lines- SO grateful that bottle of red wine wasn't needed.

 More excitement should have been on the cards, but I've been here before and this was only the first step- staying pregnant was the next 100 miles. As the weeks slowly ticked away the pregnancy symptoms started to stack up and by time my 7 weeks scan came around I felt like a zombie. Good signs I was hoping and lucky my husband was briefly home to come to the scan with me. Other than seeing the wee little heart beat, the look on my husband’s face still brings a tear to my eye- we completed the next 100 miles and finally stop beating around the bush with our families and told them the news. We kept quite like many do, until after the 12 week scan and because I stopped drink altogether 3 months before I even started treatment, only a few friends caught on to what was really going on. But even after we passed the "safety" zone and told our closes friends, I still didn't like to say or talk about it. To be honest I felt like I was lying (it was a very weird emotion) and as much as I wanted to enjoy everything that was happening, I was just waiting for someone to pull the rug from underneath me- I didn’t even go spacebook official until 20 weeks.
July 3rd 2015 - "Thanks for the anniversary love - We actually had the day off, so we took bump to the beach! Best 4th of July weekend ever 11 years ago, thanks all for making it amazing!! Hope everyone has a fab weekend!"
In terms of being pregnant, everything has gone pretty normally. The thing that has been the hardest is the nutrition part. I knew that my emotions (sweating the small stuff) were going to get the best of me and I'm grateful that I had somewhat of a mediation practice in place, but I would have put money on not straying too far from my nutritional habits. Everything was normal, fresh veg, healthy fats & yummy meats, until the 6 week mark and all went to hell! Everything I worked so hard to put into place seemed like I had to go back to square one. AHHH - this wasn't supposed to happen. 2 years of clean eating and all of a sudden I wanted a dirty PB n' J and any sugar I could get my hands on. 

Remember my goal wasn't to get pregnant anymore - it was (and still is) to switch back on whatever good gens we have to offer this little one! And this can only happen with good nutrition and lifestyle- we have to get into your heads that the first nine months shapes the rest of our child’s life(more on that subject laterTherefore, I tried my best to keep up my normal way of eating throughout the first 13 weeks of feeling ill and worked hard not to emotional beat myself up over falling sort. I found the healthiest options available (sometimes not), as I battled my way through. It’s obvious in hindsight, but the more I gave into my cravings, the harder it was to want to eat healthy- I suppose just like everyone else. 

Order your free 'Nine Months That Made You' poster  - Great documentary for those in the UK: Countdown to Life: A BBC Science series, produced in partnership with The Open University, exploring the making of you – not sure how long this link will be valid for.

For me early evenings were my worst time (sometimes in the morning, I would wake up and not even feel pregnant), so I made sure to eat full health meals in the day. But the brain fog was overwhelming and I wasn’t going to blame it all on being pregnant- I knew the hormones were having an effect, but the fact I wasn’t eating enough healthy fats and vegetables (compared to what I had been used too) was having an impact. Friends told me, I’d be off vegetables throughout the pregnancy, but I couldn’t get my head around not eating lots of veg during this important time. Not only for my developing child, but for my sanity! So, I continued eating the good stuff, when I could manage it (while still having some bad stuff) and around week 16/17 I finally got my normal appetite back. Now this doesn’t mean I would rather have a salad than a dirty grilled cheese sandwich, but it does mean I have the salad! The only thing I made myself have at least every two days was Boneborth and it just so happened that it was the WORST food aversion I had! I still have a weird mental aversion to it, but it has played such an important role throughout this whole process, that I could never give it up!

On the flip side I haven’t given up many foods that pregnant women are told to avoid. Again, this all comes down to what I believe and you have to decide (maybe one can say “take the risk”) for yourself. They recommend you stay away from Raw or Undercooked Foods to minimize the risk of food-borne illness. This is totally understandable, but (in my opinion) very unreasonable. Take for instance salmonella & eggs: “The rate of salmonella contamination in eggs is about one in twenty thousand.” (The Better Baby Book - the benefits of a running yolk, outweighs the risk of salmonella (at least for me)! Also over cooking your food destroys some nutrients and transforms another. Vitamins (like B and C, Folic Acid and Biotin) are lost as a result of cooking. Phytonutrients, oils and enzymes are damaged, killed or altered during the process too. The longer you cook, the more damage is done. This is true in all foods- Obviously there’s little issues with fruits and vegetables, so I’m only listing the ones you might shake your head at:
Poached eggs: and give up all that amazing nutrients in a runny yolk– NO WAY!
Meat: Obviously not pork or chicken, but lamb & beef steaks I still eat medium-rare.
Fish (Sushi): YES PLEASE! - The Importance of Fish in Our Diets
Pâté & Soft Cheese: Didn’t have loads of this, but didn’t avoid it if it was on offer!
 (In says all this, I was picky and I only ate these “raw” foods if I felt comfortable that they were top quality products & I was always aware that there were risks at hand!)
Side Note:

All the hard work and sacrifice has paid off. We’re on the 7 week countdown to meeting our first child!! And even though I 100% believe all the changes I have made, has helped me to get me where I am, I’m still very aware that I have tricked my body into think it was healthy enough to start growing a baby and keep it. I'm grateful for all the medical support I received and I don't lose sleep over it, but as I'm fully emerged and studying how our bodies are supposed to function, I just can't help to think what my gut microbiome is like and if it's having an effect on the little one (never mind all the drugs I/it was on for the first three months!) But at the end of the day, this is the path I chose to go down and whatever the outcome, we'll deal with it. I am immensely great to be writing this blog post and spending (too much) of my time watching my belly move as our baby’s kicks!!
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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