I remember the summer of 2004 so clearly. It was as if I was seeing the world with new eyes – the world my child would be born into – and visualising the family we were to become.
It was an exciting time, full of hope and wonder.
Having been so certain of the ‘childfree’ life I had planned, I had been using hormonal contraceptives for many years, and most recently the contraceptive injection. The effect of each injection lasted for 12 weeks and when the last one expired I could tell conceiving wasn’t going to be straightforward.
After an absence of periods for years due to the contraceptives, I started with a month long bleed which left me weak and exhausted. And then although I did start to have regular cycles, they were extremely short with around 2 weeks between periods.
It was at this time that I first read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This best-selling fertility book was a real eye opener and would eventually lead to me conceiving my baby.
I was so excited to get my hands on this huge fact-filled book and read it from cover to cover. I emerged from this reading marathon feeling well informed and ready to tackle my fertility issues head on. I was excited to be on this journey!
I started fertility charting and discovered that within my very short menstrual cycles I wasn’t ovulating at all. Through diligent temperature charting I knew that my cycles were anovulatory (without ovulation) for a whole year.
Part of me wasn’t surprised by this as I’d pumped my body with artificial hormones for years, not to mention my lifelong mindset focussed on preventing pregnancy.
I was more motivated than ever to turnaround my fertility and bring back balance to both my mind and body.
So I continued to work with EFT for my emotional well-being, paying close attention to any blocks I may have had to conceiving. I also researched what could be done to optimise my fertility naturally using diet and natural therapies.
I studied books by Dr Marilyn Glenville and Patrick Holford. I took fertility boosting supplements and herbal tinctures. I had reflexology, kinesiology and acupuncture regularly and tapped my way through all of this with EFT, both by myself and with other EFT practitioners guiding me (it’s always useful to get the input of others!).
A truly positive aspect of my journey was the amazing support I received. As I took on the role of being my own “cheerleader” for my fertility, it was then easier to seek and accept the support of others. And in turn I had the inner resources and strength to continue to offer support to others, to both my clients and my friends.
I didn’t view my fertility issues as a taboo subject and would discuss them openly with family and friends. There were a few tactless comments thrown my way at times but it was easy to let those go as I focussed on the support and strength I was receiving from my husband, my mum and my friends.
Another great support network for me was found online through a pregnancy and parenting forum. Many of the women on there were also dealing with fertility issues and it was wonderful to share our experiences. The fertility issues I had seemed to perplex my doctors. Although I was now ovulating (and I remember that first ovulation well – I celebrated as I saw my temperature rise!) my cycles varied greatly in length and the number of days between ovulation and my period were too few. Through my own research I knew this was a Luteal Phase Defect and could be the reason I was unable to conceive. But my doctor didn’t agree and offered me two solutions: clomid or IVF.
My intuition told me this wasn’t needed. I was ovulating but my progesterone levels were low. This meant it was difficult to get pregnant, and also made miscarriage more likely. When I saw my first ever positive pregnancy test, followed by a negative test the next day and my period followed (known as a ‘chemical pregnancy’) I knew that I needed to take further action.
My doctor said he couldn’t help me. As far as he was aware my progesterone levels were ‘normal’ so I discharged myself from his care and looked for support more suited to my issues.
I shared my situation on the online fertility forum and was excited to hear that others had similar issues and had found support and understanding from a specialist clinic.
Feeling empowered with this support in the background a few months later I saw my next positive pregnancy test – on Christmas Day 2006! I was so excited to be pregnant again and as soon as the clinic reopened after Christmas I made an appointment to be seen immediately. The specialist there confirmed my thoughts – yes I was pregnant, but my progesterone production was much too low. He recommended I started supplementation immediately, and all being well I would take it throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.
So we started on an exciting and surreal journey into early pregnancy, with regular scans at the clinic, regular supportive acupuncture and continuing to nourish my body – and my baby – with a healthy diet (well as much as possible, as I craved a lot of carbs in early pregnancy!).
Although the first trimester is known to be the most risky, especially with my fertility issues, I enjoyed these early days and had a calm curiosity about what was ahead for me. My friends would ask wasn’t I anxious, wasn’t I scared of miscarrying but I honestly wasn’t. I did have a realistic outlook though and knew I had to take each day as it came. All in all it was a very comfortable and peaceful time.
Throughout this time (and for a few months before I conceived) I wore a fertility charm from New Zealand around my neck loaned to me from one of my most supportive friends. This charm had apparently worked for her, and for another of her friends. In fact that friend had passed it on to me directly as soon as she reached the 12 week milestone in her long awaited pregnancy. It was so reassuring to wear that charm, and I wore it every day. I’m not sure I believed in the ‘magical’ aspect, but I do know that it represented the love and support I was receiving from those around me, and that was priceless.
At the 7 week scan we saw and heard our baby’s heartbeat and the clinic passed me on to NHS care. We’d reached one of the important milestones and from then on my pregnancy continued to be very happy and healthy. I offered to return the fertility charm to my friend, and I was instructed where to send it – to another of her friends who was also dealing with fertility issues! And so the ‘magic’ went on…
On 6th September 2007, over 3 years since my fertility journey began, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy James, just 4 minutes before his due date weighing a perfect 7lb 1oz (bang on the 50th centile – my Mr Average baby!).
So does my story finish there?
When I was pregnant I imagined that I would want another baby immediately – as small an age gap as possible was my plan. But of course I knew that it may not be that straightforward. Another quite different journey was about to begin.
To be continued..
Would you like to share your story too? If you’ve used EFT on your fertility journey you can share your story and give support and hope to others here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NMQRBGD