I’m not someone who was broody from a young age. I assumed I would have children at some point but didn’t really give it much more thought. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I suddenly felt in a hurry. Like overnight I could suddenly hear that clock ticking.
I went into it thinking it would be difficult. I’m not entirely sure why, my husband was a smoker but that was the only real thing that might have affected our chances of getting pregnant.
After a year and a half I had an early miscarriage. Even though I only thought I was pregnant for a few days, I was devastated. Of all three of my miscarriages I really feel like this one hit me the hardest, even though it was the earliest. My dream came so close and then was so quickly taken away. As soon as I saw those two lines I was planning, calculating the due date, working out who else would be having a baby around the same time and wondering if it would be a boy or a girl.
My dream came so close and then was so quickly taken away
I tried to carry on as normal, even going into work the next day (this was a really bad idea). I wanted other people to know but I didn’t want to tell them or talk about it as I knew I would get upset.
After this things got so much more difficult to cope with each month. I followed the same pattern, trying at the right time, hoping that this month would be the one. This led to that all-encompassing fear in the days leading up to my period. I am the worlds worst symptom spotter and would really try not to test early but sometimes I just needed to know. Not that I would ever trust the early negative “it must be too early so a false negative”. It wasn’t.
I was trying everything, diets, apps, tracking methods, books, alternative therapies, positive thinking meditations. Something had to change. I felt like I couldn’t go on for another month, but of course we do as we have no choice.
After my first miscarriage I finally went to the GP. She was great and sent me for basic initial investigations and I had a scan and blood tests. All results came back normal, which was great. But at the same time if something had been wrong at least that would possibly mean something could be fixed. I was referred for further investigations, however a week later had a call from my GP that due to my early miscarriage I would have to wait for another year for the referral to be accepted. It felt like a huge set back. Yet more waiting.
I felt like I couldn’t go on for another month, but of course we do as we have no choice
Eventually I decided to try something different so I went for hypnotherapy to change my mindset and how I was feeling about my miscarriage. After this I felt a real change, it wasn’t so difficult and painful to talk about my miscarriage or that we were trying for a baby. Both subjects I would have avoided at all costs previously.
Three months later I was pregnant. I’ve always felt this was more than just coincidence as I was feeling more positive and hopeful, less anxious and fearful.
I felt so positive and excited throughout my pregnancy. So grateful to finally have made it to that point after two and a half years. Then he arrived and it was magical, everything I wanted it to be and the difficulty of getting my longed-for baby was forgotten for a while.
How many times do you hear about people struggling for their first baby then the second comes along almost by surprise? Well, I thought that was us too. When our first son was 10 months old, I found out we were pregnant again. I couldn’t believe it. After breastfeeding I’d only had 2 periods. I was amazed that this is how easy it was for some people. Such a massive contrast to what we had experienced before. We were surprised but happy and excited.
But something didn’t feel right. My pregnancy symptoms weren’t as strong as they were the first time. Everyone said all pregnancies are different and not to worry.
something didn’t feel right
At my 12 week scan, we found out I’d had a missed miscarriage, probably at about 8 weeks. We were devastated. The memory of being in that room and looking at the screen knowing the picture didn’t look right, waiting for what seemed like an eternity, for the sonographer to confirm what I already knew is still a hard one to think about. And leaving that room. Walking through a busy waiting room with other happy couples looking at their scan pictures and women with their growing bumps. It must have been glaringly obvious we had not received good news.
The days followed in a bit of a blur. I had surgery (Surgically Managed Miscarriage) and although physically it was a quick recovery, emotionally it was a different story.
During this time I was immensely grateful for my friends. Some who had similar experiences gave me advice on treatment options. They all checked in on me regularly which was so lovely to know that others cared and yes it was a crap thing to go through.
From then on we were on ‘trying’ mode again which was a much more familiar feeling. Initially I didn’t feel that stressed thinking it would probably happen again soon. Then the pregnancy announcements started coming, initially this was OK as I felt it would be me as well soon. But as time went on it turned into feeling like I was being left behind. They were pregnant, I wasn’t, they were on maternity leave I wasn’t. We were still waiting.
we were on ‘trying’ mode again which was a much more familiar feeling
The stress and anxiety quickly escalated, probably mixed too with grief. I knew again I had to do something differently.
This was when I found the amazing fertility community on Instagram. Around this time Dany Griffiths started her Instagram page for the Freedom Fertility Formula. What she was posting really spoke to me, it was like she understood exactly how I was feeling.
Dany is the founder and creator of the Freedom Fertility Formula. She is on a mission to make mental health and emotional well-being a higher priority in fertility care. She put together a programme to support women and couples struggling with infertility and she was training people interested in providing this support.
It sounded fantastic and exactly my kind of thing. But I’d just had another early miscarriage so I was unsure if I was in the right place to support others while struggling myself.
I decided to go for it, as it felt like the right thing to do. While learning the modules during the training, I did them as if I were the ‘client’. I did the exercises, used all the tools and strategies and listened to the MP3s. As well as all this I learned the importance of understanding, recognising and listening to emotions, which has been a revelation!
I felt so much better. I was able to meet up with my mum friends that I had previously been avoiding as they were all either pregnant or had their second babies. Even more than that I enjoyed meeting up with them. I felt confident that even if difficult subjects, feelings or conversations came up I would be ok, I could handle it using the tools I’d learnt.
My relationship was better, I felt less angry and could handle all the “when are you having the next one” comments.
The following month I found out I was pregnant. I would say the Freedom Fertility Formula “worked” for me because I felt so much better emotionally, able to live my life without the fear of something triggering a difficult emotional response. But of course, falling pregnant was the best news.
My pregnancy was of course full of anxiety, but I realised that was because I had stopped using the strategies I’d learned. While nothing can get rid of fear and worry completely, using them again did improve my anxiety.
Now both my boys have arrived safely and I am so grateful. I’m also so thankful I will never have to go through this pain of trying for a baby again.
I really believe that infertility never leaves you, I can be taken back to those feelings so easily when I hear other’s stories. Writing this has brought me to tears several times. It’s also something I’ve been working on writing for several months but have been avoiding finishing as these are difficult and emotional memories.
I write this to share my story, to pass on hope
I’ve learned so much from my fertility journey, of course that’s easy to see now I’m on the other side. I can see that for me, perhaps it was a journey I needed to go on, to end up here. I write this to share my story, to pass on hope, as I found hope in the stories I read while struggling.