It occurred to me the other day that I’ve never really shared this? If I had my time with infertility and IVF again–what would I have done differently?
But it also occurred to me, that the first thing I need to share is the things I think I did well, and that contributed to my infertility pregnancy success.
In some ways my journey took a long time, but in other ways it was actually really quite short. I fell pregnant on my first IVF cycle, and on my first fresh ICSI cycle – but that doesn’t mean that it came easy to me.
I put in a LOT of work in order to fall pregnant whilst coping with infertility and made a lot of lifestyle changes along the way… but there were also a handful of things I wish I’d have known or implemented sooner.
So, that’s what we’re breaking down today…
The 7 things I think I did right:
- I saw a naturopath that specialised in fertility. She was almost like my therapist (at a time when there weren’t many fertility coaches around) and I learned how to track my cycle, cleansing my body and being in optimal physical health, which helped my mental health. I saw her throughout my journey and through my pregnancy.
- I made the right dietary changes. I ate fewer refined carbohydrates, more fruit and vegetables, drank more water and radically changed my diet.
- I found, then created a community around myself. I came out on my own page, people started reaching out to me then I made time to spend time with these people because it was emotionally painful to be around my friends at that time (who didn’t understand my situation). I also started spending time with people at work who were also going through IVF at the time.
- I advocated for myself. You are the consumer, you are the customer in this journey and you are the one that has everything at stake on this journey.
- I didn’t delay. I recommend going to a reproductive endocrinologist, who works with women who have endometriosis etc, than an OBGYN who only deals with pregnant women, you’ll have a better result.
- I forced my husband to make some lifestyle changes as well. They are 50% of the puzzle! Even if it’s something on your side, like PCOS, it doesn’t mean that his sperm is perfect. He may have some issues too, so he needs to make some changes too. So he saw my naturopath and made so lifestyle changes to increase his sperm count and quality. It takes two to tango!
- I addressed my emotions. I addressed the unhealthy stress levels I was experiencing.
What I would’ve done differently:
- I would have got a fertility or ovulation monitor instead of tracking your basal body temperature with a thermometer.
- Set boundaries with family and friends. Once we told everyone about our journey, they wanted to know all of my business and that eventually became too much. Go to my website to access an e-book here on how to communicate with friends and family. In hindsight, I would’ve sent people an email to tell people we were going through infertility and set clear boundaries in writing.
- Get my body out of fight and flight mode earlier. I triggered an auto-immune condition because of this. I would’ve joined the Fertility Warrior Intensive, but at the time there wasn’t anything like that around, so I would’ve seen a therapist. Things were starting to trigger me more and more and I would randomly burst into tears all the time.
- Try to live the most exciting life that I could. I would’ve taken the brakes off, started to enjoy my life again and do more exciting things.