Cut Yourself Some Slack

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If you are going through the grueling process of trying to get pregnant and it just isn’t going to plan don’t beat yourself up about it. It isn’t your fault. You are not to blame. Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.

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No Laughing Matter

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Last week I happened to catch an interview on This Morning with TV presenter Julia Bradbury. She talked about her grueling IVF experience which happily resulted in the birth of her twins. She discussed the disappointment and failures she experienced during the five cycles she undertook and the added obstacle of her age (44).

Most fascinating was her reference to an Israeli study about the importance of remaining positive during embryo transfer. The research found that women who were made to laugh during IVF by bringing clowns into the surgery were statistically more likely to conceive than those who weren’t entertained.

This is not the first I have heard of this. My husband excitedly regaled this to me following our embryo transfer, during which, for reasons unknown to me, I got the giggles. Proper tear inducing giggles. I was laughing so much my husband had to turn away from me in an effort to stop the laughter. Perhaps it was nerves, or embarrassment at having my legs wide open, but that laughter clearly didn’t hurt as the outcome was a positive pregnancy. So have some jokes at the ready!

Acupuncture & Reflexology

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In parts of Asia, acupuncture has been used for centuries to jump-start labour. But does it work? Research is inconclusive. One small study at the University of North Carolina found that women who got acupuncture were more likely to go into labour without a medical “push.” The study included 56 women who were 39.5 to 41 weeks pregnant. Half of the women got three acupuncture sessions, while the other half did not. Seventy percent of the women who got acupuncture went into labour on their own, compared to 50% who received standard care. The women who got acupuncture were also less likely to deliver by cesarean section — 39% compared to 17%.

9 months ago, to accompany my IVF treatment, I used acupuncture. I found the process very relaxing and positive. It was calming and restful, in fact I fell asleep! So last week I decided to give it another go as there are suggestions that it can be a a safe natural way to help bring on labour.  I was told to have two sessions which combined acupuncture and reflexology. The first was in week 38 to prepare the body for labour, and the second, scheduled for today, to induce labour. Watch this space!

A Happy Ending

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The model and actress, Jamie King, 35, went public about her own struggles conceiving her first child, and how she wishes the landscape was different for women. Jaime, who had five miscarriages, was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that affects female sex hormones and fertility. Therefore she needed help starting a family.

“I was hiding what I was going through for so long, and I hear about so many women going through what I went through. If I’m open about it, hopefully it won’t be so taboo to talk about it.”

Jaime went through five rounds of IVF and 26 rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) before she was finally given good news — she had conceived naturally with her husband Kyle Newman.

“When I got pregnant, it was the best thing in the whole world. I had never felt so grateful, happy and elated,” Jaime recalled.

After 26 hours of labor, Jaime gave birth to son James Knight in October 2013. Even though she had waited years for a child, she admitted she didn’t have that “angels singing moment” right after. The blonde beauty also said that motherhood was oftentimes hard, especially as she suffered from postpartum depression. It took some time, but now Jaime has found her balance and is loving every bit of motherhood. She hopes to expand her family even further one day but says:

“I don’t know what the future holds. All I know is I can’t control it, and I’m okay with that.”

I Hate To Sound Smug

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I really I don’t want to be smug and offensive to all you ladies who are desperate to be pregnant. I have been you. I know how shit it feels. I also know how it feels to lose a pregnancy you have worked so hard for. So please don’t begrudge me mentioning the milestone that is reaching my 3rd trimester. I am so thrilled to be at this stage and now I am feeling increasingly, yet cautiously optimistic, about actually having this baby.

We had a scan this week. It was wonderful to see the baby looking bigger and we had some amazing 3D images of the baby. We have now been discharged from Fetal Medicine. The doctor said goodbye with the words ‘see you during your next pregnancy’! Woah.

Here’s too a quick and uneventful 12 weeks.

The Uncertainty

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This quote sums up this year perfectly. Firstly it applied to the excruciating wait for our IVF to begin again after we lost our baby earlier this year. I was so desperate to be pregnant again and so scared that the IVF wouldn’t work. However it is even more apt now as we wait for a successful ending to this pregnancy. I suppose all aspects of life are heaped with uncertainty and ambiguity and unless you are fortunate enough to have unwavering faith that a greater power will make everything go how it ought to, we must just be positive and stay hopeful.