Secondary Infertility – Get a personalised road map of what to do to save you wasting time and money
Emotions are classified into five predominant states: joy, rumination, sadness, fear, and anger
Is conceiving much harder than you ever anticipated?
Past relationships can block our future like a concrete boulder. When relationships don’t work out the way we had hoped men and women can spend years protecting themselves sometimes subconsciously. Not entering into a new relationship in an attempt to resist future hurt.
Esther fell in love at 19 and after a few years hoped to get married and start a family as this had always been her heart’s desire. A lot of time and life experiences passed and by the time she was 27 her family and friends said if he could not commit after 8 years, to share a home together, get engaged or married, he probably would not ever be ready.
"If he could not commit after 8 years, to share a home together, get engaged or married, he probably would not ever be ready."
Marriage is not necessary for everyone but for Esther it meant a public declaration witnessed in front of friends and family it was important to her.
She kept hoping …….. for another 2 years and when they had spent 10 years together since meeting at university with no ‘development’ in her opinion she felt the time had come to listen to her heart and give him an ultimatum either he wanted the same as her or she would walk away.
It was not a threat to make him take action, she knew in her heart they would separate, but a small voice of self worth hoped he would surprise her and propose.
He did not, they went their separate ways when she was 29.
She spent her 30th birthday very very depressed and spent a tremendous amount of energy putting a smile on her face for the sake of others.
Her self esteem was on the floor she was utterly depressed and very sad.
This grief and sorrow scarred her for 12 years she could not face opening her heart again, she was bereft.
She found herself at 41 years old fully aware of the decline of her fertility and ironically having worked as a specialist nurse in a high dependency baby care unit which made the heartbreak even harder to bear.
Can you imagine feeling like this and spending all your working time with babies?
Esther was a wonderful and loving godmother and aunt to many children which was really hard, she often used to go home after a Sunday lunch or family gathering and sob for hours.
She made a huge decision and began working with me on the recommendation of a friend. Esther decided to start her journey as a solo parent with donor insemination.
We identified she
- Needed to off load a lot of old stuck emotions
- Grieve what she felt she had missed out on
- Felt a sense of panic about her age
- Wanted to find a way to tell her close family
- Must choose a donor as soon as possible that could give her a Jewish donor
- Had to deal with taking time off work without telling people why
We decide to work together for 3 months initially as she felt she had a lot to do and needed constant support to
- Choose a clinic that she had faith in
- Prepare her body for the insemination
- Balance her work and the time she needed to improve her health
- Regain her confidence
- Have a constant confidential companion on this journey
Esther decided the first thing she wanted to do was to tell her family, her mother, father and two brothers whilst her parents thought is was rather unconventional they understood that she needed to take this action for herself.
(Her mother had always said rather unkindly she had ‘wasted 20 years of her life with her boyfriend 10 waiting and 10 sulking’) Her father thought it all ‘very unnatural’ So those conversations were short.
He brothers surprised her and were incredibly supportive and loving.
She decided to use a US based based sperm bank and was fairly stressed about everything to begin with
- Talking openly to her fertility clinic
- Sitting in a waiting room full of couples and pregnant women was unbearable
- Having tests and procedures was very embarrassing for her
- Not telling friends what she was doing felt secretive in a negative way and she felt very alone and isolated
- Lying to superiors at work about why she needed time off
- Juggling all her hospital appointments
- Thinking about if she should keep dating?
The first time she used her donor sperm she had IVF and she hated it. Hated the way the drugs made her feel, hated the injections, felt disappointed with her egg retrieval and felt stressed trying to achieve all this whilst taking her annual holiday. The pregnancy test was negative and she was crushingly disappointed.
The second cycle she felt “persuaded” by the doctors to do IVF again due to her age now (42) to achieve the best outcome. It was a repeat of the first cycle except worse because they increased all the stimulation in an attempt to get more eggs.
A negative result, all annual holiday spent and a big hole in her savings account.
So what purpose did our work together serve? Esther was understandably very depressed and angry that she did not get pregnant but she also was blocked. She felt less than, not good enough, bad, wrong, rejected and judged, miserable and full of suppressed rage. Life felt unfair to her and she had been a compliant people pleaser for years and making a change was something that felt like an uphill struggle.
We talked about everything that she had kept buried for years. How she felt very pressured by her mother to be a ‘good girl’ and had unrealistic expectations from her father to be his ‘perfect little princess’.
Esther felt that had affected why she stayed in her first relationship for so long not able to voice what her needs were, instead always wanting desperately to be enough and loved.
She had studied long and hard to be a nurse then specialised and worked in an emotionally difficult field with babies in a high dependency unit.
She never expressed herself, always soldered on while inside she was withering and deeply depressed.
We talked and talked, she was brave and courageous and dug deep into her past experiences in order to let go.
A couple of paragraphs cannot adequately describe the work we did together I could write pages.
We discussed how she felt about moving forward to try to have a baby again. She decided to take a few months to heal physically and mentally against the advice of the fertility clinic as she was getting older and her chances were diminishing.
Is conceiving much harder than you ever anticipated?
The one thing that made me become a specialist fertility coach is I want to share my knowledge.
By making myself available online I can reach a wider audience and I know from the work I have already done the benefit others have got through my work.
"To find someone you like and trust is not easy."
My clients come from all walks of life, all professions and are at different stages in their fertility journey. I have helped women
- regulate their menstrual cycle
- who are just starting to wonder about how fertile they are
- decide where to go for fertility testing and a gynecological check up
- find the right words to discuss sperm testing with their partner
- identify their fertile window and when to have sex
- cope with the frustration when they do not conceive easily
The two week wait
I have had years of experience and I know regardless of if it is natural conception or assisted fertility during the two week wait one of the hardest things for a woman is to find the balance between being positive, hopeful, allowing themselves to think of their baby and to cope with the stress and fear that it will be a negative result again.
This is a time when you need support, reassurance and somewhere to release you feelings.
Hope and disappointment are polar opposites and when this happens month after month it beings to have a profound effect on the emotions I have heard women say
- it seems so easy for everyone else
- everywhere I look there are babies
- It is not fair
- I am happy for my friend/sister/ neighbour but sad for myself
- my partner is not supportive
- I cannot face going to that party, wedding, baby shower
- No one understands how I feel
- I had to sit in a work meeting discussing maternity leave
- this feels insane
I invite you to share my knowledge, wisdom and experience your investment will be worth it.
Is conceiving much harder than you ever anticipated?
Trust is imperative when you share your innermost thoughts with someone.
Topics that are dear to your heart
trying to conceive
- talking about your menstrual cycle
- talking about past terminations, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and relationship break ups
- secondary infertility
- erectile dysfunction
They bring up your rawest emotions, your most intimate feelings and finding the right person to work with is integral. You want to know who they are, you need to trust that person – you can trust me.
"You want to know who they are, you need to trust that person - you can trust me."
I have kept the confidence of countless men and women during my career and I regard this as a position of privilege. I know people have told me things they have not told another soul.
They have discussed their lives with me when they have not told their husband, wife, life partner, boyfriend or girlfriend some of the things we discuss.
Revealing their deepest vulnerability can be a frightening experience when we feel like our bodies are betraying us. I may be asking you questions about
- Body fluids and functions
- appetite and digestion
- bowel movement and menstruation
- Energy levels and sleep
- emotional well-being
- common emotional outburst you may have
I may look into your mouth, examine your tongue and this requires you to feel comfortable with me.
I feel compassion for my patient.
To care for humanity to not judge mistakes.
My strength comes from my ability to understand how you are in all aspects of your life your mental emotional and physical well-being my diagnostic skills have been honed over many years
I encourage you to make time every week to meet with me and discuss how you are,
for you exclusively to express yourself,
to ask questions.
We can devise a way of creating a daily time for you to rest, take stock, reflect, meditate, daydream, walk in nature – whatever is most beneficial.
I invite you to see if we are a good fit.
Is conceiving much harder than you ever anticipated?
Sometimes I have a long relationship with my clients as I have been working for over 20 years as a fertility specialist.
I may meet a woman when she has irregular, painful periods or PCOS and she wants to look at nutrition and lifestyle advice to help balance or regain her menstrual cycle once this improves I may not see her for years until the time comes when she wants to think about her fertility in a more focused way.
Ayesha came to me when she had been on the contraceptive pill (for 15 years) but not currently in a relationship, we had a general discussion about her health and what she wanted in the future.
Like many single women I see she wanted to be in a loving relationship but despite dating and keeping an open attitude to who she may meet she was alone and lonely. She decided to stop taking the pill as she had taken it initially for her problematic skin and we discussed that it was a strong medicine, that required mandatory liver testing every 6 months, and the effects of this should be considered.
"Like many single women I see she wanted to be in a loving relationship but despite dating and keeping an open attitude to who she may meet she was alone and lonely."
Happily things took a positive turn and she began a relationship with someone who had been a very close friend it was strange in some ways but also wonderful as they already had a deep friendship and understood each other.
Ayesha wanted to start a family and although it went against her cultural and family background to do this before she was married she recognized she was approaching her 37th birthday had an extremely busy and responsible job in finance and had to travel abroad for her job so she wanted to have a realistic overview of her health and fertility.
I recommended she went to see an excellent gynaecologist to assess her hormones and fertility and we started a programme to help reduce stress and support her sleep. She worked a little less, as late nights at the office (and weekend sometimes) did not seem as attractive as being with her partner and enjoying downtime and some self care.
After 6 months with both herself and her boyfriend improving their lifestyles they had the wonderful news that she was pregnant.
Their first child was born by an elective c-section and the family were delighted and her parents had already planned the wedding with followed a few months later.
I saw such an amazing transformation in this woman from someone who was a person who worked in finance and operated in a very masculine/yang way, who had previously not shown much interest in children, to a wonderful, loving mother who was certain that she wanted to add to her family and have a sibling for her first born son.
As she was 38 when she gave birth the first time she wanted to give her body time to recover from the pregnancy and c section so when her son was 18 months she started to think about her second child. She and her now husband expected the second child to come as easily as the first but this did not happen.
After extensive testing over several months she discovered that there were complications that had arisen from internal scar tissue after her c section.
Our work together focused on supporting her through:
- Anger and disbelief that this was happening to her
Panic that time would run out
- Blame she felt lay at the hands of the person who carried out her C section
- Resentment of all her pregnant friends and women who had 2 or 3 children whilst she struggled
- Confusion about which route to pursue
She commented many times how glad she was that we had an established working relationship and she could be honest about her thoughts and feelings no matter (in her words) how bitter and ugly they were.
After 18 months and
- 2 operations
- 3 fertility clinics
- 4 IUI’s
- 2 IVF cycles
A positive pregnancy test finally came. My role during that 18 months of treatment was to provide a safe space to express her
- Disappointment of her husband that he did not seem to want it as much as her.
- Frustration at the lack of care and continuity from fertility clinics
- Stress of the two week wait
- Sadness and despair when the pregnancy test was negative
- Envy of her friends giving birth all around her.
The pregnancy continued and her 12 week scan was scheduled by the hospital on her 40th birthday it felt like such a landmark.
She was alone when the news was delivered that there was no heartbeat after repeated attempts to find a sign of life the baby had suffered a fetal death.
It is impossible to convey to you the grief and devastation she felt on that day and for months to follow. Our sessions together now incorporate grief counselling and dealing with the trauma of receiving a letter from her insurers stating a charge for a “spontaneous termination”
This is something she felt you elected to do – a choice not a reflection of the soul that had cruelly been snatched away from her.
How does one begin to recover from this? How do you go on?
How to shower and dress and face the day?
She did because she had her first child to consider and she felt immense guilt and even shame she was not being the mother she should be to him.
Again this was the focus of our weekly sessions – how to recover? How to continue for the sake of her child and her marriage?
I can honestly say I am extremely proud of our work together as I was one of the only people who allowed her to express herself over the next 2 years of her fertility journey when she said “ I just know … I just know there is another soul out there for me. I know I will be a mother again.
I understand how heartbreaking and painful it was for her husband, mother and 2 brothers and they witnessed the pain, disappointment and heartbreak of more attempts at IVF and IUI ending in negative results.
They told her to stop to give up.
Plus a grandmother that said “It is because you had an illegitimate child God is punishing you” and another friend who said “I don’t understand why you wasted all that money – just be happy with one!”
One can hardly imagine the stress and trauma felt by this woman.
During these 2 years we focused on healing, we decided to think again about achieving another pregnancy. She felt this was her last chance and she wanted to ‘throw everything at it.”
I encouraged her to do that but also to make sure she had time for her relationship and her son. This was not an easy journey but she never gave up she felt in the depth of her heart she would have another child.
She took everything on board
- Guided visualization
- Extensive nutritional support
She did several more rounds of IVF and IUI and then decided she was done with hospitals, doctors and clinics. No more treatments, no more injections, no more hormones, no more hospital appointments but she did have a strong unshakable belief she would have another child
2 years after the tragic loss of her baby at 12 weeks she had a positive pregnancy result and shortly after her 43rd birthday gave birth to a beautiful healthy daughter.
I cried when I saw that baby I cried tears of joy and I admire the fact she stayed true to her intuition.