I had the opportunity recently to share my fertility story over on a site called My F Word. The host, Selina has been through several years of fertility problems, and has a section where others can share their tales on her site. There’s a real mix of lives in there, I urge you to go and have a read if you are experiencing similar issues. For me personally, for a while now I’ve been wanting to get the last few years written down, for my own benefit but also for any other women out there experiencing secondary infertility, to hopefully see that you are not alone. Here is my post.
I have been sharing my fertility struggles for a while now over on Instagram and am always amazed by the love and support I get from women I’ve never met. I’ve had some wonderful messages of encouragement and sharing of stories, just from a post about what is happening with me. There is something incredibly powerful in this I think. A few months ago, after our failed frozen round I discovered there an actual (actual real life!) #TTC (trying to conceive) community on there, and after much searching and connecting with various people in similar situations, I came across Alice Rose.
I thought for a long while on how I could introduce Alice on here, because she doesn’t have a title as such, but she doesn’t really need one because just know that she is most definitely someone who is making waves on social media (namely Instagram) with her positive attitude covering the emotive topic of fertility problems and baby loss. Alice hosted an intimate event in London recently that I had the pleasure of going along to. Despite the intense summer heat (think a room full of women with humidity hair) Alice gave a brilliant talk about her life and how she found she wasn’t coping very well when she discovered that she couldn’t easily conceive or deal with the subsequent, ever stressful IVF treatment. She shared the tools she has, and is still using to help her cope day by day with these issues. I came away from her talk believing I could make some positive changes in my life. Her blog tag says, ‘I am on a mission to empower people during one of the hardest experiences in the world: a fertility struggle’, I caught up with her to find out a bit more about this mission of hers.
When my husband and I decided to try the IVF route, we always knew that we would need to fund it ourselves. Having had one natural daughter already, despite struggling with Secondary Infertility we were not (are not) eligible for any treatment on the NHS. We are lucky in that, we have been able to pay for ourselves to date, but having only had one fresh round and two other versions of IVF, our bill already nudges near £16,000 which is eye wateringly expensive. Anyone I know who has undergone IVF has either paid for it themselves or received it for free, but what about, and this is something I’d not really considered before, those who simply live in the wrong area, or who are denied treatment? What are they supposed to do?
Dear Olivia. This day has crept on me somewhat. I’ve known it was coming obviously, but what with a busy few months, I’ve parked it at the back of my mind.
You are my fierce, independent girl and 90% of time you don’t need me but I guess you’ve been a bit thrown coming back from our recent holiday. Tonight you couldn’t sleep, and asked me to lye next to you. As I lay there, starring at your warm, little face, the last four years of your life flashed before my eyes. Wave after wave of tears fell, the emotions I’ve been battling with for the last few weeks came out. You have done so much, we have done so much together, we’ve been so busy but the most exciting, challenging bit is yet to come and my heart aches for this change.
You are all I have Olivia, my only girl. You are my world and my heart and tomorrow is such a small but big step for us both. Tomorrow everything changes. I love you x
It’s safe to say that the plastic movement has well and truly got me thinking. I get it. I get how truly awful plastic is and how much harm it’s doing to the planet. I also get how bad plastics can be for fertility – most books you pick up now tell you to avoid plastic where possible like the plague. I realised all of this a while ago in but any changes I was trying to implement got put on hold as we moved back to my parents while some work was done to our house. Now we’re home and I can control things more, I want to try and look at all of this again. Whilst trying to reduce plastic in our home is a huge task in itself, I decided to look at what I was using in the bathroom, to see exactly what came housed in plastic and the result slightly horrified me. Pretty much everything I use comes in some form of plastic, be it toothpaste, my toothbrush, shampoo, shower gel, the list goes on. Plastic is literally entrenched in our lives. I’ve been skirting around the idea of trying a shampoo bar for a while now. I’m already using a solid deodorant bar, which works really well for me, so going with a shampoo bar was a natural next step and after much internet searching, I came across the brand Conchus.
Made by a couple driven to make a difference, their bars are, ‘100% natural made with a blend of oils and butters, scented with only essential oils and coloured with natural colourants. They come in zero plastic packaging, they’re vegan friendly, palm oil free and cruelty free‘. All of this is becoming more and more important to me. Within our home I’m replacing harmful plastics with more natural products, within reason (i.e. cost) and where possible. With this thought in mind, I decided to try some of the Conchus products out. I purchased two Giggle bars, which are for hair and body, one Swell bar just for hair, and a Halo hair rinse. That palm print, LOVE!