I was taught from a very young age that if I worked really hard, I could have whatever I wanted.
So that’s what I did.
I worked hard at school and earned good grades.
I was accepted into university, studied really hard and found a reliable job.
I worked really hard at said job, was promoted and eventually became the Chief Financial
Officer at a multi-million dollar company.
I was smart, determined, driven and in search of the perfect life.
And I had it.
On our honeymoon, my husband and I decided it was time to start our own family. We had our white picket fence, so this was the next logical step.
But after 6 months of trying with no results, I was slightly annoyed. This was ruining my perfectly planned schedule.
So I worked harder. We found a fertility specialist to help us out and set about finding a solution to what we then learned was our problem - my husband’s low sperm motility and my irregular cycle.
After 12 months of diets, exploratory surgeries, homeopaths, acupuncturists and different drugs, we were no further forward. In fact, as our friends started falling pregnant around us, it felt like we were moving backward.
The day our specialist told us there was no other option for us to have our baby, other than adoption or surrogacy was bloody tough. Not only was this not going according to the picture in my head, but they were telling me I had to delegate the job I had been craving for so long to someone else.
As an independent, self-confessed control freak, this did NOT sit well with me.
But here we were. The practical “get shit done” side of me stepped up and kicked the “I’ve got this and don’t need any help” side of me to the curb.
We were lucky that my selfless, kind-hearted sister in law put her hand up and volunteered to help us out and become our surrogate.
What followed next was 3 years of hard work. 9 cycles, one miscarriage, tens of thousands of dollars, a million tears, anger, frustration and confusion.
INFERTILITY KNOCKED ME ON MY ASS.
Everything I had known up to that point was turned on its head.
I was working hard, but the harder I pushed, the further my goal moved away.
As an overachiever, this was the one thing I wasn’t any good at. Why could others have a baby, but it completely eluded me? As a problem fixer, why couldn’t I find a solution? As someone who prides themselves on efficiencies and process improvements, why was this taking so long?
But I didn’t stop to ask why. I was so focused on that goal of having a baby, that I was determined to achieve it no matter what the cost. So I just kept pushing.
I didn’t ask for help. Because I was already feeling vulnerable and like a failure from having to outsource my pregnancy and engage the help of a million specialists trying to figure out “what was wrong with me”.
And yes, it was all on my shoulders, because I love taking responsibility and because I’m a do-er.
Of course, it's all clear now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
My fertility journey taught me so many lessons about ME, life, and my beliefs.
So how did my story end?
5 years after my husband and I went on our honeymoon, our baby boy Luca was born.
2 weeks later, I fell pregnant naturally. (Yep, infertility was still screwing with me!)
6 weeks later I had a miscarriage. (Fuck you infertility!)
6 months later I fell pregnant naturally again. (You’ve got to be kidding, right?!)
And 9 months later our little girl Sophie was born.
Except it wasn’t. Infertility has a way of following us long after we step off that rollercoaster.
The wounds may heal over, but the scars still remain.
Today, I’m writing this story from my laptop in a café. 12 months ago I made it my mission to help others through the minefield of infertility. I am now a fertility mentor and coach. And 4 months ago I walked away from my corporate job to dedicate my life to a disease that claimed 7 years of my life.
Because in the 7 years, no one asked me how I was feeling.
They provided well-meaning, but frustrating advice, like “just go on a holiday”, or “try to put it out of your mind”, or “just RELAX”.
And for a chilled out, fly by the seat of your pants woman, that’s ok.
But tell an intelligent, ambitious, independent, strong-willed, planner who is a perfectionist to calm down, start meditating and chant some affirmations, and she’s likely to throw her phone at your head.
My approach is based on what I needed at the time. I know that every woman is different, and inside that, every day is different. The rollercoaster is real!
I love my clients and the women in my community. They are my passion, my mission, and have given my fertility journey meaning.
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Private Facebook group: Your Fertility Haven