I have ummed and ahhed about writing this post. There is something very personal about talking about something as you are going through it vs. once you are on the other side. But I decided it is important to talk about it now as the emotions are raw, real and immediate. They are not tempered by the beauty of hindsight.
Getting pregnant first time around
For us the first time getting pregnant was quite a journey. The full story is here written with hindsight around my daughter’s first birthday. I was petrified when I hit send on that post. But to my great surprise I got an overwhelming amount of support from friends, friends of friends and strangers which was incredible. So many women shared their stories with me. In a way it was comforting and in another way it was so sad that so many people struggle in silence. The emotional toll of constant negative pregnancy tests, irregular periods and miscarriages is heavy and it can pervade all aspects of our lives. It can affect our relationship, our friendships amongst of course, many other things.
We choose to be very proactive about our journey which meant tackling things head on and changing our lifestyle from everything we ate, drank, cooked with and in, cleaned, washed and of course the personal care products we used. It was tough but once you have done it, it becomes second nature….the beauty of hindsight!
Part 1 of our story ended happily with a beautiful, very much longed for baby girl. She is now nearly 2, full of life, love and sass and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course some may say you’ve been through so much before why don’t you leave it at just one. And i know when I was going through it the first time before I got pregnant I used to see people going through similar or much more complex journeys in order to have no2 or 3 and I couldn’t understand it. I just felt a bit like can’t you be happy with one.
Now I feel that I understand. If I had exhausted every option and wasn’t able to have children then I would work hard to be at peace with that – mindset is so powerful. But right now I would like to have two children, there are many reasons for this, so that is the journey we have set ourselves on and already having one is not a consolation.
How is it different this time
It is undoubtedly different second time around. First of all I know it worked once – so there is more positively, hope and general optimism which helps!
Secondly I have been through the rigorous preparation process before so it doesn’t take anywhere near as much brain power to work out what to eat for lunch – I can make choices quickly and easily…..does not mean I don’t want a bowl of pasta and some gelato it just means I am able to resist!
Also, this time many more people know my story, I have an amazing network of women with children my daughter’s age many of whom are now pregnant. But for a surprisingly high number of them that wasn’t straight forward either and I am truly so happy for them. There isn’t the same envy that there was at points first time around. I think because I believe I will get there just that my time has just not quite come yet.
Core things we do to minimise toxins in the home
There are many lifestyle changes we made first time round that may have lapsed a bit inbetween but I am now back in full swing.
Aside from generally being as healthy as possible, eating well, regularly, sleeping enough and getting the right supplments in. We also have a long list of specific requirements that we did for the first time around:
Food: no gluten, dairy, sugar, tofu, fried or processed foods
Drinks: basically water…sparkling water oh and fresh coconuts!
Cosmetics: I don’t have to change anything there but these are the general principles I follow and ingredients I avoid.
Cleaning products: We use method, ecover or just apple cider vinegar to clean the house. Our vacuum cleaner has a Hepa filter. And we use natural detergent to wash our clothes – we like Nellies.
Cooking & food storage: we only use cast iron pots and pans or stainless steel. No non-stick surfaces. Storing food is always in glass containers and we use beeswax wraps to cover things in the fridge.
We have a water filter on our shower and keep phones out of pockets as much as possible.
I don’t know if that seems like a lot or a little – will depend on your start point. For us it was a massive change first time around but this time it is just pure self discipline. Not easy but doable.
Thoughts on secondary fertility
For me this is not unexpected. I had of course hoped that I would be one of those cases that my body would just kick into gear after having one baby and I would be able to get pregnant naturally. Although my periods have been super regular for the first time in my life unfortunately the natural pregnancy was not to be. There were lots of factors at play and with these things you rarely get to the very bottom of a problem so we are going down the IVF route again. This time hopefully it will be much more straight forward than last time but I am sure it will be a journey nevertheless. My aim in writing this is partly selfish to get my thoughts down on paper but also hope it finds it’s way to other people who are struggling on their own fertility journey and that it might help just a little bit.