This post has been sitting half finished for some time now. Way back before the fertility gods decided that it was finally our turn. I've since then realised just how much I relied on little pieces of advice and guidance from others to keep me positive and most importantly, sane, whilst plodding along the TTC (trying to conceive) process. Now I'm not claiming to be an expert on fertility here, I'm simply sharing a few tips and pointers that I picked up along the way that made me feel like I was doing something to help our fertility process.
As much as I'd love to reveal a sure fire way to get you up the duff, particularly for those of you who are currently consumed with nothing but the trials and the process of becoming parents. Sadly there just isn't a magic fertility wand. There were however a few things that I did, that will ease you away from obsessing over ovulation sticks and menstruating calendars before they send you (and your partner) stark bonkers crazy. Note to the wiser- I'm no doctor, so common sense or medical assistance may be required before starting any of the below tasks...
Even I laughed at myself when I wrote the word 'exercise'. My relationship with fitness hasn't always (and still isn't) been as blissful and harmonious as my Instagram feed might suggest. I've spent the best part of my adult life trying to make myself become one of the those workout lovers, but the fact is, I'd rather do anything other than exercise. I could always come up with an abundance of excuses as to why I didn't or couldn't do exercise, or I'd delve head first into a full on fitness regime where I'd spend more time shopping for equipment and workout clothes than actually breaking out in any actually exercise related sweat.
So when my consultant suggested that I start exercising more regularly in preparation for pregnancy, I knew it was time to get my butt in gear. I enlisted the help of a a personal trainer which is an expensive option, but personally for me I'd tried everything and having some one-to-one guidance appealed to me as a last resort. She put together a program for me and suggested that thirty minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week would be sufficient enough to increase my fitness levels and lose weight. Nothing too strenuous as intense exercise has been said to hinder fertility.
But for me, there was no denying that exercise made me feel better and more positive. My trainer would say that 'you never regret a workout, you only regret the workouts you didn't do', which is so true. Exercising prior to pregnancy has made me more confident to keep motivated and active throughout, which will hopefully have a positive impact on both me and the baby.
Taking pre-pregnancy vitamins is a good way of doing something to help your body to start filling up on those all important nutrients and minerals that it's going to need to make that baby.
When a friend mentioned that I should try Reflexology, I was a little sceptical at first. Mostly because I thought it meant I'd have to be hypnotised (which of course you don't, silly me) and then I thought I'd have to be sedated once I realised she'd be touching my feet the whole time (I have super tiggle-senstive feet!) But desperate times call for desperate measures and when you're waiting patiently for that long awaited appointment with a consultant...you'll try anything.
Thankfully I didn't sock her one in the eye or pass wind from laughing as she poked and massaged my tootsies. Instead, it was one of the most surreal, amazing and reassuring experiences and I highly recommend it. The whole process is difficult to explain, but my practitioner sent me into the most relaxed state of mind, whilst she worked her magic via certain pressure points in my feet, restoring a natural balance in my body. It was unbelievably therapeutic and exactly what I needed at that time to reassure my state of mind and ease all my concerns and fears. Reflexology isn't a substitute for medical advice, but there is something quite magical about the whole experience that gave me a lot of light down a seemingly gloomy tunnel.
A few friends and my reflexologist advised that I give Agnus Castus a whirl. It's a completely natural based remedy that has been known to help women in numerous ways, particularly with PCO (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) from assisting with ovulating, mood swings to acne. I drank a few drops in a glass of water each morning (it tastes like flower water) and I felt it working immediately. It's well worth a try whilst you await medical advice (which can take the best part of a year) to kick start your body in a natural way.
Find a Hobbie
It's all very well people telling you to 'relax' and 'don't stress', (usually followed by 'it will happen one day...' eek! A comment that still infuriates me) but it's quite another for those of us on the receiving end of this advice to actually do it. Only you and your partner can make this type of decision and even then, that stress and pressure doesn't ease over night. So for me, the best long term way of taking my mind off the whole situation was finding a distraction that would consume my spare time, which was why I decided to start this blog.
It has kept me sane and consistently busy from the moment I hit publish on my very first blog post and I know without it, I would have become a crazed woman obsessed with getting pregnant. I'm not suggesting that everyone start a blog, but try and find something that will use up all that excess energy that can in some cases come between you and your sanity and even your relationship. Whether it be a short course, a book club or starting a small business, as long as it keeps your mind healthy and happy, it's bound to take a little, or a lot of the pressure off of baby making.
What little changes did you make in preparation for fertility...? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
With Love & Fertility Healthy,
Disclosure: I might have a few careers under my belt, but sadly a medical degree isn't one of them. Please use common sense or if in doubt seek medical advise before trying out anything I've mentioned in this post. Except finding a hobby...just don't try and sue me if you choose to go rock climbing or swimming with sharks.