Continued from PART One
A New Direction
Maybe, just maybe, quitting work would be what I needed to fall pregnant. And maybe it wouldn’t.
Whatever the outcome, I was creating space in my life for all the things I loved and wanted to spend more time doing…studying full time, spending more time with family and friends, starting a regular Yoga practice, practicing Reiki, delving further into the teachings of the Divine Feminine and soaking up all that there was to love about life.
And that’s exactly what I did. After a month or so of adjusting to a life without bells and regimented rules I came to love and thrive in my new life as a student again. I practically skipped off to uni 3 days a week, started a committed Yoga practice at a studio around the corner and relished in time to read books, go for walks and speak to my family on the phone! I was truly feeling the happiest and most light hearted I had felt in years.
I decided to stop having Acupuncture done because I felt it had done all it could do for me at this point in time. This year was all about change and it no longer felt like a necessary part of my self-care routine, plus it was getting expensive!
Instead I decided to start seeing a well-respected and highly qualified Naturopath- Rebecca Horn in Clifton Hill (actually at the suggestion of my women’s health doctor). I shared my journey with her so far and explained that we wanted to give things one last shot naturally. Rebecca listened carefully and gave me plenty to work with. She wanted to boost my iron stores, increase my Vitamin D levels and ramp up my plant protein sources. In addition, she suggested some short term methods such as Slippery Elm Bark and a freshly ground mix of nuts and seeds daily to strengthen my gut function and digestive system (which was still a little sketchy despite years of work trying to fix all the damage I’d done in my 20s). And finally, to further support my menstrual cycle and hormonal balance she prescribed a bitter tasting herbal mixture to shot down twice a day consisting of Peony, Shatavari, Licorice and Withania. I followed everything she said by the book.
A Moment of Hope
In the month of February, the month of my 34th birthday and the month that marked 3 years since I’d first come off the pill, I pin pointed my ovulation bang on Day 14. It was like clockwork; a rarity for me! A week or so later in the midst of a Yoga class I felt an amazing calm wash over me and a voice inside my head say clear as day “You’re pregnant.” I could feel the presence of that little spirit baby (who I’d sensed on and off over the past 3 years) oh so closely. My womb felt like she was sparkling. This was it! It had finally happened, I was sure of it! I hugged my little secret delightedly to myself and relished in the perfectness of it all.
Around day 26 of this cycle I’d traveled back to my parents’ place in Gippsland for a weekend visit. My sister and I went for a walk together in a special spot we’d always loved to visit. The trees are old and the ferns prehistoric. As you walk through this forest you know the secrets are ancient, the spirits are sacred. I felt the presence of my spirit babe so strongly here and again delighted in the blessing I was sure had been bestowed upon me.
Later that day though I felt different. I didn’t feel pregnant anymore. I felt like I was getting my period.
The next morning I woke up and my mood had plummeted. My period was coming and I knew it. I held back tears as my parents chatted over breakfast and waited for them to leave the house for the day. As soon as they’d left I took myself into our childhood backyard, plonked myself on the grass and it all began to pour out. The tears streamed down my face as I grieved for what I was now sure was not for me in this life. I’d stopped working, I was happy, relaxed, downing vitamins, taking herbs, eating an impeccable diet, abstaining from alcohol, doing Yoga but there I was…3 years on, 34 years old and still.not.pregnant. The tears came hard and fast and when my younger sister called out to me from the back verandah I could do nothing to hide my crying. She came to join me on the grass and listened to me share my anguish among rivers of tears.
I was so frustrated and confused, it was supposed to be happening now! What was I doing wrong? Why wasn’t it happening? I sobbed and sobbed while my sister offered her thoughts around adoption and other ways that we could parent and love a child in this life.
Suddenly, at this suggestion (which wasn’t actually a new idea) something inside me clicked;
“But that’s not what I want. I want to be pregnant. I want to give birth. I want to experience those things in this life.”
My response came out so clearly and so strongly I surprised even myself. My sister looked at me seriously and said, “Well that’s different then. That’s completely different…So do you want that enough that you’re willing to change your views around having some extra help with that?”
“Maybe I am,” I realised. I’d reached a tipping point. I wanted to experience being pregnant and giving birth so much that I might just be willing to try options outside of the natural field. I went home that day feeling like I had a plan, another option, that all was not over just yet. I discussed it with my man and we decided to give it another month or so and then we’d make an appointment with the fertility specialist. It wasn’t how we’d planned it, it wasn’t how I wanted things to go, but maybe that was a lesson in itself.
The Lessons Continue
I sought some solace in the fact that within a month of following the Naturopath’s instructions I’d had a perfect, by the book 14 day ovulation, 28 day cycle with very little pain and no major PMS. I kept going to Yoga, taking my herbs and reminded myself that we had a plan.
Easter weekend arrived and the boy and I drove back to my parents’ to spend the weekend with them, my sister and her partner. Within an hour or so of being seated by the fire in the lounge room, my baby sister (7 years younger than I) dropped a bomb shell on us. “Sooo, we’ve got some news for you guys…” I took one look at her face, the tears in her eyes and the simultaneous joy and anguish in her whole being as she shared her news with us and knew. She was pregnant. I felt like I’d been kicked hard in the guts yet given the most magical news all at the same time. My heart was breaking with the knowledge that my baby sister was going to be a Mum and this was the most beautiful thing ever whilst feeling completely and utterly sorry for myself. I wanted to burst into tears but I swallowed hard and pushed all thoughts of my own situation away.
I managed to stay composed for the remainder of the evening. I focused on my sister and ignored the ache growing inside of me. It was unfair of me to let my situation mar the joy that she deserved to feel in the surprise of falling pregnant for the first time. I made it into bed that night without losing it but as soon as the lights were out and my partner’s arms around me, the tears rolled silently down my cheeks. I sobbed quietly and begged the Universe to help me understand:
Why? How? This was SO hard.
A Long Cycle
Meanwhile, as the month of March ended and April began, I waited for my next period to arrive. I’d been taking my herbs religiously and was looking forward to the satisfaction of another textbook cycle. Day 28 was approaching, my breasts had begun aching and I felt tired and spacey. Day 28 came and went, so did day 30, day 31. I began to get frustrated. I certainly didn’t feel pregnant and a late period was just another kick in the guts. Surely I wasn’t going back to those long cycles of previous times? I give up, I thought. None of this makes sense and it’s all too hard.
Day 35 arrived and I was sure my period would come on this day. I hadn’t had a cycle this long in almost a year. The day passed and still no period. I was sure it was coming. I was so tired and really feeling the need to retreat. All I wanted was to be curled up on the couch in anticipation of my next bleed. By the middle of the week (day 37) I was restless and confused. I was supposed to be doing my uni work but hadn’t been able to concentrate for days. A tiny slither of hope began to sneak its way into my psyche. “You could be pregnant.” It whispered to me. “Just do a test!” I pushed the thought away hurriedly and tried to focus on my lectures. Throughout the past 3 years I had generally avoided pregnancy tests unless I really thought there was a chance I was pregnant. I could probably count on 2 hands how many I’d done in that time. The sight of that one blank negative line on that stick was depressing and disappointing. It just cemented what you already knew. So I was resistant.
“Right, if my period hasn’t arrived by this Friday (day 39) I’ll do a test then.” I bartered with myself. That way I could have a Friday night wine for the weekend and at the very least enjoy that.
I made it to lunch time that day and couldn’t take it any longer. My uni work for the week was going nowhere super slowly and my brain felt like complete mush. “Bugger it,” I thought. “I’ll just do it and then I can at least know and get on with my week.” I rummaged frantically through the bathroom drawers, sure I had a test hidden in there somewhere. The boxes were empty so I drove up the street, grabbed a box from the chemist, raced home and peed on a stick. Without looking, I capped the end and placed it flat on the bathroom bench to do its thing. I walked away – not wanting to see that single line yet- and began to organise my lunch.
After about 5 minutes I returned back to the bathroom, picked up the stick and, my dear committed readers, saw……………………………….. TWO LINES!!!!!!
For the first time in over three years there were two lines on that stick and according to all the instructions; I.WAS.PREGNANT.
I started to laugh in disbelief. Then I screamed. Then I started to hyperventilate. Then I began crying and laughing hysterically. I began pacing the apartment, the stick firmly grasped in my hand, up and down the hallway, crying and laughing and whooping at this news. I had to wait an hour before I could call my love and share the amazing news with him. He was amazed. For the rest of the day I hugged this delicious, very real and very true news to myself.
Later that day I picked my parents up from the airport with a huge grin on my face but kept my little secret quiet. I wasn’t quite ready to share it any further.
After 3 long years, absent cycles, long cycles, somewhat regular cycles, a PCOS diagnosis, a PCOS all clear, countless acupuncture sessions, skin upheavals and settles, homeopathy, vitamins, revolting tasting Chinese herbs, meat eating, non-meat eating, dairy-eating, non-dairy eating, bone broth drinking, non-soy eating, soy eating, mindful eating, a Clomid refusal, countless blood tests, 2 different fertility specialists, a laparoscopy/hysteroscopy/tube flush/Endometriosis all clear, Yoga stretches, alcohol avoidance, Reiki training, Reiki sessions, womb clearing meditations, womb blessing mediations, stress management, Mayan abdominal therapy sessions, quitting teaching, embracing regular Yoga, an iron boost, a Vitamin D increase, more revolting tasting herbs, many lessons, some tears, a little anger and frustration, lots of patience and overall, a very positive attitude. I.WAS.PREGNANT.
And not only was I pregnant, my sister was too. We were going through this journey together. I couldn’t ask for a better or more perfect time for this little star seed to have joined us. Suddenly, the past three years seem like nothing from a time perspective. Everything felt perfect, just as it was, right here, right now.
As I sign off to you all from this pretty epic post (written back when I was 16 weeks pregnant), I am sitting on the couch while our beautiful little one month old boy Jimmy sleeps away. You can read a little about the challenges of the First Trimester whilst pregnant and also my choices for pregnancy care here and here. As for Jimmy’s birth? More on that journey later!
I hope in reading my story, you may have found some elements that resonated with your own story, your own challenges, lessons and realisations in this journey. In saying that I don’t think you need to be female, or a mother, or even wanting to fall pregnant to resonate with parts of this story. Because it’s not just about that.
When I discovered I was pregnant, after three long years of hoping, waiting and wishing, almost ready to give up on the chance of it happening naturally, I felt a little spark go off inside me. My faith in the magic and the miracles of this world returned. I was and I am so very grateful. I believe these miracles and joys in life are absolutely worth celebrating!
Much Love and my Deepest Gratitude to you for reading my story.
This post is dedicated to all the Mamas & Papas waiting for their babes to join them in this life & also to those who had their angels join them for but a short time. Love & Blessings always xox7