Reclaiming the joy that infertility so cruelly steals away from us

Hi Vicky here, a Freedom Fertility formula specialist, coach and infertility survivor

I say survivor because Infertility claims so many lives to not mention it.

Women and men ending their own lives due to not having the right support mentally and emotionally as well as physically and to the people who have lost their lives in surgery and from debilitating conditions that affect their fertility.

I wanted to start by introducing myself and what has led me to where I am today

I eventually got diagnosed with endometriosis and poly cystic ovaries when I was about 19 years old. I had suffered almost from day 1 of my menstrual cycles with excruciating pain that left me in bed for at least the first 3 or 4 days of each period. When I was diagnosed, I was working in a school and studying to be a teacher. My endometriosis caused not only physical pain but as you can imagine, it began to really affect my studies and my work with the amount of time I was out of action.

Even though I worked with nearly all women, It just wasn’t understood and definitely not appreciated as I was consistent at 1 thing only and that was letting them down.

It was quite apparent from early on in the diagnosis that I would have considerable trouble trying to conceive. I paid privately to have the endometriosis removed and it was through that, that I was also diagnosed with severe dyskaryosis! Pre cancer cells that are picked up in the smear tests. I wasn’t of the age to even go for smears, let alone be diagnosed as severe!

I’d already started to live with physical pain on a daily basis but also suffered tremendously with shame, guilt, worry and a real sense of negative self-worth and self-esteem.

So counting my lucky stars it got picked up early and fast forward the countless operations and treatments to reduce effects of all the conditions and removal of the dyskaryosis and constant cysts and endometriomas, a year later I began fertility treatment.

I was Put on clomid, which hyper stimulates the production of your eggs. It worked! I fell pregnant. Elated and relieved but the joy became joyless as I began to be sick morning, noon and night.

Well hello hyperemesis! So glad to meet your acquaintance (side eye glance) It was pure evil, and just so unfair. I was in hospital on a drip pretty quickly as I became dehydrated but the pregnancy didn’t continue past 8 weeks and I lost the baby.

Here is when a new level of heartbreak entered my world

Fast forward 4 years and countless operations for cysts, endometriosis and laparoscopies, I eventually started IVF – I remember this one doctor just looking at me and saying, “right that’s it, it’s been 8 years now, lets go for IVF” I remember feeling just over joyed and light again in my heart to hear those words.

By this point I had lost 3 Pregnancies and was just lost and feeling hopeless. Will it ever be me? Will I ever start my life? Am I not meant to be a mum? What had I done wrong, why did I deserve this? And then the pleading started, please, please if there is a god up there, please, I promise I will be the best mum in world, I’ll never pray for myself and ask for anything else ever again.

It breaks my heart to think back to that girl who was so desperate and heartbroken

IVF started and I had all the confidence in the world, I did the injections, I carried on working and I felt for a brief moment that this might just be my time. I was so wrong, this was not going to be my time, it wouldn’t be the next time either, or the next.

Here we go again, IVF treatment and then the dreaded 2 week wait that felt like an eternity! And then the BFN. That 1 single line, desperately waiting for the second line. Checking in every light for the faintest of lines to be seen. Nothing but heartbreak and the whole cycle of despair starts again. From trying, to hope, to fear and then despair.

I remember doing a frozen cycle of IVF and I had been taking all my injections, eating healthily, taking supplements only to turn up at the clinic with all the other embryo transfer ladies and as the nurse called name after name on her list to go upstairs for the collection of their little embabies, my name didn’t leave her lips.

My heart sank and I just wanted to run away. I was called in by the Dr to a little side room and told that my embabies didn’t make the thawing process.

I left that Clinic just defeated and actually quite numb

The heartache kicked in eventually as I texted family to let them know of the news and I just sat and cried for a whole week.

It was at that point I realised that this fertility rollercoaster was consuming my entire life. There was not one part of my life that wasn’t ruined by the never ending fertility onslaught.

The Clinic called me and wanted to schedule in the next round of IVF.  I was one of the lucky ones who wasn’t negatively impacted by the postcode lottery. Will never accept the logic in this!

I did something that felt right but also felt so wrong. Up until this point, my treatment was just relentless. All the operations and treatments, one after another. Never letting the grass grow under my feet, I kept going and going and going, until the words “ I’m going to take a break” fell out of my mouth. I literally covered my mouth with my hand after I said it. What was I saying!

I took time out for once, I gathered myself, healed and started to live a little. Knowing I could have the night out, the holiday the anything that I had put on hold. Not the wedding though, or the moving house! No that was a bit to far at that point but I did make a start and it felt good.

I started doing gradual research, not the google frantic version I was so used to. I found out other ways to start gaining myself back, my life and through that process I really started to heal physically and but most importantly emotionally.

I had a therapist in every corner! Reiki, reflexologist, hypnotherapist and coaching/counselling therapy

I started to rebuild. I started to get me back, the old Vicky started to shine through and it felt good, really good

I was extremely lucky to have such loving family and friends around me but It’s a whole other ball game to talk openly with a therapist, knowing they have no attachment to you and your life. I didn’t have to worry about holding it in in fear of upsetting loved ones who cared for me.

So I went back a year later, and went for my last round of IVF. This time, 4th time, it worked

Pregnant eventually with twins, an early ultrasound revealed. I was back in hospital on that drip! Dehydrated to the point of hallucination. Severely unwell and just hanging on with a glimpse of hope of the happy ending I’d always dreamt of.

4 and half months later, I was let out! Institutionalised, I couldn’t adjust to being back home at all! I couldn’t sleep and I felt uneasy all the time, almost missing the hospital and it’s routines and noises.

I wobbled myself out bed, still weak and felt a warm trickle down the inside of my thigh! I thought I’d had a little accident but it then transpired after getting checked out at the hospital, to be amniotic fluid. The babies were coming but this was not the joyous occasion that’s usually filled with excitement, this was full of fear and dread, shame and guilt. It was too early for their arrival, I was 27 weeks pregnant not 40 weeks!

I was rushed to a specialist hospital about 50 miles away from home and the babies were delivered by emergency C-section

The battle then became theirs, not mine. I sat and watched on, helpless as they fought for every breath in NICU for the next 3 months. I felt like I failed them, my body a failure all over again. My heart and mind wanting one thing and my body giving me the middle finger basically! I had always felt so disconnected to my body.

They are healthy, happy 9 year old girls now and I don’t think I will ever be without that story in my life. It is part of me but the difference is now it is a story that is part of my life, not something that holds me prisoner anymore thanks to coaching and therapy.

So It’s my turn, I get to give back from what I’ve been through

I studied hard, I took all the courses to be the support coach and mentor to others like I had myself, like the ones that made the difference in my life. It’s my turn to help others who face lives every day that aren’t the ones they dreamt of.

Who are feeling all the feelings I felt, who wake up everyday never knowing if there is light at the end of their tunnel, who feel like they don’t recognise who they are anymore, who’s lives aren’t anything like how they want them to be or how they imagined.

I can help by being the best friend who really gets it, to honour and appreciate your feelings, and guide you in taking back control

The freedom fertility formula is extremely powerful in the way it allows you to consciously process your emotions so that we don’t live in the emergency state for long periods of time, which negatively impacts our whole life

It allows you to reclaim the joy that infertility so cruelly steals away from us. It’s living in the wait rather than waiting to live and in turn enhances our pregnancy success.

I’m passionate about supporting people through their journeys and helping them gain emotional empowerment, as I believe this is the missing piece!

Love Vicky x

If you would like to talk to Vicky, drop her a line at freedomfertilitycoach@gmail.com or on instagram @freedom_fertility.coach

 

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Marcin Smietana - Reproductive Researcher

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I offer a blend of coaching, counselling and therapeutic support with embodied and expressive approaches for those who wish to explore this way. My training and background is in Psychology, Counselling/ Psychotherapy and Coaching working in the UK and overseas for over 15 years. Experiencing my own fertility challenges, IVF and pregnancy loss led me on my own healing and therapeutic process.

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Sian is the founder of Renew Holistic Health and takes a keen interest in helping women restore their metabolism and support hormonal health. This can mean finding relief from issues such as PCOS symptoms, Endometriosis symptoms, addressing digestive issues, supporting clients to sleep better, have more energy that’s sustained throughout the day, create better habits, mitigate stress as much as possible and learn to manage it, improve mindset to reach goals, help clients show up better for themselves and their loved ones and achieve overall vitality in a non-restrictive way. Supporting our hormone health, breaking through these barriers, preparing our bodies for pregnancy, birthing a nourished baby; everything from conscious pre-conception to birth and the years after, requires this whole-body health approach. As a qualified Health Coach Sian’s role is to motivate, empower, and educate along the way, so clients feel empowered to improve their reproductive and overall health.

Sarah Byrne

I am a Menstrual Cycle Coach who teaches women business owners how to harness the power of their natural energy cycles to avoid overwhelm and burnout and create more success in their lives and businesses.

Joanna Sinclair, FF UK Founder and CEO

I am a lecturer, fertility coach and practitioner that helps support and educate both men and women on a journey to create a family. Helping to optimise your physical and emotional health and wellbeing, enhancing your fertility to give you the best chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy. I have lived and experienced a long fertility journey, I remember only too well the emotional impact and the pain. I help reduce the stress and anxiety, maximise the benefit of nurturing the physical and emotional health together, share tools and techniques for this journey, and beyond to reach the goal of a family. 

Jo Dalziel

I am a fertility coach and hypnobirthing specialist. After facing my own uphill struggle to conceive, many aspects of my life were affected and during this time no emotional support was available. I believe the mind body connection and your emotions play a crucial role in your fertility success, be that naturally or through assisted conception. When I heard about the Freedom Fertility Formula I wanted to train so others could feel less anxiety on their own fertility journey.

Jodie Hughes

I’m Jodie and I am a Health Sciences Research PhD student that is focussed on Health-Related Quality of Life in people with Endometriosis (crazy I know right) and founder of the charity Endometriosis South Coast.

In 2014 at the ripe old age of 30 after spending the entirety of my adulthood as a chef, I drunkenly applied for university because Endometriosis changed my life. I couldn’t work, I was a single mum. And quite honestly, I was at the lowest I had ever been with depression eating at my very core.

I am researching how Health Related Quality of Life differs in a range of sample groups of Endometriosis patients.

Nadine Baynes

As Director and Head Psychotherapist of not-for-profit organisation, Lighthouses Therapy Services, I have met with and supported hundreds of bereaved parents of baby and infant loss. Grieving the loss of a pregnancy or a baby can be very complicated – parents can feel confused, angry, isolated, mis-understood and overwhelmed. I can relate to this having been through a miscarriage many years ago.

With therapy you will realise you don’t have to suffer or feel alone with your pain.
Whether you are grieving an early pregnancy loss, still-birth, failed fertility treatment, ectopic pregnancy or compassionate induction, we can help and are here with open arms and big hearts.

Member of National Council of Psychotherapists (Accredited)

Steven Britton

Steven Britton

Fertility intelligence coaching can directly impact egg health, improve sperm mobility, boost fertility, healthy pregnancy and much more.

How does this work?
The process starts by firstly assessing you and your partner mental & physical wellbeing.
This is then followed by eliminating any misconceptions of actions and influences that hinder your fertility, thereby also revealing the genetic setpoint to influence/control positive outcomes.

At this point the foundations are set, we then focus on optimising relationships with yourself and others (romantic or otherwise) emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.

Finally diet and nutrition can play a very important role in the quest to getting pregnant so I will make sure that even this area you will feel confident and more in control of your body.

Salma Khanom - Counsellor and Psychotherapist (BACP)

Life events, experiences and relationships can have an impact on how we feel within ourselves making it difficult to cope day to day. Therapy can help us understand these experiences, helping one gain insight and perspective. Finding understanding can be powerful in prompting change. I work with my client to identify issues within their life that may contribute to distress or problems.

I am BACP accredited Counsellor and Clinical supervisor. My core training is in the Integrative model, since qualifying I have completed further training in CBT, CfD, EMDR (all nhs approved) models. I take a flexible approach when working with clients adjusting my approach according to my clients needs. I aim to work in a collaborative way with clients as I believe this can help my clients feel safe and held.

Aisha Balesaria - mindbodyrevival_coach

Aisha is a Certified Transformational Coach and the founder of mindbodyrevival_coach Aisha spent ten years trying to conceive – she underwent surgery for endometriosis, had over 11 failed rounds of IVF and multiple miscarriages. Eventually, she left the process without a baby. “Involuntary childlessness is very misunderstood and most individuals don’t receive the support, empathy and acknowledgement they deserve”. Moving forward, Aisha wanted to use her experience to empower others on a similar journey to her own. Aisha is a writer and Co-author of the book entitled, ‘We Are One in Eight’ she has written numerous blogs and articles about her personal healthy journey and experience with infertility. She has spoken on global platforms and several podcasts to raise awareness about childlessness.

Theresa Davies

Theresa is a fully qualified Counsellor and is registered with both the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA). Each fertility journey is unique and different people respond to fertility issues in different ways. In fact, the way you feel may change over time – sometimes even hour by hour – which is why the fertility journey is often described as an emotional rollercoaster. Our counselling sessions will help you to understand these feelings and gain a sense of acceptance of your feelings whatever they may be.

Paula Lavandeira

Paula is an International Fertility Coach and Hypnobirthing Teacher, and a Diabetes Specialist Midwife. She has been a passionate midwife for over 11 years now and with another 10 years as a nurse previously. Her passion is to help mums to overcome their fears and preconceptions about childbirth and motherhood so that they can have the best experience. Hence, she founded the Nurtured Munchkin, to provide full antenatal and postnatal courses for parents. Paula worked as a Senior Research Midwife at UCLH for 5 years, participating in multiple studies, including a pilot study NIPT which was later introduced to the NHS. She also offers baby massage and yoga. Paula recently received an award for Best Antenatal and Hypnobirthing Courses Provider 2020.

Manali Hirani

Manali Hirani - Fertility Coach and Podcaster

Helping women and couples get pregnant naturally, in a healthy way and with minimal medications to enhance their fertility.

“Women accessing a supported mind-body program were over twice as likely to conceive as those who didn’t. Of those women that got pregnant, 76% did so naturally (without medical intervention) within 12 months despite their age, the number of years of trying and diagnoses” – As per the study conducted by Harvard University.

Manali is also the head of IVF Babble in India.

Lighthouses Therapy Services

We are here to offer support to those who have been through miscarriage, still-birth, neonatal death, SIDS, ectopic and molar pregnancy and for those who need support, post-termination.

For women, men, couples and grandparents just like you who are hurting and feel that no one understands the deep psychological pain you are experiencing, we are here.

Theresa Davies Counselling

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and often, when we speak with our friends and family, we worry about how being honest about our worries, thoughts and feelings may effect them.

​I understand that for many people, seeking out a counsellor can feel very daunting. Maybe you feel that you should be able to cope on our own, or that other people have worse problems that are more worthy of counselling. However, sometimes we all need some extra help, and I am here for you during those times.

Belle Birth & Fertility

Fertility coaching – Your Fertility Journey Is Unique.
Leave anxiety behind & hold on to your dream.

Hypnobirthing – Calm & Relaxed Antenatal Education.
Embrace the beauty of birth with confidence & composure

The Embryologist Nutritionist

Harness the power of nutrition and lifestyle to regain control of your fertility.
Stop feeling exhausted, alone, and frustrated with your body. Are you embarking on IVF / IUI and desperate to maximise your chances of it being successful, but feeling overwhelmed about how to do so?

​We hear you!

​After seeing many individuals go through assisted conception treatments, as an embryologist, we can empathise with what you’re feeling. We are here to share with you the transformational impact that nutritional and lifestyle changes can have, so that you can maximise your chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy, naturally or through assisted conception, even if you feel like you’ve already tried everything.

Nua Fertility

Deborah Brock the founder of Nua Fertility states her mission is “To provide education and innovative products with a microbiome focus which will support people on their fertility journey. We focused on our nutrition, lifestyle, fitness, emotional and overall, well being. This combined with the help of science (and some amazing doctors), culminated in the arrival of our beautiful daughter.

My experience gave me an insight into the reality of fertility problems that many of us face. My search for solutions grounded in science led to the importance of nutrition for fertility and the amazing world of the microbiome and microbes and how they are a key determinant of our fertility health.”

Endometriosis South Coast

The charity Endometriosis South Coast was born out of a need for support on a grass roots level. We have online support groups and now the world is opening up again we are going to train support group leaders to provide in person groups.
We regularly hold educational webinars, and make sure we are at all of the conferences to ensure we have the most up to date information about endo.
We are developing educational resources for businesses, schools, and GP’s.
But our ultimate goal is to ensure all people with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis are receiving the best holistic care and support for their conditions, and know that there is more than just surgery needed to help.

Dr. Amina Hersi

Dr. Amina Hersi - General Practitioner and Expert on PCOS

“When I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) over 10 years ago I remember it being such a confusing time. Through my years as a doctor, I came to understand the importance of diet and lifestyle in managing such a complex condition.”