One year apart to the day - Louise’s Story

One year apart to the day, embryo transfer day and twelve months later. This is Louise’s story.

At the age of 35 Louise took the decision to undergo IVF treatment as a solo mum and after treatment at RHG her son was born in December 2018. However her journey was not always a straightforward one and here she describes her experience and offers some advice to others considering the same process based on what she herself would have liked to have heard from someone who had been through it themselves:

I was 35 when I started to seriously think about being a solo mum, not because I put my career first or because I thought I could have it all – wording often associated with single women in their late thirties –  but because life just hadn’t unfolded that way. I’d had good, bad and indifferent relationships and then within a blink found myself 35 and missing the one thing I’d known since teenage years was a priority for me, a baby. I looked into the future and knew that I had a lifetime to find the right relationship but not as long to try for a child, so needed to focus my efforts on that versus waiting for it to happen.

We are so lucky to live in a time where there are lots of routes to being a parent, the fact that I hadn’t met the right life partner didn’t need to stop me becoming a mummy. I considered the options and knew that I wanted the opportunity to experience pregnancy if at all possible.

My journey to becoming a mummy wasn’t a straightforward one, it certainly took turns I didn’t expect and at times felt impossible.  I remember the realisation along the way that IVF was giving me the opportunity to try for a baby but by no means guaranteeing the ending I longed for.  I would read IVF success stories and wonder when that would be my turn and why this magical ending seemed so out of my reach and why what I read didn’t resonate with my experience.

As a solo IVF mum, here’s what I would have liked to hear from someone who had been through it;

  1. Injections aren’t so bad – They really aren’t. I was dreading them and felt sorry for myself that I didn’t have a husband or partner to do them for me – but truly, they are fine. You’ll become a pro and honestly, you can do it – you will be incredibly proud of what you can and will do.
  2. Picking a donor – I found myself googling average foot size and obsessing over detail I’d never known about any ex-boyfriend. What l I can tell you is that now my baby is here all the stuff I obsessed over means nothing to me. Take your time, take the pressure off and think about what really matters to you – keep the detail in perspective as I truly couldn’t care less what my child’s foot size is now!
  3. Solo but supported – You’ll hit a time when you will need someone there whether you want to talk, want company but don’t feel like talking or just need an occasional check-in text. Whether its family, friends or one of the counsellors that your clinic can connect you with – there will be a point that you don’t see coming when you may need someone there so have a think about who your support team is. Equally, if you are like me, there may be times you don’t feel like talking at all but still have thoughts and feelings floating around. I found writing really useful, I wrote letters to my future baby telling them about why I decided to do IVF, why I chose the donor and how I felt at key steps etc.
  4. Be Kind to yourself – IVF is such a broad term, no two people have exactly the same journey. It’s wonderful and I feel incredibly lucky that the science exists to help solo mums achieve their dreams but it isn’t easy and there can be hurdles along the way. I had four failed attempts before I had my baby, the low points that aren’t really talked about, and each time I worried about what I had done wrong; should I have rested? / did I rest too much; should I have done acupuncture? / should I not have done acupuncture. If you do hit bumps in the road, take time to heal and remember it’s not your fault. I found the time between treatment cycles the hardest – after the strict regime of injections and appointments I felt lost. Be kind to yourself, plan nice things, whether that’s seeing friends or taking time to relax and make an appointment with your clinic to review and move forward when you are ready.

Now my baby is here I know that every bump in the road led me to him, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so thankful for the people who helped me along the way, from the old friends who text at just the right time, the new ones made along the way, the incredible fertility nurses who literally held my hand at key moments to the consultant who made my dreams come true. I am a solo mum, but my support team helped me get here.

Endometriosis and Me : Helen’s Story

The following article was written by Helen Taylor and originally posted on the InsideOut Wellness Centre website. Helen has worked closely with RHG partners Kate Morris-Bates and Mandy Laing, from InsideOut, who have provided ongoing support, including acupuncture, coaching and nutrition therapy.

 

Helen Taylor first started her wellness journey in November 2017. She came to us after the loss of her precious Ivy-Rose; a baby girl who was tragically still born after 20 week of pregnancy. As if this was not enough she has been through multiple miscarriages over the years, and suffers from severe endometriosis.

Helen is a courageous lady who wanted us to tell her story to inspire other women to take their self-care seriously, whatever their situation. She believes that making her self-care a priority has been the key to her recovery. And a new way to Thrive.

We invite you to Read and Watch Helen’s story told in her words.

Helen’s Story

I first started working with Kate not long after I lost my baby girl, Ivy-Rose. Even though I had lost pregnancies before, this one was the one which took a chunk of my heart, soul, hope and happiness away. I needed some coaching support to help me cope. Just survive really.

I suffer with Endometriosis and I truly believe this is the root cause of my fertility problems.

My symptoms were sleep problems, lots of waking in the night, being overweight. Feeling low, and not at all myself. I felt like I had lost my way.

Coaching

Kate is a beautiful, very insightful, compassionate and giving soul. She will stretch you into the depths of yourself and bring you back to centre. She will help you take ownership of what ever area of your life you want to resolve, and take to a whole new level.

Kate supported me through a trauma in my life when I could not think straight, guiding me by giving me the tools to move forward in a more positive way. I’m feeling balanced again after so long. I feel very blessed to have met her.

Watch this video which I filmed with during National Endometriosis Awareness Week (March 2019) about my experiences. And the advice I would give to fellow sufferers. This film was shot with Kate (founder, wellness coach and holistic therapist) and took place in the beautiful wellness space of InsideOut Wellness Centre, Mold.

Acupuncture

After my coaching sessions with Kate, she advised me to try Acupuncture with Mandy Laing to start a more physical approach to balancing my mind, body and spirit.

Mandy listened to my story and focused on treating my spiritual wellness over the weeks. Balancing me. I have become more myself, more positive, more confident.

Happier than I ever thought I would.

I remember my very first treatment, Mandy put a needle in my back and it felt like she had turned up the “happiness dial” inside me.

My sleep is better and I feel stronger and able to think of other things. Like losing weight, eating healthy exercising, thinking of myself and my self care.

It is amazing how quickly I found the effects working for me it was instant for me.

I find the 5-Elements treatment fascinating and so effective and recommend it to everyone and Mandy as a therapist.

I have enjoyed learning about the treatment that I have been receiving from Mandy. She is a beautiful soul ,caring, supportive and really knows her stuff.

I still have treatment with Mandy on a monthly basis and always will just for me and my self care.

I can’t thank Mandy enough for what she knows. I’m overwhelmed and grateful to have found her and to be treated by her.

Timeline Therapy

I also found the Timline therapy I had with Ruth Dive amazingly powerful as a way of working with my unconscious mind to heal my emotional traumas. It also helped me get rid of unwanted thoughts and emotions. Self-sabotage with the occasional cigarette when I was feeling down. One session with Ruth cleared me of this unwanted habit.

I would recommend this therapy to anyone who feels they are bogged down in past memories, or have unwanted habits. Ruth is an amazing practitioner.

Nutrition Therapy

And finally, perhaps the biggest noticeable positive change to my endometriosis has been changing my diet and my relationship with food.

I used to be a sugar monster. Comfort eating refined sugary foods and beige carbs. The weight had piled on. Following Kate’s advice and with the support of the team at InsideOut, I started working with a nutrition coach to help me change my poor eating habits.

2 stone in 2 months has slipped off me, without really trying. I cut out refined sugar overnight, started eating proper foods in proper quantities. My periods, which used to cripple me have smoothed out, I didn’t even know I was coming on. If you are an endometriosis sufferer, you will know what an amazing thing this is.

However, the key thing is, I had to be ready to address my eating habits. 12 months ago I would not have entertained the thought; sugar was a comfort reflex. I needed to do all the other things I had done with the InsideOut team before I was ready to work with the nutrition coach.

I feel better now than I have ever felt in my life, and I look and feel my best self.

It’s a funny thing – when you concentrate on self-healing and not on your weight, how easy it is to lose.

Helping Others

I am now ready to reach out and start supporting others with their endometriosis journey. So, I’m starting a private Facebook Endometriosis Support Group through the InsideOut page. Just so we can talk and support one another in a safe space. You can find the link here.

If you want support with managing your endometriosis or other fertility issues, I would have no hesitation in recommending Kate and the whole team at InsideOut.

Much love, with warmth and light, Helen x

Kate and Steven's Story

We are delighted to introduce baby Harriet Elizabeth. Congratulations to Kate & Steven from all of the team at RHG, your baby girl is beautiful. Here is a lovely note sent to us from Kate & Steven.

I just wanted to let you know that we had our little girl last night. Meet Harriet Elizabeth. Thank you so much for making our dreams come true and helping us in our fertility journey, Kate and Steven.

Introducing Baby Felix

We are delighted to introduce baby Felix, who was born on 22nd March 2019. Congratulations to Kate & Jon from all of the team at RHG, your baby boy is beautiful. Here is a lovely note sent to us from Kate & Jon.

Hi everyone, particularly our hero Mr Nardo,

We will send you something properly once we’re organised, but Jon and I wanted to introduce you to our beautiful baby boy, Felix, born on 22.3.19, weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces.

We’re absolutely besotted by him, and very much in love.

Our treatment throughout was amazing and apart from morning sickness, the pregnancy was wonderful.

Thanks to you Mr Nardo, and your amazing team, especially Edyta and Suzanne (there were others too but names are escaping us sorry), you’ve fulfilled our long sought after dream, and we are so so happy in our little threesome.

We will come to visit you one day soon, we need a photo of Felix and Mr Nardo!,

Love from Kate, Jon and Felix xxx

Melanie and Garry's Story

We are delighted to share the following message that we received this week from RHG patients, Melanie and Garry. Congratulations to you both and welcome to the world, your beautiful Isobel Kate.

I would like to thank everyone at Reproductive Health Group for helping myself and my partner over the past 2 years to achieve our dream. You have all been amazing through our treatment, always keeping us informed on our protocol and helping with any questions we had no matter what. We welcomed our very precious daughter Isobel Kate into the world on 06.01.19 – can’t thank you enough and would recommend the clinic to anyone. 5* service all the way.

Melanie and Garry.