I am delighted that my Fertility Coaching client – Gemma, has agreed to share her fertility journey with you all. She has written a beautiful and honest account that chronicles her journey to date. Today is Part 1 of her inspirational, heartbreaking, emotional and sometime joyous journey. I am sure you will all find similarities in Gemma’s story and I hope it both inspires and empowers you to keep navigating along your own personal journey.
Both Gemma and I would love to hear your thoughts, so please do comment and let us know what you think. Over to Gemma…….
Gemma’s Fertility Journey
I began my journey back in March 2013, My husband (36) and I (31) had got married in February 2012 and wanted to spend our first year of marriage doing what we wanted before TTC. We had promised ourselves our last big holiday to Las Vegas and LA. We said that whilst we were there we would begin to TTC.
I had been on the contraceptive pill since 18 and was 31 when I came off it. I had heard that once you’ve been on the pill it can take a while for your body to get back to normal, so I wasn’t expecting something immediately. My husband naively thought that we would only have to try once and we would be pregnant but I knew in my heart of hearts that it would take me a while as I have always had the suspicion that I had PCOS as I was always hairy, but my Dad is a very hairy man and my Mum said “you just take after Dad”. Being hairy has always made me struggle with self confidence as I think people look at my hairy top lip and chin area and think – she’s like a man! Just like everything in life, I have had to work hard to get there. Through school, to passing my driving test and to be a teacher, but I have overcome all of these hurdles and achieved them all in the end!
I had read lots of research and was ready to TTC every 2 days as it was suggested for the highest success rates. I had also been using a monthly tracking app to see when I was due to ovulate and had began to take a pregnancy vitamin supplement to help. The holiday was great and everywhere I went I saw baby-grows with “Made in Vegas” and I was so keen to buy one but I am so glad I resisted. Whilst there I kept feeling funny, I had all the pregnancy symptoms, feeling sick, not coping with smells well but unfortunately it was my body playing tricks with me, which was so cruel!
We came home and continued our journey. A friend had been through a long path to conceive and she suggested buying an ovulation monitor, so I finally bought an ovulation predictor monitor and I began testing regularly, the machine was fairly useful, some months it worked and others it didn’t. I thought £20 was quite expensive for the strips for them not to be that useful for me, so throughout the months I began to stop using them and just concentrate on using the app and sticking to having sex every 2 days.
The friend of mine who had been through some fertility issues kept saying to me ”Don’t leave going to the doctors too long as it takes a while to go through the NHS system, especially with being over 30”. So in August 2013 my Husband and myself finally decided to go to see our local GP for some advice.
We did tell a white lie and said that we had been trying longer than we actually had, but in our case I am so glad we did as we found out that I needed help in trying conceive. The GP was very nice, he sent me for blood tests and my husband for a semen analysis test. I hate blood tests as I always feel like I am going to pass out, but going through this journey I have found that if I lie down I am ok with them….. if they can find my veins of course!
My husband hated the thought of the semen analysis and he was like a bear with a sore head the day of the appointment, but after achieving the sample he was nice as pie, like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. To be honest it was hard for him. It is done in such a controlled environment and he didn’t know what to expect. We booked a follow up appointment and everything came back very positive, so our GP then decided to refer us to our local Centre for Reproductive Medicine (CRM).
Boy or Girl?
My friend was getting married in March 2014 and I was going to be a bridesmaid for the first time in my life at 32. So in September 2013, the bride and all 4 of the bridesmaids went to look at bridal dresses. Me and one of the other bridesmaids were TTC and we got into conversation with the lady at the wedding shop. She explained that she had used the Chinese Calendar to plan when to get pregnant and what sex the child would be. So I looked it up on the Internet and found an app and downloaded it. It was great, you put your date of birth in and the month you have conceived and it tells you what sex the baby is. Or you can search by sex and it tells you what month to try for a boy or a girl, I have used it for so many of my friends and it is has always been 100% correct!