I Was Infertile, And I Couldn’t Cope
My story isn’t different from so many others; although back then, I felt alone, as if the universe was plotting against me.
I got married rather young or old, depending on which side of life you look at it. We tried for babies during our honeymoon; we got rid of all the safety nets, and we went straight to business thanks to an expensive bottle of Champagne and an unforgettable sunset.
It was a glorious time made of hope, late nights out, lavish dinners and lazy mornings, and lots and lots of swim and bike rides. We were having the best time, and we were trying to soak in every minute of our deserved vacation before pregnancy and babies would rock our boat.
Despite the fact that I was living the best life, I was constantly tired, cold, and I couldn’t keep much food down; I was coming from a very stressful period that saw me quitting my job, losing a dear person, and organising an overseas wedding. Yet, I thought I was doing great!
I do remember that one day my husband jumped out of bed (after one of our afternoon naps, because…holidays) and he said, “Let’s jump on the scooter and chase the sunset.”
It sounded so romantic, so perfect, a ride at night time in an arid island, chasing the last rays of the sun, driving against the wind before another fantastic dinner made of wine and home-made pasta. Yet, I couldn’t.
My body wouldn’t cooperate, and I felt stuck in bed as if the mattress was engulfing me and wouldn’t let me go. All the adrenaline that kept me going until my wedding day was gone, and all that was left was a bony frame needing rest.
We didn’t chase the sunset that night, and I didn’t go snorkeling the next day as I was too cold, and I slept through lunch because I couldn’t peel my eyes open.
I was living the best Holiday, but everything felt like a chore; packing the backpack in the morning, sitting straight on the scooter behind my newlywed husband, walking the narrow streets under a scorching sun.
Even eating ice-cream was too tricky, as I needed brainpower to select which flavors to pick. All I wanted to do was sleeping and watching the silky curtains in my bedroom being moved by a gentle Mediterranean breeze.
The Holiday got to an end, and the two of us flew back home, without babies in my womb.
I didn’t get overly worried at that time, as I was more concerned about finding a new job and getting my health on track, but a seed had been planted in my brain.
“Will I ever be able to have a child?”.
We tried unsuccessfully for another two years, and nothing happened.
I was still very consumed by my career, exercise regime (I was training as a Yoga Teacher), social life and I thought that if I put my mind into it, I would fall pregnant in the blink of an eye.
But another month passed, then another. And nothing. Even my menstrual cycle had started vanishing.
That’s when I decided to take charge of my fertility, and I went to see the first naturopath; I was glad to finally being able to share my journey with someone else, but after the first few exciting visits, I felt we were quickly getting on each other nerves.
I was resistant to buying more supplements and do further testings, while I was resenting all the money I was spending without seeing any result. I went to see another naturopath, then a doctor, an acupuncturist, a reiki master, a yoga teacher, and I enrolled in a meditation class.
I was looking for all the external aids, but I wasn’t committed to the work. I was still bingeing on coffees, alcohol, and sugar, I was working crazy hours, I was definitely anxious, and I was feeding my anxiety with strenuous walks or exercise sessions.
I wasn’t ready to challenge my inner self, as I was in the passenger seat of an emotional rollercoaster, and I didn’t know how to stop, or change direction.
I was on the verge of a breakdown, and people started noticing; for some reasons, I thought I was going to be the first one amongst my friends to get pregnant, but it wasn’t working.
That’s when I started getting comments like “You need to stress less” or “You need to eat more kale” or “if you go and see that acupuncturist, you will get pregnant in no time.”
Every time people would put their 2 cents in, I would feel a rash of anger firing up my brain, and I had to bite my tongue to avoid becoming nasty and ungrateful.
I understand that everyone wanted the best for me, but I wanted everyone to shut the fuck up.
That’s when the isolation started; I went from avoiding the weekly girl’s brunch, to skipping one dinner here, and another dinner there.
I was honestly afraid of leaving the house as the only thing I could see were pregnant women, and I was terrified at the idea of having to cheer one of my friend’s pregnancy. Until it did happen, and I was confronted by it in the worst way.
That’s how it went. In the morning, my adored sister told me about her pregnancy; in the afternoon, my favourite IG influencer announced her pregnancy; at night, over a cup of tea, a friend shared that she was expecting a baby. I was slapped right, left and center, and I couldn’t breathe.
My worst nightmare was happening, and I felt more alone and isolated than ever. I went home, and I cried with my husband while staring at the kitchen counter full of supplements, potions, herbs, concoctions to assist my (nonexisting) fertility.
I then realised that in my fertility journey, there was something missing; the mindset piece. Also if I wanted to get pregnant, I didn’t see myself holding a baby, and I really didn’t believe it could happen to me.
I was getting help from the best doctors in the city, but I was still consumed in my career, unable to take a step forward to gain health and happiness. Even the sex with my husband was becoming robotic and unpleasant.
I wasn’t in a good space, and I had to own that state of being before moving on and make major changes.
Soon after that horrible day, we went away with some friends for a weekend, and I let my tears run freely. For the very first time, I opened up to my husband, and I shared how unhappy, anxious, and utterly miserable I was.
That’s when I leaped; I quit my full-time job, and I took a part-time position, which meant fucking up my career and financial stability. And I was ok with it. Shortly after I stopped running (more because of an injury than anything else). And I worked hard to be ok with it.
With the lack of exercise came the stretching sessions at night, and the long sleep in the morning. My period went back to normal; I gained weight, I got anxious here and there, as my whole life changed. I moved to a new house and suburb, and I met new friends.
I kept taking the supplements as I had paid for them, I avoided alcohol and coffee, I ate well, and I laughed more. I went away with my husband, we reconnected.
A few months after doing it all, I got pregnant.
This is my bittersweet story; I have a happy ending to share. Not everyone is so lucky.
But if my advice is worth a penny, work on your mindset, change your life for the best, not only because you want a baby, but because you owe it to yourself.