Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Fertility is not something I thought I would have to worry about... I'd had a baby (albeit under very difficult circumstances due to my then husband's death, but conception had been pretty easy), I was living a super healthy and stress free life in the sunshine of Portugal when we ditched the contraception, I was married to a healthy and happy man...but nearly two years later and we're still "trying" (I hate this term, is it somehow implies it's something you could try a bit harder at!). 21mths and 18days later we're still going through that monthly rollercoaster of hope and disappointment, hope and disappointment....
Challenges with fertility is not something we always talk openly about, and it's often only be once the challenges are over and the babe is in arms that people begin to share their story and the difficulties they may have had around conception or carrying a baby to full-term.
I have found the quietness and lack of holding from any one central point (like a GP for example) to make the journey a hard and lonely place at times. You want someone to give you answers, or to guide you to "do something that will help". I've spoken to several doctors and fertility specialists over these long months, having had various tests that all implied everything is fine (so where's the baby then?!). It has really only been through my own self-inquiry, my own research and my own yoga practice and self-care that I have kept it together and perhaps come to some understanding as to what may be the stumbling block in our fertility journey (an under-active thyroid, but I'll tell you more about that another time). But more importantly why my body is showing signs of being out of balance. Any under-lying health issues can show up in your menstrual cycle - a cycle that it is out of the normal range (beyond the 21-35 day range, heavy bleeds, no bleeds, lack of ovulation etc) can be a indication from your body out of balance and needs something else.
These months have led me to learn so much about my menstrual cycle (and I don't just mean about when I'm probably ovulating) through using the Fertility Awareness Method of tracking my temperature, cervical fluid and cervix position. I have looked into my diet and realised that even in what I thought of as an existing healthy diet there still things that I was overloading my body with (that naughty culprit gluten). I have slowed down, changing my vinyasa flow yoga practice and running for alot more restorative and meditative practices to decrease any stresses on the body. It has given me the opportunity to look inwards deeper, connecting with myself, my body and mind, that I wouldn't have done if a baby had just come along easily.
It is easy to think everything is OK, when sometimes we just need to look a little bit closer, listen to ourselves and find that balance.