Guilt, gratitude and the power of wanting more

Almost a decade ago, my husband and I embarked on our own fertility journey.

I’m in the process of writing a book about it – yes, it has that many twists and turns it warrants a whole book. 

Let me try to condense 10 years into a few paragraphs.

My husband and I started trying to conceive on our honeymoon. I had it all mapped out perfectly. After 6 months of nothing happening, we went and saw our GP who recommended we see a fertility specialist. From there we jumped headfirst into IVF. We had problems, and it was the solution.

During our first cycle we found out that I had a thin endometrium, so with 8 fertilised embryos and nowhere to put them but on ice, we stopped at our first roadblock.  

For the next year, we floated. We tried diets, homeopaths, acupuncture, you name it. Finally, we stumbled across a specialist who was willing to help us. After a range of exploratory surgeries and a colourful assortment of drugs, we were told there was no other way for us apart from surrogacy. 

Enter our Angel, and my sister-in-law, Renee. She selflessly offered her body to make our family complete.  

The next 2 years were traumatic, to say the least. Nine attempted cycles, one miscarriage, tears, hope, anger, elation, heartbreak … and GUILT.

I felt guilty every time Renee had to go for a blood test, take time off work, undergo hideous procedures for transfers, and then there was the miscarriage. 

And then finally it happened. We fell pregnant and it stuck! The next nine months were surreal. A mixture of disbelief, fear and … GUILT. 

I was enormously GRATEFUL that we were finally here and had an opportunity that many would kill for, but I wanted MORE.

I wanted the full experience – the stretch marks, the cravings and the birth (yep, you heard me right). I wanted to feel our baby grow and kick inside me.

Renee felt guilty too. Every time she heard our baby’s heartbeat when we weren’t there, she felt like she was robbing us of the experience. How crazy is that?! This amazing woman had endured 2 years of hell so we could have a baby, and SHE feels guilty? 

We surely are amazing creatures. 

To complete my story, we ended up having a beautiful little boy, Luca. He has the BEST aunty in the world. 

But that wasn’t the end. 2 weeks later I accidentally and mysteriously fell pregnant. Shocked is an understatement.

Unfortunately, this chapter was short-lived, ending in a miscarriage 7 weeks later. I have never been angrier in my entire life. Here I was, with a 12-week-old baby in my arms, mourning the death of my unborn baby. I resented the fact that I couldn’t truly feel joy from the gift that we had been given, and I felt GUILTY that I now wanted MORE.

This gave me hope. I could fall pregnant?

Five months later, it happened again. Nine months later, we had a little girl, Sophie.

Our story is one of heartbreak, endurance, and hope. 

I consider myself lucky.

Today I am a fertility mentor and coach. I help women who are struggling to conceive to release anger and rediscover themselves on their fertility journey.

Apart from having my two children, it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. 

My purpose is to support other women and provide them with the hope that they too can have all they desire. To teach them ways to not only survive the fertility rollercoaster but come out stronger and more empowered at the end. And give them permission to want MORE.

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