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Transitions

Well this week was huge for me, a brand new year and I am realising how quick time flies. Only yesterday I was at the IVF clinic wondering what we had done wrong, to go through such a private struggle to conceive. I was devastated and so sad. That cloud of sadness lasted such a long time, 3.5 years for us and then ‘she’ came into our lives, quickly followed 25 months later by her little brother. Fast forward to this week he started big school, and all those years of trying to conceive, being pregnant and wondering if everything was going OK, each scan was filled with mixed emotions of joy and anxiety. It seems like it happened to someone else.

Then those early years, making sure the baby slept on her back, eating well, making sure she was safe and warm, being struck with sleep deprivation and more worry. Then teaching them to walk, exploring the world and being more independent with toilet training and self dressing and all the while having fun and pinching myself everyday at how grateful I was at finally being a mother. I was a cautious parent, I had to be I guess after going through loss and wanting something so much for so long. In hindsight it was hard to ‘relax’ in those early years.

It has been a journey alright! A wonderful one and each day is a new day and each day I look at them and smile, they are transforming in front of my eyes, if I blink I will miss a special moment, really it feels like that. I am grateful that my youngest loves hugs and cuddles in the evening and I can still smell him, oh how I love their scent. My eldest likes to mimic me, and that keeps me on my toes! You never knew how much your heart could grow once you have children; children will do that to you, you feel wonderful and proud and then in the next breath you will feel frustrated and annoyed that they just don’t ‘listen’ to you. Then you put it in perspective they are children after all!

I wouldn’t change anything really, perhaps if I could have those first 5 years again maybe?

No not a good idea.  (What am I thinking?)

Paola

P.S Never give up on your baby dreams, move whatever obstacles you have, move heaven and earth to make it happen!

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Your Year In Summary

There is only one day left in this year, and as we prepare for 2016, we look back to what was our own personal 2015. For me it held many wonderful memories and some challenging times too. My children are expanding their wings and becoming more autonomous. We traveled to Europe for 6 weeks a highlight for sure, many re-connections with new and old friends. Leaving my family to create my own time that was interesting and liberating too. I did miss them all and feel having that time apart made me appreciate them even more, especially my husband.

I also made a few new friends from my daughters’ school that was a bonus as being a parent you need to create your own community and find support. Personally I haven’t been fitter, as I enter my 48th year on this glorious earth, I find myself achieving more calmness and stillness in my Bikram yoga practice, something which I plan on maintaining in 2016.

Professionally I did a little with my own coaching work, not much I must confess, this year 2015 was dedicated to nurturing my children. I choose to be present for my children and be there for them, creating memories and not feel conflicted to be doing everything at once. What a wonderful feeling to have that time. In 2016 this will change as my youngest goes to big school and current routines will be impacted. Plus I need the professional stimulation to get back and help others achieve their own goals and inspire them to become more accountable to live their life congruently. This is where I feel my purpose is. I realise that once I get my work in flow I will be in alignment with my mission and purpose thus the family will benefit in so many ways, as I often say once you fill your own cup, it will overflow to others, it’s natural and so organic to watch it happen.

If you are still on the infertility roller-coaster, keep believing and continue your journey, reassess where you are, take a break, love those around you and know you will be a parent, sometimes taking stock of what is around you gives you perspective, and next attempt do something different. Contact me for a confidential talk, I am here for you.

To those who seek change in 2016, think about what you have accomplished this year? What needs to be improved and what are you willing to give up in order to get it? Be gentle with yourself if you haven’t accomplished all your 2015 goals, celebrate your successes no matter how small they are, it is a start, and contact me in 2016 to make those other goals matter, because living your truth matters. Believe me, I have been in your shoes and living on the fence serves no purpose.

So goodbye 2015 it was a Great Year, so many learnings and more gratitude of what is in my world. For that I give Thanks.

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Simple Contentment

We are now half way through September and yes this year has flown by, so glad to have the warmer weather here, I wake up when the sun shines and I can finally pack away the cold winter clothes, for me and the children.. I also think about what will fit next year as I like to give away clothes and have less, this makes it easier to choose what to wear. My life is simple these days, so grateful for that no more waiting for the next phase in my life, to find a husband and have a family. I am living my dream that is true, I created that and designed my life this way; I take full ownership of all my mistakes and what eventually became my reality. Bumps in the road are there to test our path and what we really want. Children came to us later in life and this weekend passed just confirmed how wonderful it all is, they are my light and sun combined my total world, besides my husband of course! How happy I am to fuss over them and think about their needs and how they have developed how their unique personalities are shining through and wonder how they will approach the next stage.

I feel exhausted, that is correct, most mothers can vouch for that, but so contented. I know I need to balance my time to give love to self and give me time to replenish my love tank, I so need that too, so it can overflow to them and others close to me. Being present and mindful my constant reminders to be in the moment, which most of the time I am. I feel that every night my memory is erased and I wake up fresh and ready to go again the next morning no left over feelings from the previous day, a clean slate so to speak. This way I can approach the new and give thanks to what lies ahead of me. That is my simple plan.

We all reach a point in our lives where we need to assess where we are and are we happy there? If we are disconnected with our true path, then it will show, on your health your relationships and most importantly in the mirror your face, be honest with yourself and take ownership of your well-being, prioritize what is important, you owe it to yourself to find your bliss.

It is all worth it just keep at it and try again tomorrow wholeheartedly.

If you are not sure of what you really want, contact me for a customized discovery session, you need to make that first step towards your happiness.

I am here for you.

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Your Fertility Coach

Today I want to talk about keeping your balance whilst on the Trying to have a baby journey. No matter how long you have been working on having a baby, this challenge will test you and for many, I know as I was one of them, you will be completely consumed by this goal, nothing else will matter, you will neglect other areas in your life like relationships, and perhaps your own health. So let’s talk about where you are right now. Perhaps you are..

• Just starting out and you may not know what the next step is, keep trying naturally, have more tests done, or just get a GP referral and consult a Fertility Specialist.
• You maybe already trying with IVF , have had a negative result and waiting to go again.
• You feel like you are keeping a dark secret as no one at work or in your family knows what you and your partner are going through
• You feel overwhelmed and lost and wondering when will you finally fall pregnant.

There are so many stages to this infertility marathon, you need to learn to pace yourself whilst taking good care or you.. Here are some of my 10 Tips for keeping it together during this ‘testing time’

• 1) Take time for your significant relationship, talk, cuddle, cry together and remember you both have feelings and emotions about what you are embarking on together, you are a team

• 2) Nurture yourself, get a massage or a manicure something for you, treating yourself makes you feel better and gives you back some ‘me time’ instead of just thinking about all those possibilities.

• 3) Make a plan and stick to it, if you have set a time limit or financial limit on how many attempts you will undergo, keep this in mind. You will get over this phase just keep it real.

• 4) Be honest with what needs to happen, if you are looking down the path of donor eggs/sperm/embryo, think about what this really means for you as a couple and how you have decided to create your family. We all have our limits. What is realistic for you?

• 5) Keep a journal, this is your personal account of what you are going through, each day will bring different challenges and also write down each day what you are grateful for. It is important to keep positive even when this is testing you to the limit. Each day give thanks for something, the warm sun rays on your face, the special note your partner left you, the coffee you shared with a good friend, etc. Find just something each day and this will help you keep focused and mindful of what the day brings.

• 6) Give yourself a break if you haven’t come up for air and are completely in the “fertility bubble’ STOP and take time out. This will enable your body to recover from whatever treatments you are undergoing and give you time to reassess the situation.

• 7) If you are finding hard to keep positive and balanced in other areas in your life, seek out professional help, a fertility coach has been in your shoes and completely understands your situation. Have a chat and off load some of the weight you have been carrying.

• 8) Find a support group, there are so many around, on FB, online forums, at your fertility clinic, find a group of women who share your journey with, this helps to lighten the load and to compare notes and ideas.

• 9) Create a Baby Vision Board. Collect pictures of babies and paste these on your board, feel the feelings of having this come true. Whatever you do keep positive that your dream of being a parent will be realised.

• 10) Keep believing, there are so many ways to create a family these days, explore all your options.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have found some useful tips, if you would like more information or would like to contact me, please do so, you are not alone.

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Fertility Numbers

As you prepare your body for pregnancy you can easily get caught into over analyzing all those statistics and what your numbers mean. For instance your ovarian reserve sure this is an important figure to have good stats. After all you need healthy eggs for creating your family. However these numbers are just that, there is so much more to your overall health to consider. Only yesterday reading about someone’s’ egg retrieval procedure she only got 6 eggs collected and she was devastated, again she had high expectations and it is only natural to feel this way. It only takes one good egg to create life, given the sperm are healthy too of course! Sperm Analysis tests are overwhelming to say the least, how many million viable sperm, motile sperm, those all important numbers, and if he does a detailed analysis, what about the DNA Fragmentation Index, all this impacts probability to fertilize the egg. Fortunately sperm rejuvenate after 70-90 days, so there is always hope these numbers will/can improve next time round. Numbers are everywhere, your age and what his can mean, your BMI, your blood pressure, your hormone levels and the list goes on. And if you go through IVF you will be hit with more figures and what they could ‘potentially’ mean.

All I want to say is this, they are not the total picture of you, you could be 25 years old or 40 and have similar challenges, age sure impacts fertility that is a given, however you can do something about it, keep healthy and know your limits. Radically change your diet, eliminate processed foods, sugars, caffeine and ensure you are keeping up your exercise regime. Reduce stress, learn to sit still and meditate, do gentle yoga, and practice positive visualization techniques look into Eastern medicine and how they can complete traditional medicine, like Reiki, Network Care, Massage and Acupuncture to name a few. There is so much more you could learn and do for your fertility. You know your body so make sure you keep searching for answers and ask questions of your professional team.

So please do not over analyze those numbers, they just show your residual health in one point in time, keep positive that you will get through this phase and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I remember so clearly when we had to take the step towards IVF, I naively thought ok this will result in a baby after all they just put together my egg with my husband’s sperm and presto, science can do what we cannot do naturally and we will be pregnant. Little did I know that there were so many variables, and the deeper we got into the IVF merry-go-round and financial debt, the more I realized that I was getting deeper into sadness and I had less control over my situation and that getting pregnant and staying pregnant was going to be my personal Mount Everest, I had to climb this beast and conquer it, and be the best version of me to make it happen, only I could do that, no one else could take my shoes. So when the embryologists suggested ‘potential egg quality issues’ I dug deeper and focused on my internal health, empowering myself in the process and then we began to explore all viable options. As they say, the rest is history and as I write this tonight I have my active 4.5 year old seeking attention whilst my 6.5 year old daughter cries at a wobbly tooth.

Yes I am here, and we created this. I am grateful for all this oh yes I am.

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Infertility and Me

You most likely already know my story, like yours I was so upset that we could not have children, this vicious cycle stayed with us for over 3 years and in that time, my world came tumbling down. In the day there was no Facebook group to share my misery with. Share my thoughts my concerns and looking for information, this was only 10 years ago. Now social media is everywhere and I am consciously trying to stay as private as I can after all once posted online, these words or pictures can stay forever. So I am aware of what I share and selective who I let into my little world. I’m like that.

If you are still wondering when your baby is coming to you, give thanks to what you already have and know your baby is on the way, be patient, if you are going through assisted conception, ask your doctors all those questions that you are dying to ask, after all it is your challenge and you need to be your best advocate. Empower yourself with information and ask all those in this group, we collectively have so much information we could write a book! (well there is an idea!)

If you have gotten your BFP and now slowly counting the weeks until the next scan, check up, looking at books reading about your wondrous growth, enjoy this time, bond with your baby, relax and nurture yourself and your feet. This time is so precious, and can be filled with anxiety and stress. I know, so just take it one day at a time.

If you have exhausted your current plan and thinking about other options, good explore what is available to you, there are so many ways to create a baby! Be creative and know you are doing this because it is so dam important. Do not give up.

You will move on from this place, you will find peace in your heart and you will have a baby in your arms, I so believe that. That is what kept me going all those years and drinking disgusting Chinese herbs during my cycle. I did it. Now 10 years on, I see my children and every little part of me is smiling and is so grateful, they are me in so many ways and sometimes I think , geez I am so selfish I created little people like me! They are so different and yet so alike, they know what a battle their mum and dad had to go through to have them, they are now learning how the world works and little by little they will explore their limits and see what a joy everyday can be.
So keep going no matter where you are in the fertility marathon, as my yoga teacher says ‘ you are stronger than you think!’

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Book Review: Finding The Rainbow- Rachel McGrath

 

Finding the rainbow

This book takes you on a personal journey, one filled with joy anticipation, apprehension,  sadness and many doses of hope. This private journey of fertility and loss is not new to me. Having also gone through many years of infertility to finally get to the other side, I could empathise with the author on many levels. As the reader you ache with the author on many occasions, you celebrate with her and then experience the roller coaster of emotions when there is disappointment.

Easy to read short chapters this book is read in an afternoon, like chatting with a good friend over café, the dialogue flows freely without censorship, making the story authentic and raw. No hiding from the heartaches.  The author gives the reader a feeling that she is at peace with all her challenges and gives hope of what the future brings.

This is a modern story of what many couples are facing as 1 in 6 is in this situation, they are not alone. The author sheds light on the issue and you are felt thinking that there is much more to their story. Knowing they are only a few years into their fertility challenge, you yearn for them to have a happy ending.

 

I look forward to reading the sequel.

 

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Life As We Know It

For many childless couples, facing infertility, life just seems to be at a stand-still. Whilst for others who have gone to create a family cannot remember those times of being just a couple, and having sleep ins. Life as we know it has changed permanently, we have put our desires out there, working at our fertility challenges one at a time, and going about our daily lives in a zombie-like state, just wishing and hoping the miracle child will come to us. Oh how I remember those times, just thinking about it makes me sad, how I aged just being in my inner world, dissecting every bit of medical information, especially after every expensive failed attempt. Combing all information on the internet this was pre Facebook age, I joined all the TTC forums to get a grasp of this monumental challenge. Sure I played the ‘blame-game’ ‘if only I started earlier?” and ‘why is it affecting us?”. This negative energy did not do me any good, in fact it created a rift between me and my wonderful, caring husband, and that was the last thing I wanted.

Life as we know it, had turned sour in my world, and I was just so lonely inside, empty arms and aching heart, there was nothing others could do. I just avoided most people who knew me in that personal way, it just hurt so much.
Then I turned it all around and became more empowered in what we had as options, after all a childless couple has many options, you just need to decide if that is the right thing for you, no judgement just understanding and exploring those areas that you thought you didn’t have before. And so that is exactly what we did.

Today as I rested next to my 4 year old, I marveled at his beauty and his calmness, his delicate features and just rested there wondering how my life has changed. He reached out and kissed me, me realizing that it doesn’t get better than this.

Yes life as we know it, is just marvelous and so joyous, every day counts.

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Connecting with Self

When was the last time you really had a good look at yourself in the mirror? We all tend to live such busy lives that we often neglect ourselves and as a result we miss the opportunity to connect with the most important person. YOU. We serve others before ourselves, ensure all is good in our surroundings and get the bills paid. We create more work for ourselves given the chance thus adding more complexity to the day. No wonder you are tired at the end of the week! You use so much mental energy on this fertility journey it is so exhausting, so to start off National Infertility Awareness Week, here are some tips to create a more balanced YOU:

1. Make sure you find the time to stop and just be in the moment, have a bath once the chores are done.

2. Ensure you exercise at least three week, walking, ride your bike, gym, spin class, Zumba, yoga, swim so many possibilities.

3. Plan your menu at the beginning of the week, so you are not visiting the shops every day, this can waste so much time, have you considered doing online grocery shopping?

4. Be grateful of what you have and what you have created each day. Every morning when my feet touch the soft carpet I give thanks.

5. Have a facial, foot rub, manicure or even a massage once a month, you deserve it.

6. De-clutter your home, this will create more space and more energy giving you more room and simplicity, try it.

7. Do something just for you, go out with friends, husband/wife, alone, just go and feel the space grow, get out of your head and do a fun activity.

8. Eat well and drink plenty of water, carry a water bottle, if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.

9. Endeavor to be in the present moment as much as possible, thinking about the past and/ future does not make you aware of the beauty around you.

10. During this week, just do something different, get out of your routine, try something new, cook a new recipe, walk home a different way, say hello to a stranger, find a way to connect with others and this will make you connect with self.

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Visualizing Your Baby

From my collection..written in 2010…

I am sure many of you know about getting into the right frame of mind to have a child, preparing the environment especially your internal one, reducing as much stress as possible and making the space for the miracle. Making sure you are not sending mixed signals like yes I want another, or no perhaps not. Or shall we look at donor options or keep using my eggs/sperm. Another tool I use to create my goal is doing a vision board. I cut photos or pictures from magazines that appeal to me and add this to a vision board or book. Once done I look at it and my mind takes me to those places, having what I pasted on that board. I smile.

Earlier this year I got together with some like-minded women who like me are self employed and dynamic. As we juggle so much in our daily lives and want more. We all took old magazines and started our search for images that resonated with us. For me my goal was to get pregnant with number two, so I found images of pre-natal yoga, images of the sea, outdoor holidays and babies, one photo I still recall was a big clock and inside the clock instead of numbers were little newborn babies. This struck a chord with me as I was approaching my 42nd birthday and knew this was my main priority this year.

Doing this exercise put me in the feeling of being there, I still have a board I did back in 2005, and so happy to report most of those things are now part of my life. I do yoga, I have been on holidays to wonderful places, and I create my day with my business, have balance and have a family. Visualizing this makes it real in your subconscious and you are in that feeling place that this is coming towards you. See it like asking the universe for these wonderful things/experiences, being specific of what you really want and not being afraid to ask. You deserve it right?

I know you desperately want a baby, believe me so did I, and I didn’t stop until I had her in my arms, and now 22 months later we are having our number two, sure I am older and I can see more grey hairs coming, but It is important for me to keep visualizing that all will turn out for the best and I can keep my energy levels high. After all I did ask for this to be my life and every day I am just so grateful.

Keep believing.

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