A decade on…..

Today a decade has passed since hope of having a baby was whisked away. It is something I deal with on a day to day basis, second nature like breathing. I curse my body for not doing what it is suppose to. As each year passes, I guess I have more acceptance but it still hurts. Typing this now I have to pause, collect myself as tears roll down my cheek. Life is so unfair, how dare everyone else’s life carry on. I clearly remember the day as if it was yesterday, thinking is this the day the eggs will be ready to be implanted. Only for later that morning to get the news I was dreading, all the eggs had died. My heart felt as if it had been ripped out.

I am grateful for a realist consultant at the fertility clinic. As we had to pay for treatment, it would had been easy for him to fill us full of false hope whilst extracting another £5000. We could give you the most drugs we can but there isn’t much more likelihood of harvesting any more eggs. Plus I don’t think my mental health would’ve coped with the crushing disappointment. It has been seriously affected as I’ve come to terms with it.

Of course over the last decade, I’ve had countless questions of “do you have children” when I reply no, the usual reply of “oh you’re a career girl” to which for years I just silently nodded and smiled. In later years I just reply “I can’t have children”.

Now I’m peri pausal, It makes me think of my body going into the next stage of life, I feel sad that my body didn’t allow me to have children. Now my body going into menopause makes that final. Infertility is an invisible grief. Take a moment to think about the grief that occurred for you after the death of a loved one. The relationship you had with your loved one was probably clearly defined, and you have memories of that person to look back on. The loss is easily identified and articulated, not only by you but by others who were aware of the death. You most likely had many people express sympathy and give you their condolences, perhaps verbally or by sending flowers. You may have taken time off work for bereavement and attended a funeral that helps the grief process. Your loss was likely recognised, acknowledged, validated and supported in a multitude of ways.

Now think about the losses associated with infertility. One of the major losses is that of the imagined or expected family. I am lucky that I haven’t missed out on the of the entire life stage of parenting, as I have my wonderful stepsons Dean and Jake. They are testament that you don’t have to be blood to have a maternal bond. Whilst I have missed out on pregnancy and passing on my genetic legacy, I have passed on family and holiday traditions and no pressure boys hope that I get to be a grandparent one day. With infertility, the loss comes from an absence of something that has never been rather than the absence of something that used to be.

There are still times, I feel sad and I’ve learnt to allow myself to feel sad. It’s ok. I do worry about my place in history and whether I’ll be remembered. No one has to remember me as I’m not their mum or inventor or person of note. Not sure supplying the world with great coffee suffices?? So to those who have said over the years “oh it’s ok for you” sometimes it’s far from ok.



Hands up who got into bad habits during lockdown or rather the ongoing lockdowns?

That was me, I was exercising but that just made me justify my eating, oh I can have this as I have just run blah miles.

I have been following Karen and Topaz Fitness Academy for a few years now. I was always impressed with the results she shared of her ladies doing the Kickstart Programme.

With lockdown and work pressures I had gained weight, the Coronastone was real, bad habits had crept in, from eating the wrong things to skipping meals. I had always been fit, running marathons, and doing regular exercise classes. With an under active thyroid and being peri pausal in the mix, I felt everything was an uphill struggle. When I saw Karen was running another kickstart programme, thought right time to get head into gear.

I was nervous but this was quickly dispelled with Karen’s clear guides and the Facebook live chats getting us ready for week 1. Getting organised and writing down my meal plan made things easy to follow. The weekly online tutorials as to why we were doing the things we were being asked of were so insightful.

I was eating more and after week 1 really noticed a difference in my mood and energy levels and my jeans were already feeling looser. I completely love the online exercise classes; Karen is a fab teacher and no 2 classes are the same so you don’t get complacent. You definitely get very sweaty!

The kickstart programme flew by and I had lost 1 stone in weight and 22 inches in 4 weeks, I have more energy, my anxiety is under control.  After a week had passed I realised that I hadn’t taken my sertiline medication.I hadn’t felt the need which felt amazing.

I have cheat meals, but I find I do not enjoy them as much these days. I have found I have a intolerance to Gluten and feel much better for cutting that out or eating much less. I have carried on with Karen’s online classes and they are amazing. Hard, but you only get out what you put in. I have ditched the scales as they don’t truly reflect the results. I have now lost another 10 inches. I am getting stronger, I can get deeper into squats and my bum feels lifted! My stomach is less bloated as my hormones are rebalanced with eating the right things. Oh and drinking lots of water helps!

The horrible before and after pictures!

I’ve still got a little way to go and it’s still hard fitting everything in, but I feel great. I cannot recommend Karen enough and if you are wanting to kickstart your body sign up. What are you waiting for?

Make your own Gin

When you are at that age when lots of friends are celebrating milestone birthdays. Back in the first lockdown way back when, our very good friend Jo celebrated her 50th birthday. Lockdown down meant it wasn’t the celebration she had planned. So our gift to her was a “make your own Bathtub gin” with the nice folk at Shed 1 Gin in Ulverston, Cumbria.

Continue reading “Make your own Gin”