Why I'm Grateful I had Infertility
I’m grateful I had infertility.
It might sound strange - certainly it’s not a common sentiment - but my infertility is what set me on the journey of self discovery that lead me to where I am today: consciously healthy, deeply happy, a super grateful mum to gorgeous twin boys (my miracles), and a Boss Lady, proudly running my own global business.
At 33, I had my career in my sights and I was focused on climbing the corporate ladder. At that point, I was already in an Executive Management role leading multiple departments in Australia’s largest and oldest Department stores. It was a high pressure, high intensity job with many long hours. I loved it, but of course you can’t work in a position like that without being under a lot of stress. I didn’t realize or identify that it was stressful at the time, but it was definitely there.
It was around then that my Infertility Journey started. My husband, Zane, and I were trying to get pregnant after our wedding in 2009. After a couple of years, we decided to seek professional help with an Obstetrician & Gynecologist. While undergoing diagnostic laparoscopy they discovered several dark blisters in the pelvis that needed to be removed as well as discovering that my bowel was attached to my reproductive organs, causing my fallopian tubes to twist. This condition is called endometriosis. I was advised that major surgery would be necessary if I wanted to fall pregnant. There were a lot of risks with this surgery and it took 6 months for me to decide to go ahead.
The procedure took more than 3 hours due to the extent of my condition; there was a lot of scar tissues between my organs. After a successful operation my recovery went well and a few months later my menstrual cycle came back to normal, but IVF was postponed for another 6 months to allow my body to heal. When I finally began IVF, I was around 36 years old and the first round didn’t work – in fact it failed miserably, and I was informed by the specialist that I was not a great candidate for IVF due to my egg score. I froze still: I could not believe I had endured all of that for this. I didn’t know whether to run or just break down and cry, so I sat there ever so still. I told my doctor I would do anything to make it work - and that’s when he said “How’s your nutrition?” That’s how I was introduced to the world and power of organic and whole foods.
My doctor recommended a complete diet overhaul - not that mine was particularly bad, but it certainly wasn’t optimal. I went all-in on clean eating: I gave up preservatives, additives, and colorings, I removed ‘fake food’ from my diet, and focused on organic and educating myself.
Changing my diet improved my egg quality by 40% after just a few months.
Needless to say, I was converted. I studied and received a certification for coaching clients in nutrition and developed a passion for fertility health. I left my high-intensity, high-stress corporate job to pursue this new avenue in my life. Ultimately, Zane and I were able to conceive on our fourth round of IVF, using the gift of donor eggs. My desire to be a mom was too strong to turn down the offer from a special donor, and only encouraged me more to step away from office-life and focus on the health of myself and my family.
I dove into my new found love-affair with health, nutrition, and self-employment head-on. I realized corporate management and motherhood didn’t work well together, and before my boys were even born, I launched my brand BossLady Lifestyle Movement and hosted an incredibly successful event to share this journey with other women.
Speakers shared their stories of how an organic lifestyle helped them through a variety of personal struggles. We even had Therese Kerr, beautiful mum to Matthew and Miranda Kerr, speak and share her message around chemical toxicity in the cosmetic industry along with her certified organic spa-range skincare line, Divine. Therese and I became very close, and we aligned in business to share a message of health and wellness. I’m grateful to her for being a friend and mentoring me along this health journey from the early days of my Infertility diagnosis.
Although a decade of infertility and IVF treatments certainly weren’t a walk in the park, the lessons and life changes I’ve made because of it have led me to a place where I am able to support my family in a way that feels true to me. I’ve also connected with so many other women globally who are going through their own personal struggles, and to be able to share our journeys and empower each other is truly a wonderful thing.
So yes - despite the hardships and emotional toll that came along with infertility, I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to experience this journey and then give back from all that I have learnt.