Staring down the barrel of a third round of IVF was sobering enough reason for me to review – this time deliberately and most honestly – what our fertility specialist euphemistically call my lifestyle. You know what I mean: nutritional intake, enough rest/sleep, and indeed the quality of such restful cycles, exercise, intake of toxins, physical and psychological stressors, etc.
Animal breeders understand this – that’s why ewes are put to graze in the richest grass before the tups (that be male sheep to us!) are let loose, and horses are routinely given nutrient-rich feeds before mare meets stallion in their act of violent love-making.
So what about me? Notwithstanding what I personally considered an ‘excellent’ diet and perfectly calibrated exercise regime, I was not actually treating myself so well. As a result (well, one of many reasons) Erroll and I became a statistic, that being one in six couples experiencing problems conceiving.
We were given the next step to ponder: the highest level of IVF – Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI – and given that this can be traumatic and hugely expensive, with less than a quarter of women actually ending up with a baby as a result, it was squarely up to me to make that extra effort in order to give myself the best chance of being in that 25%.
Thus I embarked on a three month journey (from December 2012 to March 2013), in the lead up to ICSI, the aim of which was to increase my fertility naturally by ensuring my body (and Erroll’s) was optimally nourished and a haven of stress-less emotion.
How did I get us in top form? I’ll explain in the next installment.