One of our massage therapists, Betty, has returned to the B&HT team this month, after being away on maternity leave. We are pleased and proud to welcome her back with open arms! Betty has had a long and difficult journey to motherhood, and she bravely shares her story and her experiences with you here. Please feel free to share with any women you know who you feel might benefit from reading her story, being aware that some readers may find parts of this triggering. If you or someone you know might like to talk to Betty about how Fertility massage could help, visit Betty’s page and book directly with her.
At last I hold my baby in my arms! Before him I suffered four recurrent miscarriages over a period of 18 months with last miscarriage in Aug 2013. Mine is a story with a happy ending and I feel very blessed as I watch my son sleeping so peacefully while I write this.
My Feelings – My Grief
After four miscarriages my life looked empty, I felt like a huge void inside which I could not fill in, no matter how busy I kept myself. A hole that got bigger and bigger with every pregnancy loss.
My experience was very isolating, I felt lonely, I closed into myself, I hardly talked about my emotional suffering and what was happening. Nobody could really understand how I felt, words from other people would not comfort me, I found them trivial. It was easier to swallow my tears, be in denial and hide behind a facade that all was well. I buried myself in work and anything that would keep my mind busy and distracted. But that sensation of a lump in my throat was always there, making me unable to talk and breathe freely. It was my grief!
The truth was that I could not think about anything else other than my losses, I had a deep need to talk and cry with someone who would truly listen and feel my pain. I needed that genuine warm hug that would help me to release and let my tears and emotions flow out freely, without questions, comments or judgement.
Why? What is wrong with me? What have I done to not deserve to be a mother? Is it me or my partner? What tests can we do? Will I ever hold my baby? What if… ? These questions were driving me insane, I was desperate for a reason. I blamed myself and my guilt became unbearable.
WHY? – Reasons and Testing
I needed a reason to make sense of what was happening. What answers did I get?
With the first two losses I kept positive, thinking next time it will work and probably my age (nearly 40 at the time) was the cause. I was also told by my doctor that I could not yet be referred for testing, a referral happens after three recurrent miscarriages, that there was no real need, miscarriages at my age are more likely to happen, to just try again and there was no need to wait.
After my third miscarriage I was referred to a specialist who did some routine tests like antiphospholipid syndrome, lupus and thrombophilia. The results came back normal. I also asked to have my hormonal levels checked and I was reassured that because I could get pregnant, and so easily, then my hormonal levels were fine and there was no need for tests.
I was again advised to carry on trying and that due to my age and to the history of recurrent miscarriages I had a 45% success rate, nothing was wrong and my previous pregnancies were simply unviable embryos. I could almost hear his unspoken words saying ‘shrug it off, it is for the best you lost them’. Was there something I could do to prevent it from happening again? No, I was told there was nothing, it is how nature works!
I was pregnant again and with it the agony started. An agony made of hope, wait for a positive test, several trips to hospital, several scans, hope for a heartbeat, good news, the heartbeat is detected, wait to see it again, faint heartbeat, heartbeat stopped, had I passed ‘the product’, take tablets for medical management, expect pain and bleeding, collect ‘it’ to send for test, sample collected, wait for results and so on ……….. At hospital they failed to tell me that the bits I had passed and collected were not the fetus and they never called me back to check if my womb was clear. After a month of bleeding (I was told bleeding is normal after a miscarriage) I felt this very warm sensation in my lower abdomen, moving down through my vagina, and with my hands I reached for my baby who was as big as a huge egg. There are absolutely no words to describe my emotional state of shock, pain, anger, confusion, disbelief and love for this little being. Therefore I will not even attempt to do this! Fourth miscarriage complete in Aug 2013.
I started to doubt myself as a woman and became really obsessed with wanting to find out the cause.
So I embarked on private tests and went to a private clinic. Here, within 15 minutes of our first consultation, I was told that I was too old for my eggs to be good quality and that my only chance was to have IVF. They were not interested in finding the cause. I thought, if we don’t know why I miscarry, how can we prevent it! Their approach was to get as many eggs as possible and use the best eggs available, which did not necessarily mean they were good quality. There was no advice on what I could do to improve the quality. All my questions were met by very dismissive and insulting answers. I was shocked, felt patronised and emotionally abused, walked out and never returned. Probably I picked the wrong clinic!
I was later on referred to a clinic in London specialised in recurrent miscarriages which is apparently the largest in the world. I repeated the same tests done after the third pregnancy loss and had more done. It took several months until all investigations were completed and we could get the final advice from the very well renown Professor who leads the aforementioned clinic. The wait seemed endless. Although I wanted to hear that nothing was wrong, at the same time I was hoping that they would find something that could be treated.
At last in March 2014, we had a final meeting and she explained that the investigations identified an abnormal thromboelastogram and antiphospholipid syndrome. In other words, I had blood clotting issues. I thought this was very odd as the same test, done the previous year, showed everything normal. Her advice for next pregnancy was to take aspirin and heparin daily. Somehow, deep inside, this explanation for my pregnancy losses and the medical solution did not resonate with me. I was not convinced that I had this syndrome or that it was the real cause, and, if I did have a clotting disorder, I wondered why would I take medicine to thin my blood when I knew there were natural alternatives like herbal medicine. I was not sure what to do or believe anymore.
After the fourth miscarriage and during the months of tests and research that followed it, I focused on myself and my emotional recovery. Whether I was going to try again for a baby or not, I wanted to regain strength and be myself, confident, grounded, trust my body, feel a true woman, full of positive and loving energy, have aspirations, a zest for life and desire for adventure. If I was going to have a baby, he/she deserved to have the best of me and not what I had become after months and months of pain, anxiety and worries.
My healing journey started and I chose the natural approach. I changed career path and took a long break from work. I did acupuncture, took Chinese herbal medicine, did self-womb massage, received Fertility Massage, took fertility supplements and superfoods. I focused on doing the things I liked and gave me pleasure, simple things like yoga, walking, relaxation, cooking, chanting and meditation. I completely ignored the fact that I was 40 years old. Was I really running out of time for a baby? I wanted to heal no matter how long it would take, I did not want my healing process to be forced or hurried by my age. Time pressure was not a good reason for having a baby without recovering in full first.
I became dedicated to myself, my womb and my emotions. After a few months of self-care, transformation did happen. My womb felt loved, empowered and creative. I forgave myself for the babies I had not been able to bring to life. I felt more deeply connected to my true being and my internal woman, regained my confidence, released suppressed emotions and at last I was able to talk about my experience. It was like I could breathe again!
I also decided to take a break from everything and so for two months I went travelling through China, Tibet and Everest. If I could trek to Everest up to 6,340 metre high, without any training or medication, certainly my body and spiritual power had to be strong!
Back from my trip I felt ready, yes! But I wondered whether I had really done enough. In fact, up to that point I had focused on recovery rather than preparation and while travelling I had not been that strict with my diet, not taken supplements, herbs or done any self-womb massage. I wanted to give myself and my baby the best chance and not have any regrets should anything go wrong.
Moreover, I still had a question. Did I really have a clotting disorder and should I take the aspirin and heparin? I repeated the test which came back normal, meaning that I did not appear to have sticky blood. Did I make it disappear during the months of self-care by enhancing my immune system and getting well? Maybe I did. Nevertheless, the medical advice was that I should take aspirin and heparin ‘just in case’. I felt very uncomfortable about taking medicines for so many months to treat a disorder that probably was not even there. I also did hormonal tests, which were previously considered unnecessary, and found out to have very low progesterone.
In the end, I chose not to take medications. Instead I chose to follow a four months preparation plan before trying for my baby.
Preparation for Conception
Before conceiving my baby I wanted to boost the quality of my eggs, improve my ovarian function, balance my hormones, enhance my immune system, promote blood and energy flow.
My plan started in August 2014 and included: detox, fertility diet, superfoods, supplements, Chinese herbal medicine, self-womb massage, Fertility massage, Hawaiian massage, Thai Abdominal Massage, Fertility Yoga and mindfulness.
After four months of preparation my progesterone level was optimal, and my instinct and intuition were telling me that it was time to invite my baby in my womb. So it happened, on a full moon night, and my beautiful son was born in Aug 2015, with full moon!
Healed Woman and Mother
I feel like a healed woman and mother. Through my experience, I have gained emotional and spiritual growth. I have learnt to let go, to be mindful, to live more in the present moment and to be more compassionate. I no longer blame myself for what happened, I am now at peace, that life path has ended and I am now on a new journey, that of motherhood.
Every now and then I think about the little souls I was not able to give life to. I wish they are happy and have found another mummy who loves and cares for them, I wonder what it would be like if my son had an elder brother or sister. I think ‘what if’, but those would have been other stories to tell.
My experience has also showed me a new direction for my healing abilities. I now support women wanting to improve their fertility and reproductive health, by offering them Fertility massage, Womb massage, Womb yoga, Hawaiian massage (combined with fertility), cleansing therapies, fertility awareness, advice and teaching them self-help methods.
Heal from within, love and trust your womb creative power!
Womb love xxx