Where Our Journey Began
Now a distant memory, I think back to the moment we discovered the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. I had waited all week for hubby to arrive home from working away so we could find out if this was ‘our time’. The nervous wait was replaced with joy when we discovered a positive reading. We were over the moon to be become parents to another little soul.
Fast forward to eleven weeks gestation, past the dreaded nausea, daily napping and ultra-sensitive nose. I had just started experiencing relief of my symptoms and we’d begun our camping adventure along the Gibb River Road from Darwin, to Broome. There was so much to be grateful for being out in nature, amongst the warming sunshine and spending quality time with good friends. We had just started sharing our exciting news with loved ones, so what happened next hit us for six.
We reached the NT & WA border and it was time for a toilet stop. Instead, what I discovered was the shocking first indications of a possible miscarriage. Staying positive, we gave it time and hoped for the best, but after each bathroom check-in, the symptoms became clearer and our concern grew.
We made the decision to turn around the next morning and head into the Karratha hospital. After nervously waiting for our names to be called, the heartbreaking news was shortly after confirmed- our precious baby was no longer with us. My heart sank as we both entered a space of shock.
The next few days were a blend of heightened emotions – trying to enjoy our time with loved ones in such a picturesque part of the world, mixed with absolute devastation, sadness and brief moments of anger . “Why us?!”
As I started to open up with friends and family about our loss, I soon became aware just how prevalent miscarriage is. I remember thinking at the time that this shouldn’t be such a taboo conversation and I still believe that more talk (sharing of experiences), education around miscarriage prevention and support post miscarriage is needed. If you have been through pregnancy loss, you may be comforted to know that you are certainly not alone.
Where To Next?
After returning from our trip and getting the physical all-clear from my integrative GP, we consciously decided to take twelve months to focus on ourselves before trying again. In this time we did some detective work with testing to determine any imbalances, allow space for us both to emotionally heal and the time to follow specific dietary, lifestyle and supplementation phases, designed to detoxify and nourish our bodies, prior to trying again.
I’m naturally a driven, type A personality (and yes, a recovering perfectionist). Running my own business, writing a book (the first one- Balanced, The Natural Way To Healthy Hormones) & being an all round people pleaser, ironically had taken a toll on my vulnerable adrenal glands. Functional testing revealed my adrenal stress had impacted both my thyroid function and compromised my progesterone hormone production and was a likely contributor to our miscarriage. Taking a holiday, upping my dietary (healthy) carb intake, using herbs preconception like Withania and Chaste Tree (the latter was continued up until the end of my first tri), among nutritional supplements such as iodine, selenium, tyrosine, high doses of (activated) B vitamins and vitamin C along with compounded natural progesterone, was enough to allow hormonal balance and the ability to conceive and carry full term second time around.
Shining A Light On Healthy Conception & Pregnancy
Although our story has a beautiful ending, with the home birth of our healthy baby girl last year, I know not all couples are so blessed. You may be shocked to learn that 1 in 4 pregnancies (before 20 weeks) end in miscarriage. It was through my knowledge as a Naturopath (and the support of our Integrative GP), important imbalances were detected and rectified prior to conceiving again. It is my wish for all couples to be aware of additional functional medicine guidance (on top of their GP’s support), to know what tests and optimal reference ranges are appropriate along with the natural and compounded support available to rebalance a body that is not ready (just yet), to conceive or follow through with a pregnancy.
As devastating as our experience was at the time, it is through living our own challenges and being vulnerable enough to share, where we became stronger as individuals and as a team. Naturally I also became more empathetic for patients who were going through or had experienced a similar journey.
How 'Path To Conscious Conception' Was Born
Having experienced miscarriage personally, I had the passion to share life-changing information that would optimise fertility and support a nourished pregnancy. The seed was planted for my next book- Path To Conscious Conception.
While my pregnancy loss was contributed to stressed adrenals, weakened thyroid health and low progesterone, there are multiple (unconventional) factors that may be impacting you or your partners fertility, which may have been overlooked by your GP.
My aim through writing Path To Conscious Conception was to empower you and your baby-Daddy with important information and action steps to support your preconception period. This includes testing that may help to determine any pre-existing imbalances or weaknesses, which may be impacting your chances of conception and ability to sustain a pregnancy. Also within the pages of Glowing Mumma, tailored dietary, lifestyle and supplementation support are crucial to support the physical, mental and emotional health of you and your baby-Daddy for a healthy conception and throughout your pregnancy journey.
Share The Love & Support
It feels good to be vulnerable and shed light on a topic that needs more awareness.
I’d love to hear from you too. Jump over to @GlowingMumma.ThrivingBubba instagram to share your story.