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How to determine the quality of your eggs or sperm!

baby-in-vitro

Hi folks,

This is such a big question, but in truth there is a lot you can do improve the quality of either eggs or sperm!   It takes 3 months for follicles to mature into eggs, and also the same time for sperm to develop ready for ejaculation.    So it stands to reason that you want to give yourself at least a few months before you start seriously trying to fall pregnant to take care of things on your end!

Discovery Health did a recent documentary on men drinking a mix of fruit and veg smoothies twice a day for a few months, and the quality of their sperm increased dramatically.  These men were chosen as they were not successfully creating a pregnancy with their partner, and this was because their sperm was not up to scratch.   So even making that simple change can make the world of difference.   Often individuals, women and men included are not getting enough minerals and nutrients through their diet,  so this is a great place to start looking at how you can influence the outcome of fertility issues.

Minerals are also really important, so nuts like Brazil nuts are great because of zinc and selenium for men to produce healthy sperm.  Men, and women, need folic acid, so choose lot of green leafy vegetables to put into your smoothies, or juicing.   (if you’re juicing, which incidentally I love, make sure you are taking in enough fibre during the day, as juicing would not be enough)   Make sure you are mixing vegies and fruit as you want a really good mix of nutrients.  By the way asparagus has lots of folic acid!

I am by no means an expert but from my own experience and from all the reading and research I do, this seems to be a great platform to start from.

To add to the mix, do a little exercise too.  Don’t go crazy, and don’t do it in fits and starts – if you do that, it can potentially do more damage than good.   Fit regular exercise into your routine that gets the blood circulating.  Like walking or swimming.   For women, hard exercise is going to detract from the fertility process, so make sure you are moving but make it gentle.

Let me know how you get on!  Ultimately what this says to me, is rthat we really need to take good care of ourselves first!  Nature’s way of preparing us for taking good care of the little ones we will bring into this world!  And that we are able to do something before we resort to other methods and extremes.  Good luck!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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He or she would have been 1 today.

snowy-trees

Today is the day that I would have given birth to my baby one year ago, if my baby hadn’t miscarried.  I am sending loving thoughts to that little soul that couldn’t stay.

I have just participated in a call on With Forgiveness, and I found myself talking about my anger and sadness.  I feel grateful for having the opportunity to forgive myself for the expectations I have had of myself – as a woman, for feeling ‘less than’ and undeserving, and for having expectations that my journey would look a certain way.  I am letting go of what that journey will look like, and how children will feature in my life.  Thats not me giving up, thats just being open to new possibilities.

I am opening myself up to my sadness of not being a mother as much as I would like to be right now, at a time when we are ‘giving thanks’. ( My mind says why should I be giving thanks…)  In my heart I know there are so many things I am able to give thanks for – I am going to think about all the things in my life I am grateful for, and flood myself with love and compassion over the next few days.   This too, shall pass.

Louise

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House – made me cry!

I just watched House, and watched Cutty have to accept that the girl who’s baby she was going to adopt, decided to keep the baby.  I just howled.   It brought up so much emotion for me.  This when I realiseI am still grieving through this process – it really is a back and forth thing.   It made me think of the baby I lost, that would be 1 yr old come Thanksgiving, and that of course set me off again.  Its weird because I haven’t really felt that sad in a fairly long time.  Must have been waiting to jump out at just the right moment.   Poor DH didn’t quite know what to do with me.  Anyway I got out of bed, to cry a little bit more, and do some distracting activities like this.  It helps to write it down and share it with you.  And DH has gone to bed cuddling the cat, after offering to cuddle me.   I thought it best to do something else, otherwise I would have eyes like Quasimodo in the morning.  Not pretty.

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Group Program starting on Monday!

Wow, it’s amazing but the beginning of November is almost here!  Together with the elections, beautiful fall colors (in USA), the Holiday Season and of course the all important, infertility journey you are taking.  (Myself included!)  When the majority of people surrounding us are totally unaware of the added burden that we carry and the emotional rollercoaster we might be on, LIFE goes on.  Here is an opportunity to join a small group of women, who are walking in your shoes…

 The Fertile Foundation Power Circle starts Monday, the 3rd November 2008 

Be part of an intimate group without leaving your sofa!  Our group will meet on a weekly basis, by phone (or Skype)  at 12noon EST (- 6hrs GMT) for one hour.  I will give you simple instructions to follow upon your registration.   Initially, everyone in the group will get a chance to share their story, and get to know one another. We will take the opportunity, in the on-coming weeks, to:

·     Be heard, without feeling judged.

·     Know that we are in a safe and confidential space of sharing our feelings and experiences.

·     Get to clarify our hopes and dreams of our journey however it progresses (natural, IUI, IVF, donor,adoption, child-free).

·     Set clear intentions on how to take charge of our journey – emotionally, physically and spiritually.  This covers a whole gamut of topics that we can discuss- just to name few:

·          diet,

·          exercise,

·          specialists,

·          tests,

·          dealing with miscarriage,

·          grief,

·          communication with our spouse

·          pregnant friends,

·          interfering family

·          Holiday gatherings  etc!

  This is where we can build our ‘foundation’ for fertility!

·     Be resources of information and a sounding board for one another.

·     Come to a place where you might just want be ‘cradled’ in that moment, and supported in general.

·     Get tips and tools from Louise on making the journey an easier and more joyful one.

·     To learn more about the Law of Attraction.

·     Discover how to become more than your infertility with the guidance of Marina Lombardo’s book.  (to learn more about this – listen to my latest radio show  www.blogtalkradio.com/KeystoClarity-coach )

·     Be part of a group moving forward together, instead of isolating ourselves which happens all to easily.

·     Be part of an intimate group without leaving your sofa!

·     Get coaching from Louise when you get stuck – yes, lots of stickiness on this journey!

·     Learn tips to relax and de-stress in preparation for a successful outcome.

·     Have access to a private group online forum to talk in between sessions.

·     Have unlimited email access to Louise in between sessions.

·     Make new and meaningful friendships with amazing women facing similar issues to you!

I am thrilled and so moved to be able to facilitate this program.  This group is about taking women out of isolation and into a setting where they feel safe and supported. Where women are in a positive environment that can help them to make plans about their future, and deal with positive and negative experiences as they happen.  This is about creating a safe space to share and not be analyzed!  This is about women who deserve to be nurtured and taken care of, especially when they are taking care of everybody else!

Give yourself permission to get support on this special and often difficult journey, especially when the goal is such an important one. 

If you are interested in joining us, , please contact Louise as soon as possible.   There are just a few spaces left in the November group.   If the timing isn’t right, there will be a new program starting in January – again limited space, so book in advance.   I invite you to inquire if you are curious!  My contact details are on the Contact page! or you can comment on the post.

Each one of you will be an integral part of this sacred space, for yourself, and for each and every one of the women participating. I am really looking forward to creating this special space with you.

Warmly,

Coach Louise

Louise Crooks – LifeBalanceinFertility Coach

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PS: Don’t let distance / time-zone get in your way!  One of our group members is from the Philippines

Grief. How do we get through it during the infertility process?

The sun sets on today, opening up new possibilities tomorrow...

The sun sets on today, opening up new possibilities tomorrow…

Hi all,

I had a moment of clarity this morning, a wonderful reminder that it is okay to feel strong emotions, so we can let them go, to bring new and wondrous things into our lives.   It is an opportunity to be able to move out of the grief and beyond, when we allow ourselves to express and experience the grief to begin with.  The society we have been brought up in doesn’t condone showing emotion, particularly for men.  Well its about time that all changed!  We would live much healthier and happier lives if we were able to express our emotions without having to worry about others expectations, and in turn our own.    You can make a change right now, to change your own expectations of yourself and others.

My grandmother’s funeral was today.  It was in Northern Ireland and for a number of reasons I couldn’t be there.   So today has been a bit of weird day for me, but mainly sad.   My DH and I went for a walk in the woods, which was great – it gave me the chance to feel a sense of peace and connectedness, but it also allowed me to  acknowledge how sad I was feeling.    I realised that I was doing what so many of us do, which is fighting the feeling of sadness – that is just too painful to remain in that space, wanting to ‘snap out of it’ and feel ‘normal’ again.  Well, ironically as I write this, I recognise that these feelings are ‘normal’…. What is ‘normal’ afterall ?- everyone has a different perception or definition.    I transgress…

Anyway, I realised I was being impatient and didn’t want to experience feeling such sadness.  It occurred to me, especially because of the work I have done, personally going through the untimely loss of my mother and a miscarriage/ infertility too, and through The Journey experience, that I was forgetting something.   We have to embrace these strong emotions of loss, to be able to move past and beyond them, and to heal.   (That doesn’t mean you forget the person you lost, it just means you are able to let go of the pain, and remember them in genuine and positive way through the wonderful memories you have created together.  Their death doesn’t define them.)   This might not apply to miscarriage or grieving the vision of what our life might have been like – but it is grief all the same.  Some of us hang onto our grief wearing it like a banner for years and years, but how is that serving us and honouring life at large?   Its a great question to ask yourself.

Through The Journey, which is about healing at a cellular level from emotional and physical wounds,  it became very clear to me that we have to confront our feelings and emotions, to get a sense of freedom and of letting go.  To me, being able to let go, allows us to bring new possibilities into our lives…  to be able to keep going and striving, and living!   I am not saying put a time limit on your grieving, but allow yourself the opportunity to grieve, when it arises – this will help you move through the process of grieving more quickly.

So today, I sit in quiet contemplation embracing my grief not just for this grandmother but also for others I have lost and for myself.    I cancelled all my appointments because I owe it to myself,  I let the tears come when they come,and I am nurturing my soul.

Bless all those of you who are grieving.   Know that we are all connected. www.thejourney.com

Warmly,

Louise

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Peas! a natural contraceptive…and more.

Did you know that!?   In fact I believe the Japanese have a contraceptive made thats main ingredient is peas.   I frickin’ love peas!  So when I found that out, I was thinking well no wonder I can’t get pregnant!  Ok its a bit more complicated than that.  But I was eating them like I normally do, like crazy!  Well, I wanted to share that with you, as I have my last big bowl of peas, soaked in butter, as I start the build up to my next IVF.  Yummy.   Migraine has me laid low today, peas are a comfort.   DH is away on a course, so I will indulge… butter is an indulgence for me too.  I have generally cut butter and margerines out of my diet, even from sandwiches.  Its amazing how quickly you can get used not having it.   My cholesterol is an issue, and if you get pregnant, you naturally get even higher cholesterol!    Well, I have to say I would welcome that if it meant being pregnant!  In the meanwhile trying to do what I can to lower it – except tonight.   The rainy weather is causing a pressure system which is probably causing my migraine.

Hmm that makes me think, I will have to start curtailing the types of painkillers I use, to really be ready to for the IVF.   Not looking forward to dealing with that.  It means constipation – bad!!  Was that more information than you needed?  too bad! hehe!   So its actually is harder to manage the migraines when having to get ready to go through the IVF.  When I fell pregnant on my 2nd IVF ( miscarried at 6 wks 5ds)  last year, I was migraine-free for the duration.  What a great side-effect.   See, there are so many reasons why I should be pregnant!   For those of you who don’t have any idea of what cluster headache / occular migraine is,  I can have between 1 to 5 (sometimes more) migraines in a week.  It is one of the worst kind.  (yes there are lots of different types of migraine) and this type is generally diagnosed more in men.    Wow wouldn’t that be amazing – to be pain free for 9 months AND to have a baby at the end of it!    For some people migraines can get worse through pregnancy, but it has the opposite effect for others.   I found I was one of the latter.

I went to my Resolve support group last night for the first time in ages.  It was so nice to connect with Michelle and Sue, who were the only others that came, which was perfect because they were ones I wanted to reconnect with.  So we were able to have a good chat.  I hadn’t been for about 4 or 5 months, and didn’t realise how much I had missed it.   It really is a place where you can totally be comfortable talking about your experiences knowing there is understanding, empathy and no judgement.   Generally speaking, when someone hasn’t walked in our shoes, it is very difficult for themno to understand what we are going through, and generally anything they might say, can be irritating or inappropriate….. so support groups are a blessing.   If you haven’t been to one, or joined one, and have infertility challenges, do yourselves a big favour – join one!  Especially if you are one of those who is not willing to share your experience with anyone you know.  It gives you the outlet to talk to others with confidentiality and stops you from feeling isolated, which can easily happen with this experience.

Well enough rambling from me…

Next week, I will be setting up appointments with a couple of new IVF doctors… thinking of the clinic in Shorthills, NJ, and Weills-Cornell in NY.  My old doctor says he has done all he can….  a fresh perspective is called for! I am not ready to give up yet.  Besides we only found out I had a couple of gene mutations after my 2nd IVF and miscarriage!  So not giving up yet!

love to all on this journey,

Coach Louise

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Louise’ Journey – Philosophical thoughts…

I wrote this on someone’s blog today, and thought well, this would be a great post on my own blog….

Coach Louise

Coach Louise

In answer to Sharon’s blog – about her inspiring message and determination….

It is something I realised through my journey is that infertility or having a baby doesn’t define who I am.  Letting go of the outcome of a successful IVF/IUI treatment was one of the hardest lessons – but once the realisation came, it was one of relief.  I realised I wasn’t the one in control –  ( determination-here I come) that giving that totally over to whomever, God, the Universe, Grace – and just letting what will be, be.  That took me a while, and of course is something I do have to remind myself of.   My miscarriage was heartbreaking.  But I have allowed myself to grieve, and not know why…   I have subsequently learned about the possibility that we choose to come to earth having decided which lessons we need to learn, and that my baby came purely for that few weeks for a reason.  What is my learning….still working on that one… but it gives me more compassion, understanding and love for those who walk in my shoes – part of the reason why I now coach women on this journey….  Sterkte (strength for non South Africans) , to you Sharon, you are an inspiration.  We are all whole, beautiful and loved, and how we show up in life – we certainly have a choice in that – is all that matters.

with love and conviction,
Coach Louise Crooks

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