Second Time Around…
Personal trainer Lottie is delighted to be pregnant with her second IVF baby. She shares some of the emotional ups and downs as well as her IVF pregnancy fitness regime.
Second time around you’re supposed to be more prepared, confident that you know what’s coming and can handle it… and to some extent its true. But actually all the emotions I thought had healed had simply been forgotten, it felt doubly emotional to be back on my second IVF journey.
I was back in the room where I had spent so many appointments silently sobbing with frustration, yearning and wondering whether I would ever get to hold my own baby in my arms. And I felt a sense of guilt that I didn’t deserve to be back here, I had one beautiful child why did I think I should be allowed anymore? I was embarking on all the potential IVF heartache all over again, only this time we were paying for the privilege.
Lockdown had created that vacuum of space and time to get life admin in order and really talk with my husband and decide what an ideal future together looked like. We are so happy as we are, the two of us with Scarlett our precious little girl, and life is consumed with all the whirlwind joys of a three year old. But would we look back and think, what if? We spent hours debating the pros and cons before deciding to take the plunge.
Then the preloaded needles and tablets came through the post and it was back to being a daily pin cushion of burning pain, carefully concealed from Scarlett.
I didn’t sleep a wink the night before the transfer, but this time there were Covid-19 restrictions and a toddler to manage. I needed anaesthetic for the transfer due to a cervix issue, and with no childcare we decided to make the possible conception of my new baby a big day out for the family. My husband drove us all to the IVF clinic but I headed in alone, leaving him and Scarlett outside. The masked nurses went to great lengths to reassure me but all I wanted was my husband to hold my hand and tell me it was going to be ok. I remember the anaesthetic bubbling into my veins and thinking it’s not working …. and then nothing until I woke up. I dressed as quickly as possible, took the next tablet and pessary and headed out to spend the rest of the day at ‘Birdland’ chasing dinosaurs…..socially distanced of course!
The two week wait was the worst. I cried every other day, alternating between feeling pregnant and then so empty inside. I was desperate to know and cheated and did the pregnancy test earlier which didn’t help at all because even though it was positive, I still couldn’t be sure. Finally the day came. We did the test at midnight… and the result was still two lines! I cried tears of utter relief and joy.
The First Trimester
Every pregnancy is different, all unique in their quirks and this time round I realised how lucky I’d been to escape the dreaded morning sickness with my first pregnancy. Literally all day, every day I would feel that lurch in my tummy, the sensation of rolling around on a boat and bizarrely the one thing that I didn’t feel like doing, made me feel SO much better. That one thing, of course is EXERCISE.
When I could think of nothing better than crawling back under the covers and ignoring the sun blazing through the curtains, my job as a PT and fitness trainer meant I had no choice other than to get up and get going.
It was great that fitness and movement are a non-negotiable part of my everyday life. Within ten minutes of music pumping and body bouncing I felt invincible, the happy endorphins would rocket around my body and my frazzled pregnant body actually gained energy as I became in awe of how strong it really is – and I must say this was helped by some seriously beautiful and supportive FittaMamma kit.
As for being a second round IVF mother and worrying about pregnancy exercise, I just wasn’t. Movement is as natural a state for the human body as breathing, it makes us feel alive, lifts our spirits, strengthens our body and is actually proven to benefit baby, and an IVF baby is no different.
I had bleeding about 8 weeks into the pregnancy and panicked, berating myself for maybe lifting a too heavy weight or pushing too hard, but it was a shock as I knew my pregnancy fitness routine is always within my limits. Again my knowledge as a PT meant I knew myself inside out, but even so, I phoned the nurse in pieces thinking I’d caused this problem. Instantly I was reassured as she said if you haven’t run an iron man or flipped over 10 cars trust me it’s not you and sometimes, just sometimes these things aren’t meant to be, but better to find out now than further down the line. She made me rationalise my emotions and just as soon as the bleeding had come so it went.
Did I dramatically change my pregnancy exercise regime and lie down for a month? Certainly not! I trusted my body and trusted my baby, thinking over and over ‘if we are meant to be you and I will become we’. I am wholly confident that staying active during pregnancy is beneficial.
Obviously if you haven’t ever exercised before now is not the time to go and run a marathon but why not use pregnancy as the perfect excuse to explore your new and amazing body, to get fitter and stronger for a powerful pregnancy, prepare for birth and be ready for your new baby. Pregnancy fitness can be as simple as going for a gorgeous power walk listening to an uplifting podcast, it can be Yoga, Pilates and it can also be HIIT, Strength Conditioning, Dancing and Cardio. I guess what I’m trying to say is move for the sake of moving and feeling good, don’t feel guilty, feel powerful, because mammas you are absolute warriors bringing life into a world, especially a world like right now.
I salute you all, I respect every one of your individual pregnant journeys, lets grow together.
Lottie is hosting free live workouts on Instagram every Sunday throughout Lockdown – Click here to get involved!