'An alkaline diet helped me conceive'
After spending two years struggling to conceive, and trying a range of different conventional and holistic approaches, Henrietta discovered Honestly Healthy. Here is her story, in her own words:
‘During our two years of trying for a baby with no luck, I used to actively seek out ‘happy case study stories’. All I wanted to read were miracles tales that would remind me that there was hope out there. These wonderful stories are littered across the internet on blogs, forums and various other forms of social media but with each happy story there of course the sad ones too and I couldn’t quite get my head around how these women/couples picked themselves up and moved on.
What struck me was that each person’s experience was entirely different and the word ‘journey’ couldn’t be more apt; at times the phrase, ‘it’s all about the journey not the destination’ seemed laughable to me as all we wanted was our baby, but now looking back on it I really believe it to be true.
We started actively trying for a baby when I was 29 – by actively I mean using ovulation sticks and understanding when the best times were. I was ovulating every single month at roughly the same time and had regular periods. In my mind that meant that everything was just as it should be and there was no cause for worry. A year down the line, still no luck. I had a sixth sense something wasn’t quite right as all my friends seemed to be getting pregnant so I decided to try acupuncture for a few months – still nothing. My gynaecologist did all the standard tests and all came back normal.
In one acupuncture session my lovely practitioner (Emma Cannon) suggested I have my thyroid tested – sure enough my thyroid antibodies were sky high. This was a sign that my body was ‘fighting something’ with its Natural Killer Cells and although I hadn’t ever had a positive pregnancy test this seemed to make sense medically.
My immune system was essentially in over drive – to me this was spot on as I hardly I ever got bugs and could fight off most coughs and colds relatively easily. Without Emma I would never have received the medical signpost I needed. What followed was four months on steroids, super ovulation hormones and immune suppressant drugs whilst trying naturally – this was incredibly tough physically, mentally and financially (the NHS don’t have enough research to support the Natural Killer Cell theory).
After nearly two years of trying and reaching a really low ebb my husband and I decided to give IVF a go – it was a big decision and not one we took lightly. The clinic we chose specialised in our Natural Killer Cell diagnosis and we were on the road.
But there was a key turning point….
Pre IVF I decided that I needed to ‘get healthy’ – I’d handed in my notice at work to go freelance, we’d bought a puppy to fill my days with constant joy and company whilst working and I felt like my diet needed an overhaul. A friend recommended Honestly Healthy and I haven’t looked back. I bought the book, made our alkaline Ocado list and both my husband and I fell deeply under its spell. I already didn’t eat much wheat or dairy but through Honestly Healthy we introduced new superfoods.
Turmeric is known to have a positive effect on the immune system so I tried to squeeze it in to as many smoothies/meals as possible. Whilst at home during the days I’d treat myself to a ‘Bake Off’ and would make us the Oat Raisin cookies or try my hand at the gorgeous muffins.
Treating and nurturing ourselves seemed like the right thing to do. Our Honestly Healthy lifestyle gave us an amazing focus that was both positive and rewarding and did wonders for our relationship at a really testing time.
During my ‘monitoring’ phase of IVF (the month where my clinic assessed how my body worked naturally before it all kicked off) I took my Honestly Healthy passion to another level – I was feeling a bit ‘out of control’ and so worried about what I was about to do to myself physically that I ordered the Fridge Fill. It took the pressure off and made me feel like I was doing something positive.
When tests revealed that my hormones were normal and that I ovulated on day 14 of my cycle, the IVF drugs were scheduled to arrive two weeks later. However, just before they did I was told to take a pregnancy test ‘just in case.’ After 24 months of failure I couldn’t bring myself to do a test but I had one in my draw and one Sunday morning I decided to take it.
I didn’t even look at it as I thought I knew what the outcome would be but at that exact moment our puppy walked in to the bathroom and looked at me expectantly with one ear up and one ear down as if she knew that I needed to see what was going on – I glanced down and there it was….the positive that we’d been longing for!
The first 12 weeks passed in a complete haze, I was still under strict monitoring which meant blood tests once or twice a day and weekly scans. I was also injecting myself three times a day to ‘keep it in there’. I tried to off set the ‘drug taking’ with as many alkaline foods as possible to calm my body down and keep it as centred as it could be – although I had slight morning sickness and some nausea, I definitely think it helped.
I’m now nearly half way through my pregnancy and although absolutely am not taking anything for granted, I truly believe that our Honestly Healthy path lead our bodies to where they needed to be for a successful conception. I’ll be forever grateful to Natasha and her team and am looking forward to teaching our new little family the magic of alkaline foods!”