Doing It for Myself

The more I have shared photos of myself on social media recently (as opposed to my preferred snaps of interiors!), the more I have been found that those photos have been met with comments about my appearance and how great people think I look.  This isn’t me blowing my own trumpet, quite the opposite, I feel like it’s more of a confessional really as to why my body, skin and general appearance have improved in recent months. It most certainly hasn’t been born out of a want to look different, I can promise you that; not that there would be anything at all wrong if it had.

The thing is, when I have posted a photo of myself and subsequently the “Looking hot” or “If I had a body like that…” comments come rolling in from other women, I feel like a bit of a fraud.  This body has been born out of the healthiest of lifestyles, and I can’t pretend that it hasn’t.  I have lost over two stone since the start of the year, and I had gained a massive four stone when I was pregnant with Teddy (I have no excuse for that one, he was 6lb 2oz, I am kidding no one when I say it was “all baby”).  I am still nearly half a stone heavier than I was before I was expecting him; but I don’t mind, it’s not about that.  The truth is, I feel physically healthier now than I have done in years; but unlike other times (such as the lead-up to our wedding) I haven’t been doing it to “get thin” or to look a certain way.  It’s been done with one thing in mind; having another baby.

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I get messages from people saying things like “Do you do yoga for fitness, is it good?“, or “How do you stay so slim?“.  I have never made any secrets about the fact that yoga has very much saved me in this past year, from my darkest moments.  It has made me feel stronger, more focused and helped me with my grief.  As I practice it so frequently (in fact most days now) there are also the fringe benefits that occur; that of physical strength and of nourishing my body with the flow of energy that it creates.  As for how do I stay so slim?  My diet has been entirely changed and maintained in a way to help my body be as healthy as it can be again to conceive a healthy baby.  I am trying as hard as I can to give myself the very best chance.

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My cycles still haven’t returned to normal since our loss in January.  This left me with no period for three months, and then barely any since then.  My cycles are also getting longer and more sporadic again, just as they were before we fell pregnant with Teddy.  I will be the first to say that when we were trying to conceive Teddy I was stressed, tired, overworked, I ate badly and I drank too much.  Oh, and did I also mention that I didn’t do any exercise apart from hurriedly walking Boris each day whilst still attached to my work phone?  My life now is entirely different, but so is my body.  Everyone says it’s so easy to conceive once you’ve had your first baby; well “everyone” you’re wrong.  I did conceive four months after losing Teddy, but since losing that baby in January I now have scarring in my uterus.  Scarring that is disrupting my cycles and making my reproductive system stagnant.  This means that nothing is working as it should; or so I am told.

Having always been a positive thinker and a believer in the power of making positive changes in your life to get yourself what you want; I have embarked on my mission to get what I want.  Another baby.  I get messages all the time from people saying things like “When you are ready to start trying again” and “If you ever wanted to give Teddy a sibling”.  Trust me when I say I am more than ready. This isn’t a choice or a conscious decision not to have another child, and this quest to help myself has been something that has taken over my life in many respects. (If anyone tells me to “Just relax” at this point, you know where the door is).  Being told by my (brilliant and expert) consultant, whom I speak to more regularly than most of my good friends these days, that things just “don’t seem to be working” has been a very tough pill to swallow.  When the thing you wanted more than anything was taken away from you so brutally in the first instance, and now the thing you want to try and achieve in order to start healing your broken heart starts to feel further away than it has ever been, it can feel quite cruel.

So; what changes have I made to my lifestyle in order to help things along?  Yoga is most definitely one. I also walk, every day, with Boris for at least an hour.  Fresh air and clearing my head does me good (even when I don’t feel like it).  My diet, although not followed entirely militantly, is generally pretty good.  I don’t eat many refined carbs, or dairy.  A few years ago I replaced cows milk with coconut or almond, and I only have a small amount of full fat organic milk as this is supposed to be best to aid fertility.  I only ever have one or maybe two alcoholic drinks a week, sometimes I don’t drink at all.  I have cut out most caffeine, I rarely drink coffee anymore and stick to herbal tea most of the time.  Most recently I have cut out meat, I am still eating fish and shellfish (Scallops, I’ll never live without you), but I decided to stop eating meat after an incident that left me crying at the side of an empty field where my friends the cows had been (I think we all know where they had gone).  I decided to live by a new rule; if I wouldn’t catch and kill it myself to eat it, then I won’t eat it.  I wasn’t a huge meat eater before, so it’s been an easy transition to make.

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My typical day sees me eat porridge oats with cinnamon or cacao for breakfast, scrambled eggs and avocado for lunch or perhaps a homemade soup, and then in the evenings I will eat grilled vegetables and fish or maybe a a spelt risotto of some kind. I snack on figs, dates, nuts and  dark chocolate.  I don’t deprive myself of anything; if I want cake then I bloody well have it, likewise with wine, coffee or ice-cream (or my old friends the humble Fish Finger).  The difference is that now I do all of these things in moderation; with my health and well being always in the forefront of my mind.  Yes it’s resulted in me losing weight and my body shape changing, but that’s not what it’s been about for me.

Other things I use to help with my mindset and fertility are Chinese medicine.  I have acupuncture bi-weekly and have learned so much about my body and my health as a result.  I also have reflexology or Arvigo (that’s a kind of fertility massage) every other week.  I meditate and I listen to fertility relaxation tracks.  I try to indulge in some kind of self love activity each day; whether that be painting my nails or enjoying half an hour or so of yoga on my own.  I have chosen to keep track of everything I do, eat and use to nourish my body and help my fertility by recording it all in a diary.  I use the Love Yourself Lean Journal which was very kindly gifted to me at the beginning of the year by Kelly (the founder) after she discovered my blog and read about Teddy.  Filling in that journal each day has become a huge ritual in my life, it closes the day and helps me reflect on what I am grateful for and how well I have chosen to look after myself that day.  It’s as helpful with my reflection as it is with setting my goals and affirmations for the coming weeks and months ahead.  It has also been such a useful tool over the past seven months in helping me to see how far I have come in my grief for Teddy, and how much more light has started to creep into everything I do.

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As a result of all of this, my cycles are improving.  My consultant thinks that with a bit more time, a few more check ups and the continuation of the hormone medication that she has prescribed that I may well go back to normal, with no further medical intervention (that would be the dream).  I may well conceive another baby any time now, after all, anything is possible? Only time will tell; when I say time, I obviously mean the ‘Dildo Wand” that guy will definitely tell.

So why, like on so many occasions, am I telling you this?  I just wanted to share, because as with many things; sometimes it’s not always as it seems on the outside when you are looking in.  Yes I look healthier and above all I feel healthier, but this is all part of a much bigger picture; one which I can’t wait to share with you all when our time finally comes.

Elle x


101 thoughts on “Doing It for Myself

  1. Once again lovely Elle, you’ve put years in my eyes.
    You write so beautifully about your story & it puts my life into perspective.
    Just yesterday I was battling with myself & ‘coping’ with my toddlers. But then reality kicks in that I am so fortunate to have babies let alone healthy ones.
    My thoughts are always with you & you get that little star / rainbow.
    You are really an inspiration & I hope the universe delivers what you dream.
    Big hugs
    Gemma x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just love your honesty, makes me bloody well cry every time though!!!
    Have faith and you will have your dreams come true one day, you deserve them to that is for sure. I had a long journey to get my little people but the end of that journey I was left feeling more blessed than any other person on the planet & even when they are tinkers I still feel that same blessing!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have recently started to get quite bogged down with all things fertility and trying to conceive. I was so desperate not to let it become a ‘thing’ but it does so easily. We are only at the beginning of our journey but your post was so refreshing and gave me the reassurance that investing more in myself (I too have a new-found love for yoga!) is never going to be a waste. I think I might also grab a copy of that book! Thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elle, thank you for sharing this. We’ve been trying to conceive for 4 years. I feel fertility (or lack thereof in our case) is a fairly quiet subject. Mainly because its quite painful and people dont want to share it – so thank you for being so open.
    After having several months off the TTC merry go round. We’ve decided to give it another go – including supplements, acupunture, Chinese Medicine and a new one for me Yoga.
    I really wish you all the best (especially with your Dildo Wand experience – isnt THAT a special one!) Sincerely wishing you all the best xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another wonderful post Elle. You and Izzy Judd do such a fantastic job at sharing Fertility struggles that people go through. Nearly 2 years for us and no sign of anything , doesnt compare to what you have been through at all but heart breaking in our own way.
    I have recently started doing some Yoga and changing my diet. Accupuncture just wasnt for me unfortunately but keen to try anything else.

    Thank you for sharing !!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As always, Elle, you’ve made me well up! I love how straight talking you are, that you don’t hold onto information about ways/things you’ve felt have helped since the loss of Teddy.

    I fell pregnant easily with my daughter but it took 5 long heartaching years to have a successful pregnancy that lasted longer than 12 weeks the 2nd time around. I understand the feeling of waiting for something but not actually knowing when it’ll come.

    Just know there are a lot of people cheering you on ❤

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  7. Your honesty is just inspiring. The day you announce your pregnancy I think I will be more excited than if it were my best friend. I think even a little wee may pop out I’ll scream so loudly! Keep going. You’re inspiring.
    Xxxxx

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  8. Elle,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are so brave and so honest with your words. You’re an inspiration and I truly hope all your dreams come true, as you deserve everything you wish for.
    Keep being your positive self and providing all of us with your honest/positive/heartwarming/hilarious instastories!
    Lots of love
    Debs x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elle, the past few days I’ve being trying to stop myself getting too bummed out on all things pregnancy related but yet again you’ve given me a complete reality check with your perfectly written words.
    We’re currently over year down the line with one miscarriage and still no baby and whilst we watch what feels like everyone around else around us fall pregnant, you have reminded me that it’s not just us – there are hundreds more people going through the same struggles as us, I just have to keep positive and not give up hope!

    Thank you!
    X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No getting bummed out around here Carla, we are all in this together. As for those around us who fall pregnant that easily….who wants to just sneeze and get pregnant anyway?! (Me, for the record….I do!) I honestly believe it will be worth the wait, hang in there. Sending all the love xx

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  10. You’re an inspiration to us all. Life can be so tough and can really and truly put us through our paces but I think this gives us the strength to go on. I hope God is shining down on you he blesses you in many ways. Xxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thankyou for sharing and good luck from someone who has been on the rollercoaster that is the infertility journey, through IVF and come out the other side with a blessing ( and then another miracle a year later…but thats another story). Best wishes Lisa x ( tilly and fox ) x

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  12. Elle, I’m old enough to be your mum, but I just wanted to send gentle hugs, and say that this will happen for you, I have a daughter who was in similar situation, took a while but she got there in the end . You are amazing , no doubt you have the ” I cant do this positive lark ” days , but you give others hope by your openness and honesty . God Bless you .x

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  13. I just love the way you write and how you open your heart and home so openly ur a beautiful person inside and out how u brave getting out of bed every day and living again I’ll always have the utmost respect for how truly brave u are and funny !! xxx

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  14. What an honest and insightful blog. Thank you for sharing. It’s made me well up.

    I think we all need to take an element of self love and care into our lives. I’m a big believer in energies and positive thinking will attract positivity and got are full is it. This things will happen

    Katherine
    XxX

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dear Elle
    Once again you write so eloquently and from the heart and I’m convinced you’ll have the best news to share very soon. My ‘share’ is to tell you about the Zita West clinic in London, in case you’ve not heard of them. They were a huge help to me when I was trying to get pregnant – I had so much preconception support from them and they’ve helped a couple of my friends too, all successfully and all of us in circumstances similar(ish) to what you describe happening to you since January. I just couldn’t read this – or sleep tonight(!) – without signposting you to their website, although please do just disregard it if you feel you’re inundated with too much advice.
    Keep strong, spirited and positive – and I’ll continue to keep everything crossed for you. Lots of love, Sxx

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for sharing and best of luck on your journey. I had a similar experience to you without the incomprehensible loss that you had with Teddy. That will leave a sadness for your whole life but your decision to open your heart to another baby is a brave and wonderful one. After a long infertility journey I went down the route of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. For me it was the breakthrough I needed. My cycle shortened and I warmed up enough to be healthy enough to both conceive and carry a baby (my problem was I was “too cold” – pcos and long cycle etc). every single thing I did to help improve my fertility was a positive contribution. I used to regularly form a shape of a heart with my hands and place it on my womb and tell my body that I was ready to have a baby. It was successful in a surprisingly short space of time and in 4 years I had 3 little ones. I am convinced that every last positive thing I did to improve my fertility made it happen. And so I wish you all the very best and hope that it all works out for you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susanne this is a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing with me! I have been having acupuncture since last November now, but not tried Chinese herbs yet, I think you may have just changed that! So pleased to hear that it all worked for you. You have given me so much hope! xx

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  17. Elle,
    Thank you so much for sharing. Your candor has been like tiny lifts of air for me in my grief. You have taught me certain things are “okay” (leaving the baby room up) and to be positive about the possibility of having another baby. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading Danielle. I am really pleased that my words have been helpful to you. I always say to my husband “If one person reads this who needs it, then I have done a good job!” Sending positive vibes to you xx

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  18. I don’t think this was an over share at all. Actually I can’t believe some of the personal questions people ask you!! It’s beautifully written and good for you for trying to get yourself healthy and do what feels right for your mind and body. I wish you absolutely nothing but love and luck. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Elle I am sending u all the positive vibes in the world 💗💗💗💜💜💜💛💛💛 fertility issues are so heart breaking. I tried for 4 years to conceive. Having numerous meetings with the dildo wand 🤦🏻‍♀️ Every examination procedure possible. We were classed with unexplained infertility???? WTF !!!years of tests and no answers 💩 We had 4 failed iui attempts but finally became pregnant on our first round of ivf. Zoe was born 15/05/2016 and iv always felt a connection with u even tho we have never met. I pray ur dreams come true for u and know it will happen as u are such a wonderful human xxx 😘💗💜💛

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I do hope you fall pregnant soon. You have worked so hard to get where you are and you are a true inspiration. I have never been though the pain you have nor can I ever imagine it! But your courage is inspirational. You are amazing x

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  21. Beautifully written as always Elle ❤️ I started following you when there were only 2000 of us and it has been a pleasure to share your journey. I wish you the happiest of endings❤️❤️

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  22. Right so I’ve gone to leave a comment several times but end up waffling on and sounding like a complete stalker/ fan girl!!
    Anyway, just want to say thanks for being you and for being on Instagram so I can follow you and see your stories (just 1 of the 22k counsellors giving you a wave over here 🙋🏼)
    Weird thing to thank you for but I’m just glad that I get the chance to hear what you have to say because you’re definitely one of the good ones in life….even if that life isn’t quite giving back to you in the ways you would like…yet. And every time I read a post about you I just think of the Cinderella quote…”have courage and be kind”….because you do and you are xx

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  23. Despite not knowing you, I just want to give you a massive squeeze. Your writing is so raw, it’s like you’re talking only to me. Your motivation is inspirational and infectious x

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  24. Oh Elle, you really are special and just so admirable. As always, thank you for sharing with us and being so honest and an inspiration that there is always a glimmer of hope and positivity. I love watching your stories and reading your posts and we are all behind you cheering you on each day. x

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  25. Elle, you have so eloquently and honestly described how all encompassing the journey to get pregnant can be for so many people.
    My first son was stillborn and the urge to have a baby was all I could think about (besides the horrendous grief). I never even considered that I’d have issues conceiving again (surely life couldn’t be that cruel? ) but 2.5 years later after 2 miscarriages, pretty much every fertility boosting method google could provide and a lot of heartache, we brought our second little boy home with us.
    It’s a shitty journey and I felt incredibly lonely- thank you for sharing your story, you’re not alone and I wholeheartedly hope that everything works out for you xx

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  26. Nothing d*ckish at all about this post 🙂 You & Boris are the only vloggers me & Dora (my pug) make time to watch – your humour & strength through incomprehensible pain & ability to share your journey are extraordinary!! Mentally & physically exhausted from my own difficult journey of late, this post has given me the shove I’ve desperately needed to get myself back on the wellness train & remind myself that it’s ok to have the odd hiccup in a bid to feel like ‘me’ (bottle of wine/slab(s) of cake!!) In the words of Mr. Churchill …If you’re going through hell, keep going…thank you Elle X

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  27. Thank YOU Elle, yet more truth and honesty… you really are one brabecwoman.
    I so enjoy catching up on your days in the evening, (my husband thinking I am some kind of crank watching my 4 chosen wonder women to see how their day has been! 😂, although I’m sure I’m not the only one) .
    Keep going Elle…. good things will come…
    Charlie x
    P.s where did you find that wonderful diary, it would give me some positive reflection at the end of each day!
    X

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Beautifully written, I think you are doing a wonderful job in looking after yourself and preparing your body and mind. I admire your strength and determination to make a positive change. Wishing you all the very best Xx

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  29. You are such an inspiration and so true that you never know what goes on bwhind closed doors! My sister in law conceived after 5 years of trying and had booked in to start IVF treatment then one day she took a test and was pregnant despite one fallopian tube being completelty blocked! Dont lose hopeee I hope and prey that your dream comes true one day! Your stories are alway so touching xox

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  30. Such a beautiful and honest post, I went through years of tests and fertility treatment to be told there was nothing wrong and I had unexplained infertility. At the time I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone especially close friends who were all having babies and felt guilty about telling me their good news, this was really hard as I was genuinely happy for them. Your blog is so important, your sharing makes other couples realise they are not alone and you guys are an inspiration to so many. Keep up the good work and I hope your dreams come true.

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  31. Love your openness and honesty. It’s so refreshing to hear someone talk about the things that we tend to shy away from.

    I’m also in awe of your determination to get through and have a baby. I suffer with mental health issues and I really struggle to keenpositive and keep myself healthy. I find your blog a little nudge to keep me on track.

    Thank you and lots of love xx

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  32. Elle, I also meant to say, that it must have been so difficult for your own parents , and Nico’s watching their children, ( regardless of age) being in distress and not being able to alievate it . Grandparenting a baby who has left the world early, but still always in your heart and soul and supporting the parents is tough. God Bless.

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  33. Elle, I needed to read this so thank you for sharing. Instagram is full of everything I want (i.e. babies) and sometimes it’s so hard not to get upset by what you don’t have. I have tried to make positive changes, and its so nice to read that someone else (not just me) is making these changes as well. I have started focusing on myself, going to the gym regularly, getting my hair and nails done, started taking all the vitamins i think i need, started looking after my skin (does this matter?… not sure), and got a less stressful job. I am hoping to see a change soon. I lost a baby last year and its very hard to keep up momentum with it as sometimes i think its just never going to happen for me. I am slightly opposite to you, I spot from Day 17 – right through to Day 28 then have a one day period?!?! It’s madness and i cant seem to find anyone else with a similar situation who has gone on to have thousands of babies…
    Thank you for being so open, its inspirational and will help lots and lots of other women out there… its not as lonely as we once thought. 🙂

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  34. Thank you for sharing your story. I am having to change my lifestyle due to health issues. lupus is the main factor. You are total inspiration in your changes. I am going to do more yoga and continue to change the diet. Mindfulness, health and wellbeing are key to coping so many hidden illnesses. Thank you x

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  35. Thank you for talking so openly about your struggles! I have been trying for a baby with my husband for 19 months now. Nothing wrong with either of us as far as they are aware so I feel your pain.

    I’m not sure how you cope with your loses I think that would finish me off! I don’t know about you but no one truly understands unless they are going through it. Everyone says the wrong thing ‘just relax’ my favourite or ‘just don’t think about it and it will happen’.

    I hope you get your bundle of joy soon. We just have to not give up hope! Xx

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  36. The difficult seasons in life are what shape us. I pray for you Elle that in the not too distant future you will be able to have another baby. I am often deeply moved by your honesty and beautifully written posts about your dear Teddy. I know that God sees you Elle, in those tough days when you feel overwhelmed. He sees ‘you’ not in a remote removed way but from heaven where Teddy is and that God ever seeks your highest good and blessing. Sometimes though, we have to wait a little while and during those times we grow in character and grace. I will continue to pray for you Elle, not just for a ‘season’ but for a ‘lifetime’. I’m so glad you shared. Much love x

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  37. Yet another beautifully written post, Elle! I love how open and honest you are and think you’re incredibly strong (sorry if that sounds so cliche, but it’s true!).

    My hubby and I are currently trying for a baby and although we’ve only been trying for a few months, it feels like a battle already – 1) I have type 1 diabetes which can cause pregnancy issues. It’s taken a while to even get to the stage of ‘trying’ as I’ve had to try and reduce my blood sugars a bit. 2) I’ve always suffered from irregular periods with no reason as to why.

    Now I’ve read this blog post, I think it’ll give me that kick up the bum to start eating healthier and exercising more. I also like the idea of that journal. I would imagine reflecting on each day and looking after ‘me’ would be a good place to start. So thank you.

    I’d also like to add that I just LOVE your insta-stories – you and Boris always have me giggling! 🙂

    Lots of love and baby dust to you,
    Melissa x

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  38. Elle, I cannot read a post of yours without my eyes starting fill up. I find you an utter inspiration even though I can only relate to what you go through from outer perspective and see it as how you tell it, how beautifully you do! You literally make me sit back and think so hard about life and so how lucky I am in everything I have and I thank you for that because when I read your posts like this it makes me realise how god damn lucky I am and I can easily take life for granted sometimes. Even though I don’t know you personally I love how you let everyone into your life and what I do know about you now, you certainly deserve happiness in every way possible and I hope I really do hope you will be blessed again and you and your husband get to love again because you both deserve so so much. I believe good things come to those who wait, and Elle what I see of you, you’re a good person!! I just want to also quickly say thank you again for writing yet another fab post and making me be grateful for life… you really are just fabulous.

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  39. Elle it will happen for you lovely and I hope that is one day very soon. I lost my daughter in August 2013, she was four last week. I then miscarried in January 2014. Then we got a huge shock in March i was pregnant again and it was twins!! I now have almost 3 year old twin boys. The only thing I will say Elle is please don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I was so regimented in the first two pregnancies and then with the twins I just relaxed and everything went perfectly. You, Teddy and Nico are always in my thoughts and I prey that you will have the baby you so long for very soon xxxxx

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  40. I totally admire your courage and honesty. It is evident how much support you offer to other women who have experienced loss and infertility issues from reading all the lovely comments. I so hope that you are both blessed with more children. I am going to buy a journal for a friend whom has just suffered a miscarriage. Thank you xx

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