Apr 22, 2019
Welcome to another guest hosted episode. This time I've asked Cat Strawbridge to be my host and talk about her pregnancy after infertility. Cat has been a guest on this podcast before, we spoke about 'Relaxgate' which was a conversation following a conversation on This Morning about infertility, which Cat contributed to. You can listen to the episode here
Cat has been doing amazing work on Instagram talking about infertility, sharing a lot of her journey and has hosted many fabulous Insta lives which I've also shared as podcast episodes as recently has started hosting events in person as well. You can follow her Insta @tryingyears here
Cat is talking to Anna German who I've known for a couple of years, and she has also been a previous podcast guest talking about her beautifully illustrated book 'So When Are you Going to have Kids' which you can hear us talking about here Anna has spoken at Fertility Fest which where she also met Cat and Anna will be there again this year and you can follow her fab illustrations on her insta
My original idea for this episode was for Cat to chat with midwife Katie Eaves who is a midwife dealing with her own infertility and helping other midwives understand more about women pregnant after infertility. You can hear my chat with Katie here
11 years of trying to conceive
We changed course however and I asked Cat to speak with Anna as I felt, having two women sharing their pregnancy experience after a combined 11 years of trying to conceive was going to be a conversation you needed to hear.
Between Cat and Anna they have been through numerous cycles of IVF and ICSI, pregnancy loss and donor conception.
Within that sentence alone there is already so much to deal with and in this episode the pair talk through the effects of their treatments on their emotions, which sadly - nobody prepares you for, however on hearing people talking more and sharing more on social platforms - hopefully it can help you. Both ladies talk about how being pregnant is still part of the infertility journey. She explains how rather than hide away once pregnant and feel guilty she feels its good for us to continue to look for support
Cat is also navigating her way through the fact that once she was pregnant, her and hubby Bob learnt they were expecting twins. What is unbelievably sad is that at 10 weeks, they learnt that one of their twins had stopped progressing. 'Dealing with a miscarriage inside you as well as the survivor.. totally an unexpected situation to be in' as Cat explains.
She also says how rather than hide away and feel guilty she want to say that I think that its good for us to continue to look for support
Anna and hubby Vinny found themselves in a bizarre situation at one point when they were on route to the hospital and had realised they'd not spoken about freezing embryos.. the point being they'd been previously so caught up with all the other things during their treatment that had gone wrong that they hadn't allowed themselves to think that far.
Both ladies have been through so much, what has happened is that their pregnancies have been overshadowed, tinged with sadness that they have struggled to shake off.
Doing Pregnant things
Anna spoke about how the strangeness of talking about pregnancy and how where she works, which is in a new place, they don't know anything about her fertility struggles and that is where she feels the most normal.
Cat shared a recent experience being at pregnancy yoga and how she could have been anyone, which she found quite emotional saying how she had to keep checking her bump and asking herself whether she belonged there in this 'normal pregnancy situation'
I think there's so much to take on from what is discussed here from the emotional toll being pregnant still takes and Anna explains how she has started making things for her baby's room and planning to make clothes which are helping her feel really positive, however, she cannot bring herself to do NCT.
The Baby On Board badge
This badge causes a lot of emotion when you're TTC. Anna talked about how she couldn't bring herself to wear one, as she said ' partly because I hated seeing them and I feel like I don’t want to do that to anyone else’s day. I think if they weren’t so jovial - they became a symbol of this club I’m wasn’t in'. Cat explained how it took her several times to put the badge on
Mothers Day and Post Natal Depression
Anna talked about finding this Mother's Day - once pregnant hard. That she wishes she had been prepared for the sense of imposter syndrome and both ladies stress the importance of counselling especially as there is a lot of research talking about the likelihood of postnatal depression being linked to infertility
Anna has had implications counselling and is still processing some of those things that were talked about in counselling as soon to be realities but also talked about her fears probably being a worry replacement - eg. if it wasn’t a donor pregnancy I may be worrying about something else.
Her brilliant point is that when you spend so long waiting for something to happen that you don’t think is going to happen and then it does, you are instinctively on guard…