A woman from the UK says she finally became a mum by making some controversial lifestyle changes, including cutting out sugar, exercise and makeup.
Nicola Szymanowski, 38, and husband Mark, 39, from Bury, Manchester in the UK, are now the proud parents of son Charles Henry John, born in May this year weighing in at a perfect three kilos.
“We followed the advice from the doctor,” she told 9Honey, explaining she and her husband cut out refined sugar, alcohol, perfume, skincare products, makeup and exercise.
“You can’t do anything to ensure IVF will work, you can only give it your all to give yourself the best chance,” she said.
The couple also radically improved their diets by reducing carbohydrates, increasing protein and vegetable consumption, particularly leafy greens, and drinking plenty of water.
The new mum now offers support and advice to women via the Twitter page @everydayIVF, saying she wants to “help and inspire” people during what can be a long and challenging road to parenthood.
Of new motherhood, Nicola says it’s “challenging and exhausting”.
“Motherhood is wild,” she told 9Honey. “Challenging, exhausting, emotional, overwhelming. Nothing can prepare you. But wonderful and amazing – overwhelming again!
“No-one warns you!!!!”
The new parents had spent $35,000 on fertility treatment and say they were left feeling “utterly physically and emotionally exhausted” by their ordeal.
Both Nicola and Mark suffered fertility issues which made their path to parenthood even more challenging.
Nicola spoke of long days driving to and from hospital appointments as well as four failed rounds of IVF and two miscarriages.
Among the changes the couple made were Mark giving up his morning boxing sessions.
“The doctor said Mark doing strenuous exercise would lead to his body releasing endorphins to repair the muscles, which could affect our chances,” Nicola explained.
Nicola and Mark with baby Charles. Image: SWNS/Mega
“And she also said chemicals from perfume or make-up would get into my bloodstream, so I stopped using perfume.”
She says she even asked visitors to stop wearing perfume and described their struggle to conceive as “an horrific journey, absolutely horrific.”
“There were times when we were so low,” she said.
Nicola 38, of Bury, Manchester said: “The doctor said Mark doing strenuous exercise would lead to his body releasing endorphins to repair the muscles, which could affect our chances.
Related video: Tasmanian woman becomes oldest to use IVF
“And she also said chemicals from perfume or make-up would get into my bloodstream, so I stopped using perfume.
“”I even asked people who were coming to see me not to wear perfume,” the new mum said.
“It was an horrific journey, absolutely horrific. There were times when we were so low.
“But now Charlie is here. He is beautifully a mixture of Mark and I, and is doing well.”
For help and support with infertility visit the Australian National Infertility Network website.