Pregnancy Notes Travels

5 Tips for Traveling With a Newborn

June 18, 2024
A ride in a vintage Ambassador.

Enjoying a ride in a vintage Ambassador in Hampi.

Traveling with a newborn is an adventure.  When I fell pregnant our friends told us to travel in the first three months of the baby’s life.  They stay exactly where you left them and as long as they are fed, clean and rested – things are good.  While I agree with this, it’s not so simple.  A crying baby in the car, dirty diapers, bored baby….how do you manage all this and still enjoy the trip?

We’ve been on two trips with Kalindi (so far).  Both trips were between 2-4 nights long.  We planned these holidays such that we would have family time interspersed with some sightseeing.  Which brings me to my first tip.

 

1. Choose your destination wisely

For the trips that we’ve done with Kalindi, we’ve been careful to choose destinations we could easily drive to in just a few hours.  For our first trip we went to Coorg and more recently to Hampi.  Both these destinations took about 7 hours and we made it there with minimal hassles.  Yes, we even enjoyed the beautiful new Hampi highways and the scenic route to the Scotland of India (Coorg).

I can’t emphasise the importance of a good carseat.  We were particular about getting a really comfortable car seat for Kalindi and this way she slept through most of the trips.

We also chose locations that:

  1. We had already been to, or
  2. One where we weren’t too keen on going out and sightseeing.

This way we could spend quality time in the hotel and not feel like we missed out on something.  In Coorg we stayed in the entire time, reading, talking and relaxing.  In Hampi we went out for half a day and spent the rest of the time relaxing indoors.

Which brings me to my second point.

 2. Choose a family friendly property.

As you can read in this rather distressed blog – we needed to reschedule our trip, and the hotel was happy to do it.  They also had amazing staff who helped us just that little bit more during meal times so that we could actually eat in peace.  At Evolve Back, Kamalapura Palace the staff even baked a cake in honor of Kalindi’s third month on earth.  Here the rooms were large enough for us to wheel Kalindi around in her pram to entertain her or put her to sleep.  The kitchen staff brought the food to our room the one time Kalindi got fidgety mid-meal and we came back to the room to soothe her.

Dressing the part of a new mama.

I wear shirts which make nursing Kalindi easier.

I’m also nursing Kalindi, and I found the hotel staff supportive whenever I need a private nook where I could feed her.  This is really important because running back to the room every time you need to feed the baby is time consuming and exhausting.  I made sure:

  1. I had a swaddle to cover myself and
  2. I wore tops which would make it easy to breastfeed.

Which brings me to my third point.

3. Packing to travel with a newborn

Prior to having a baby we could get away with last minute packing.  But with a baby I didn’t want to risk forgetting something and decided to pack two days before leaving.  This way I was free to take care of last minute things such as a fussy baby.

I also made sure to pack toys and keep them accessible.  I put a few in my handbag, in the diaper bag and also in the snacks bag.  That said, try not to overpack!  For our Coorg trip I overpacked for all kinds of imagined emergencies.  For Hampi, I consciously packed lesser, but it was still quite a bit.  It will take some practice, but I’ll get there.

 

4. Pit stops.

It’s easy to breastfeed 👩‍🍼 in public in India – people are generally very supportive.

A tip for new parents: stop at the CCDs on the highways – the staff is usually accommodating and because these CCDs are on the highway, they are usually uncrowded.  During our trip to Coorg and now to Hampi, it was the CCDs where we would stop for some coffee and we usually fed and did a diaper change there too. The CCDs don’t have a dedicated diaper changing table – but they have these really long tables and they’re very nice about letting you use it to change a diaper.

Pitstop for coffee and a diaper change.

CCDs on the highway certainly make traveling with a newborn easier.

5. Travel with like minded friends.

This morning I was telling a friend that I’m planning a trip to Egypt with a girlfriend.  I trust her to understand travel with a baby and be cool about an itinerary where we factor in breastfeeding or a cranky baby, or even a tried/cranky mother!  A good girlfriend will help clear the table so you can change the baby, lug the diaper bag around if you’re tired, lull the baby to sleep with some rhymes and even bathe the baby!

Similarly, traveling with other couples who have children and know how to help or even what you might need can make your vacay memorable and more fun.

Traveling with like minded friends.

Like minded friends help you make unforgettable memories with your newborn.

Frame of mind

When we were expecting Kalindi, Animesh and I spoke about wanting to share our lives with the baby.  We didn’t want to feel ‘tied down’ by the baby.  With this clarity, we plan trips that give us time for ourselves, our baby, as well as the hotel and destinations we’re visiting.

Traveling with a baby teaches you ‘slow travel’.  You build unforgettable memories as a young couple traveling with their first baby.  They say babies grow really fast, and looking at all the clothes she’s outgrown and how she’s filling up her car seat – I don’t doubt this.  So we want to enjoy this time while it lasts.  For a couple who loves traveling and who love each other traveling with their newborn is a memory they will always treasure.

Relaxing with a cup of tea.

Our trip to Coorg was just to relax and get in touch with ourselves.

Enjoying the little things.

Traveling with a newborn is also about enjoying the little things – such as silence and a cup of tea.

Traveling with a newborn.

As a couple who likes to travel, we want to travel and make memories with our newborn.

 

Books Pregnancy Notes

My Postnatal Repletion

June 5, 2024

The strangeness of postpartum isn’t written about enough.  There are few books about the state of new motherhood.  It’s as though the mother is pushed into oblivion by mountains of dirty diapers and midnight feedings.  No one talks about learning to inhabit the postnatal body and mind.  A mind that is usually bewildered.  A body whose contours are unfamiliar.  A depleted body.  In need of postnatal repletion.

I recently read ‘The Postnatal Depletion Cure‘ by Dr. Oscar Serrallach.  In it he describes postnatal depletion, and validates the millions of women struggling to find themselves postpartum.  Postpartum depletion comprises all the symptoms a woman experiences post delivery, such as the change in sleep cycle, the psychological strain and the emotional disturbances, social isolation and the hormonal changes.  He argues that the postnatal body is nutritionally depleted, especially if the mother is breastfeeding.  This depletion combined with a lack of sleep and the expectation that a woman seamlessly slip into her new role contribute to women experiencing long-term health problems even years after birthing their babies.  He suggests post delivery women focus on postnatal repletion.

I read the book in two days (breastfeeding gives you a lot of reading time).  Dr. Oscar’s research is thorough and compelling.  I felt conflicted postpartum.  I wanted to support my healing, but I wasn’t sure confinement and gorging on postnatal laddoos would help.  Above all, I didn’t want to do something just for the sake of it.  Fortunately, eastern cultures have certain traditions that are women-focused and can actually speed up healing.

My Postnatal Repletion

I was in my second month postpartum when I read the book.  I inadvertently followed three practices that resonate with his philosophy of ‘postnatal repletion’.

  1. Laddoos: A friend of mine sent me some laddoos during my first trimester.  I could hardly look at sweet things without wanting to vomit and ended up giving them away.  Fast forward to now.  Four different people have sent me four kinds of postpartum laddoos.  All of them made of various dry fruits and (the magic ingredient) gond.  Most women are advised to have calcium and iron supplements postpartum.  According to Dr. Oscar, we need a lot more than just basic nutrition because the process of creating a baby depletes a lot from your body. Consequently, these laddoos have helped keep my energy levels up, my skin clear, and my hair intact (so far). Additionally, my joints don’t hurt, and gradually, my PGP is also disappearing. Initially, I had heard horror stories about these laddoos. Many people mistakenly equate nutrition with simply ‘fattening the woman up so she can produce more milk for her baby.’ However, if made with the right recipe, these laddoos genuinely strengthen you, and you can feel the difference day after day as you move more easily and freely.
  2. Massage: I’ve included this because I think massage helped me bounce back faster.  A few days into my postpartum I realised I won’t be able to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’.  In any case, it’s a disturbed sleep where you’re hyper vigilant, waking at the slightest mewl from your baby.  I was lucky to find an Ayurvedic masseuse who had an innate understanding of the human body.  Her massages were transformative.  I did 40 days postpartum massage with her and I can feel my body coming together again.  These massages relaxed me, and made up for any kind of sleep deprivation I experienced.
  3. Belly Binding: Dr. Oscar talks realistically about the postnatal woman’s body.  Social media is all about who lost their pregnancy weight the fastest.  When can I start working out to go back to my “pre pregnancy” body.  This word is strange – why is it commendable to have a body that doesn’t speak of the birthing experience?  Dr. Oscar addresses things like changes to the size and shape of the breasts, hair, feet and the belly (which is what most women are concerned about).  It takes about six weeks for the uterus to shrink back to its original size.  My doctor suggested I use a postpartum belt to give my back and abdomen support. Traditionally, women have used saris to bind their abdomens so the organs can settle back into their original positions.  I still use a belt for a few hours a day, and I’d recommend it!

Three Months Postpartum…

It’s my third month postpartum and I’m feeling a lot better.  There’s an entire village helping me.  From my mother-in-law who spent 40 days looking after us and our house, to my college friend who referred an excellent nanny to us, to the vegetable vendor who delivers our vegetables and the cook who makes sure there’s always something nutritious to eat, to friends near and far who have encouraged and held space for me with their own stories and experiences.  If I’ve recovered well enough to write this, a large part of the credit goes to them.

Postnatal repletion with laddoos.

The laddoos that helped replenish me post-delivery. From my mil, a student, a friend and my Vedanta teacher.

Post-delivery recipe.

Many women swear by ajwain water and silver glasses. It tastes good!

Pregnancy Notes

My First Mother’s Day

May 12, 2024

It’s 8 pm and it’s the first time I’ve sat down today. By the time i publish this blog it might be after midnight.

I have been planning my first mother’s day for the last week. I washed my hair and chose an outfit. I googled the Water Monkey Cafe and imagined having coffee and a chocolate muffin with the Bangalore rains in the background. Maybe even taking some Instagram worthy photos with my munchkin.

This morning I finished packing for our first trip with Kalindi. I spent a few hours going through Kalindi’s clothes so that she’s nice and cozy in Coorg. I’d contemplated swim diapers, then decided a chlorinated pool was too risky for a one and a half month old. I imagined two restful days with Kalindi and Animesh in the verdant Coorgi hills with its crisp, inviting weather.

Little did I know that my first mother’s day would be spent in vomit-stained clothes (albeit with clean hair). My daughter was unsettled, uncomfortable and throwing up every time I fed her. Her appetite was decreasing and she fed frenetically, only to regurgitate everything minutes after. I had been congratulating myself on her healthy weight gain, long and peaceful sleep and general happy demeanor. Maybe I jinxed it. 🧿

I gave a distress call to our paediatrician as our house help tried to calm down our inconsolable daughter. I also spent the better part of an hour on the phone with MakeMyTrip and Aurika trying to figure out if our non refundable booking could be amended. The folks at MakeMyTrip were more accommodating than I expected and I’m so grateful for that.

My maternity shoot.

My maternity shoot.

But as I got off the phone with them, I saw my messy living room as though for the first time. There were burp cloths of every size and color strewn haphazardly on the couch. The elegant mango wood table which had once held interesting coffee table books now had squeaky toys, some sensory books, the instruction manual for our new baby sling, the remote, a pair of headphones and a box of roasted makhanas. The diaper bag was on the floor.

By now my daughter had wet her langot once again and there was a flurry of activity as one of us distracted her from her crying, the other ran to get a fresh langot and a third cleaned her up. It took about half an hour to settle her down again, but my nervous system is still in fight or flight mode. My daughter has finally fallen into a deep slumber.

As I look at her I think of the luxurious holiday that my maternity leave was supposed to ne, of which only 4 months are now left (the last two months have faded into oblivion). I think of the Vedanta lessons I was supposed to transcribe at a leisurely pace. I think of the book I’m supposed to be working on.

I look at my daughter’s calm face and little body. And I think of how my plans are no longer only mine, but ‘ours’. I think about how much more interesting Coorg will be with her in tow. I think of how much more relevant Vedanta has become for me. I think of how I’m endlessly inspired to write more and how much I’ve been reading lately. I think of how my daughter has brought a whole community of mothers and fathers and children closer to my life.

And I think maybe this is what a Happy Mother’s Day is all about.

My little yogi.

My little yogi. 💗 🧿

Pregnancy Notes

My Birth Story

May 5, 2024

I didn’t expect that I would write about my birth story soon after my First Trimester – A Recap blog, but life is full of surprises.

My water broke at around 9.50 am on Sunday the 24th of March, catching me completely off guard three weeks before my due date, and in the middle of a very interesting Vedanta lecture.  I hobbled to the bathroom as quickly as I could, wondering why I wasn’t able to hold the pee in and also wondering why there was so much of it.  Within minutes I had decided I was doomed for a lifetime of incontinence because I hadn’t assiduously done my kegels.

I was supposed to attend a get-together after my Vedanta class and although I had a premonition that something wasn’t quite right, I still got ready to go.  Just as I was about to exit my house I decided to listen to the incessant voice inside my head that told me to call my doctor “just to be safe.”

“What do you think?” my doctor asked me.  “Do you feel it’s urine or do you feel like your water broke?”

“Well if this is urine,” I said.  “My bladder has never produced so much before!”

At the Hospital

At the hospital they confirmed that my water had broken and induced me because there were no contractions.  My gynaecologist was enjoying her Sunday but soon came in to check on me.  During a routine checkup the previous Thursday, I was only 2 cms dilated.  Now on Sunday, after four excruciating hours of labor, I was still only 2 cms dilated.

That’s when my doctor said the dreaded ‘C’ word.  I was in more pain than I’d ever been in life, cumulative.  “Noooooo….” I moaned, thinking of all the horror stories I’d heard about C-sections.

“Listen,” my doctor attempted to reason with me.  “You’ve had a wonderful pregnancy, everything went just like you wanted to.  This is the last step.  Don’t risk it now.  Delay may lead to distress for the baby and exhaustion for you.”

I continued writhing in pain.  My contractions were coming in faster and more painfully.

“Are you scared of the stitches then?” she continued.  “Look, if you’re reluctant because you think a normal delivery doesn’t involve stitches then remember that even in a normal delivery you may need an episiotomy which takes it’s own time to heal.  There is not much of a difference between a natural delivery and caesarean.”

I looked at my husband with feverish eyes.  I know he would support me in whatever decision I took, but he was also considering the risk, and watching me writhing in pain.

“OK!” I screamed as the next contraction wracked my body.  “Let’s do this.”

The anaesthesiologist tried to make conversation with me when I was wheeled in.  “What are you expecting?” he asked me.

“A healthy baby,” I told him.

And a healthy baby is exactly what our wonderful team of doctors brought to us, and for that we are ever grateful.  But…

The Aftermath

I recently finished reading My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After.  It’s a collection of essays about the c-section experience, and it helped put my experience into perspective.  I resonated with every story.  An unexpected c-section is something many women have a hard time coming to terms with.  It’s an unplanned turn of events resulting in surgery and recuperation, and that is overwhelming.

Groggy from all the antibiotics and painkillers, many women struggle to make sense of what happened, how it happened and the millions of other ways it could have gone.  Many feel the birth experience was ‘stolen’ from them.

Have I come to terms with the fact that my healthy, active, radiant, fabulous pregnancy ended with a c-section?  Maybe not just yet.  But like a friend of mine said to me, “Give up resistance.  That’s yoga too….”

Our baby.

A healthy baby is exactly what our wonderful team of doctors brought to us, and for that we are ever grateful.

 

Pregnancy Notes

Kalindi

April 24, 2024
Birth announcement.

Kalindi,
She is Durga Maa
Born to avenge both Gods and mortals alike.

Born of Surya and Sanjana, the goddess of the clouds
And twin sister of learned sage and guru, Yama.
She is also Krishna’s beloved wife.

She is the shimmering Yamuna,
Whose waters turned dark when Shiva fell into them
in search of succor for his boundless grief.

Our Kalindi, born on the colorful festival of Holi
Heralding a new Spring in our lives.

Pregnancy Notes

First Trimester – A Recap

April 11, 2024

Now that I’m in my third trimester I wanted to do a recap of my first.  Here’s a detailed video about it.  I hope this blog resonates with other women who are on the conception/pregnancy journey.  It’s also serves as a record of this very special time in my life.

Something ‘Was Up’

I first knew something ‘was up’ when my period was late.  I was in Nagpur to train with Honey Unnikrishnan, my Mohiniyattam teacher.  I expected to get my period towards the end of my time there.  It was a strenuous five days, with up to 10 hours of dancing daily.

During the two week wait, women are told to rest and relax.  But I had spent numerous two-week-waits resting and relaxing unsuccessfully, and didn’t want to miss out on dancing with my teacher.  My period was never late, and I chalked it up to all the rigorous physical training I was doing.

In Nagpur with my Mohiniyattam teacher, Honey Unnikrishnan.

In Nagpur with my Mohiniyattam teacher, Honey Unnikrishnan.

 

The Positive Pregnancy Test

I’ve had numerous negative pregnancy tests.  I wasn’t eager for yet another one.  But we were headed to Goa, and I wanted to make sure that it was OK to do eat drink and make merry while I was there.

I did a home pregnancy test and it was positive.  It was the result we’d been waiting for but now that I had it, I couldn’t believe it.  Later that day my doctor confirmed the pregnancy through a TVS scan.  I will never forget her words.  “This is a medical miracle!  You’re a medical miracle!”

For the four days we were in Goa I was paranoid about losing the pregnancy, so I kept checking to make sure I wasn’t bleeding.  It was an unsettling feeling.  The entire vacation felt different, although we weren’t doing anything different from what we usually do in Goa.  My mornings had changed though – I could no longer stand the smell or taste of coffee.  In a way this was the first casualty of my pregnancy hormones.

Our Goa trip was probably our first and only trip during the first trimester.

Riverside dinners in Goa.

Riverside dinners in Goa.

My Symptoms

Never have I experienced hunger like I did in my first trimester.  I once ordered and ate an entire pizza before dinner, and went on to have the a full dinner.  I desperately wanted to maintain a balanced and healthy diet – but that hunger was phenomenal and during the first trimester (or even afterwards) I never denied myself food.  Also, if I tried to ‘ignore’ my hunger then I’d be nauseous.  Elaichi (cardamom) also helped to keep the nausea at bay.

I also discovered that ‘morning sickness’ is a misnomer.  My nausea lasted all day.  It would get worse if I ate too little, but also if I ate too much.  When I spoke to my doctor about this she replied, “Be thankful that you’re eating.”

Women always remember their pregnancy food cravings.  In my first trimester I had few cravings, but many aversions.  I didn’t want any hot liquids like tea or even soup.  I couldn’t stand the thought of foods I felt were “heavy” like millets and rajma.  I didn’t even like the taste of water.  I ate white rice, wheat rotis and had sips of water.  Also, my cravings changed every two weeks!

What I did like though was slightly spicy food.  And pickles!

I think knowing what I wanted to eat and didn’t made it easier to plan the menu.  Also listening to my cravings instead of blindly following a diet helped the cravings and aversions easier to manage.

What I wasn’t ready for was the intense fatigue.  I wanted to crawl into bed as soon as I put my students into savasana.  I took multiple naps through the day.  I slept more in my first trimester than I ever have.

Overall my first trimester was great because I was traveling and eating well and the pregnancy was a strong, healthy one.

Rakhi during my first trimester.

Rakhi during my first trimester. Some of my clothes had started to become snug.

Exercise

I discovered that walking was a great way to keep the digestive system moving (which sometimes gets sluggish because of all the pregnancy hormones).  Also, it helped with the nausea.  So I borrowed a smart watch from my mother in law and aimed to get 10000 steps in daily.  I even studied for a Sanskrit exam while pacing the hallway in my house!

I also did some yoga.  My doctor was a bit concerned about this, but as she saw the pregnancy blooming, she supported my fitness initiatives.  Didn’t do challenging  or advanced asanas.  I demonstrated in class, but was very very careful.  I had a routine designed for me by my teachers and I stuck to that.  Pre-natal yoga isn’t about conquering new asanas, or proving that your body can bend deeply despite a pregnancy, but about preparing the body for the changes that are inevitable on this journey.  I think this made me appreciate yoga a lot more.

I stopped Mohiniyattam though.  My teacher felt it’s for the best as I’d only been dancing for a year and, unlike with yoga, I may not be able to control how hard I bend, stretch or stamp my feet.

I went to Goa again with my mother in law and two of her friends.

I went to Goa again with my mother in law and two of her friends. Read my blog on it here.

Many women have asked me what I did differently that month to get pregnant.  I’ve wondered the same thing.  The only difference I can think of now is that I decided to focus on what made me happy, which was my practice, whether Mohiniyattam or yoga.  Or maybe it was a little luck and a lot of faith.

Yogis on display.

Yogis on display somewhere in Goa.

Poetry

Cat Poem

April 4, 2024

There’s a woman who lives near me 

Alone in an old apartment.

A little run down, her and her abode.

From the shade of our quiet tree-lined street

I see her dusty balcony during my evening walks

A rickety wicker chair piled high with

a decade’s worth of newspapers.

On slow Sunday mornings

When half our street is still asleep

Her cats luxuriate in the golden sunlight

Streaming through the trees

The dust motes of the balcony 

Of no consequence to them.

 

Every once in a while I see her on the street

To and fro on some errand 

Her clothes unironed,

Her hair an afterthought.

Looking like the smell of a thousand mothballs

In forgotten trunks full of old saris.

 

I have to feed the cats,

she tells me as she shuffles hurriedly away.

And I thought of those cats

Happily sunning themselves

And the woman furtively lurking

in the depths of the old dusty apartment.

 

(NaPoWriMo2024)

 

Poetry

Renew

April 3, 2024

A neem tree grows outside the french windows

In my bedroom.

Casting its shade and bitter fragrance

On to my desk

My books

My belongings

And me.

 

In the scorching summer heat

I wilt a little with the tree

When the leaves wither

And the mournful cawing of the crows

Swirls melancholy over the parched earth.

 

Then the tree comes back to life

The bitter green washing through me again

To renew, restore, rejuvenate  

The neem tree a bright flame of green

Fragrance of life outside my window.

 

(NaPoWriMo 2024)

Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum, Bhopal

At the Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum in Bhopal earlier this year.

 

Poetry

Soft

April 1, 2024

In a paper I read

About the beauty of language

A famous scholar said

About Sanskrit

That it described things perfectly

Such as

Nipal asam

“As softly or silently as the falling of leaves.”

 

It made me think of

Leaves drifting through the softness of time

Like a sigh suspended in the softness of space

It made me think of

The soft cocoon of your heartbeat

A language of beauty

For mine. 

 

(NaPoWriMo 2024)

Pregnancy Notes

Empowered to Advocate for Myself

March 5, 2024

It's been a long journey but it's taught me to advocate for myself.

A still from our maternity photoshoot.

I feel empowered to advocate for myself today.  The journey to conception has variegated shades. For many it’s as easy (or as inconvenient) as an accident. For others it’s about cycle tracking, second guessing, fretting and despairing.  The other day in Vedanta class we were talking about how if you live consciously, every event in life, whether good or bad can help in inner growth.  My conception journey, and subsequent pregnancy, have actually been a time of immense growth for me.

I’ve come across many women whose health issues have led to a deeper and more meaningful connection to themselves.  In this conversation with filmmaker Roopal Kewalaya, we spoke about how she experienced a closer connection to herself because of her experience with endometriosis and how she now feels that illness is your friend, not an enemy.  It’s a wonderful, heartening conversation that all women should watch.

✅ Don’t give in to paranoia.

When I first started on my journey to conception I met a lot of doctors who had a spiel about maternal age, IVF and all the things that could go wrong.  I speak about it in my video about my first trimester that you can watch here.

I also met an acupuncturist told me that even a ‘normal’ woman ovulates only once every two months, which is 6 times a year.  When I cross questioned her she told me this is what all the books say and if I worked with her she could have me ovulating every month.  This was factually incorrect.  Also, there was nothing wrong with my ovulation cycles.

I also met a fitness professional told me that I probably had diastasis recti because ‘all women do’.  According to my research it wasn’t that clear cut.  So I asked my doctor to check and she said it’s not something that I have to worry about – those bumps look very different from mine.

These experiences can make any woman paranoid.  But they also emphasise the importance of a pause – I remember I needed all my energy to confidently advocate for myself.

✅ Say no to pushy doctors.

There are all kinds of bullies in the medical fraternity.

A radiologist I got to know well once said about a famous doctor that “…she has a terrible bedside manner but her rates of conception are very high”.  The doctor in question might be a great doctor but she has no right to be rude and aggressive with patients.  I’ve read review after review about her online where women talk about leaving her office in tears.  I remember I stood up and literally stormed out of this doctor’s office as she was mid-sentence.

A disrespectful doctor will continue to bully you (just like any other bully).  You might be coerced to do what they feel is right for you.  But I’ve learned that if a doctor doesn’t inspire a 100% faith and trust in you, they are usually not right for you – in fact they are terrible for your mental health, which feeds into your physical health.  Standing up to bullies is one way you can advocate for yourself.

✅ Research exhaustively.

The more doctors I consulted the more IVF sales pitches I got.  Many of my questions were dismissed and my fears weren’t addressed.  I was not only unhappy, but also dissatisfied.

Eventually I decided to do my own research.  I refused to blindly trust the information that was coming my way.  Instead I looked for studies and data.  I read a lot of books and blogs.  I channelled my anxious energy into research on infertility and women’s health.

Health issues can make many women feel vulnerable.  When we operate from a space of vulnerability instead of peace we’re rarely thinking rationally.  This reflects in the decisions we make.  Instead of looking at illness as some kind of punishment, I love Roopal’s take on it – that illness is your body trying to communicate with you.

In my case the journey has taught me to unequivocally, unapologetically and powerfully advocate for myself.