Connect with us

Advertisement

Features

Nicole the Fertile Chick: Sharing your Rainbow

Published

 on

People always ask me how I am able to freely discuss my fertility issues. Many are surprised at how readily I share that we had our gorgeous babies through IVF. Because in our society, it is almost unheard of to admit you have had to seek medical intervention to have kids. Any my answer is always the same….I do it to share my rainbow.

I have always been open about my journey….even when I was still trying for a baby. The reason was very different then. I found that talking about it made me feel better. It was very therapeutic for me to share my battles and travails with my close friends, and even a few colleagues. These special people helped me get through that dark period in my life, and I am eternally grateful to them.

Most of my confidants were not battling infertility, but they were amazing sounding boards and proffered whatever advice they could. For the few that were also battling infertility, we shared information and tips, and gave/got a shoulder to cry on during the numerous occasions of heartbreak and despair. Yes, I kept a bit more to myself during my 2nd IVF cycle, but I will never forget the support I got from these wonderful women. However, the people I craved to talk to the most, proved to be the least forthcoming. There was a lady I knew, who had suffered a rather lengthy child bearing delay. She had eventually gotten pregnant, and I heard from the grapevine that she had sought medical intervention. So, one fateful day, I approached her and poured out my heart about my own fertility journey, challenges and heartbreak. She listened attentively, interjecting with the appropriate “Eiyaa” and “Sorry oh” when appropriate. At the end of my long talk, she simply shrugged and asked me to pray harder. That was all she offered.

When I was checking out fertility clinics, trying to decide which one to use, I went to a very popular one, previously located in Victoria Island. On both visits, I ran into people I knew from the University. Both times, my face would light up at seeing the person in question, and both times, the person would initially try to avoid eye contact, and when that failed, would offer a strained hello. I got the message both times. These people were not happy to see someone they knew. And years later, when I recommended this same clinic to another friend, her first response was “I can’t go there oh! That’s how I will run into someone from Unilag!”. My raised eyebrow conveyed the message of how unserious I thought she was, if that was her determining factor.

When I got pregnant, it was no secret to many that it was from IVF…and I was quick to offer this piece of information to those who asked if “twins ran in my family”. My answer was always the same “Yes, they do….but I had IVF”. As a result of this, I suddenly started getting inundated with requests from friends who had a friend / sister / colleague / acquaintance they wanted me to talk to. And I didn’t mind this one bit. Instead, whenever any of these women called, e-mailed, or even visited, I was as open as I could be and shared my journey, in its entirety, with every one of them. I did this; not because I was seeking fame or attention, but because it was what I would have wanted when I was in their shoes. Support from friends and family is fantastic….but nothing beats the testimony of she that has been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. That was what birthed the idea for The Fertile Chick. I knew I needed a bigger platform to reach women who otherwise would not know there was someone out there willing to share her story.

So, if I’m all about sharing my story, why do I use a pseudonym? Well, Nicole isn’t a pseudonym per say….as it is one of my given names. It’s just not what people call me in real life. The only reason I did this was so as not to take away from the intent of, not just the website, but the purpose in its entirety. It would be so easy for it to reclassified as my own personal blog, and for the message to be diluted to just one woman’s journey. That aside, I remain as open as I possibly can. A lot of women who have reached out to me, and with whom I have corresponded with for long enough, have met the woman behind the Nicole moniker, with some of them even turning into friends.

What then is my message? If you are a woman who is now on the other side of infertility, please reach out and share your rainbow. I do understand why most would prefer to wave a magic wand and pretend that the infertility never happened. I also understand why most people prefer to remain silent, and choose instead to attribute their pregnancies to God. Of course God is the reason behind any pregnancy, natural or assisted. Apart from blessing us with the resources and ingenuity to develop these assisted modes of reproduction, we cannot take away from the divinity of conception. Whether in your uterus or a petri dish, the fact that sperm and egg can meet to produce human life is God at work! But in addition to telling everyone it was because you prayed, it wouldn’t be bad to share through what means your blessings came.

I am pleased that, these days, more women are raising their hands and admitting to having had medical intervention. I was at a seminar organized by a popular glossy women’s magazine, and there were quite a number of women who spoke openly about their IVF cycles, failed and successful. I was really impressed by this. But it’s not enough to just identify yourself, please be open to any woman who approaches you. You can go into as much, or as little, detail as you wish…that really depends on you. Just try not to let these women leave you feeling even more despondent than when they approached you. Even if all you offer is a little crumb, make it a meaningful one. For those who are able to offer more, try to mentor these women, talk to them, advice them. Dr. Google is great, but trust me, nothing is better than the first hand information you will share.

I have to warn you that it won’t always be a bed of roses. Sometimes, when you stretch out your hand, it will be bitten. I have a former colleague who has been trying for a baby for a while. We are not very close, and I thought she simply has been looking for the right opportunity to talk to me about her struggle. So, I decided to give her that opportunity. When I was checking out the various logo options for The Fertile Chick, I e-mailed some samples to her, asking for her opinion, and telling her what I was hoping to achieve with the website. She replied me with a one-liner of “I like logo 5”. Period! The next time I saw her, she was even more withdrawn, so I knew I had touched a raw nerve. I have never discussed it with her again. Another incident occurred at a baby shower, where one of the Mommies was discussing her own 7-year wait for a baby. Towards the end of the shower, I approached her with a sense of camaraderie. I introduced myself and told her I had also endured a wait for a baby, thinking we would proceed to share our war stories and marvel at where we both are today, as mothers to twins. Instead, this lady looked me from head to toe, and said a cold “We thank God.” Hmmm, o-kay! Conversation over! My lesson from these episodes is that if it is unsolicited, it might be best to just keep it zipped. If you are not approached, then you absolutely should not jump into anyone’s personal space.

However, these small hiccups pale in comparison to the immense happiness and satisfaction you get when you know you have been able to help someone. The gratification when these women get some comfort and assurance from your openness, the joy when they do eventually get pregnant, the inexplicable euphoria you get when you see pictures of their newborn babies…priceless! For me, there are very few feelings in the world better than this.
So ladies, if you have been blessed, be sure to pay it forward…and share your rainbow!

(N.B: Our website will be down for a few days, for necessary upgrade work. In the meantime, I can be reached at [email protected])

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Lisa Mckown

Nicole is a woman in her late 30s, with a passion for all things fertility related. She suffered infertility for the first 3 years of her marriage, and found it extremely isolating. After she had her kids, she started The Fertile Chick (www.thefertilechickonline.com) to create a community and happy-place for all women, in various stages of the fertility journey.

29 Comments

  1. Yemisi

    February 9, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Nicole you are really am amazing person, i didn’t have any struggle with having a baby but i look forward to reading your article, May God bless you maybe you went through the problem because of this.

  2. Holy

    February 9, 2015 at 9:43 am

    i really commend ur efforts in helping others by sharing ur story.

  3. Joky

    February 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

    waiting for d fruit of d womb for woman isn’t an easy task

  4. guess

    February 9, 2015 at 10:04 am

    All I can say is ….God bless you!!!

  5. H

    February 9, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I always look forward to reading your post, probably mostly because i have fibroids, still single and in my early 30s, in a relationship, tying the knot should start in the tail end of this year, ok yes i didn’t zip up, now i found out i am about 2weeks pregnant, i didn’t panic, but now that the BF still won’t change plans on when we ll be tying the knot i am a little bit sad. Truth is i would rather have my baby than struggle later with fertility issues, fibroids grow and could cause later complications. Right now i am telling myself i would be able to deal with the society as per the pregnancy, i am more bothered about my family (being Catholic and all) but i know they would understand because finally i would be sharing with them the burden i have being carrying alone (fibroids), i hope they understand and i hope the bf would reconsider plans too but i am not ready to pressure anyone. Guys what do you think? Nicole advise?

    • serene

      February 9, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Pls don’t temper with the pregnancy, regardless of how disappointed anyone will be. I pray ur betrothed stands by you.

    • Nicole

      February 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Dear H, I might be a bit biased but please please don’t think about terminating your pregnancy. My advice is to have a long chat with your man. If he insists on waiting till the end of the year, then you guys could plan the wedding for after the baby. Yes, there might be gossip, but people soon forget even the juiciest gist and move on. Years ago, a friend of mine, who’s father was the Overseer of a Church got married heavily pregnant. There was no gist that wasn’t peddled, nothing people didn’t say. But like a year after the wedding, nobody even remembered. Good luck dear!

    • H

      February 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks a lot Nicole!

  6. Thatgidigirl

    February 9, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Nicole thanks for paying it forward. For every handful of person that are unsupportive, I’m sure there’s one person that’s appreciative….at least I am. I’m not looking for a kid yet, but your article on PCOS was very enlightening and seeing other women both single and married talk about it in the comments section was very encouraging. Not to mention the tips that were dropped her and there. women generally are a bit averse to sharing info as little as where they got their bag or weave, let alone something as “deep” fertility. A friend of mine gave birth to a baby that weighed over 5kg and swore she did it without anaesthetics and didn’t have a tear. Unfortunately for her, a few minutes afterwards her mum called, the phone was on speaker and she said “I hope you’re taking care of your stitches o” ….everyone there just went silent, cricket sound type of uncomfortable silence. When these kids are teenagers or adults, who is going to ask them “were u born through Ivf, caesarean, etc” . I guess it’s all part of painting a picture perfect life.

  7. limogis

    February 9, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Hi Nicole. Thank you for not paying attention to all the possible setbacks and then the obvious zeal you put into these articles . Please don’t be deterred. Keep it up. I have just recently referred a friend/big Sis to your articles here. She is currently looking for the fruit of the womb. I have Jehovah blesses her real soon.

  8. Modupe

    February 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Dear H, pls go ahead and tell the BF and see if he will get into the wedding zone sooner. I think you need to be honest about fibriods and your fears. If he is not willing to move into the wedding zone sooner, then your body is yours and yours alone. The decision is down to you. Once you know what you are doing and you mind is clear, inform the family. They would have to suck it up one way or the other.

    • H

      February 9, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thnks Modupe, The BF is aware of both the fibroids and the pregnancy but right isn’t talking about changing plans because of our recent findings (pregnancy). so right now not putting any pressure on him, he would probably come around soon!

  9. sisimi

    February 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Nichole, **sobs** *seriously sobbing* ahhh. what happened to our forum. I have been checking since Friday and no show. I have lots on my mind and its driving me crazy. I was about sending you an email but I said let me check bn first. please bring it up. I have plenty to share and ask.

    • Nicole

      February 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Awww, thanks for the love sisimi :D. Our website will be back up in about a week. We started migrating from the old one to the upgraded site, but suffered a setback with the death of one of the original developers (may the soul of Onoolapo Jolayemi rest in peace! He died on Friday).

  10. Aderonke says #Bring BackOurGirls#

    February 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I always look forward to reading your posts. U are such a wonderful person thou i have never met you but it reflects in your write ups. Thank you loads. May God continue to inspire you, you may not understand the gravity and the influence you are positively making but know that someone everyday is receiving strength from your write ups. God bless u loads!

  11. Local chick

    February 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I didn’t struggle with infertility but after such ease concieving and having my first child I thought it would be the same always. I was then dealt the blow of 2nd trimester miscarriages, and I experienced a low like never before. With the help of a cervical suture I had my 2nd child but I found out that people don’t talk about these things, friends act either like it didn’t happen or its contagious. Women are our own worst enemies. Talking to others always helps, you might find that specialist you need or get invaluable tips and advice. To all ladies suffering infertility or those who have been through it; share your stories with others, you never know who you might be helping. God bless. Xx

  12. Tru

    February 9, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I had a friend who makes no secret that he and his wife tries about 4 times with IVR before they were successful. Nicole you are so right. Whether conception happened in a lab or womb, it is still a miracle. the ease at which people get pregnant differs from person to person.
    I have a non-Nigerian friend who makes no secret that all 3 of his kids are IVF. They wanted 4 but the last one didn’t take. We also have a Nigerian couple in our circle who (we believe) would like kids but don’t have any yet. He thought he should advise them to try IVF like he did. I had to caution him that he shouldn’t, unless asked. Besides, the couple is educated, they almost certainly would know about IVF and perhaps they were even taking that route. His advice just might be taken the wrong way.
    I am glad mindsets are changing and I believe IVF will become a normalcy in Nigeria soon, perhaps in the same way adoptions are now more common.
    #EndOfEpistle 😀

  13. Chige

    February 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks Nicole. I really do hope also that one day people will actually start coming out and saying they had an IVF when they did.i really don’t see y it’s something to hide but then what do I know,I haven’t experienced fertility challenges. But what I know is that like you said,a personal story will really help people struggling with the same problem and I hope people bear this in mind,

  14. belle

    February 10, 2015 at 12:22 am

    That was extremely passive aggressive to send the random logo’s to your colleague. Why not be upfront, instead of doing that? Sorry, I’m struggling at the moment too, but I would have had the same reaction she did.

    • Lolita

      February 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      I get you because the struggle is not an easy one and its easy to be super sensitive,……..but I guess that was Nicole’s way of showing her love and pulling her in. I LOVE NICOLE!!!

  15. Nwakechinemere

    February 10, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Nicole you have so much love in your heart to give, I can feel it.If I feel so emotional even though I don’t know what it is to struggle with conception I can just imagine how you touch the hearts of people who need to hear this. I’m convinced Your delay was from God as he needed you to reach out to his dear children who need your encouragement. God bless you dear. PS:I’m also learning not to give advice when it’s not solicited coz I can be too open to a fault. God bless you darling

  16. naomi

    February 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Hi,Nicole. my joy was indescribable when i stumbled on your post while checking out the Bridges clinic website. Before now,i had always been visiting foreign sites on such topics. i really hope the website is up soonest! So,i got married in september,2014 a day before my 32nd birthday. had to wait that long cos i didnt want to settle for less. i ve been TTC for about 4 months now and though i try not to get myself worked up,its not easy oh. everybody keeps saying saying relax, it will happen soon. i know i m not supposed to really start worrying until about one year after,but at my age i cant wait for a whole one year!!. did some preliminary test and everything seems to be ok with me except for a slight case of endometritis which i am being treated for. my major fear is that my two elder sisters who got married about 7 yrs ago are yet to have children. one sister had a child before marriage in her earlt 20’s but has suffered a couple of miscarriages after marriage due to fibriod which has been since been removed but still no child yet. the second sister has one tube only and that was blocked for a while but now open . still waiting for d babies to come and praying earnestly for them. my mum had six children so i dnt know where all this issues are coming from. i am really getting worried about my case and i m thinking of what next to do. i know its not been too long for me but in view of all this issues with my elder sisters,u can understand why i am so scared. what can i do next.

    • Nicole

      February 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Naomi, I understand your frustration. You’ve taken the right step by being checked out, and I’m glad the endo is being treated. I’m sorry your sisters are also facing challenges, but it sounds like they have their own unique issues, with respect to the fibroids and tubal issues, so make sure you don’t generalise and assume you’ll also have a long delay. The only common thread, if any, would be PCOS, but I doubt that’s the case. I would advice you get your Ob/Gyn exhaust all possible tests and examinations, including the semen analysis for your spouse, then relax and try naturally for another 6 months. If nothing still, then you can discuss options with your Ob/Gyn. Good luck dear!

  17. Bukky A.

    February 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Nicole,

    Thanks for addressing this issue. I had a 5 yr wait and I DO NOT hesitate to tell people. I love to encourage people by nature regardless of whatever the situation they maybe going thru. However, this area of infertility is one of a mission for me to encourage and share my experience with other people. I’m yet to get a cold shoulder but I’ll keep this post in mind for whenever that may happen to me. All in all, I’ll continue to share the good news that is is possible and not to lose faith in God and medical intervention.

    Question : What is your take on ‘spiritual problem’ when it comes to infertility?

    • Nicole

      February 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      God bless you, Bukky A! If only there were more like you! As for the spiritual angle, while I acknowledge that we do live in a wicked world with all sorts of possibilities, I believe that my God is by far BIGGER than any evil. So I made sure I didn’t entertain the thought in my TTC days.

  18. Anonymous

    February 11, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Thanks Nicole for this write up. I have been TTC for over 6 years, well over 30years old, married to any only son and had 2 failed IVF cycles. Our younger siblings have children and really carry on (baby talks and stuff) awkwardly around us while our friends are cool and very supportive. I just don’t understand why my in-laws feel they are mindful of our feelings when they just conveniently “forget” to tell us they are expecting.
    I got a call from a friend today. She has been TTC for years too. Just confirmed pregnant and she was all praying baby dust and transferring baby anointing my way straight from the clinic.

  19. Phola

    March 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Hey Nichole, alwayz happy to read from you, please can I have your email addy, would like to discuss with you personally. Thanks in advance

  20. Bosa

    March 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    It’s the Nigerian factor – we are quite secretive we only love to show off our perfect life. I had lots of friends and family battling infertility and i was always quick to ask them to try IVF why wait for so long BIKO??? IVF itself is God’s miracle, those waiting, saying they are waiting on the Lord – have you asked him and truly heard you shouldn’t embark on IVF?
    I had my 1st child easy, 1st trial gbam! 2nd was almost same – once i removed my IUD i got pregnant in 3 months. I lost that at 8 weeks and then began the series of complications. I was diagnosed with PCOS, asked if my past pregnancies were easy bla bla. Took almost a year to get a period back after that miscarriage and lots of hormonal therapy….Long story im saving for my testimony.
    Summary, last report said my ovarian reserve was diminishing, i believe God is a God of miracle so i believe my 2nd baby could come by IVF with a good egg floating around. However, i have already opened my heart to egg donors or adoption. Why would i want my child to be an only child? I have too much love to give. I wonder why people cant be open minded and trust God that there can be various options…….Of course i have my wonderful husband to thank for being quite open minded. My friends and family already know im going the IVF route, does that make me less of a woman? Instead i told them to pray hard cos its an expensive venture. Got friends going 7 years who wont even remove the fibroid talkless of IVF shey now i,m in the infertility boat so its not more a case of ah u dnt understand…understand what??? I am waiting for my IVF or natural miracle and i cant wait to testify in church the exact way it happened….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features

css.php