“I don’t mean to be insensitive, but are you sure you’re doing it right?”
Hi, I’m Amber and infertility has been the toughest challenge that I have faced to date. That is why I have created this website, to encourage a chuckle out of you, despite your better judgment and to provide accurate, helpful, personal information on infertility. My aim is to help those struggling with fertility to feel less alone and to provide a sprinkling of big fat positivity where I can. Does this mean that I laughed my way through my years of infertility? Hell no! I could have sunk the Titantic with my tears. But I wish I had giggled through it and that it why this website is in existence.
A little more about me….
Growing up I always wanted to be a writer, although I also wanted to be a cloud, so I was clearly not the brightest. Now, aged 35, this website enables me to fulfil my childhood ambition, although the kid in me never dreamed I would be writing about infertility.
I live in Surrey, England, and I share my house with my husband Joe, my baby son Tom who was born in 2018 through IVF and a black and white rescue cat named Roger, who struggles with weight management issues.
I have skinny girl PCOS (I think it is technically called ‘lean PCOS’, but you know what I mean) and I struggled with fertility for over 3 years before having a successful round of IVF. Currently on maternity leave, I fit in work on this website around caring for my baby boy. Our next plan is to have a frozen embryo transfer in the Summer of 2019, when our baby boy is 1 year old (we are lucky enough to have two frosties freezing their arses off in storage somewhere in Woking, just waiting for us to come and get them).
The embarrassing part, here are some accolades about why I may be in a good position to waffle on about infertility. I’ve….
Been through the infertility wringer, with over 3 years of trying to conceive, all the tests and scans that accompany it, Clomid, IVF and every natural remedy and practice at which you can shake a stick.
Built a community of supportive sub-fertiles on Instagram, where we all help each other through the bad times and the good, and I was featured in Grazia Magazine as an Instagram IVF Warrior.
Become a regular guest on the UK’s number one fertility Podcast (The Fertility Podcast) as a the resident fertility book reviewer.
Let’s let the self indulgence continue with 10 things you may not know about me…
I’m named after a prostitute. My mum told me that my name came from a literary character, the heroine in Forever Amber. I told all of my friends, proudly. Years later I happened to mention this to someone who had read Forever Amber. “It was the Fifty Shades of Grey of the1940s”, they informed me with a smirk. It turns out that my namesake was a 17th Century harlet. Cheers mum.
My day job is designing and managing Government policy and my side hustle is designing and creating bohemian wedding veils. I am also a full time subfertile (let’s face it, it’s a job trying to get pregnant with fertility issues).
I’m obsessed with watching extreme weight loss TV programmes (it’s totally inspirational, I will not hear a word said against it) and Instagram. My time spent on both induces a slow and deliberate eye roll from my tolerant husband.
I have practised yoga for over a decade (it took the first 5 to touch my toes), and I used to run marathons and half marathons before sub-fertility hit, which is a strange hobby for someone who dislikes running.
I can’t stand gin and tonic. Juniper is the work of the devil. Yet it seems to be the drink I am offered most frequently as a thirty-something female. Mainly by men. Typical bloody men, hey! You’d never catch me being sexist.
I spent 7 years (7 whole years of my life that I am never getting back - that is twice my ‘infertility age’) training to be a lawyer and I quit the law on the day I qualified. #HowToMakeYourParentsProud
I love to cook and can follow recipes beautifully but I’m not a natural flavour combiner when left to my own devices; my inedible four cheese salad and my unsuccessful beetroot buns are testaments to that.
I did my degree at Oxford and spent the whole time believing that I was the walking, talking example of a gap in their admissions policy (like a bot that snuck through the admissions firewall undetected) and I was constantly expecting to be ‘found out’. It turns out that I’ve also felt that way about every job I’ve held since leaving uni, like I’m faking it. Maybe that’s how everyone feels?
I was brought up in Somerset, beautiful farmer country in the South West of England (or as my husband dismissively says ‘the county people drive through on their way somewhere else), but I disappointingly don’t have a Wurzels accent.
My hobby is taking up hobbies, to which I like to over-commit and under-deliver. I have been learning Spanish for 13 years, despite which I frequently forget how to order a beer from a bar, and I took up the violin aged 30, achieved grade 1 and it has now taken up permanent residence in our under-stairs cupboard.
….Oh, and did I mention that I struggle with fertility? That seemed to define me for 3 years. I could have shortened this whole section to just: ‘Amber, infertile’.
About The Preggers Kitchen
The naming of this website can be described in one word: ARROGANCE. Or maybe it should be ‘ignorance’. I bought the domain name before trying for a baby with the sole intention of showcasing the healthy food I planned to rustle up when pregnant. Then I started trying (and trying, and trying and trying…). It never occurred to me that I would struggle to conceive and the website has since morphed in to resource to help those struggling with infertility and to hopefully connect with other people fighting the same good fight, because boy can infertility feel like a lonely place.
During my fertility ‘journey’ - a pretentious term but if by ‘journey’ you mean a long, initially exciting but now totally tedious venture in which everyone you know left home after you but somehow arrived before you, then yes, journey is the correct description - I have accumulated plenty of experience, information, strategies, tips and gear (oh yes, there is even gear for trying to conceive) to help me through.
This website is me sharing my trials and experiences in the quest for pregnancy and the results that these experiments (some sane, some a little more woo woo) have had on my body, health and menstrual cycles. I’m a walking, talking petri dish and I will try pretty much anything to improve my fertility.
Just to be clear, I am not a doctor or dietitian (if I were I would be better at spelling that word). Please always consult with your medical professionals before making big changes. The content on this website is just for informational and educational purposes. My ramblings are based on research and I have included links to the underlying information, guidance and evidence on this website so that you can view the information and make your own judgments. Our bodies are all so different that what works (and doesn't) for me may be completely different for others. We should all listen to our bodies. Apart from when they tell us to eat sugar, it's OK to ignore that one.
The Preggers Kitchen features:
My blog. A light hearted look at fertility topics, deep dives into my latest health experiments and guest posts.
10 steps. Details on the food and lifestyle changes I used to get my fertility back on track.
Fertility book reviews. Honest and personal reviews of fertility books to help you decide which are worth a read.
Weekly giveaways. Fertility Freebie Fridays where we give away fertility relevant goodies each and every week.
Recipes for healthy, wholesome, fertility boosting foods
Online shop linking to all the fertility related swag that I have found useful
Resources page with links to plenty of helpful (often vital) information to learn more
And much more…
Changing my lifestyle and nutrition to get my fertility back on track has been overwhelming at times. But it does not have to be. It is all about taking a small step each day in the right direction. There is no need to tackle everything at once; that would lead me to sit down in the middle of the kitchen floor and burst in to tears. Instead, choose one positive change that can be made each day (drinking more water, committing to healthy breakfasts, going to bed earlier etc) and get it nailed before moving on to the next. For more info, visit the page explaining how I got started.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you find this website helpful. Please feel free to send me an email, about absolutely anything. It will be me receiving it (I’m a one woman band) and I love getting mail. I respond to each and every message (although please bear with me as to timeframes….)