Profiles

Despite the occasional insensitive "he just looked at me and I fell pregnant" comment and also what you might see on various Instagram feeds, fertility is rarely a straight-forward journey for many women...

And it has been anything but straightforward for nutrition and wellness advisor and founder of Krumbled Foods Keira Rumble, who has inspired women all over the world with her honesty and openness. Over the past five years, she has experienced four pregnancy losses.

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The Gidget Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that needs to be more of a household name in Australia. Supporting the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents, it provides vital resources and support for women, men and families experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety...

Arabella Gibson is the CEO of The Gidget Foundation and a mother of twins. She has experienced firsthand the emotional and physical rollercoaster having children brings, and has a lot of realistic and thought-provoking tips on how to manage the daily juggle of work and kids while prioritising mental health and wellbeing.

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Whether I want kids is a secret I keep from myself – it is the greatest secret I keep from myself...

The thing to do when you're feeling ambivalent is to wait. But for how long? Next week I'll be thirty-seven. Time is running short on making certain decisions. How can we know how it will go for us, us ambivalent women of thirty-seven? On the one hand, the joy of children. On the other hand, the misery of them. On the one hand, the freedom of not having children. On the other hand, the loss of never having had them – but what is there to lose? The love, the child, and all those motherly feelings that the mothers speak about in such an enticing way, as though a child is something to have, not something to do. The doing is what seems hard. The having seems marvellous. But one doesn't have a child, one does it. I know I have more than most mothers. But I also have less. In a way, I have nothing at all. But I like that and think I do not want a child.

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Even when tantrums abound and any our houses resemble war zones made of spaghetti, most of us are acutely aware of how lucky we are to have our children. Personally, it takes approximately five minutes of my children being asleep for me to pull out my iPhotos to gaze at them again.

But I have perhaps never felt more grateful to have my children than in listening to the remarkable story of Anna Buxton and her incredible children. While very few of us have a straightforward path to motherhood, there are few stories that would be as winding and spectacular as Anna's.

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On face value, Brigitte Warne was living a blessed life. The Sydney-based model and entrepreneur was the picture of health and wellness, from the bouncy blonde hair to the effervescent glow and tanned limbs of someone who actually enjoys going for a run outside (apparently, they exist). She had a degree in Health Science and Commerce, a thriving modeling career, and a hand in establishing a number of fledgling international businesses. She was married, and life was good.

After coming off the contraceptive pill, Brigitte experienced an eight-month battle with unexplained symptoms ranging from acne to nausea and headaches, hair loss, and amenorrhea. While she was initially dismissed by doctors, eventually she was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). "It was a mix of feeling like my body had failed me, feeling ashamed and also frustrated, but also relief that I finally had an answer", Brigitte says of the diagnosis. But along with the clarity of knowing what her condition was, came the news that she would likely not be able to conceive naturally.

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"I'd always had a strong sense of social justice and been aware of the privilege I had been born into in a middle class family in London. I knew I wanted to use the opportunities I had to do something that made some kind of difference or had an impact on other people's lives," says Joanna Maiden.

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Ask any woman who has been through fertility treatments, and they will likely tell you that the hardest part is the waiting and the unknown...

Which is why any technology that can lessen that emotional load is welcomed with a huge sigh of relief. Case in point? Genea's world-leading IVF technology, which not only includes an embryo incubator (which has been proven to increase the number of high grade embryos created each cycle), but also contains time-lapse cameras, so Genea can capture photos and videos of each embryo as it develops. Sent directly to patients through the Grow by Genea app, it's a welcomed addition to many couples' fertility journey.

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