'Mum's healing hands helped me conceive my daughter'
WHEN Lauren Crossman was 15 years old she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and told her chances of having a baby were slim.
It was a soul-crushing experience for the teenager that added to the stress and physical pain typically felt by women with her condition.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods.
"I could go six months without a single cycle and then have three whole weeks of bleeding," Lauren said.
"It was just crazy."
Her ovaries would fail to release eggs and the condition can lead to further complications including miscarriage, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, depression and endometrial cancer.
As a teenager, Lauren and her doctors trialled a range of contraceptive pills to stabilise her hormones but her body rejected the medication.
In her early 20s, after years of pain and stress, Lauren turned to her mum, Kerry, a trained kinesiologist, for natural relief.
"We work with meridians, qi and acupressure points and that gives us a guide on where we have to go," Kerry said
"Because we are made up of atoms, at the end of the day we are really just made up of energy.
"Kinesiology works with a patient's natural energy and physiology to find blockages preventing their body from functioning correctly."
Kerry said these blockages could be physiological, mental or spiritual.
"It is about reminding the body how to heal itself," she said.
Kerry was working to relieve Lauren's PCOS symptoms but without knowing she helped her daughter conceive a child.
"We kept it secret because we didn't want people asking about it. After a year it got really exhausting," Lauren said.
She endured countless negative pregnancy tests and there was little the doctors could do without medication.
"It is nerve-racking being told by health care professionals that your chances are not very good," she said.
"Some people really do need to use medication and that is perfectly OK, but I wanted to see what I could do it myself before I filled myself up with pharmaceutical drugs.
"I knew that my body would not handle medication. I can't even take Panadol without having a reaction."
The irregular ovulation cycles made it almost impossible to fertilise one of Lauren eggs and even if that did happen her womb was likely to reject the embryo
But things were about to change.
Lauren said that during a kinesiology session, she felt a strange "flutter" in her pelvic region
"I didn't realise what had happened. I had felt similar flutters and heat flashes when mum worked on different parts of my body before and I thought mum had corrected something to do with my cycle," Lauren said.
"I thought nothing of it but in the following weeks it got too obvious to ignore."
Lauren developed the usual signs of pregnancy and thought the feeling she had experienced was a sign that a fertilised egg had taken hold.
"I didn't want to test early because a false negative would just break my spirit again so I waited and waited and waited," she said.
About 12 weeks after that session, Lauren told her mum the good news.
"I ended up surprising her on Christmas Day. I wrapped up the ultrasound in a big box and made her open it," she said.
"We really got her so good, it was fantastic."
Almost two years ago, Lauren gave birth to a baby girl, Charlotte.
As Mother's Day approaches, Lauren said she was grateful for the gift her mum gave her and she is asking all women suffering from PCOS to speak up.
She said there were many ways to overcome the symptoms.
"I have not taken a contraceptive pill since before my daughter was born and we managed it through using kinesiology and essential oils," Lauren said.
"The discovery was life changing, and without it every month I was bedridden for a couple of days and in pain for weeks.
"PCOS is not spoken about enough and many high school-aged girls don't know any better. They don't know to speak up when they in pain because they think it is normal."