Drama and computer teacher Justine Mawdsley met husband Brian at 36. She was ready to have a baby, and they married the next year. She also took a term off work as she was feeling burned out after 15 years of teaching without a break. After a year of trying to fall pregnant, with no success, she went to the doctor and realized they would need fertility treatment. After the second artificial insemination (AI) treatment she fell pregnant, but lost the baby. “We were devastated, it was heartbreaking.” Justine had been going to a reflexologist who specialises in infertility and she was taking herbs to help her body prepare for conception. They tried another seven AI treatments. “Every year in September we have a big production. It was now June, and during the holidays three different people told me about Nicola. I’d never heard of fertility astrology, and the first time I thought it wasn’t an option because I’m adopted and don’t know my birth time. And I was hoping I was pregnant. “Three different friends told me about Nicola in the span of one week. When the third friend told me about Nicola and said she was consulting Nicola. I got goose bumps.” That night I got my period and after nine unsuccessful fertility treatments, lay on her bed in a foetal position, sobbing. “This is killing me, I thought. So I said ‘Justine, you have two options, you can lie here crying or you can get hold of Nicola. It was just too freaky having three people telling me about Nicola at the same time.” Fortunately Nicola had an appointment time for me, and could work around no personal recorded birth time. The next day she had an appointment, and on July 1 they consulted her.  “I’m very into philosophy, I’ve been to a talk by Rod Suskin (a well-known local Cape Town astrologer), I know what astrology is and I was very open to the concept. My husband was also agreeable. He is amazing. He was with me all the way, at every visit, for every treatment. We wanted a family.”
Nicola told me she wasn’t psychic, and that she would look at the birth chart to find possible problems, and a good time for conception. My first aha! moment was when she said that my tubes may be damaged. I had been thinking that; I felt something was possibly damaged after the evacuation. But because I had fallen pregnant once, that had never been checked. She suggested IVF ­– I have a needle phobia, and this was 10 days of injections. But I wanted a baby!
“And then she gave me the good times to try, the next one being six weeks ahead, around August 14. “Oh my word, I thought, that was when I was involved in rehearsals for the production. I had 15 classes of learners ages 6 to 9. I had written the play, and I had five casts.” This was a mammoth undertaking, and the timing couldn’t have been worse. “Never in a million years, I thought.” However, her next fertile time was a year later, and then the next a year after that Justine would be 41. “In 2017 I’ll be ancient, I thought and might have to use an egg donor.” She didn’t want that: “I had a driving need to have a baby that looked like me, I didn’t want a donor egg.” The next day we were leaving for a Karoo holiday. It was a good time, and it got my mind right.” They planned the steps they’d have to take, which included hypnotherapy to help Justine with her needle phobia, and then followed the IVF process. “The fertility doctor looked at me as if I were mad when I told him I’d seen a fertility astrologer,” she says. Most people however were supportive, some simply warning her to be careful as she was vulnerable. “I was disappointed when only three eggs were harvested, but two were healthy.” They were implanted on August 8. By August 18 she had her pregnancy confirmed. On April 8 2016 Quinn was born. “I chose to believe it was going to work. I told everybody about the astrology, and if I could see they were interested, I’d tell them more. Fertility treatment is the scariest thing, you just don’t know. There isn’t a guaranteed happy ending. “Fertility astrology gave us direction in a hectic time, in a world where you don’t know where to go or what to do.”