Anger, depression and grief..oh my!

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Jet lagged and in my head – thank goodness for great art and good filters.

If you had asked me a month ago if I was looking forward to my summer holidays I would not have been able to answer the question.  Of course, any holiday is fabulous and I cannot complain, however with all the craziness of cancelling flights, rebooking new ones, chasing up accommodation, making clinic appointments, finding insurance, chasing up finances, updating my teachers licence, fixing the hole in my roof, obtaining documents, preparing for my trip and wrapping up a school year I really did not have time to think about them, let alone have time to get excited or worry or freak out or build up to it or prepare for what may come in its entirity.

Fast forward to a week into my holidays and not having any life or work distractions has really played havoc with my mind and emotional state.  It has left me plain and simply with anger.  I have nothing to distract me and to mask the fact that I am in grief mode…well and truly. Definitely no denial phase here anymore.

There are many interpretations of the grief cycle however anger and depression have seemed to come simultaneously for me.  The distractions of life and work had helped to keep me positive and even and had helped me to keep that mask firmly in place…being brave and light and airy, enabling me to tell people what they wanted to hear or wanted me to be.

I had allowed myself to think dark thoughts and look at all the bad things that could happen from this situation…I would be stupid not to, however I had never allowed myself to go too far down the ‘woe is me’ path or the dark and depressive path, choosing instead to move forward and try to work out what I needed to do in a positive (Amy) way.

Having no distractions have turned matters at hand on their head, created bad thoughts and carved a deep negativity within myself.  All things that I cannot allow myself to be when the time comes to actually do this.  I need to be in a relaxed and positive state and right now I am not entirely sure how to do that.

Being in Europe is fun and easy and great and I am having a lovely time however I am looking around and all I am doing is analysing everything…families, singles, couples, relationships, dynamics between people wondering how things will work with all outcomes.  I am very much in my own head thinking about all scenarios and aspects, ensconced in an inner turmoil that if I don’t come out of it soon will drive me completely insane.

But how do I do that when everything is looming and I have to do this yourself?  And how do I do it when thoughts are swirling surrounding the fact that I just feel completely backed into a corner and my hand a little bit forced by something beyond my control.  You always assume that you will have choices in life but sometimes that is not completely true, not when nature intervenes.

Someone told me recently that sometimes my blog may be misinterpreted in terms of how I am feeling about it all and dealing with it because it comes across very light hearted…that was nice to hear but not exactly the truth of my situation.  I thought that if I was to do it and everyone going through infertility justice then I need to be a bit more informative about the flip side too.  It isn’t all light hardness, roses and acceptance and yes….I will get to a good place and I will be positive….that is who I am.  However at this point I am unable to see how.

I need to continuously remind myself: One small step at a time.  One foot in front of the other…..and of course…..the wonders, excitement and the food of Europe helps as a good distraction!

Roll on acceptance.

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A brief run down of how it all works

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A friend was heading to the supermarket one day at work and asked if I needed anything, I told her no. As she was leaving I yelled out down the hall “Actually, can you pick me up some good eggs?!?” We both laughed. Next minute she’s back with these and telling me they are good eggs and it’s even better because they are different. So happy I have hilarious friends!

I have been lucky enough to have a community of support surrounding me both near and far and in-between through all of this.

 I have had a lot of questions about when I am doing this and how it will work exactly.  As I am flying out of Friday to Europe, I thought it best to share on here before I leave as I am not sure when the next post will come.

On the 29th of June I fly to Athens, arrive mid afternoon and head straight for Serum.  On arrival I will have another ultrasound and some tests done so that they can get a clear picture of what they are dealing with and how to proceed.  They will prescribe the medication I need to be on (my ‘Protocol’).  I will then stay overnight just incase anything extra needs to happen – sometimes they need a better look or more information – or if they need to locate the meds from around Athens.  On the 30th I fly to Berlin to meet back up with my parents.

I have been told that on day 2 of my cycle is when I will start injections and any other medications I need.  I am unsure of that day right now as it is up to my body but I am hoping it is when I am around my parents so one of them can pay me back for all those sleepless nights I gave them as a child and inject me!

On July 6th (thankfully I will be with my parents on my birthday and not traveling!), I will fly back to Greece for 2 weeks.  Most days I will be going into the clinic for check ups, to see how I am responding, blood tests, tests etc.  I have found an Airbnb close enough to the clinic to walk but far enough away to separate myself from it – it also has a hammock on the balcony so I am looking forward to that! It’s the small things!

On day 7 of my cycle is when I need to back in Athens so they can start monitoring things and then day 9 is usually the day they extract the eggs, however it may depend on other factors.  These dates are all within the 2 weeks.

When my eggs are ready to be extracted I will be put under a general anesthetic, they will extract the eggs and then start to develop the embryos with the donor sperm depending on if there are any viable eggs.  Once the extraction is made they can then tell the quality of the eggs.

Then it is a wait in the hope that the embryos last 3 days or even better 5 days, as they would have developed into blastocysts.

Once they are ready to go, if there are any viable, I need to go back in for a procedure to implant an embryo.  It is then rest for a day or 2 – roll on the air con and movies!

After that it is a bit of a wait to see how it all goes and if it will work due to the hormones and different levels in my body going a bit haywire due to the medications.

This is obviously a very brief and rough guide to what is about to happen but hope it helps.  Soon I will be a bit more of an expert in it and can talk about it a bit more in-depth.

Let’s hope I don’t turn too crazy on those hormones!  Fingers crossed.

Happy holidays everyone!

 

 

 

Living life with no regrets

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Right at the start of this journey my gorgeous friend drew this for me and I have kept it on my fridge ever since. Things like this have been super helpful during the very overwhelming times – which have been aplenty.

I woke up the day after having everything confirmed with clarity.  I knew what I needed to do.  It was weird.  Up until the day before I was going back and forward, flip flopping between decisions.  Do I leave it and adopt later if it doesn’t work, would I now consider egg donation if mine don’t work, would I freeze embryos, would I try IUI by myself, would I do IVF but to be honest it all stood on those results as they would give me a clear picture.  And they did – a dire one.

So taking everything into consideration and looking at my wants and dreams.  I knew what was the right thing to do.

I have decided to go ahead with the egg retrieval and embryo freezing (IVF), of which I will need at least 2 rounds (a small fortune).  What I have also decided to do while I am there is to do a fresh embryo transfer as well, as I may not have any eggs or may only have a small number that are viable and I want to have the best chance possible.  In laymen’s terms, I will try to see if i can get pregnant. Eeeeek!

I was going to freeze embryos in October and January/ February but now because of my situation and results my amazing clinic in Athens, Greece – Serum, have said due to my situation it is imperative that we do something right away and have managed to squeeze me in.  They have been insanely incredible.

I was deadly scared to tell my parents – I mean how does that go down ‘Hi, guess what I want to be a single mum?’  Not necessarily the dream they had for me nor me for myself.  It’s funny as I am sure most parents don’t want to see their children turn into teenage parents or even single parents but how do parents deal with something like this that happens to their child when they are an adult?!  I was about to find out.

My parents and I have always been close, as any family we have our ups and downs but I always know they will be there for me.  This situation however, was a little different, I had no idea how they would take it.

 They have really given me space through this whole process and not really voiced their opinions very much, I guess giving me the room to adapt and take things in without other voices intervening.  So it was amazing that when they rung to check in on me the next day and before I had even begun to tell them my decision they asked if I had considered ‘putting one back while I was there’ and that they would support that or whatever decision I made.  I love the way life works sometimes!

Almost 3 weeks on and I’m dead scared.  Not of what people will think but of the fact that it might not work.  This decision was not made lightly, I have had months to think about it, the pros, the cons, the positives and the negatives and the process and I know it is the right decision for me and me alone but I can’t help but feel backed into a corner.

I have always wanted to be a Mum and that has not changed.  Most people get to choose if they do become one or don’t, I can choose that and I know that it will happen for me in someway or another, however most people get to choose when, how or if they are ready.  I don’t have any of those luxuries.

In my eyes, because of who I am, it is now or never.  If I don’t try now I know I will be thinking about the ‘what if’s’ for the years to come and the ‘if only’s’ will haunt me for the rest of my days.  I count myself lucky as someone who has no regrets in my life and I don’t want to start now.

I do feel backed into a corner on this as I can’t choose when it happens and I don’t have some one in my life to create a baby with.  The life of a single mum….I mean who wants that and asks for it?  So to plan and go ahead to try and become one seems a little ludicrous to me.  But I have no choice…I know I want to be a Mum, I have always known.  I know I want to try everything I can to have my own child first before I pursue other options.  So this is it.

If this doesn’t work I will be devastated. At this point I can only imagine the pain I will go through but I need to try.  What is that saying ‘It is better to try and fail, than fail to try’? or the even better one ‘I know that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying’- Jeff Bezos.

However, I am also scared of the fact that it might work!  All those questions – can I do this by myself? Am I strong enough?  Can I provide? Am I ready to give up my lifestyle? Not to mention all of the other questions I am sure most people go through when they consider having a child. But as I said, I have no doubts that to try feels right, no doubts.

So in exactly 3 weeks time, it is off to Athens overnight to get more tests done and decide on a protocol that will best suit me (medications, stimulants for low quality, reduced egg reserve) and then 1 week later back to Athens for 2 weeks to get that ball rolling.

Now, to try and get over my needle phobia.