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!

 

 

 

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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.

The small things – make it work for you

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Who would have thought that I would be this excited about storage containers!?!

Sometimes there are ‘Rabbit Hole’ moments, that’s inevitable, but for the most part there are what become’ regular’ days.  Days were you get a glimpse of normalcy or ‘The new normal’, gliding through life renewing the old feelings and everyday losing a bit of that numbness feeling until one day you realize that you haven’t thought about fertility all day.  Yippee!  And then you go into throws of panic about what you should or should not have been researching into, reading or moderating during the day.  But sometimes, just sometimes you can use this ‘deficit’ to motivate yourself or use it to your advantage.

What I mean by that is definitely NOT the sympathy card or the poor me card, it’s more like a ‘kick up the bum’ card.  I wish that I was meaning this in reference to moderating things in my life, eating healthier, exercising more or achieving more balance but it isn’t.  It is purely for more selfish reasons…shopping!

A friend recently sent me this article:

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2016/march/trying-to-get-pregnant-watch-your-plastics/

I have been lucky and have a gorgeous group of friends who have been willing to share their knowledge and look into things for or with me.  This is one friend who knows a lot  about fertility and since it was an article as opposed to me actually doing any research, I clicked away and read, procrastinating work for another 10 minutes.

It was an interesting read about eliminating BPAs if you are going through fertility treatment.  Randomly, this is something another friend and I had been talking about a few months earlier – eliminating BPA’s in everyday life (not in regards to pregnancy) and also glass vs plastic etc.  I had been meaning to buy some BPA free containers on Taobao (China’s answer to TradeMe or eBay), however as they are imported from New Zealand, obtaining a usable amount was costly and wasn’t high on my priority list.  I wanted to get them in New Zealand when I was home but again they fell low on my priority list after loading my suitcase to capacity with all my ‘year long’ supplies that I bring back from NZ into China each Christmas.

Enter my fertility issues and this article and wham, bam thank you ‘mam, there were no excuses now, I was onto the Warehouse NZ website, taking a screen shot of what I needed and unfortunately for him, my poor Dad got loaded with the task of locating these things and bringing them up in his suitcase when he came to visit at the beginning of April.  Believe me that was the least embarrassing of the things I asked him to bring – that’s another story.  Thank you Dad and don’t worry I did pay him for them!

So finding not only the positives in this less than fun situation but also the things that will work for you isn’t really so bad.

Out with the old and in with the shiny new…BPA free and all!

Down the ‘Rabbit Hole’

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Tired eyes, worn out demeanor, exhausted shell of a person. Felt like I needed to share this picture taken during a ‘Rabbit Hole’ moment. Not glamorous but truth telling.

I’m not going to lie and say that I sail through everyday with my head held high and positive thoughts wafting around in my head, all the while smiling and dealing with the shit hand I have been dealt. That would simply be untrue and I would not be human if I could. I was due to hit the wall and reach the end of my positive thoughts bank soon and at exactly 3 weeks after the diagnosis, the reality of the situation came crashing down around me.

The weight of the decision, the lack of sleep, the isolation from family and friends, the overwhelming amount of information I needed to wade through, the actual emotions of receiving this news at my age, the time crunch, the logistics, contacting people, learning about something I knew nothing about and didn’t particularly want to know about, processing what had, would and might happen, taking on board and seeking others opinions and experiences and holding down a full time job all the while smiling at small children, speaking politely to friends, unknowing colleagues and parents on a daily basis finally won over and pulled me down that ‘Rabbit Hole’.

In total I spent 2 days down that ‘Rabbit Hole’, submerged completely. I was unable to be around anyone, speak to anyone and could not function. I knew the best place for me would be locked up at home sorting through things and distressing myself by having the time to wade through….well….everything.

The first day I couldn’t do a thing. Every time I tried to even attack anything fertility related I shut down. At this point tears had not come although I sat there and tried, I wanted to get it all out, get it over and done with. Instead I turned to housework. If you know me, you know this is weird, super weird! I sorted out clothes, washing, rearranged some furniture, measured things, hung pictures and did a lot of things that had been on my to do list for a while. I did not feel better per say but I felt slightly lighter. At the end of day 1 the thought of going back to work was panic inducing. I haven’t had 2 days off in a row for, I can’t even remember how long. I swallowed that bitter pill and called in sick for the second day in a row.

Day 2 and still far, far down that hole, it was all about the research, contacting people and wading through that information. By days end I felt incredibly relieved that I had taken the day and tears flowed freely. I was able to better function, could reply to messages from friends and was slowly clawing my way out of the dingy, dark hole and back into the light.

Of course there are other times when I am caught in that hole again however it may just be for a few hours or a day but I am able manage it – well, so far so good.

Music is a strong emotive force for me and I can’t live without music around me. At the moment you’ll find me ruining Jess Glynne’s empowerment song with terribly applicable lyrics to help bring me up and keep me balanced:

“Don’t be so hard on yourself girl, learn to forgive, learn to let go. Everyone trips, everyone falls, so don’t be so hard on yourself girl” screeches out from my mouth down the hallways at work, at the same time as whip lash inducing moves are being done. Not a pretty sight but it makes me laugh. I truly pity my poor colleagues.

In all truth, it is incredibly difficult not to be hard on yourself. Most of us want to be tough and brave and being brought up in a household of strong, independent minded people, emotions weren’t necessarily at the forefront of things. You learned to be strong and get on with life, which can actually be a great quality.

Sometimes though, I have to give myself a break and realize “It’s not an easy road and I’m not alone, so I won’t be so hard on myself no more” all the while doing over enthusiastic and exaggerated moves to accompany these words down the hallway of an International School in Beijing.

What ever gets you through!

Looking for normal

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The day of my #escapism while #lookingfornormal. Lunch at the Brown Door opposite the Pearl Market with a dear friend.

Killing 3 months until the next set of tests was no picnic. I needed to slow the tornado of words, questions and thoughts in my brain and occupy it with something else in order to deplete the feelings and control my emotions during this period (which is still not quite over yet).

A friend suggested that I track my cycle via temperature using a thermometer to understand how my body works and incase I need to know more information e.g. when I ovulate, IF I decide to go down the pregnancy route. Although this suggestion did not excite me in the least I decided that every option is worth exploring and went ahead with it. Knowledge is power right? I had nothing to lose.

This turned out to be a bit of a mission.

My first problem was making sure I got the correct kind. Who knew, but apparently there are a variety of thermometers and they are all used for different reasons and some are more accurate than others. Awesome. After figuring out which one I needed (a basal one), by consulting the ever faithful internet and my new trusty fertility forum I was off to find it.

After venturing around Beijing that weekend and visiting 4 different stores which I was reassured would have thermometers, I finally stumbled into a tiny local pharmacy, Google translated my way through a conversation (for some reason ‘thermometer’ is not on my repertoire of Chinese words), and came out with a thermometer that had kindly been dusted off by the lady at the pharmacy.

I went home, lay on my bed and proceeded to try to work out this contraption.

Of course all of the instructions were in Chinese and when I tried to figure it out, by trying it out, not much happened. It only had one button, so seriously how hard could it be to work out? I pushed the button, put it under my tongue and waited, nothing happened. At this point I had worked out from the pictures that it needed to beep at some stage. I put it under my tongue and then pushed the button, still nothing. Again, I used Google and still that particular make’s instructions were only in Chinese. Finally I went down the route of Googling the same make but a slightly different number and it turns out that my particular brand of thermometer, the one that had been collecting dust on a shelf in a tiny pharmacy in Beijing was a top notch ovulation thermometer!! I hadn’t even mentioned ‘ovulation’ to the pharmacist, AS if I knew THAT word in Chinese!

It was great news that I had nailed finding the perfect thermometer however that is where the not so fun part comes in. This now means that every morning the first thing I do when I wake up is to not move and lay in bed, with a thermometer shoved right up, extremely uncomfortably under my tounge for a full 5 minutes, while it takes an incredibly accurate temperature reading of my body. And at this point I say to the woman on ‘FertilityFriends’ that said that she thinks it is super relaxing and drifts back off to sleep until it beeps at her to wake up, “Yeah right! How in gods name is a sharp metal implement poking you inside your mouth, in a sensitive part of your tongue, as soon as you wake up for 5 minutes all the while laying still and holding it in place so it gets that accurate reading relaxing? You are insane lady!” You can see how much I love this whole experience, sarcasm central. I then record the number on my phone and at a later time transfer it to a super geeky excel spreadsheet so I can track my cycle. Super fun.

This is when I knew my life had changed.

At this point I have 2 months of data and I have to admit my friend was right, after I got over the annoying aspect of how my days start everyday (that took about a month), it is interesting to have a small insight to how my body works. Patterns are starting to emerge as my body is weaned off ‘The Pill’ and hopefully this will be an asset later on in whatever process I decide to proceed with.

Now I have never used a hashtag in my life but as I was writing this I felt like I could have written this entire post using them. So, I will finish with this:

After this #biglifechange I counteracted all of this boringness, frustration and #fullonness with a #slightlyinsane handbag, Lululemon and headphone #buyingspree at the market #escapism #lookingfornormal #procrastination #denial.

Stuff dealing with real life when it gets a bit too full on – a shopping spree cures all!

Down with one!

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…or not!

It is incredibly hard for me to write some of these posts and not just because of the what they are about.  I am not sure if any of you have picked up on this but what I have shared so far only happened in that first week of finding out – that was about 6 weeks ago.

As you can imagine a lot has changed since then but also a lot has not.  So many important things happened during that first week and I feel that I need to explain them properly for others to fully understand my story and decisions.  However it is unbelievably hard to write them now, looking back, as what I know now and feel has changed or stayed the same or I am no further forward or I have made firm decisions – don’t worry, not THAT decision….not yet anyway.  This is what makes it incredibly hard to write ,as I am not sure how to approach the posts – from then or now or a mix of both.  Also I have had so many incredible stories shared with me and so many amazing people reach out I want to make sure that everyone understands at least one place that I am at right now. So I will start with a decision I have firmly made.

I have decided that at egg freezing is no longer an option for me.

This in turn rules out New Zealand for a place to help me or have treatment in, as egg freezing is their only option unless I have my own personal sperm to do other options with.  As we all know I am painfully single, so this is not the case.  Also, as you know, I could wait for a sperm donor on a list however that list is 2-3 years long and my time frame is a year, so the math does not add up.  So out with New Zealand.

Obviously this decision has not come lightly however I am just so relieved to have at least one option checked off my list and into the ‘do not want’ pile. Scratch that.  More like in the ‘will not do’ pile.

A friend of mine recommended an amazing website ‘Fertility Friends’ and although incredibly overwhelming (I am still using my mantra of step by step and only looking up small things at a time), it has real people, sharing real stories and really is the best place I have been able to find concrete information, that helps all different people from all walks of life, from all different countries around the world to be informed without doctors and too much clinical stuff getting in the way.

However, there is no escaping the dreaded acronyms!  My god, those things have become my worst enemy, so much so that I now have a fertility acronym dictionary in my notes on my computer.  My god, how life has changed! That page used to be my ‘bars to visit’ list!

Fertility friends has incredible threads dedicated to different things, however the Australasian thread was the most helpful at first.  Long story short, it helped me see that most people with infertility issues in Australia and New Zealand basically said ‘Get the hell out’.  They have gone to reputable clinics in mostly South Africa, the Chech Republic, Bulgaria, Spain and Greece to seek more options and credible advice, that was more affordable.  And by more affordable I mean SERIOUSLY more affordable.  One Australian couple had flown to South Africa, had a few treatments/cycles and flown back and that cost them the same as 1 treatment in Australia.  For me it was a no brainer….start looking into overseas options.

The same friend who suggested this website, had sent me a few threads and as she is interested in this stuff (I am so thankful for that and for her!), had seen that a few clinics were continually mentioned, down to the person who was best to deal with.  I looked up one clinic – Serum in Greece and was amazing by what they could offer.  I submitted a questionnaire from their website, attached my doctors notes and within a day I had heard back.

Wow!  I was completely blown away by their knowledge, efficiency and professionalism.  Most of the knowledge I have now, still comes from those first few emails.  As I had asked about egg freezing (among other things but that will come later), I was given great advice.

Serum do not “offer egg freezing here as it’s relatively unproven as few babies have been born from frozen eggs worldwide except from fertile egg donors.  Increasing numbers of egg freezing cycles are being run for women wanting to postpone having a family but only a tiny portion of those women have gone on to try getting pregnant with those eggs.  The proportion of those women who have extra fertility issues like low AMH is also probably small so it will be difficult for any doctor to give you a robust estimate of what your personal chances to have a baby from 2 cycles for frozen eggs would be.  I think it’s unhelpful to start thinking of  egg freezing as an insurance because it may be that even with several cycles of freezing, the eggs do not give pregnancy when you come to try with them.”

After this email I obviously did some more research and found out the following things:

1 – Eggs have a high water content so can be susceptible to both damage and destruction as ice crystals within the egg can cause it to fracture when thawing

2 – Thawing of the eggs does not have enough research to support successful pregnancy outcomes and during the thawing process (depending on how your clinic does it – oh yes, there are a few ways! More fun knowledge I had to learn about), there are low thawing survival rates.

Laying it all out on the table this would mean because of my low AMH levels, if I did a round of IVF to extract eggs, I would only at best case scenario, have 6 eggs, in most cases half are viable (due to varying reasons), that’s 3, then they would need to go through the thawing process with maybe, again, at best, 1-2 surviving and then subjecting myself to trying to get pregnant with only a small chance of that working down the track, with no proven research to say it will work.  I don’t even want to go down the track of my worst case scenario outcomes or lack there of.  Women with non fertility issues would have a much better chance and the statistics are still against them with low pregnancy outcome rates.

That is a lot, and I mean A LOT of money, time, hurt, energy, life wasted  and a seemingly endless emotional roller coaster for a crappy not scientifically proven way of preserving fertility, that has not even been a great deal successful in the most fertile of women.  Imagine it with the fertility challenged.

I have decided that I am not wanting to waste my life, worrying if it may work, sending myself into crippling debt for a possibility or a maybe or a just not sure.  I want something more concrete than that, even of it is just slightly more.

So egg freezing is struck firmly off the list.

Down with one, what will be next?

When timing takes over

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With one option in New Zealand down the tubes (pun intended), I turned to the other: egg freezing.

After emailing Oxford Woman’s clinic to remind them to send the PDF of pre tests to me, that I hopefully could get done in China, I was put in touch with an incredible fertility nurse Kate.  She sent the list of tests directly to me the same day she received the email.

It was a super scary looking list of tests I might add, anything that lists HIV and involves needles is always going to be a heart attack inducing list to me.  Unfortunately for her, she then told me not to hesitate to contact her if I needed any help with the list or anything else.

Big mistake lady!

Because my mind was racing about all the possible scenarios, outcomes, timings and unknowns I replied straight back to her to see if she could answer the following questions:

  • Because my specialist recommended that I have at least 2 rounds of freezing done due to my low AMH level, how long in-between times can I wait until I have the next round?
  • As I only have set holidays, I may be able to come back to New Zealand from these dates (dates listed), would this work for at least the first round?

People often (sometimes a little too much), have me on about the holidays teachers get.  Now, I will not go on to justify why we deserve it or need it or work our arses off for it but what I will say is that unfortunately this means that we are only able to have holidays or take time off at these particular times.  The excruciatingly hard part about this for me now, is having to try to time procedures around these times, which is not an easy feat.  Especially when these timings are also governed by the procedure I choose.

 For egg freezing with IVF I will need to go on  the pill so that they can control things a bit more and that means I then need to count backwards from holidays to make sure that I start the pill at certain times.  If I am not accurate, I will start costing myself money and have to take more days of leave without pay or miss the holiday window altogether.  This implicates flights as well as days off, so, it is best not to screw that one up!

OR if I decide to go with IUI or something similar that means I have to go off the pill and it is up to my bodies timing when I have to be, where I have to be.  Meaning who the bloody hell knows what dates that will be and what flights I need to book and when.

Throw in the time crunch of a year, a useless mathematician (that’s me). and an even more less knowledgeable person about cycles (again…that’s me), and you have a complete scheduling nightmare.  Believe me, it is headache inducing.

Putting it plainly – it is just not a simple thing to plan or organize.  It means leave without pay, when this is already going to be a pretty costly experience in itself, which ever way I go.  Most people only have to factor in tests, meds and procedures which is horrendously costly in itself.  Unfortunately for me, I also need to add to that, ridiculously expensive flights and time crunches.

Luckily the nurse was incredible and I no longer had to deal with 3 week waits.  The very next day she had written an incredibly long and detailed email explaining how we could do the freezing and how it would work, and asking if I could extend some dates as I would need some recovery time before flying…oh yeah…there’s another thing I have to factor in.

As the clinic is closed at Christmas time for cleaning and holidays etc, I was told that I would not be able to do my second round then and as it were, she stressed to me how important it was NOT to wait that long because of the levels of my AMH.

These factors were extremely stressing for me and with people telling me time was of the essence and that they could cater for me during this time (July/August), it seems like this was my only option.

Unfortunately what made me most upset was the fact that I was in the midst of planning an epic trip to Europe to spend time with my brother and when my parents caught wind of the trip they were keen to jump on the band wagon.  3 days before I found out from the specialist the extent of what was going on and the time implications, my parents had gone ahead and booked non refundable tickets to our chosen destinations.

So with most of my family overseas in Europe while I was going to be going through this in New Zealand, it was looking less and less appealing.  With only my sister in town, and she doesn’t know this yet, she was first in line for daily injection duty.

The cost alone was enough to be sending me for the hills and now most of my family weren’t going to be there for support.  This really did not seem like the option for me at all.

 And it turns out I was right.

My mighty, mighty microcosm

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I am lucky to have such quality friends who know how to make me laugh…exactly what I need though this process

One thing that stuck with me from my conversation with my specialist was that he found it hard to give me options because of my singledom and also because of my proximity to New Zealand.

It took me explaining a few things to him before he really could see that maybe I knew more than I had let on or that I had more support and knowledge where I was, than if I was in New Zealand.

You see, when you live away from home, every situation needs to be approached differently.  Whether it is how you buy your milk and what brand you use (for me it’s by speaking in Chinese, converting to long life milk for safety reasons and now my local store got rid of the New Zealand brand so it’s a switch to the Australian organic one), or how to get to the front of a line (for me it involves a lot of pushing, scowling at line jumpers, hands out actions to prevent said line jumpers and eyes on the prize), or even how you approach dating (Tinder anyone?!?, being 32 and at that age being called ‘too young to be in a committed relationship’ here and the great line of ‘You’ve got plenty of time’.  Believe me I do not hear the echo of those sentiments coming from anywhere near New Zealand territory).

For me, now it’s how you go about approaching your fertility options.   I was completely ignorant (and pretty much still am, every day brings new challenges, options and not to mention copious amounts of acronyms), and I thought that my only options were the 2 that were presented to me from my specialist.

Cue my mighty microcosm and what a microcosm it is.

Upon sharing my results (pre specialist), I was lucky enough to be open with and talk to some amazing people who I call colleagues and friends.  Collectively, in just my work place, I had these experiences shared with me:

  • Many instances of over 40 and conceived naturally
  • Could not conceive so decided not to investigate and not have children
  • Adoption the only option, decided to not do own pregnancy
  • 4 miscarriages and 2 beautiful babies
  • IUI resulting in triplets
  • Over 40, IVF and 2 gorgeous girls
  • 13 rounds of IVF, no luck and then adopted
  • Single, IVF, 2 lovely boys
  • Tracking ovulation, and pregnant
  • Multiple instances of miscarriages
  • Multiple instances of trouble conceiving/ being ‘too late’ to conceive

And this is just in my work place, not even other stories that they shared or that others have shared with me since.

I am so honored that people felt that they could share their stories with me and also so incredibly lucky that I am surrounded by people who can give me the big picture and truly understand what I am going through.  They have helped me to see that there are many options to explore and many ways to become a mother.

As that is the one thing that I do know – no matter how or when, I will become a mother and it is through them empowering me and sharing their stories, that I now truly understand their words of positivity and encouragement.

It is not lost on me how lucky I am to know these people, to have them openly share their stories with me and to help me along the way. I realize, that if I wasn’t here right now I would have limited options due to confinement, cost and lack of knowledge and I am forever thankful for that and for being in the right place, at the right time.

I truly do count myself as one of the lucky ones.  Without these people I would not be where I am in the process today and I cannot thank them enough for that.  Nor do I take it for granted.

I now have more options than 2 to pursue because of my mighty microcosm and although overwhelming at times, I know I am very fortunate.

So, I will forge forward, full of hope and positivity and know that my mighty microcosm will be there to support me along the way…no matter which way I go.