Exactly a year ago from today, I came back from my travels to Greece. I spent 14 days in hotel quarantine Sydney. I’m not going to bore you with how average that was. How mind numbing, skin pruning, soul breaking, weight gaining, not recommended last stop before home. Not to mention the multiple quarantine and lock downs for the best part of 4 months.
In January 2021 I decided to get on a plane and head over to Greece for an embryo transfer. Covid was well and truly all over the place and travel was limited to special approvals. I was immediately approved for travel when explained my medical history and how we started the process the year before in Greece, as Australia doesn’t offer anonymous egg donation program yet.
I traveled alone.
In high insight, I realize how blinded I was to see how Bill would have loved to join in, but I was focused on the process and technically his sperm has already done his part. Yes I know, that’s awful but also true. Keep in mind, money was tricky too, travel tickets were mega expensive and as we are both self employed, we figured someone should stay here to earn some cash.
I look back now and I realize that I was so driven to “get it done”. It wasn’t about the trip, the experience or about us doing this journey together. Perhaps it was the first time it felt that way. After feeling like not much was in our control during lockdowns, total misunderstanding of what on earth is happening with this pandemic. I felt like I should take control of this at least and run with it.
Traveling was a lot easier than expected, I had all my documents on emails, I took photographs of everything(also had copies in my bag somewhere) but everyone was happy with checking it all on my phone. A bunch of PCR tests later, a couple of flights and airports, I made it to my destination. Thessaloniki, Greece.
It was -1 degrees and definitely mid winter. Greece was in lockdown for almost a year, with the odd weekend trading days. This was not the Greece I visited before, certainly not the one you often see in postcards. I was on my own with no where to go and no one to see for two months. My main outing was the fertility clinic and a morning walk.
One of the highlights of this trip was doing an NLP master course. It went on for 10 days on Australian day time. That meant I had to be up and on a zoom call from 1am to 10am. It was a welcomed distraction. I felt amazing throughout the whole time. Living of Greek food delivery to the door, mindset and personal improvement, journaling, dancing, daily calls to my mum, daily calls to Bill, breaking through limiting beliefs, having endless awareness about myself and my current experiences and somewhere during that 2 and a half months having 2 embryos transfers that fail. Not pregnant- try again.
Yes it was hard at the time. Being on my own through that. But I can tell you this was one period in my life that I didn’t feel lonely. I felt on purpose. I felt and was driven. I made the most of every moment.
I even met a young girl from England who was doing the whole process secretly. We were introduced by one of the nurses at the clinic and we couldn’t be more opposites in our journey, except for the fact that we are having a fertility treatment by that same Greek clinic. She was single, working everyday, no one knew that she was doing it, the only thing that she needed was a sperm donor, she brought all her food and cleaning products from home as she was worried about getting covid locally, she pretended that she was here to see a client, she wasn’t interested in a family she just wanted a child of her own.
Me on the other hand: married, on break from work, everyone knew that was doing IVF, all I needed was an egg donor, I had all my food delivered to my hotel/ Airbnb, all I brought with me were few books, skin care, I was on live videos sharing my story, my dream was and still is to create a family for Bill and I.
The drawn out wait to get my cycle so I can have the second transfer was a real stretch. I got creative and started writing an ebook. I decided to get experimental with a new online business venture, my youngest brother was helping out a little. I slowly allowed myself to process the disappointment and to stop “doing” things as way of distraction and avoidance. Going on for the second transfer felt more mechanical than ever before. This was my 11 or 12 IVF treatment. I was positive but not hopeful, I was emotional but exhausted. I think I just wanted it to end. I just wanted it to work so it will be it. I just wanted it to work so I can say this whole trip was worth it.
I just wanted it to work so I would feel that I was worth it! A family.
I remember the nurse holding my hand as I was crying, the doctor was focused on holding the embryos safely in his instrument just before placing them in my uterus. I remember seeing the nurse shedding a tear with me. She felt my sadness, she felt my longing and she admired my courage and determination. All I wanted was for it to be over. All I wanted was for it to be attached. But that wasn’t for me to have just yet. None of the five embryos we got from that donor worked. This was the end of that chapter. I was crushed.
Gosh, I was crying then, I was crying when I first wrote this(yesterday) and I am crying again now as I am editing it. Is it possible there is more healing to do on this? Is there something that I missed? Working with clients over the years, the subject of worthiness comes up a lot. I mean A LOT!! I don't think it ever matters the work you do on it, so you can allow more abundance in and own your worth, I think when you hit YOUR threshold, you come across an opportunity to grow, to expand. That is when emotions present themselves. You realise that some of that pain is still present, and if you are connected to your essence you will feel it. This is not something in your head that simply makes sense... oh here is the problem and here is the solutions.
This is NOT just black & white. But where there is contrast there is opportunity to stretch beyond your limitations. Breathe.
A few wonderful memories that contributed to the joy I had in between treatments, was as I wandered the streets and the local port for fresh air and exercise. When I tell you there was nothing to do, that’s exactly how it was for most of it. Everything was shut and the only way to shop was online. Except for a couple of days when suddenly the mayor decided to allow business to open for the weekend. Amazingly I managed to get in for a haircut, I bought some toys for my nieces and jewelry for myself from a local designer. Gotta have a little retail therapy when traveling. I still wear them and enjoy them, it mostly reminds me of the wonderful conversations we had. I think we both appreciated a random but sweet connection with another human being.
At that point, Bill suggested to go to Israel and spend some time with the family. It was so healing to be with my parents, my brothers, my nieces. Israel was just getting out of covid lockdowns, most people were vaccinated (I wasn’t at the time), moving around was limited but relatively easy.
I felt like a little girl whose parents are happy to care for. I knew I was grieving strongly because I was coughing so badly for weeks. We couldn’t get an explanation for what it was(not medically), but I knew the connection: lungs are associated with grieving/sadness/depression. Every organ/system is associated with an emotion according to traditional Chinese medicine for example liver is associated with anger and frustration, heart with hate and impatience, kidney with fear. Spleen with worry and anxiety. Our bodies will communicate to us, always, we just need to listen.
Sooooo now what??
This time last year I was counting the days before seeing my husband, my dog, my home, my friends. It was so challenging because everything was different. We have just spent 4 months away from each other and in different worlds(practically). How do we move forward from here? Think about the times we all just got back to normality after lockdowns, vaccinations, limitations, freedoms, do's and don'ts, are we hugging are we not.
You do not need to have an international egg donor transfer during pandemic to know what I am talking about. Many of you have or had this conversations at some point over the past year or so. We are all so fatigued but we know things must change for us all to have a better future. Our planet, our government, our relationships, our health, our conversations, our businesses, our children depend on that. I don't have a bright and simple solution to solve all of those issues, but I know I can and I am implementing small changes everyday with how I treat myself and my loved ones. I remember that we are all doing our best to better ourselves in our own way at our own time.
That makes me feel worthy and equal.
Thank you for reading.
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