I went to see a massage therapist(Celeste) about a decade ago, it was a gift from a friend(Jo). I'll never forget my first visit with her, she offered a little tarot reading before we started. I started telling her about my new business venture, my fears, some questions I had. For a while there it seems we were going around in circles, as i struggled to be honest with what is truly on my mind.
I took a deep breath and asked: "where are my children?"
My story of the fertility challenges over the past decade requires me to be authentic and open as well as respectful to the privacy of my relationship. I intend to take you on that journey with me and share the good and the bad, the highs and the lows as raw and as open as I can be.
As we are getting closer to Mother's Day, I figured it is a good time to start sharing a series of blogs and dive deep into the experiences I had and the ones I am still about to have.
How it all started:
A little over than 15 years ago a met a beautiful man, Bill. I knew immediately that this is the man I wish to have a family with, in fact we spoke about many important things on our first night together, children was a big one of those subjects. We even had names for them.
In the pursuit of our happiness we continued on with our lives together. We travel overseas to meet our families in Israel and Greece, We furnished a beautiful home in Paddington, we started two businesses at the same year and we finally got married in 2008. It was only at around 2010-2011 that we realised that we have yet to fall pregnant. I guess we both strongly believed it will naturally happen, and that our children will find their way to us soon. We thought that getting off contraceptive will be enough. Sadly, that was not the case.
Friends around us started having babies and it seems that everywhere we looked there was a pram or a pregnant lady. And so the real journey begun. We explored different methods of assisted pregnancies and were completely guided by specialists that we have seen over the years. At the beginning, the first medical test of Bill's sperm was not great. It failed on all 4 counts. Sperm is tested for 4 qualities: quantity, concentration, speed and intelligence. That's right, the only thing that is required of a smart sperm is to find the egg and get in to fertilize it.
Anyways, the good news is that after a few months of taking Elevit for men, (a specific multi vitamin to support healthier fertility), Bill's little swimmers where super happy and healthy and so we did our first assisted fertility treatment called: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) — a type of artificial insemination — . Sperm that have been washed and concentrated are placed directly in your uterus at time of ovulation. Friends of us who struggled for 10 years had a successful result with this treatment, so we gave it ago but it didn't work for us.
It was time to discuss IVF: In Vitro Fertilisation.
Collect a bunch of eggs after intense stimulation of your cycle to produce as many as possible, put them in a jar with a bunch of sperm, and monitor fertilization in the lab before transfering a healthy embryo back into your uterus.
After trying a bunch of these unsuccessfully, we changed doctors and then tried ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.
Injecting a single sperm into an egg and wait for a successful fertilization before transfer. That didn't work either.
So after 9 failed attempts, a conversation about an egg donation came up, suggested by the doctor, as of course I was 43-44 by then. This was next level of pain. Just when I thought I was so broken this suggestion has hit real hard and broke me even more. It was so hard to understand and accept, because medically they said, there was nothing wrong with either of us, but my eggs are getting old and they are not in good quality, so it was time to shop around. On a side note, our businesses where struggling a lot and needed our attention. Of course it was a welcomed distraction, because we didn't have to deal with each other's pain or our own deep and very real pain.
A year or so later we decided to pursuit with our dream to create a loving family to nurture us and to nurture our home, at that point we were so focused on technical parts of putting that plan together as we were so exhausted and somewhat disengaged from ourselves. I can only see that in high in sight. We felt connected on the surfaces at least and that was enough to get the big plan of the ground.
We decided to go to Greece as there was a great program for anonymous donors, they had a great success rate and we thought we could enjoy a holiday while we are there for the treatment. It was brilliant!! We coordinated treatments, scans, blood tests, drugs and everything needed in preparation before our trip to get our donor eggs fertilized. We even arranged for mum and dad to join us for support and love. OMG!!! I fell pregnant!!
I cannot tell you how excited we were. Needless to say that the holiday in Crete was outstanding. I never enjoyed sore boobs as much as I did then. Our connection was sweet and deep and our love grew instantly.
We traveled back to Israel to enjoy the final days of our holidays with my extended family. More beach, relaxation, time with my brothers, my parents, my nieces and with my soon to be dad to our child. We were so in love and so happy. So driven and so alive. One of the perks of IVF, you know when you are pregnant really soon in the process, as it is all monitored and calculated to literally the moment of conception.
As we made our way back home, it was hard to hold back the news, as everyone new what was this trip all about. I personally don't regret sharing it all. It's a personal thing. Most people I know keep it to themselves, until they are in the"safe window" of 3 months. For me, the process has been close to 10 years and having a support group of friends and family meant a lot. I dictated the time of when and with whom to share or discuss, for me it was mostly positive and uplifting, especially when things were looking up.
It could be due to the attitude you must hold throughout, or at least this is what I believe you must create, a safe and happy space in your mind and in your body to carry you and your baby through this process of creation. Any time doubt or fear jumps into the mix, you risk missing out on the joy and the love that is offered to you at that moment. Oh and those moments are plentiful and delicious.
This is more than just staying positive and staying with higher vibrations, this is about understanding that life still continues outside of your world, it's what you chose to let in or what you chose to let go that keeps you in the right balance of holding it in and keeping it together. Low vibing people or situations, were simply not invited or welcomed. What a time to work on your boundaries? I mean, truly, who is going to argue with a pregnant lady!?