This week I have another fabulous guest. I absolutely love her style of writing and I’m sure there’s something in here that you can relate to! Here’s SJ…
Behold the humble question mark. It looks suspiciously like a lightbulb that some tired graphic designer hasn’t yet finished. Incomplete, just like me. I’ve spent years working in private practice as a Psychologist, gladly helping people to solve their problems and to reach the holy grail of happiness. The unwritten rules about being a therapist are as follows. Have an answer for everything (not everything actually has an answer – go figure) and never focus on yourself. Well, by the time I actually got round to me, it was much, much too late. I’ve spent years talking about gratitude and how to capture the happiness butterfly. Lecturing on the finer details of how going the distance is your best friend and that anything is possible if you just keep trying.
But guess what? It turns out that my life isn’t perfect, in fact, the thing I want most in the world I can’t have. At 41 years of age, I am a card carrying reproductively challenged individual or to put it another way, my bits don’t work properly. There: I’ve said it. Did the sky fall in? Nah.
So with my sky very firmly held up by sheer determination and more than a little support from my equally not prepared to give up just yet husband, I gathered my values around me like a cloak and set off into surrogacy land. Armed with kindness and compassion (strictly for others), “I got this” I thought to myself.
Yeah, right SJ. You gotta turn that stuff inwards, remember?
It’s the questions that really get you. There are so many questions in surrogacy. It isn’t just the procedural stuff (although that is vast and when you start thinking about how you will actually find a surrogate feels like a galaxy far, far away). To get to the point of making it happen you have already asked yourself so many challenging questions….I don’t need to fill in the blanks here because if you are reading this blog, it’s likely you have had more than a gentle tap by the infertility stick. You know – all those questions that keep you awake at night.
All the facebook groups are full of people asking questions. How do I do this? How can I get through this? Am I ever going to understand what DPR/DPT/blah blah blah is? (seriously, Google it), Where will it end? When will it begin? How long until I get to hold that warm little body? Questioning yourself, questioning other people, questioning agencies, questioning doctors…honestly, I’m too exhausted to type!
Giving up is always an option. Especially when it’s hard going and so, so lonely at times. But am I truly the only one out there that feels like that? Hooray! A question that actually has an answer at long last. No, I’m not.
A firm favourite in the big book of analogies used by those affected by the positivity bug the world over is the idea of a pearl being created from an irritation in an oyster. You know the stuff…all with the byline of nothing is worth anything if it’s not first a struggle and worth fighting for. I personally find an oyster the most unattractive of mollusks, but maybe that’s just me. And I think I am supposed to be the mollusk in this particular scenario – but I digress. If I had not suffered, would this mean so much to me? Another uncertainty. Another question mark.
So, I go about my daily business trying not to feel too much like Dory from Finding Nemo (“just keep swimming, just keep swimming”). I do confess that if ever they make a machine that’s actually capable of listening your thoughts then this is probably what the contents of mine will sound like. Or more like “just keep going” repeated a thousand times a day, amongst thoughts about whether Lindt balls are actually secretly laced with cocaine. They are so addictive. Geez, I hope not.
At this stage in this blog, you might have questions (see how I did that? … seamless) about my discoveries in surrogacy land so far. Some pretty big stuff actually. I found faith in human beings again. I found that I am a worthwhile human being even if the oven is broken and things are slightly overbaked. That even in desperate times, there is still hope. Altruism is alive and kicking, people.
Here’s another of those cheeky question marks. Did you know that a secret sisterhood of women exists? Women who help women who can’t do what they can. Women who will put themselves through backache, headache and heartache to help out someone they haven’t even met yet. I mean, seriously, if these women aren’t the pearl then what the hell is?
So many incredible discoveries already, enough to keep this little fish swimming. It’s just the uncertainty that really gets to you. That pesky unfinished light bulb. Will I ever get to be a mum? What if I never get to be covered in baby vomit? Oh, my world for a soiled nappy to change. I mean, seriously, what if it all fails?
I don’t buy that though. I believe anything is possible, with enough grit and determination. I am just going to keep going. I am going to be the grit in my own oyster and as in the moment as a blue fish. I see the pearl forming and she’s a whopper. See you at the finish line, you cheeky question mark.
Have you explored my IVF guide book?
It is available on Amazon in eBook, Paperback and Audio! Click here for my book on your country’s Amazon page
A compilation of beneficial information on trying to conceive with fertility treatments, specifically invitro fertilisation and will guide you step-by-step on a journey through:
The things to consider and the tests to do before deciding that you need fertility treatments,
What you could expect at your initial fertility consultation,
Tips on how to choose the clinic that’s right for you,
The stages of a standard IVF, frozen and natural cycle,
Suggested activities during your 2-week-wait,
Additional genetic tests to consider after repeated implantation failures or miscarriages,
Finding an IVF support group where you will feel comfortable as well as explanations of the many abbreviations used within them,
Notes on alternative treatments to support IVF, such as acupuncture and fertility massage,
Advice on how to keep it together when the hormonal medication is trying to drag you down,
Fertility friendly recipes and a collection of 125 valuable tips on everything from administering shots, to maintaining your relationship, nutrition and much more – both lovingly put together by another IVF veteran, Rachel Campbell of Sprout & Co. And much more!