Early Menopause · Infertility · Solo mum · Women’s Health

I’m an Auntie!

So a little over a month since my last post but I’ve wanted to wait until now to tell you what I’ve been up to.

Firstly though I have come to realise the focus of this blog is not so much on my diagnosis of premature ovarian failure but more on the infertility it has caused.

Im not sure what I feel about my POF, I have no symptoms anymore since taking HRT (I’m on Elleste Duet which is the first brand I’ve tried and thankfully have no complaints) I guess it must be a lot more complex if you have a history of cancer in the family or you prefer a more natural route. As I am so young it was important for me to take HRT to reduce the risk of heart problems and osteoporosis. Plus my mum (diagnosed at 42) took HRT with no issues so I wasn’t fazed to try. I think if I was B1C12C84-11FC-434C-9288-E55450A91F49passed my child bearing years I would look at natural remedies but I’ve not even bloody started! So it’s important I get my eastrogen levels right now for when I go down the donor route which I will come onto next. For now I just go easy on coffee and alcohol, I have found that if I overindulge on either I tend to overheat! LOL

Ok onto the juicy bits. Since visiting the Fertilty Network expo back in November last year I have been a member of the Donor Conception Network. A yearly subscription is only around £40 which gives access to regular newsletters and information around donor conception, not just for people like myself who can’t conceive for health reasons but for gay couples and many women who have decided to become a solo mum for whatever reason.

So the wannabe solo mums, I’ve met now with a few at the various meet ups that the DCN put you in touch with based on your location and circumstances. I have attended a group in my area and a lunch with solo mums- Thinkers and tryers, and I’m telling you now, these are my girls! Like seriously all power to the amazing women who are attempting or thinking of going it alone. Don’t get me wrong all the women I’ve met and of course myself have not had it easy, its a huge dicision choosing the donor route and you are faced with so much to think about, is it the right choice? when is it the right time? and of course the financial burden paying for treatment and it not working. I for one do feel some resentment for not qualifying for any funding on the NHS but I’m over  the angry stage and kind of just think, it is what it is and I’m not one to go down without a fight so determination has won and this is how its going to be.

It’s been great meeting other women from the DCN and has really helped to be able to talk to people who have the same worries and fears as me. Whatever our circumstances we all have the same questions and feelings we face every day in common such as; the cost of the procedures, drugs etc, what clinic to choose, what donor to choose, what do I tell people? what do I tell my child? Will I be enough support to my child as a solo parent? Am I being irresponsible?

I could really go on forever! I speak to a lot of women who just haven’t met the right partner and are in the thinking stages and I ask them “ what would you say/feel if the option of conceiving naturally was taken away completely?” And right there is your answer!

I strongly recommend joining groups such as DCN and although daunting you will meet so many other women and gather so much valuable infomation. From there I’ve been added to 2 private Facebook groups, 1 for solo mums where I then discovered the Double Donation group. It really makes you realise how common infertility and donor conception and what a taboo subject it can be. ONLY do this when you are ready to though, don’t force it but I know the more I speak to other women and research every aspect I feel anything is possible!

In the last 6 months I’ve lost count of how many people have told me how strong I am. It means so much and now I’m actually beggining to believe it! But I am not the only one you know, its amazing when you want something so bad you will do whatever it takes.

Last year I was angry and would often have awful down days when I thought why me? And why do things have to be this way but Ive come to realise my generation put so much pressure on ourselves about how we think our lives will be in relationships, careers and the milestones we should be hitting at a certain age but unfortunately that’s not always how its going to be. You’ve just got to open your mind to it. Bottom line is, I want to be a mum, I always have, I always knew I would so here’s bloody hoping!

This Monday I’m off to a clinic in Spain with my mum to have my first consultation!

I don’t really want to think about it too much as I’m anxious about how I will feel after. In my mind I want to come out of there it’s a clear plan on what I’m going to do and when. Also cringing at how much its going to cost!

For double donation, going abroad is my cheapest option but there are different laws to consider when choosing donors. They are totally anonomous to me and my child (Another bloody thing to think about when bringing up a child on your own!)

Hopefully Ill come back laden with information and will post a lot sooner.

One last thing though, I am now an Auntie for the first time! (I real one as well!)

So this post is dedicated to my new nephew Rudy Arthur ❤ Just look at those fingers! LOL

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Love CC

 

 

 

 

Early Menopause · Fertility · Infertility

I made it out the other side!

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Well, I’m finally back. It’s really been that long since I last posted and I’ve been through so much, like every emotion going.

I’ll be honest, after Grandad passed I was all over the show. Generally feeling so down I didn’t think I’d ever feel like me again. I forgotten what happy felt like and when I did have a flash of that feeling it then made me so sad.

For a longtime my infertility consumed me. I’d think about it every minute of every day. It wasn’t going away. I knew I couldn’t go on like that and after I completely lost it at work and could not stop crying (I hid in the toilets and behind my sunglasses so my staff didn’t see me!) I realised I probably needed some help to get on track again so went to the doctors and was prescribed anti depressants, just a very small dose. I had always worried about taking tablets and didn’t want to end up relying on them but after everything that had happened in those 3 months I was in a hole I couldn’t get out of. Let’s not forget that depression and anxiety are a side efffect of the menopause. Yes, Ive heard of doctors prescribing tablets too soon to menopausal women but I knew this was different for me, I just couldn’t cope with the grief. The loss of my fertility and Grandad all at once I’d forgotten how to be happy again.

So for the next few months after that I focused on doing things that I liked and that made me happy before. I spent time with family, going out dancing with them and having a drink and singing at the top of my voice! I began saying yes to things, nights out and even a trip to Amsterdam and Bruges. I just thought fuck it, you only live once and although I felt guilty for spending the money when I should be putting my money in the baby fund, life really is too short.

Since October last year Ive felt much better and wasn’t crying every time I had to talk about my infertility and menopause. I was feeling strong but knew I needed a plan. I had poked about the internet and stumbled across the London Woman’s Clinic and attended one of their single women seminars. It was completely free and specialists spoke about fertility MOT’s, egg freezing and IVF, not really of any use to me. I had been doing a lot of research on donor conception and the process but there’s so many terms, it was all a bit overwhelming. I just sat there screaming in my head, “ just tell me what I need and how much is it going to cost me!?” I felt pretty shitty after and the sadness and frustration came back and consumed me for a few days once again. It did however lead me to start using my twitter account more to follow the London Women’s Clinic, donor conception network and The Fetility Network which in turn led me to discover their show a couple of weekends later.

I attended the Fertility Network show at the Olympia. I hadn’t actually planned on going (I was anticipating a hangover from the night before to be fair) but I woke up feeling surprisingly ok and rather empowered so off I set across London on my own.

My plan was to get as much information on donor conception abroad. Being diagnosed with premature ovarian failure or early menopause means I get no help from NHS here in the UK as I need donor eggs. Going abroad is really my only option as its significantly cheaper.

I went round every stand getting information on double donation. I was there on my own and was ready to go into parenthood alone too, I want it that bad.

When the option is taken away from you it changes everything and makes you realise what you want.

I still get some anxiety thinking about how ill afford the process, even bringing up a child but slowly I’m beginning to not dwell on that. I have a huge support system and  its likely Ill move back to my home town when it happens as my family is there, 2 strapping brothers that will make the best uncles and my oldest friends, many of which have their own kids. So I know I’ll be ok. I’m going to have to be as this is what I have to do if I want to have children.

Theres lots I can go into about donor conception as I recieved some counselling through the fertility dept at my local NHS hospital I began to get my head around the concept but I will save that for another post. Promise I wont leave it so long next time. I’m back baby!

Anyone going through the same as me, I swear you’ll get through this. Stay focused on your goals and when you are ready, delve deeper into your options.

Look after you,do what you love and don’t do what you don’t! Does that make sense!? You’ll get there.

Lots of love,

CC

PS The Wonder Woman picture is just to remind myself who the fuck I am and how far I’ve come! Plus my Mum got me a Wonder Woman mug for my birthday so it must be true!