Early Menopause · Infertility · Selfcare · Solo mum

#Selfcare

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So January is over and you may or may not of added self care to your new year resolutions or goals for 2019. Last year I set 18 in 18 (goals) inspired by the athletic apparel company Lululemon which I successfully completed the majority on my list. This year is going to potentially be a big one for me, You know motherhood and that! (Cross everything please!) So I’ve put a lot of thought into my 19 in 19 goals. At the forefront of each of my goals is self care. Obviously the hashtag self care is thrown about all year round and I often think oh bore off but I now realise how important it is at this crucial time and all the time for that matter.

During any fertilty treatment, anxiety is at an all time high and stressful situations can be heightened with all the hormones flying about. So looking after your state of mind should be up there as a priority.

I’m a firm believer in positive thinking and feel you receive what you put out into the universe. Now maybe I’m naive as this is my first attempt at fertility treatment but a little positivity can’t hurt right? It just makes me feel better and makes me feel like I’d be more able to cope with negative situations. I also know that me believing I’m pregnant and buying a ton of baby paraphernalia is not going to give me a small human however I can use positive affirmations such as “When I am a mother” and preparing myself for solo motherhood so I can welcome it with open arms rather than constantly thinking it won’t happen so as not to be disappointed.

Perfect example, at the beginning of the year I was wobbling and having a shitty day. I was stuck indoors, not wanting to leave the sofa and just generally feeling a bit angry with my situation. Now I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much so as not to jinx it but I began reading a book I got for my birthday called Three Makes Baby by Jana M. Rupnow. The book is about how to parent a donor conceived child and the obstacles n society you could face and although I’m not there yet it felt good to be looking ahead rather than dwelling on what’s already in the past. After a few pages I felt good and ready again.

So on my 19 in 19 I have promised myself to continue reading that book and also purchase some more soon. The Donor Conception Network have some great children’s books for donor concieved children called Our Story which are tailored to your situation ie solo mum and sperm donor or Mum and Dad with egg donor child, you get the idea.

Not everything needs to cost money, cause believe me this is all cost enough already! Music and dancing makes me so happy. I used to sing and dance when I was younger so I’ve always loved it, I can literally put a certain song on and be instantally up dancing and smiling to myself in my own little world. I decided to start the ULTIMATE playlist on my Apple Music. You could do the same on Spotify. It’s full of songs from all genres, old and new and I love it! I’m still adding to it now as I remember songs I’d forgotten even existed, think I’m up to 31 songs so 1 hour 56 minutes of pure joy! 127F1622-18AC-42A8-9517-DC4D7ED38DEB

Other things I have been investing is acupuncture. Its pricey but worth trying. I had a half price deal which was £30 to see if I responded well to it before committing to regular appointments with an acupuncturist who speciallises in fertility. Yes it is an added expense to the already 1000’s you’ve parted with but I have been putting some money aside each month to pay for things like this and for travel to my clinic so I see it as an investment in myself and part of the process. I’ve been feeling a lot calmer and relaxed around my transfer date and of course the dreaded 2 week wait!

Another one for the list was on last years list too so I have continued this into 2019. Each time I go to the supermarket on my way to work I pick up something for the food bank to donate. An extra 80p on a bag of pasta is really nothing. This really puts things into perspective again when I’m feeling down and I like to give something back to those that have to use these food banks to feed their families.

Another free tip for self care is to get out in nature, go for a walk with a friend or family or even out on your own. Every time I visit home I book in a walk with the family and even better when my little nephew comes too!

Since being diagnosed with POF almost 2 years ago Ive barely exercised like a used to so walking is my thing now

I’m currently sat in my favourite little cafe (where most of these posts are written?) and I’ve promised myself I will take a walk through the park before heading home just to clear my head, I’ll listen to a podcast or of course the ULTIMATE playlist! Must try not to burst into song though or pretend I’m in a music video 😀

What are your self care tips? Let me know either here or over on my instagram @earlymenopauseandme

Lots of love and positive energy to you all,

CC x

Early Menopause · Infertility · Menopause · Solo mum

Money Money Money

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9,600 Great British pounds is what my treatment has cost me here in a UK clinic. It all suddenly feels very real now and a little petrifying at the same time.

The cost does not include my initial consultation, medication, pre screening or the cost of travel to visit the clinic (once for consultation and then again on transfer day)

I am opting for double donation, so egg and sperm donor. I will save my reasons for using a sperm donor for another day as that is a whole different post in itself!

I will break it all down for you now as easy and best I can, which in turn could quite possibly make me a little bit sick in my mouth when I see how much it all costs! Its quite often a hard pill to swallow as essentially the clinics are a business and people WILL pay. There are a lot of extras that get added on or are optional so this post should serve you well when having to make these decisions.

Standard double donation includes; egg donor, so medication for donor, egg retrieval and their fee (think its around £750 in the UK) Their pre-screening would of been done before all this to make sure they are 100% fit to donate.

Sperm donor, some clinics add this on after but some will add this on with the treatment cost at the end. Just make sure you account for it as kind of a vital ingredient ey!? LOL

You then have additional extras should you wish to add on. I have opted for Timelapse Embryoscope which is an extra £695. The clinic I visited in Spain had this included in their package so I had done some research on it. Without boring you to tears, its basically a fancy incubator and microscope that means that don’t have to interfere with the embryos during the 5 days before your transfer. Quite often not all embryos make it to day 5 blastocyst stage so I want to give my embabies the best chance of survival so I have enough if it does not work first time and of course for siblings. Yes I want more than one! LOL

Embryo Freezing, this means they will freeze any left over embryos as I mentioned above. Some clinics will include a years freezing then an additional cost for each year thereafter. That was an extra £350.

ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection again not to bore you but they prettty much chop off the sperms tail so the little blighters have nowhere to swim off to and have no choice but to get inside that egg! My clinic does this as standard but I suggest you find out what all the extras that the clinic provides and what methods they practice so you then now what’s a standard or if its optional. For example at my consultation in Spain the Dr explained treatment using P.G.S Pre Genetic Screening on all embryos to pick the healthiest one. In the US this procedure will even pick the sex too but that’s not allowed in UK and Europe. It all ounces amazing and I was  like “I need that!” But once I’d asked around on some of the Facebook groups I’m on its not really necessary  unless using my own eggs, also it was an extra 3k! PGS does not strengthen the chances of a live birth but it will ensure a healthy birth as they check all chromosomes are present. Anyway, the point is that these clinics are a business and will up sell where possible so just be mindful of that and research before committing to a clinic.

My reasoning for going with a clinic in the UK is the cost is basically the same as abroad and here my future child will have access to more information on their donors once they turn 18 years of age. Abroad donors are completely anonymous HOWEVER since I started this post Ive heard that there is a clinic in Portugal that does use known donors now the law has changed.

Now my child may not care to know anymore than what I know about the donors but I will certainly be open and honest with them from the start.

Here in the UK there is an organisation called the Donor Conception Network who produce these gorgeous children’s books for different family set ups such as solo mum by choice, 2 dads, you get the jist.

I have a confession, I started this post a month ago and then christmas and a stressful time at work happened so I am only wrapping this up now. Lots has happened like donors being picked, scans etc and I am fast approaching my actual treatment! To say I am shitting it is an understatement. I am documenting as I go but may be a while until I post as I’ve come to realise as much a I want to share my journey to help others (and myself somewhat) I am not comfortable in telling all as I experience it. I have an instagram page @earlymenopauseandme where I try to post snippets of what’s going on but when I am trying to process my feelings and manage my anxiety in the moment, I am better doing that on my own rather than sharing with people right away, even with my friends and family. I just have to figure it out on my own until I.m ready to bare all, no what I mean? But I will of course continuing getting this all down in the hope that it helps others and that maybe one day my child can read too and understand where it all started and how they came to be.

I hope you all had a wonderful new year and christmas and wish you everything you hope for in 2019.

CC

xx

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 · Infertility · Solo mum

About me

I’m a young woman, 33 and recently found out I’m going through early menopause or Premature ovarian failure. Both phrases I detest. Menopause you associate with 50+ women, premature ovarian failure, exactly what I felt like when the gynaecologist gave me her diagnosis, a failure.

I hadn’t googled my symptoms prior, I’m not silly! But once I was sent away with a few leaflets on early menopause I began seeking support from other women going through it. I found some forums online but I still felt so alone and quite often still do.

Much of what I had found was from women who already had children or were diagnosed at an even younger age so had come to terms with it sooner.

Now I’m not saying my circumstances are any worse than any of those women but I was struggling to understand what the hell I was going to do now? Why me? Will I ever feel myself again?

What I did see was that everything I was feeling was pretty standard. Complete devastation, sadness, anger any other horrible, gut wrenching feeling you can possibly experience. The 2 days after my diagnosis I only stopped crying when I was asleep!

Now I don’t have children, but I was always going to have a family, it was in my life plan. Yes I’m a planner and also since my news back on 20th March 2017 I’ve come to realise I like to be in control! Now what I am going through I have no control over and initially I was freaking out about my future, I just couldn’t picture it without children.

Since my diagnosis I have been scribbling in a notebook thoughts and feelings as I knew at some point I wanted to start a blog to help other young women going through the same as me. I also knew I couldn’t cry forever so writing became my therapy and almost a log of my emotional state. I knew I could look back at it and see how strong I am!

I don’t claim to be the best writer so please forgive me, I definitely write how I speak! (I get that from my Nan, who also went through early menopause at 38) and I’m not here to try and inspire an army of menopausal females (that would be scaryily powerful though right?!) I just hope to ease the pain and loneliness for other young women out there that may be experiencing the same and looking for support and advise.

I can of course only speak on my journey and I’m definitely not a medical professional so I will be sharing what works for me and my journey through this bullshit hand I’ve been dealt. (Yes there maybe some cursing along the way, sorry Nan)

Lots of love,

CC aka Young “Hot” Single (get it!?)