Meet our guest blogger for today, Hollie!
Tell us a little bit about you and your infertility journey. So, for me it all started over 10 years ago, I had a cyst on my ovary that went undiagnosed for the best part of 6 months which decided to burst suddenly, putting me into hospital for 3 weeks. After the surgery nothing was really explained until the day I was discharged and I was told “You may have problems having children, but when that time comes, just pop back to see us” Pop back. Like I would pop to the shops for milk. Jump forward to the present day, two miscarriages and a lot of my own research I realized there was something up. I knew that the surgery had messed things up but not to the degree that it has. I spent a lot of time crying, being angry and resentful, and It has been very difficult to come to terms with and something I have tried to hide from for a long time. But I’m getting there. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a partner who is so understanding of the situation and we are a bit better prepared for what is going to happen when we start our IVF procedures in the next 18 months.
What things helped you cope with infertility? For me, the biggest help was accepting that A) It’s not my fault, B ) I can’t change what has happened in the past, and C) that I am not defined by my infertility. Having a strong network of fiends who know what I’m going through has been paramount to me not going crazy, and it turn, being open with them about what I’m going through so they understand why I get upset over certain things, like getting my period. Infertility isn’t something I hide from people any more. I try to embrace it, because it’s just a small part of what makes me, me. Also, going to therapy sessions helped massively – infertility fight club makes me feel so much better knowing I’m not alone in my thoughts,
Infertility can often be very expensive, what have you done to help alleviate the costs? So, we are sort of lucky in the UK with having the NHS, some parts of the country get up to 3 cycles of IVF free. But not everywhere – some get 3, some get 1, some get none. So, it’s quite hard to get your head around knowing you will only get two cycles (where we live) and then it’s around £8,000 per cycle. We can’t afford that, so we haven’t really thought about what is going to happen if we get to that stage. It scares me. It keeps me awake at night, the thought of it not working. But you have to keep remaining positive, otherwise I think I would explode.
Are you going to share your infertility journey with your children? Yes! Absolutely. If we are successful, I will tell them how loved they are, and how they were made. I don’t think it’s anything to be embarrassed of or ashamed of, and it’s something that they will know makes them even more special and unique. (Also for practical purposes I think it’s important to share from the medical side too)
What is/was the hardest part of this journey for you? The loneliness. Infertility is lonely. It’s a constant feeling in my stomach of not being good enough. My body to me, feels like a failure, because this is something that it is equipped to do so naturally, and it just doesn’t work. It feels like everyone around me right now is pregnant, and I just can’t, and I want to cry my eyes out every day. My failure to conceive makes me feel like I’m less of a woman. It makes me feel like I’m a disappointment. It sends my anxiety haywire and my emotions are such a state. It’s exhausting and I’m tired. For now, I will continue to wear my mask and go about my day to day life. I will continue to hope that someday our dream of having a baby will come true for us.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? Oh gosh, there’s so much. So, I wrote a book on infertility, (it’s still being fine-tuned) and after spending 7 months reading and researching and talking to other people, the common theme from people was “ I wish I had someone to talk to about this who understands, and I wish I knew how to tell people about what I’m going through”. That’s basically the reason I wrote my book – I want others to know they are not alone and there are people who can help. Going to therapy was a huge page turner or us as it helped both me and my partner understand what we were going to go through and how we can talk to other about it too. I guess, for other couples, I would say don’t be ashamed of having to get a little extra help to have your family. There are so many of us in the same boat, we need to lift each other up and support one another.
Want to contact Hollie? @ohheyitshollie (IG) @holliewrites (T) and www.holliewritesblog.wordpress.com
Want to be a guest blogger? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram @ivftwinmomadventures