I started my journey overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty, constantly questioning if I had the strength required to survive.
Following treatment I still find myself searching for clarity, unable to determine if I veritably survived. Yes I completed the physicality of treatment but I am far from unscathed.
The emotional torment my mind experienced was an internal battle I hadn’t anticipated. I blamed myself for “failing” and struggled in search of the forgiveness required to feel peace.
The consistency of variety offers an enlightening contradiction; we may all find our own techniques and approach the journey in a way personal to us but the feeling of isolation demonstrates a congruence that joins us in solidarity.
My desperation to make sense of everything was exhausting. I over-analysed every emotion and questioned whether what I felt was “correct” or “acceptable”. I wasted so much energy on ensuring my emotional approach was the right one that I lost sight of the fact that there wasn’t such a thing. The only person judging my process was me and if I was ever going to truly survive, I needed to give myself a break.
I am still not fully accepting of my body’s failings. I am still tormented with pain and anger often triggered by the most unexpected events.
What I have learnt is that we are capable of so much, our body’s fight for us daily. Our armour; in the battle of life.
Through naivety and fear I found it easier, almost automatic, to focus on the lacking ability of my body when actually what I am now aware of, more than ever is the rebellious strength and persistent tenacity my mind and body demonstrated throughout my journey.
The unfairness of my body accommodating a redundant reproductive system only emphasised my failings and I struggled to accept that I was unable to perform, as a woman and a wife.
Being diagnosed with 2 collapsed fallopian tubes, polycystic ovaries and subsequent failure to ovulate meant that IVF was our only option. Having been on the contraceptive pill from a young age due to teenage acne also meant that my symptoms had always been masked by medication.
The physicality of treatment was where I had expected to direct the majority of my strength. My fear of needles had overwhelmed me with trepidation and avoidance, this left me feeling unprepared and infirm when the time came to actually face the daily injections. However, when rivalled with the unexpected emotional battle, the needles seemed surprisingly inconsequential.
My relationship with my husband, although tested, comforted me in a way that offered clarity in such a confusion of emotions. I felt loved and un-judged. Steve was kinder to me during this process than I was to myself.
Our involute dynamic complicated our journey unexpectedly.
My husband was already a parent and this disqualified us from funding. I felt penalised and victimised purely because of my husband’s previous relationships. Unfair and discriminating, these restrictions provided additional obstacles.
The financial aspect of treatment was by far the heaviest, it penetrated me like a darkness I just could not exhale. A burden of weight that I couldn’t let go.
No matter your strength, no matter your determination, you can’t beat this one.
My desperation was endless, my desire to be a parent was endless, my love for my husband was endless; but money runs out.
On the days I found strength in hope and allowed myself to drift peacefully into the potential of successful treatment, the reality of expense and the perturbation of budget expired any calm and replaced it with fear, reminding me of the variety of emotion and the speed in which our minds can jolt.
An ugly reminder that no matter how hard I fight, I cannot control the expense.
What happens when the money runs out?
All the strength I had gathered to withstand the gruelling physicality together with the hope I had allowed my mind to rest itself in, completely abolished by the practicality of finance.
We begged, we borrowed and we sold our home to fund treatment and with the help of some very special friends and family we managed to fund our first cycle.
During my journey I noticed that there were many different sources of external support; emotional, physical, financial but even accessing support can feel overwhelming. Where do you turn? Which finance company do you borrow from? Which clinic do you use? Which support network do you reach out to?
Gaia have managed to compassionately bridge the gap.
Where many finance companies can offer you funds but in such an impersonal, transactional style. Where many support networks can offer information regarding clinics and success rates but can’t help you find the funds.
Gaia do it all, and they do it in such a way that they leave you feeling empowered and in control of your own journey, armed with the knowledge that you need to move forward and more importantly with the finances to comfortably access treatment at a fair cost.
The unfaltering impression and impact of Gaia is that they care. Your journey and your success really matter to them and they are invested in ensuring you find the path that is right for you.
I wish I had been introduced to Gaia earlier in my journey. The relief they offer in enlightening your emotional load allows you to focus on the most important aspect of treatment – YOU.
Gaia enable you to regain control of what can be the most unpredictable, stressful aspects of treatment.
Gaia ensure that money never runs out.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by this process and all its unimaginable twists and turns. It’s easy to find fault and focus on failure, whether that be of mind or body. It’s easy to feel unsuccessful based solely on treatment results, all of which leave you questioning whether you will survive.
What I have learnt is that this in itself, IS SURVIVING.