A VERY PERSONAL UPDATE

So What Now...?

PREVIOUSLY on the last episode of Style & Life by Susana“Day 20: that phone call”:

Embryologist: “I’m sorry Susana, your embryo stopped growing. (Long and awkward pause) I’m so sorry for being the bearer of sad news.”

I hung up the call, took in a deep breath and just broke down into a flood of tears. 

I just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. And unfortunately they were very loud piercing sobs that my work colleagues were able to hear me through the wall regardless that the door to the boardroom was shut closed.

FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT DAY

Writing this is vulnerable and gut wrenching. Reliving all of the past memories, heartache and mental anguish I went through. Although I feel weak at times but I also feel stronger than ever. My fear is I don’t know how my truth will land for many of you and I hope towards the end, you will understand.

Since the last IVF cycle ended, it hasn’t been an easy road for me… mentally, physically and more so, emotionally. For so long I have steered far away as possible (if I was able to) from friends who have either fallen pregnant, just given birth or have children under the age of five. Please don’t get me wrong, I am truly happy for my friends but it’s so hard feeling like the odd one out – but I know that they are issues I need to sort out, and in time they.

Now why those ages specifically? I don’t know why exactly to be honest but perhaps because it doesn’t hurt as much if the kids are a little older. I know it doesn’t make much sense but God knows I’m trying hard to explain it here behind my screen on my laptop as I type this. It seems the younger the children are, the harder it hits closer to home for me. The baby I miscarried five years ago would have been five years old this September and I miss that little snowflake (I even wrote a song called, ‘Snowflake’ to express my grief) that lived inside my uterus for only two months. I was in love with those early stages of morning sickness and extreme weird cravings I had and I still to this day I feel a sense of loss about it.

Since 2012 up until early last year, going through so many freaking IVF cycles, my spirit and soul has been broken.  I’m pathetically more emotional than ever before. Now I’ve always been a very sensitive emotional person but not to the point where even a stupid happy story on a television show or even giving my congratulations on a certain achievement to a work colleague (yes this happened to me recently), I completely choke up and tears start to fall down my face. I can’t even express myself anymore without having my throat tighten up and tears start to well up in my eyes. I feel so pathetic! It’s like I’ve lost all sense of control.

I use to be able to speak confidently in public as well too, to be completely honest – I secretly love having all eyes on me 😀 . Here’s an example: a while ago I asked by a friend to read a passage from the bible at her own wedding. It all started off so well but then something happened, and my own voice cracked, the nerves and emotions came out through every syllable of every word, I then burst into tears. I was stunned and shocked by this as it never ever happened to me before. Even my own husband asked me as I sat back down, ‘what happened up there?’ I hung my head down, shook my head and said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know’. Actually I do… it’s called IVF.

While IVF is an amazing thing that has it helped millions of couples around the world to achieve their dreams of having a baby of their own, but what is not spoken about but is yet swept underneath the rug is the emotional and mental turmoil pain that also causes to those other millions of couples that it doesn’t work for.

When my last cycle ended, my husband and I decided to take some time off to decide what we were going to do, as we had been doing an IVF cycle every two months for almost four years.

Can you imagine the amount of money that is spent on something that there is only a fifty fifty chance. I mean, you do it no matter what because you want that family. I won’t go now into the nitty gritty of what was actually spent on our IVF cycles in total but let me put it this way – you could buy at least three mustang cars with that. No joke.

IVF is the Chanel designer brand of making babies – expensive as shit, but you just gotta have it.

For the first couple of months, Troy and I didn’t talk about what the next step was going to be as we just wanted a complete break from IVF, where it wasn’t consuming and controlling every part of our lives. We just wanted to breathe and lives our lives again and be normal, without worrying about where the next dollar was coming from to go towards another cycle and not have to worry about the exact timing of when injections, hormone patches and progesterone vaginal inserts had to be. We wanted to live stress free.

We had previously chatted to our IVF specialist about using a donor egg and even a close friend of mine rang me one day out of the blue to tell me that a couple she knew had two fertilised embryos in storage who no longer wanted their embryos but wanted to give it to us when they heard about our story. That completely blew us away… two embryos that would be given to us! I have to say this came out of left field for me and seriously whacked me on the side of the head, giving me whip lash but also mixed in with euphoria then turning into the biggest and most enduring migraine ever. It was at that moment, I fell back down into my tunnel of darkness.

I cracked under the emotional anguish at this possibility as I had just slowly started to (sort of) ‘heal’ a few months after ending the last cycle, coming to the realisation of not being able to have my own children.

I fell deeper and darker into my cycle of anxiety thoughts, blaming myself for our failures, feelings of depression and complete utter confusion and mind fuck games swirled around inside of my head 24/7. In the end I decided I couldn’t go through with it all over again just in case, you know – ground hogs day (!!) …that neither one of those embryos didn’t take to my uterus.

Yes I know, I know, I know there’s also a chance that it could work out for us and that we would finally become pregnant. But honestly, the fear was that extreme, that palpable that all I kept thinking about was how my NKC (natural killer cells) would affect all of those chances again and to go through feeling like a failure, that my body is rejecting this God given miracle that I can’t do what a woman is supposed to do (creating a child inside of me), just killed me.

Our lives for the past four years has been devoted to do everything possible and imaginable underneath the sun so we could have that baby we desperately longed for. But we came to the most hardest and painful decision that any couple has to decide, that since my eggs were so much older from when I first started, and there was only a 0.001% of maybe falling pregnant that we were now going to live our lives together as a childless but yet devoted and loving couple along with our two gorgeous fur babies, Tiago and Miguel.

After four long difficult years, our baby journey has come to an end.

I don’t want anyone thinking I really don’t want a child just because I turned down the opportunity of a donor egg or fertilised embryos. It’s not that simple. To the outside world it seems like the most easiest decision to make and it would appear I shouldn’t even have to think about it if I truly wanted a baby.

I don’t mean to sound harsh when I say this but unless you have walked in my shoes (or any infertility challenged couples shoes) struggling with infertility and experiencing constant repetitive failures – its a fucked up journey for anyone to go through. The desperation, the extreme heartache pain and the tsunami of tears I have cried (and still cry to this day), it’s just not that simple.

I will forever have a part of me that will always feel like a failure to my husband and still believe he should leave me for a younger woman who could give him the baby he deserves (he would make an unbelievable father), to carry on his bloodline. Those thoughts, those feelings – a part of them will always live inside of me but I’m trying, slowly moving away from those thoughts… baby steps (pun unintended).

Troy and I are still praying for that so called ‘miracle’ that everyone talks about once a couple stops IVF and goes about living their lives again, but I’m not expecting miracles to happen because honestly and truthfully – they do happen but not for everyone.

What is meant to be, will be. But what I do know is that living in the now is that I’m enjoying sex again (now that’s another story but to make it very brief, I avoided it because I felt so incredibly ashamed of my body for it not responding the way it should) with my husband. Who knows if a baby will happen for us but I’m not going to allow it to consume my entire life again.

Life is so short and I missed so much of it when IVF became my only reason for existence. I was like a horse with its side blinkers on – couldn’t see anything else around me but only what presented in front of me.

Would I do it all over again? Fuck yeah I would! But knowing all that I’ve learnt along the way, there’s so much I would now demand for it to be done upfront so things aren’t dragged on and false hopes are given, time and time again.

Whilst this is the end of my journey but it won’t be the end of me talking about IVF. I have a-lot more to talk about and share with women (or couples) who are just about to start or are on their way in their IVF journey. I will share things that you as the patient have the right to know and demand to be done and cut through all of the bullshit. And even though I wasn’t successful in my baby journey, there are tips I want to pass on to help those who are searching for every little bit of information on Google, to save you the time. It will all be here on my blog so that you can refer back to it time and time again, and/or maybe that you can pass onto your sister, cousin, aunty, best friend or even your work colleague who is going undergoing IVF.

Thank you for reading story and for being a part of my journey xoxo.

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  • Lucia Maria

    what an amazing person I never got to know. And such a personal and revealing story! way to go Susana….

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  • Thank you xx Susana

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  • Shweta Shah

    I cant say i feel your pain but kudos to you for sharing your journey so other couples who can relate can gain some solace.

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  • Thank you so much beautiful for your lovely words, I really appreciate it xx Susana

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  • Candace

    I couldn’t possibly imagine what any of this is like, as i have never gone through any of this before or attempted to have a child. You have so much respect from me for sharing your story with others. You are more than amazing!

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  • Thank you so very much for your beautiful kind and supportive words, I truly appreciate it. Hugs to you xx Susana

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  • Shasha

    Susana, you are SO strong. Keep shining darling and continue to bless the world with the authenticity and truth that you present. I can only imagine how difficult it must of been to not only experience this, but to also share your story. I pray that you and your husband receive the miracle you have been wanting. You are so inspiring, beautiful, and well-deserving. Blessings.

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  • Thank you so much x Susana

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  • Thank you so much xx Susana

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  • Missy Burson

    As someone who suffered from infertility from Endo I know what it’s like to think the “baby ship” has sailed. I married an amazing man with three kids and now I’m a stepmom, for which I’m truly thankful, but I had to come to terms with never having “my own”. Everyone who wants to be a mother should get that chance- my fingers are crossed for you!!

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  • I admire you for sharing this time of your life with your readers. I truly believe in miracles and think it will happen for you one way or another. Keep on being that beautiful person you are 🙂

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  • Thank you so much xx Susana

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  • Stephanie Rose

    You’re so strong to open up and talk about such personal issues. I haven’t started trying to conceive yet. Still working on the basics, finding Mr. Right, but time is ticking. It’s good to know that I am not alone in my desire to have children, and am hoping you get that little miracle you are hoping for.

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  • Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words xx Susana

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  • Nicole Wi

    I’m so sorry that it hasn’t worked out the way you wished for. I really hope you find the strength in living a happy life to the fullest despite not having a child. Embrace all the opportunities that life has now offered you. Thanks for sharing this story. I believe it is motivation and comfort for lots of women going through the same difficulties.

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  • Awwwww thank you so much lovely! That means so much to me, thank you xx Susana

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  • You stay strong ma’am! Your post is really inspiring! An example of a “girl power” post! Thank s for being an inspiration!

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  • Awwww thank you so much babe, coming for you that means so so so much to me. You have no idea. I like to think I have big balls (!!) I even said to my husband earlier tonight I have bigger balls than him cos I’m not ashamed to be seen in my underwear in my driveway if I have to grab something from the car (yes a tad random/weird lol). Throughout pain and heartache, I believe if you can crack even the most littlest of jokes you freaking damn stronger than you think you are xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much lovely, really appreciate it xx Susana

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  • Very well written Susana, really inspiring.

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  • This breaks my heart, every single time I read your IVF posts. But on the other hand you’re so bloody inspirational, you’ve got the biggest balls I’ve ever seen anyone to have. And I really do appreciate that you can still crack out a joke even when it’s such a heartbreaking subject. I’m sure these posts will help so many women out there xxxx

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  • Thank you so much lovely xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much lovely xx Susana

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  • Thank you xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much beautiful xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much lovelyfor your kind supportive words xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much lovely xx Susana

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  • Danielle Ruppert

    You are strong woman! My heart cries for you! IVF really sucks and hurts lots of women who have trouble with conceiving and who can’t conceive. It is just heartbreaking! My husband and I have not fully started trying yet but I want a baby sooo bad and it crushes me everytime that monthly gift comes around, so I can only imagine my hurt if I went through what you went through! ♥ Stay strong girl!

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  • Grace

    What an interesting post. Stay strong always!

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  • Wow. What a strong and personal story. Don’t be hard with yourself, through this post you also show so much strenght! I wish you two all the luck in the world and never ever think of giving up! You’re such a strong and independent woman!!
    All the love, xx Mouna

    http://howimetmystyle.com/

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  • Izzy

    Oh my goodness you’re such a strong woman. I absolutely admire your determination and your drive – you’re definitely not weak and certainly not a failure! You’re a soldier in your own right and this is a battle you’re going to win! I wish you two the best of luck for your IVF journey, but most of all for yourself and your mental health. There’s always the possibility of conceiving naturally after a fertilised embryo is implanted, I work at a maternity practice and I know these miracles can happen! Thank you for sharing your story XX
    X Izzy http://www.izzywears.com

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  • Sophie Louise Buckle

    You are so brave and you will be helping so many women by showing them they are not alone! I’m so sorry and sending you such love!

    Sophie x
    http://www.sophobsessed.com

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  • Thank you sp much x Susana

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  • Ela

    Thank you for sharing your story. It must have been hard, so I admire your courage. I wish you the best.

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  • Thank you for your lovely kind words and support. Its such a hard thing to be so raw and vunerable, but I know that there is someone out there that feels lost and alone, and I want to talk so openly about it so they don’t feel alone xx Susana

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  • Amanda

    I haven’t been in your exact shoes, but I do understand the emotional rollercoaster that is infertility and all the things that go along with it. Thank you for sharing your story as it will certainly be so valuable to someone somewhere! Most of all, congratulations on arriving on the decision that feels right for you. ❤️️

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  • Thank you so much lovely for taking the time to read it and for your beautiful words xx Susana

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  • Patricia Lora

    You are so brave for sharing this and inspiring for letting others that might be going through the same thing into your personal story. Reading this post gave me the chills. I think everything happens for a reason or as it should and I think this experience has made you a better person for it. Sending you so much love babe!! xoxoxo

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  • Thank you so much for your kind supportive words, it means alot to me xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much lovely for your beautiful and supportive words xx Susana

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  • Camilla

    I could not imagine what you fell..it’s such impossible to say something right about it!
    I just think you are a really strong woman and you really inspire a lots of us!

    XOXO

    Cami

    http://www.paillettesandchampagne.com

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  • Katie

    You are such an amazing and strong lady.. You are so inspiring to me and so brave to share your story to help others. So much love to you xo

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  • Thank you so much lovely xx Susana

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  • Thank you so much babe for taking the time to read and comment on my post, and for your lovely words. Its been a very difficult journey for me, and the heartache never really goes away. But if I can bring a little awareness to what infertility challenged couples go through, and be a voice and help to someone then I want to be that xx Susana

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  • Lauren Wilkinson

    You wonderful and brave woman Susana. Sending all my love to both of you xx

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  • I don’t even know what to say, I’m sitting here with goosebumps and feel so upset. I am so sorry to hear about all of this and I am so inspired by your honesty and that you trusted your readers which such an emotional and personal topic. I do really hope that no matter what you and your husband will be happy ♥️♥️

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  • Thank you so much lovely for your beautiful words and for taking the time to read & comment. I really appreciate it xx Susana

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  • Lubz

    It was very brave of you to have posted about your journey Susana. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I love you even more so now. Thank you so much for sharing.

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