First, for those who haven’t read the first article:
All women are not equal to egg freezing, in addition to the laws prohibiting it in some countries (see first article) the cost can be high, it’s not accessible to everybody and it’s necessary to devote time and to have minimum of stress.
Stress my worst enemy. On 2 occasions I couldn’t start the ovarian stimulation treatment because of ovarian cyst which had developed just at the wrong time. Besides me who always had perfect planned period, from my first appointment at the clinic, everything went unplanned!
I must admit that even being a tower of strength, there were many ups and downs. It's not easy to manage and you must be very well surrounded, and I don’t tell when I was under treatment, I passed from laughter to tears permanently! My friends have been extraordinarily supportive, I can’t thank them enough for having been there for me, and my best friend told me during the first failure, I quote " friends are not only there in good time... "I love you.
10 ultrasounds, blood tests with pages and pages of results and 18 injections in total.
My ovarian follicles were growing slowly, we had to extend the treatment which was 10 days initially, and apart from that I shouldn’t stress ... long live yoga (and sangria drunk responsibly obviously).
Injections to self-administer every night before bedtime, it's rather impressive, if you are afraid of needles I strongly advise not to do it!
The few days before and after the collection, my ovaries were huge and painful, which made me difficult to move and walk.
You must be very motivated. In addition, no one could accompany me this time I had to manage it completely alone, well with a million messages and phone calls to my friends!
A first appointment with the doctor and an ultrasound to establish a first assessment. A very detailed explanation with pictures and diagrams of the process and the expected results. Then, a list all the tests to perform. Finally, I get a quote. For me, my decision was made without any hesitation, I just had to decide when to come back.
When all the conditions are right, which for me took a few months and my body's control by the pill, we start the treatment with injections to activate the production of oocytes. 10 years of fertility in this box:
Then, it’s necessary to prevent oocytes from coming out of the follicles, thus another injection in complement with the first:
Finally, the last injection and not a small one for the final maturation before the collection.
In addition to being intimidating by the size of the needle, this one must be filled by yourself with a certain quantity of mixture that you make from 4 bottles ... No, no, no stress at all... I never had to defuse a bomb but I think it's pretty close hahaha. If you are nil with your hands, get help!!
The collection was performed under general anaesthesia, and I had a few hours to wake up gently, before being told the number of my eggs that will be frozen: 10!
The clinic is very well equipped and very welcoming. Private lounges allow you to wait in privacy. I only met 2 patients during all my visits.
My doctor spoke English but the rest of the staff spoke French, my mother tongue. Everyone was very accessible and it was also easy to contact them. I have absolutely nothing wrong to say about the organisation, they are very professional and attentive. I recommend them without hesitation and the day I decide to follow up I will call them again.
A little reminder of biology since one of my friends asked me some details. Women produce several eggs per cycle but only one will be released in the hope of being fertilised, while the others will die. As part of the freezing process, hormonal treatment ensures that as many eggs as possible are mature for collection.
I don’t know if I will use my frozen eggs one day, but it's the assurance of not having regret. Obviously even with 10 eggs I'm not sure to have a child. All eggs won’t survive freezing, then there is thawing and sperm injection. Next the growth of fertilised eggs in a laboratory and the uterus to prepare to receive one egg or more. Finally, being pregnant or not and reach full term.
Somehow, I'm happy to see that nature still impacts even though it can be a hard reality to accept when no treatment works ...
This practice has been developed a lot in the last 5 years.
Moreover, research and methods are progressing, which increases my chances of having a child with my frozen eggs. In addition to cryopreservation of oocytes, today it’s possible in some countries such as the United States to cryopreserve embryos. Recently also some doctors talk about ovarian rejuvenation by injecting the patient's blood cells into the ovaries, which would restimulate egg production. Research never stops ...
I’ve been 4 times in Madrid to achieve my goal but what a great accomplishment.
On the top of that, it gave me the opportunity to visit Madrid, this fantastic city, full of charm and history.
Some people expect from life a happy ending, my happiness I build it myself day after day, one step after another! Believe in your dreams and give yourself the means to achieve them!
Song: Calum Scott & Leona Lewis-You are the reason.
A new milestone in my life, modern medicine has just offered me 12 years of fertility; June 6, 2018, 10 of my oocytes have been frozen.
A year that I think of doing it, but only 6 months since my first appointment at the Eugin Clinic in Madrid, a clinic specialised in fertility.
What a relief! I’m feeling that I can plan the rest of my life again, my future is safe in a… freezer.
To be honest if my ex hadn’t left me, I would have never considered it. And yet from my point of view, every woman should do it as soon as possible. How many women have had difficulty having a child? Cryopreservation gives you another chance ... It's a life insurance, an insurance to give life.
Like most women, I imagined finding Prince Charming, getting married, buying the house of our dreams, adopting a beagle or a chow-chow, and then having wonderful children. Just now, life has decided otherwise. As for marriage, well I have already satisfied my dream with my solo wedding in Santorini. Now, I wish to become a mother. The problem is that my body and my ovaries have an expiry date that is getting close.
Before age 27, the probability of becoming pregnant is around 80%, by the age of 37, there is a 52% chance of being pregnant and it decreases day after day.
Probability of pregnancy (chart provided by Timefreeze)
WITHOUT frozen eggs
WITH frozen eggs
After 41 years old, the percentage plunges and there is only 36% of chance of being pregnant when you’re 42.
Of course, it also depends on your health and your body, these are statistics and there are always exceptions. Let's be clear, storing frozen eggs is only the first step, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be pregnant...
I then decided to opt for the cryopreservation of my oocytes, a process that will postpone my infertility by 10 years. To my surprise, I discovered that is not allowed in 3 European countries, Austria, Malta and France! However, in France it can be accepted for medical reason or egg donation. French women usually go to Belgium or Spain to perform this procedure.
In Australia, the first country where women had access to this method, it’s a common practice and it’s encouraged there. Now living in Europe, I’ve chosen Spain which is the European leader in the field and performs more than 60% of oocyte collection.
The time and money to finance this project is what I save for later. This is the price for not having regrets.
A friend told me how emotionally it was easier to handle this situation alone than in a relationship.
So yes, it's difficult to manage all of it alone but I'm strong and resilient, and it's for a good reason. I do it for myself but not only, I think about my future partner who may want children from me. I also think of one of my gay friends who wants to become a father someday, and then to my little sister. Who knows who may need my resources?
Men can procreate more or less at any age, they are not aware of this but they should because unless they are in a relationship with a very young woman, they will experience too the problems of infertility. If this is the gentleman who has a disorder, madame will be able to wait for him to be in good shape.
From now on, big American companies have understood this need and are financing for their employees the measures of procreation and access to parenthood.
To name just a few: Apple, Facebook, Estée Lauder, Spotify, Netflix, Patagonia ...
You never know what life will be and unfortunately this preservation is strongly recommended in the case of endometriosis, or before starting chemotherapy for cancer.
I took the liberty to prolong my fertility, a freedom that is priceless! And I hope a right to women that will be acquired in the coming years as are the right to contraception and abortion.
Thanks to the team at the clinic who cared for me from A to Z, and a special thanks to Dr. Manuel Izquierdo and the nurse Beatriz, so attentive and very kind.
Read Part 2:
Song : Only love can hurt like this by Paloma Faith
One year already!!
My first wedding anniversary! Time is flying. In this particular day I wanted to write a special article and give you more details about the ceremony.
For those who haven’t read my previous articles, I married myself on May 27, 2017 on the wonderful island of Santorini in Greece. The first solo wedding celebrated there and probably the first French citizen to do so.
The reason for this particular event: my fiancé who abandoned me in full wedding preparation 3 months before the D-day.
Everyone has had a broken heart once in a lifetime. The most difficult thing is to find energy when there is no left. Even so, very deeply in your heart, there is love for yourself and you must use it to nourish new energy.
Alicia Keys said: " Sometimes you just need to start again in order to fly".
I wrote all the proceedings of the ceremony; my two witnesses made a speech and I exchanged vows with them and with myself.
An official ceremony with a celebrant, a photographer, a Greek buffet, a DJ, fireworks, everything was there but nevertheless a celebration in intimacy with 8 guests.
I knew that I would have the support of my family and my friends, they are used to my adventures but I didn’t know how my wedding planner would react... Her response was extremely touching and encouraging. She later confessed that it had been a great source of hope and inspiration for her.
In the end, a great party that freed me from my painful past and made me look at me with a benevolent and loving eye.
Nothing is too good for you, be selfish, money is only a piece of paper if you don’t spend it. I pursued my grandiose ideas and I offered myself the wedding of my dreams. Happiness belongs only to you!
Everything was absolutely perfect; my guests were delighted with everything and I was literally thrilled!
Here is the list of the great providers of this extraordinary day:
Dress: Atelier Pronovias, Shop Brides of Brisbane - Brisbane City (Australia)
Alterations: PQ Fashions, Brisbane City (Australia)
Shoes: Edward Meller (Day), Christian Louboutin (Evening)
Ring: Antique Cameo, Shop Precious Stones Brisbane (Australia)
Jewellery: Cassandra Lynne (U.S)
Tiara: JJ's House
Clutch bag: Forever New
Jacket: Yves Salomon
Hairdressing, Makeup, Manicure: by myself
Wedding Planners: Divine Weddings Santorini, Maria Alexandrapoulos & Katerina Panagopoulou, Santorini (Greece)
Venue: Venetsanos Winery, Megalochori, Santorini (Greece)
Celebrant: John Kavallaris, Santorini (Greece)
Photographer: Alexander Hadji, Santorini (Greece)
Flowers: Betty Flowers, Santorini (Greece)
DJ & Light: Multimedia Events, Santorini (Greece)
Catering: Spicy Bites, Santorini (Greece)
Drinks: Wine from Venetsanos Winery, Champagne Cuvée Clovis (Maison Batillot & Fils, France)
Wedding cake: Petranart, Megalochori, Santorini (Greece)
Fireworks: Skylight Santorini Fireworks, Santorini (Greece)
Accommodation: Ampelonas Apartments, Imerovigli, Santorini (Greece)
Thank you all for making this day the beginning of my new life, it is engraved in my heart!
Next step? After the wedding, people usually buy a house, have a baby, take a dog in... Stay tuned for the next episode of my life!
I couldn’t finish this article without wishing a Happy Mother's Day to all mums and also to those becoming one!
Song: Rise Up by Andra Day
For 10 years, every important stage of my life I offer myself a ring, it's my 5th. I admit that this time, this ring represents a very unusual event of my life. You notice that I’m talking about a ring and not a wedding band. From my vision of sologamy, I wanted a ring that affirms my personality, not a band that would repel potential suitors.
Initially, I wanted a pearl, a diamond even a black diamond or a pink gem. These elements fit me pretty well, I like it when it's elegant with character.
I was looking for something really special and I found it in a shop that sells antique jewellery in Brisbane (Australia).
This is a cameo circa 1900 made in the United States, depicting a portrait of a woman, with yellow gold and a diamond.
I always wanted a cameo. It's historical, timeless, it's passed down from generation to generation. A miniature work of art, hand carved from a technique dating back to Ancient Egypt. Cameos were very popular in Rome and Ancient Greece, then during the Renaissance and the 19th Century. While France, England, the United States and Germany have produced many cameos, Italy remains unquestionably the major place. Moreover, the word Cameo comes from Italian meaning "to engrave", which would come from the ancient Arabic "khamea" for amulet.
Some of my friends like to call me Lady L. because of my good manners and elegance, so I wanted something that looks like me. When I saw this ring in the window it was obvious. A woman to celebrate another woman.
My previous acquisitions were modern, I wanted an antique to lead me to a better future thanks to its past vibes. I imagine that this ring belonged before to a woman with temperament and a very sure taste. I was therefore a legitimate heiress.
In addition, the colours and style of the ring went perfectly with my skin tone, my Renaissance style dress, my accessories and even the theme of the wedding.
I’ve decided to wear it on the left middle finger. Several years ago, when I bought my 3rd ring, I went to Chanel Joaillerie, Place Vendôme in Paris. The shop’s manager who looked after me, told me to avoid the ring finger to always give the chance to a new lover. I continue to follow her advice...
Finally, a ring made in the United States, bought in Australia for a ceremony in Greece. It seems that this lady likes to travel exactly like me!!
To conclude, my guests took place on this song, which already set the tone for the ceremony:
Superwoman - Alicia Keys
You like my article, click on the links below and/or add a comment:
My solo wedding is the first ever organised on the beautiful island of Santorini. I am not sure but it’s possible that it’s also the first in Greece and even the first solo wedding of a French citizen.
What is good with novelty is that there is everything to create and I love it! I’ve written the entire ceremony, I’ve decided everything and made this event a perfectly customised event. The celebrant and the wedding planners gave me carte blanche and just followed my instructions on the day. Yes, I wanted an official to attend even if sologamy is not legally recognised.
I’ve been inspired by solo weddings in Japan and the United States where this practice exists for more than 10 years. In Japan, the wedding focuses more on the fashion side: to wear a beautiful dress, perfectly hair-dressed with a gorgeous make-up and to have beautiful photos as memory. In the U.S., on the other hand, the symbolic aspect is stronger, it is a pact with yourself. I’ve chosen to do a mix and basically it was like a traditional wedding without a groom!
Lots of emotions that day, it was not something that I was prepared for, it was supposed to be the formalisation of several years of life with the man I loved. Instead, I found myself alone in front of the celebrant, alone to pronounce vows but not so alone really, my family and friends were there supporting me. On the top of that, Santorini, this magical island that carries me.
To understand better, here are the details of the ceremony:
My witnesses carry my train all along
Today, front of your family and friends, we promise to remind you your vows while you lose faith and confidence in yourself.
I put the ring on my left middle finger.
To conclude this article, I would like to acknowledge the celebrant, the photographer, my 8 guests, and especially my 2 wedding planners. Nothing would have been possible without all of you! Thank you!!
You like my article, click on the links below and/or add a comment:
Pieces of my life, shameless outpouring on the pixelized surface of a screen. I’ve never had Facebook, twitter, instagram or other social network, it's the first time I want to share widely these very intimate episodes of my life. I’m usually very secretive and discreet regarding my private life but I feel ready and I think this turnaround is necessary, a kind of shock therapy.
My fiancé broke off our engagement 3 months before our wedding ceremony, it was a year ago. It leaves permanent scars. To avoid being engulfed by my grief and drowning in my own tears, I’ve coped with my own weapons, I’ve created a survival bubble, I’ve refocused on myself and as usual I’ve shaken up standards. I’ve organised a solo wedding or self-marriage on a paradise island. I always do crazy and unconventional things which is certainly my main personality trait.
It will take time to be able to swallow, to turn the page properly, to forgive also.
I’m like a phoenix, I reborn from my ashes at every hardship but sometimes we must admit that we are weak to be stronger.
That's why I’ve created this blog. I could evacuate my anger and sadness, highlight my passions and my actions.
To let myself go, to accept the support of my friends, one shoulder to cry on is sometimes all that we need.
You have to know how to forgive to move forward and I'm not ready yet, but everything starts here with you. People tell me that I am strong and brave, that I am a fighter, and if for once I lower my defences for a few seconds, if I accept my defeat to better get up later.
I’m not here to shout to the world that I’m unhappy, I am here to demonstrate that each of us can realise his dreams and be happy without following a pre-established pattern. Shake up standards, get out of the stereotypes, create your life, surprise the utopians, convince the detractors!
Many people were touched and inspired by my experience, that’s why I’ve decided to share my story.
I like the idea to inspire people and change their lives positively. Just as so many people inspire me every day, I also wish to pay homage to them in this blog.
Writing is my means of expression, my safety valve; I let go, I let off steam, I lay on paper what I dare not say.
Maybe you'll recognize yourself in my stories, maybe not.
In this blog, of course I will tell you in detail my solo wedding, but I will also talk about my mood, my favourites and all my follies! A book is also in preparation ...
Thank you to everyone who encouraged me in this project, expressed their reservations and gave their wise advice.
Here is my blog, it's my life, my dreams, my inspiration ...
A very appropriate song for this article: Burden down by Jennifer Hudson.
I had no choice.
When you hit rock bottom there are only two options, give up or stand up. I could have remained cloistered in my bed for months after my fiancé cancelled our wedding or fleeing very far away with my girlfriends on D-Day. The problem is that we cannot erase a day of our life, it’s here now and forever. And rather than dwell on this bad day, this specific month, this damn year in my mind for an unlimited duration (a state that would probably have led me into a certain madness), I’ve anticipated and with the little strength, energy and self-confidence that were left, I’ve turned a dark moment into a magic moment full of hope.
From now, the 27th of May is not associated with a failure but with a victory. An extraordinary communion with myself, my family and my friends. My rebirth!
There is a lot to say but don’t worry, I'll talk about it in detail in different articles.
To begin, here are the vows that I’ve pronounced to myself during my ceremony, it should immerse you in the atmosphere and help you to understand this event:
To promise oneself things is the hardest of challenges, the best thing is to take them up.
Today and forever I promise myself to follow my instinct and trust my lucky star.
I promise to continue doing nothing like everyone else because everyone is unique.
I promise to always set the bar higher in everything I undertake because the important thing is not to achieve goals but to give them the means to achieve them.
I promise myself to enjoy every moment as if it were the last, to shake up the codes and to create opportunities because time is an eternal present.
A thought for all young ladies, women, spouses, mothers around the world, being a woman is our strength.
Marcel Proust said: "It is better to dream one's life than to live it, even though living it is also dreaming of it. "
My life is a constant series of dreams and I promise to keep following this way!
To conclude this article in a very positive note, the song that closed my ceremony: Girl on fire - Alicia Keys.