First, for those who haven’t read the first article:
Gift from Science
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 an ovarian cyst which had developed just at the wrong time. Besides me who always had perfect scheduled 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 during good times... " 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 of 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.
Ten 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 hopeless 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 was 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 7 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:
Gift From Science - Part 2
Song : Only love can hurt like this by Paloma Faith
Some men believe they have a monopoly of the broken heart, and don’t hesitate to tell you that they have suffered so much in the past, that they are bulletproof, and no one can make them suffer again. How lucky they are!! Despite the countless times I’ve been dumped, I continue to suffer every time a guy breaks up with me. What is the secret of titanium heart, impenetrable metal to heartbreak, to love criticism, to solitary despair?
In fact, I believe that these men decided to stop loving, they closed their hearts. But again, how do they realise this sleight of hand? Should we have an unfailing motivation as we stop smoking? Or to repeat it every morning as a mantra, use hypnosis...We wake up one morning and we say it's decided I'll never love again.
Is it really a good thing not to love? For sure it’s easier to close oneself to others to avoid suffering again. However, I believe that life is nothing without love, feeling my heart beating, that's what makes me feel alive and enjoy life!
One of my favourite movies is "Meet Joe Black", there's a passage that moved me, this is when Bill (Antony Hopkins) addresses his daughter Susan (Claire Forlani), the tirade says that without love, life is worthwhile, and so you should try hard to find it.
I followed to his words to the letter, I tried a lot and therefore lived a lot! And too bad if my heart is broken. Being in love is worth all the happiness of the world ...
Unfortunately, there are consequences to this risk taking. I am the designer of my own catastrophe, to mention a quote I found recently.
When a man breaks my heart, first, I eat, or rather I stuff myself with food, with a preference for ice cream. No, it's not a myth, girls eat ice cream to console themselves. If it's not enough, it all depends on how attached I was to the man in question, I drink (responsibly of course).
Then, if I was in love and moving on is difficult and painful, I cut my hair!
Whenever I tell people that I had long hair in the past, nobody believes me. Well I missed luck in my life and many men disappointed me. It's been ten years now that I have a short haircut, many different styles and well, the shorter my hair is, sexier I am!
Let's see if it still applies, I'm back at Un Brin de Jenny in Reims and we're going to drastically shorten my hair.
I believe that each time I cut my hair, I also eliminate my sadness and disappointment. I get rid of these men/ millstones who pull me down and prevent me from rising.
It’s also a way to assert myself more and regain some androgynous (male?) confidence. A sexy woman with a man mind.
So, the more I am dumped, the more I cut my hair ... I must choose my next boyfriend carefully, because at this pace, I will soon be fully shaved! Something that will eventually happen in one way or another because I really want to see what I look like without hair, madness when you hold me!
Well, result in a moment.
“Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith” (as Lady Gaga says in the song to follow), despite that I prefer my tender heart to titanium heart and it's a good excuse to change my hairstyle!
Spread love around you and love yourself, you are amazing!!