Friday, 9 March 2018

"I love the freedom I have whilst talking about everything I have been through...."



Hi Guys!

I am seriously excited to have been asked to write for The Hairy Potato. (Love that name by the way!)

This is such a great idea to get women together to educate, support and chat about the stuff that matters to us, I couldn't wait to get involved!
I am hoping this may be a long-term writing journey for us so I don't want to bombard you with my whole story right now; trust me, it’s a long one. So I thought I could use this piece as a way of introducing myself-talk about what drives me, why I think it is so important to be true to yourself and use your experiences to shape a better life. I realised over the years that knowing your self-worth and realising this is one of the most important lessons young women can learn.


So, here I am! *hold for applause* My name is Becca, I write a blog over at www.postivfworld.wordpress.com, if you haven't read it (yet) then no worries. I suppose it is pretty niche and not everyone will be able to relate to it, but I hope for those that can it provides some comfort. Feel free to pop over and take a look anytime you like, you might be surprised what you learn, and it would be great to connect! 
My blog is like a diary, it’s my safe place; I mostly talk about my infertility, my pregnancy losses, my life, now that IVF is over, and how that has impacted me as a person. I am passionate about talking about mental health and supporting others who have similar experiences to me. I in the process of trying to set up my own website which is centred around a community of like-minded people. I want us all to be able to offer instant support and advice to others in a similar position, something I never thought I would have the strength to do!

Ok.. wow, sorry about that, I feel like that got pretty intense pretty quick there!

Sometimes I do that, I get carried away on the laptop and suddenly I have a whole paragraph of my life in front of me! I haven't always been like that though; I went through the menopause at 16 and it messed me up. When I first got diagnosed, I didn't tell anyone, let alone a whole internet full of people!  My Mum knew because she came to the appointments with me, but that was about it. I was scared, embarrassed, confused, and had barely any support from professionals. I was made to feel  like I had a dirty secret that I should keep to myself-I am sure you can imagine what damage this did to me

It wasn't until I met my boyfriend (now Fiancé) that I started to talk more openly about the diagnosis. I was still careful who I spoke to but I felt like a weight had been lifted talking to someone who I knew loved me unconditionally.
Eventually, after 7 YEARS (?!!) (Yes that is the length of an NHS IVF waiting list.) It was time for us to have our funded cycles, something that we are forever grateful for.
Despite not coming out the other end with any children, we had a chance- an opportunity for the life we wanted, and we will always be thankful for that.

Throughout our IVF experiences, we spoke with Doctors and fertility specialists about sperm, wombs, eggs; I had several internal scans on a daily basis was being poked and prodded to within an inch of my life. It soon became pretty normal and now I hope my transparency can help others.
Suddenly the diagnosis I had hidden for so long felt easier to talk about, and I actually felt better for it. It was as if a part of me that I had kept separate for so long was allowed out to see the light of day.

Although I have always hated this side of myself, I realised that there was no need to pretend it wasn't there. I wasn't being true to myself by doing this and it was making me unhealthy, damaging both my mental and physical health.
Unfortunately, we had a hard time, we had one early miscarriage, and one at 3 months that was very traumatic and involved a lengthy stay in the hospital. We were at our lowest, but one of the things that got me though was the new found freedom of that little bit of me that I had been hiding. It was because of these experiences that I started my blog, which in turn has had a huge effect on my overall recovery!

To begin with, my blog was mostly just for myself, to document what was going on. I love the freedom I have whilst talking about everything I have been through, and I have never once felt like I needed to hold back! I very quickly realised how much of a wonderful community can be found through writing a blog especially the fertility and mental health communities on Twitter. I am so proud to be a part of them, and hope to be for years to come!

I want to highlight that, throughout all my babbling, times might get hard, they do for everyone, but through it all, you can find positives. Negative experiences can make for stronger people, it just takes time. Recovery can't be rushed, it is often a long and arduous process! I am not sure I will ever 'recover' from the losses and pain we endured, nor from everything that has come as a direct result of my diagnosis, but I am confident it has helped me become a better person. It has allowed me to explore opportunities I never thought I would be strong enough to and find a wonderful, inspiring community as part of it.

Blog: Post IVF Life
Twitter: Post IVF Life

Hailing from Newcastle, this incredible woman writes all about Mental Health and fertility. Documenting her journey in a Post-IVF world; she is an inspiration to many women out there and essential support for those with similar experiences. She is also one of the kindest and loveliest ladies on Twitter, always ready with an open mind! She enjoys hanging with her friends, too much cheese, and puppies!

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