Feeling a little bit lighter…

It’s been a while since my last update as I’ve been away on a short holiday to the UK to visit friends and family and get some much needed perspective after the last few months of misery (FET, chemical pregnancy, being fired, loneliness etc).

I spent the first day at a funeral (see previous post) and then headed down to Cornwall with my parents to hang out, run and do yoga. I caught up with a friend there who I haven’t seen in years who it turns out is also in the throws of multiple IVFs. It was great to be able to talk to someone who just gets it and to be able to just rant without having to worry that we’d upset someone.

I finished the week with a hen do in Bath in the west of England. I’d lost contact with some of the girls so it was great to catch up again. One of them was a former ‘partner in crime’ (in our twenties in London we’d end up going for a ‘quiet drink’ which would turn into a huge bender and possibly calling in sick at work the following day). I was severely limiting my drinking that weekend (due to my impending FET) but we still had a lot of fun with Bollywood dancing lessons and a night out on the town. The weekend was a further reminder of the former me. The one who partied and laughed all the time. The one I’m determined to get back to as soon as possible.

I’m back in Milan now and feeling mentally a little lighter than when I left. And it looks like some things might be starting to go my way at last as I may potentially have a job on the cards. Nothing is guaranteed yet but it feels good to be wanted again. The double blow of FET (with PGS normal embryo) failure and then redundancy in the space of a couple of weeks were a big blow for me.

My period started on Sunday so I’ve started the estrogen pills and booked in for my first lining check next Monday morning. I’m feeling particularly pessimistic about this FET (and so is my husband) but I’m going to do it anyway and instead focus on all the things that I’m gonna do if (i.e. when) the FET fails. So far the list contains…

1) Start dance lessons: I’ve been feeling lonely in Milan and I think dancing would be a great way to connect with other women here. I’m not particularly coordinated but I just about managed the Bollywood lessons and really enjoyed the music and have found some lessons nearby.

2) Restart my boot camp training: I’ve stopped these HIIT sessions as they are too extreme for the FET. But I did really enjoy them and they were sociable. So will for sure be back on them if (i.e. when) the FET fails.

3) Book a holiday in January to Canada to see my cousin: my cousin gave birth to identical twin girls this week (she fell pregnant by accident…however that happens) but I love her dearly and am aching to see her little girls and her. We’ve been putting it off for 3 years due to various things (getting married then infertility stuff) and so I don’t want to put it off any longer.

4) Go to Ibiza this summer to visit my old boss: see previous post

5) Have a few months properly off IVF and anything fertility related: this means eating and drinking exactly what I like and putting off any decisions for a while.

I returned to a glorious sunny day in Milan and thought I’d share with you this photo of the poppies near my house. Happy Thursday everyone…

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Appreciating the little things…

The last few days so has been fairly relaxed compared to the last few weeks (well there have been no major disasters anyway).

I’ve been to yoga five times in the last seven days and have been running twice. I can feel the muscles in my body starting to strengthen and my flexibility improve. But the main benefit of all this yoga and exercise has been to help my mood. Objectively things haven’t changed in the last week. I’m still unemployed and infertile after three failed IVFs….but I’m okay with that right now.

Yoga helps ground me and give me the tranquility to appreciate the little things…which brings me onto Italy…

As some of you may already know, I live in Italy, and to be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with the country.

I hate the complex and unfathomable bureaucracy and the byzantine rules. These things aren’t apparent to tourists, but once you live here for more than a month or so they start to wind you up something rotten. Simple tasks (e.g. posting a letter, or paying a bill) become near impossible challenges that can take hours and hours to sort out, and are sure to send even the most level headed people insane.

I also hate the loneliness I feel when I’m broken by IVF and all I want is for a close family member/old friend to give me a hug, or when a doctor or nurse is babbling away in Italian and I’ve completely lost the thread of what they are talking about.

But, on the flipside, I love the beauty, the landscape and the history of the country. It’s jaw-droppingly stunning (the below photo is just a couple of minute’s away from my house for example).

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I love the more sensible work-life balance (where everything stops for lunch) and the fact that the first thing people ask in small talk with strangers isn’t ‘what do you do for a living?’

I love the new friends that I have made, and the support and understanding they have shown me.

And of course, most of all, I love the food. I eat like a king every day here (well everyone does). Poor quality food is just not acceptable. And even better it’s not expensive.

This morning for example I walked over to a nearby Saturday street market and bought these tomatoes for just 2 euros (which do taste as good as they look in case you’re wondering). I cycled back in the sunshine on my battered bike with my fruit and veg in my basket and thought yes….this is okay…this is more than ok…

Happy Saturday everyone.

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Making friends with my body again

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Last week I posted about my raging emotions and then a much needed day or two of calm. I would love to say that since then I’ve been a zen-like being….but that would be lying.

My emotions relating to the failed FET have now, finally, settled into a sort of acceptance. I understand that failures of genetically normal embryos happen. We were only given a 50-60% chance of success which is, admittedly, much higher than our previous attempts, but it’s still not 100%. I do feel particularly unlucky that we had a chemical pregnancy, as that only occurs in 5-7% of cases with PGD/PGS tested embryos…but hey, as they say, sh:t happens…

I’ve also been dealing with work issues, which are particularly difficult here in Italy. The country is still economically depressed meaning that unscrupulous companies can take advantage of their workers, safe in the knowledge that there will always be others to willingly take their place. I have heard many nasty stories of treatment here (in addition to my own recent experiences) that definitely take the shine off living in the land of La Dolce Vita.

Anyway, in more cheerful news (which relates to the title of this post), I managed to go for a decent run yesterday for the first time in a loooong while. Afterwards I went to a yoga session and midway through felt a most unfamiliar sensation rise up from my stomach. I can only describe it as a burst of joy and excitement. I know this was probably due to the endorphins that were pumping through my body but nonetheless is was a much needed and long awaited feeling. It made me realise that I haven’t felt happy for a long time.

I’m feeling pretty broken today as a result of the exercise but am very keen to experience some happy endorphins again. My aim is do a daily yoga session and run 5-8km every other day from now on (well until I get to the next FET).

I may not be able to control my fertility and I may not be able to change the working conditions/opportunities in Italy, but I can control my fitness level. So that’s what I intend to do: lose the extra weight gained by the IVF drugs, look ok in a bikini for the summer and feel good about what my body can do, instead of hating it for what it can’t do….

Photo courtesy of Flickr