True Story Alert...
Many moons ago and in my past life I worked and performed on cruise ships around the world. I had a few weeks off before I was packing my suitcase and getting back on a plane traveling to Miami. At twenty something years old, I had the world at my feet and was so excited for another exciting chapter of travelling to another part of the world in style.
I can remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in the lounge with my mum. TV was on, It was Celebrity Big Brother time with Alex on the TV, mum was chilling in the lounge on the arm chair, with her blanket over her knees with a cuppa tea and I was on the sofa with her other blanket on my lap. I had only been home for a short while in the UK so I didn’t follow tv or read uk magazines, I really knew nothing about Alex.
Who remembers Alex Reid on Celebrity Big Brother and the snowman challenge? Well that’s the first time I saw Alex and I told my mum “hmmm he’s gorgeous and comes across as such a kind soul, I just love his energy, he is the sort of guy I fancy mum” “oh no Nicola he’s not for you, he’s to rough around the edges, not a cage fighter, I would have thought that Bass Hunter DJ was more your cuppa tea?”. Two weeks later I got back on the plane and flew to America and forgot all about watching Alex.
Months later I returned home, I was focused on being there for my mum and wasn’t interested in anything else apart from my mum. I was in a dark dark place (blogs to follow to explain) it took me years to see light and I went back into studying because I knew I was struggling in every aspect of my life. I knew fitness was something I had a interest in and wanted to study so I decided to hide my head in some books. It’s a fight or fly kinda thing for me and me being seen as a focused, fabulous, and functional person was my way of control. I needed to show the world I was ok even though I really was not.
I knew when my mum died I didn’t want to go back on cruise ships and I knew I had to look after my Dad and couldn’t leave him alone. I also knew I wanted to find love but was looking in the wrong places, my heart was hurting from past relations with men and I didn’t want to travel on cruise ships for a further 10-15 years and end up like so many cruise ship workers, single and childless.
So I qualified as a personal trainer and met up with a friend who was a pro MMA fighter. He mentioned that he trains with Alex at a MMA gym and that Alex was single. So I plucked up the courage and (thank you Mark Zuckerberg) messaged Alex on Facebook! We started talking casually over the next month and he asked for my number, I never heard from him and then a month later he called pretending to be a pizza takeaway service and telling me my order was on its way, I actually believed him and was arguing with what I thought was Dominos Pizza till he started laughing and told me who he was. I love people who make me laugh.
"I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person". Audrey Hepburn
Let me fast forward 6 months from that funny phone call, I fell pregnant by accident and unfortunately began getting awful pains and went to hospital, I was excited but nervous, (a little early for us to fall pregnant) but we would have made it work) hours later I was misdiagnosed and was told to rest at home as it was a miscarriage. So from being told I was pregnant and congratulations from being told the pregnancy had gone. I was a bag of mixed emotions. 48 hours later I was rushed back to hospital and was told they made a mistake, I hadn’t miscarried and I needed an emergency operation. No time to think I had to have the operation immediately which was life or death due to having an ectopic pregnancy and it rupturing. Unfortunately when I woke up after surgery I was told I had lost my Fallopian tube. This was just the start of my battle to having my happily every after. I was in such a dark dark place, grieving the loss of the ectopic pregnancy. I was full of self-loathing at my failure to conceive.
3 years later we decided to try for a family and after a year of trying we went to the Doctors. I had tests done and they confirmed my one Fallopian tube remaining was blocked. My only way of having my baby was through IVF. I had friends around me announcing via social media that they will soon be mums and then there was me scared that Alex would walk away because he could easily find someone else that didn’t have these problems. I know many men are as heartbroken as there partners over trying to conceive.
Alex told me he loves me and wants me to be happy, but it’s simple for people to say “we’ll adopt” or “we’ll have a baby some way; you’ll be a mother.” It’s very different to be the one who feels that her body doesn’t work; who doesn’t feel like a woman; who feels as if life is passing her by every day that passes without a baby. I feel guilt and anger every day about waiting so long to try to get pregnant.
When I was given the diagnosis I felt so alone, like no one understood me, I felt like I was not worthy, every dream was shattered, I had no mum to turn to, no friends to relate to and no one really there for me. I had never felt so alone in my life. Alex tried his best, some of my friends (not all) tried to put a smile back on my face but for me all I wanted to do was cry In a dark bedroom with the curtains down on my own and to visit my mum In the cemetery where I felt some peace.
In my journey I have been labeled infertile, sub-fertile, unexplained and just unlucky. I have sat in the cold waiting room gowned in blue with my fellow patients, avoiding eye contact to preserve the already limited privacy. I've spent most of my time on the Internet from searches and chat forums trying to gain some comfort that IVF will work for me. I’ve taken such High-dose hormones in injection forms, pill, patch and vaginal-insert forms which has sent me through emotional and physical upheaval. We have felt the excitement and joy of IVF working and have had positive test results, a physical stain of failure to follow and then the renewed sense of hope to move on to the next day. I have felt the toll it has taken on Alex as he comforts me while he himself has limited support, men are not given the same level of care as women through this process.
Alex asked for my hand in marriage 4 years ago. But for me right now IVF comes first. My dream castle wedding with a huge princess dress has changed to a dream wedding on a beach with a maxi dress some flip flops, the man I love and my baby in my arms.