Normal text size Very large text size Advertisement This really isn't where I thought I'd be at this point in my life.
Thirty-six years old, single and planning to conceive a child with the help of an anonymous donor across the seas. Try bringing that up over a coffee, in the staff room or in general conversation. So generally I don't. I hold it inside.
Yet so often a tiny voice in my mind pipes up, sometimes weeping, silently screaming about doing this alone. Illustration: Jamie Brown I know now that this little voice is grief's echo. Yes, I know that suffering is inevitable and normal. That unutterably horrendous things happen to good people.
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That "happiness" is an unhelpful standard and contentment a blessing. But for this past decade since we lost beautiful Dad, grief's echo has been the voice in my head. A voice that has whittled me down physically, emotionally and spiritually. I hate myself for it. Yet, amid the most searing heartache, self-hatred and loneliness, another softer voice occasionally reaches me.
Whispering to my soul, Dad's voice urges me on from the sidelines. Conversations about IVF are inevitably tricky ones. Credit:Craig Abraham His voice urges on my surprisingly resilient optimism — a trait that has faithfully sustained me amid the greyest sydney single parenting dating site of my life.
Pulling me back to the child-like hope that surely tomorrow will be better. Recent media coverage around alarmingly low IVF "success" or "live birth" rates may lead many to question the sanity of those undergoing IVF. However, this ignores the pull of hope. For those on the IVF treadmill, hope fuels the resilience to keep going. As I sit in an inner city IVF waiting room adorned with garish butterfly prints, the tiny voice in my head continues to whisper sadly.
The room is full of couples awkwardly avoiding each other's eyes. The decor makes me feel like we're in a creche. My knees are almost touching the bald sweating bloke next to me who's jiggling nervously.
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I feel for him. We all share a silent pain. Except I'm the only one here alone, self-consciously wondering what they're thinking. Advertisement For those on the IVF treadmill, hope is the energy that fuels them. Later that day, I click on the photo of my chosen donor, the man across the seas whose words struck my soul. A six-year-old boy with gentle, smiling eyes pops up on my laptop screen. As clichéd as it sounds, tears blur my vision. The deep brown eyes of the little boy and the words his adult self has written tug at my heart.
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This is the biological father of my yet-to-be conceived child; a special man whom I have never met. I'm painfully aware however that I am probably imagining a connection. Trying to offset the pain in the bare facts of all this.
Still, I struggle to separate "biological" from "father", but I have to. He's not a dad, nor a husband. I'm still grappling with this. I have so much sydney single parenting dating site to give — I want to love him too. But that's not how this works.
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This non-identifiable photo, the only one I will receive, is proof that the donor actually exists. In a way, it's easier for me to relate to him as a child.
To see in his eyes flickers of my carefree, joyful six-year-old self and imagine what a child created by us both might look like. And as I sit uncomfortably at times viteza vip dating warszawa the ethical and personal questions anonymous donor conception raises, the tiny voice asks again how it is that I've arrived at this point in life?
A concoction of medical misfortune, some bad luck, and fate. So here I am, blindly meandering, up and down the road to conceiving a child on my own at Filling in the paperwork and hoping that one day all this will feel real. The endless procedural shenanigans of IVF cast a sense of artificiality over what I'm doing. Sometimes I'm strangely detached, pragmatic or ambivalent.
Looking back, I'm surprised at how unemotionally and quickly I filled out an Advance Directive that determines what will happen to the embryos in the event of my death. Perhaps this is because there has been too much grief in recent years, about Dad and where I'm at in life, or more accurately, not at. IVF is the first step I've taken to reclaim my life.
So I signed the paperwork and sent it off. Then I did the washing up. That is the IVF rollercoaster. On the bad days, the tiny voice chastens me for failing to always be grateful. I am so privileged to have this opportunity and I know it, so the waves of grief are sydney single parenting dating site followed by slivers of gratitude and hope.
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Well-meaning friends who haven't had the intensely personal, anxiety-provoking and wrenching experience of IVF ask "Aren't you excited? Yes, I should be, and at times feel flickers of brightness but these are mixed with realism regarding the risks and statistics of IVF. There are no guarantees of success. Beyond the emotional and physical strain, the financial cost of IVF sydney single parenting dating site be brutal.
On days of lightness, optimism wins over my irritating pragmatism, most often sparked by bouts of reassuring cluckiness.
The fuzzy undefinable scent of new baby skin. Or the beautiful, soft, warm weight of a baby in my arms. Conversations about IVF are inevitably tricky. Navigating such awkward conversations requires 27 de ani datând de 17 ani and, most of all, a dry sense of humour.
No self-pity. To avoid sounding negative or ungrateful, I usually mutter something vague and true about what a privilege having this option is, but of course there are no guarantees. What follows is generally the story of "a friend of a friend's sister-in-law who conceived on her own when she was 43". These are all true and motivating stories, told with love and good intentions.
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However, it is not my story. We all have our own narratives, our own unique bodies. Our own dreams and tragedies. I've found that acknowledging the good intentions most people hold gives me compassion where I otherwise might hold resentment or despair at the pain of not being understood.
The pain of yearning for someone to say the right thing or truly "get it", but sydney single parenting dating site they can't and shouldn't be expected to. It is a lonely and isolating place to be. So, as embarrassing as it is, I guess it's not surprising that I find myself still hoping that I might not have to do all this on my own.
A text from an ex-boyfriend, the occasional awkward-but-not-totally-horrendous date. A possibly naive optimism that "if it's meant to be it will be" and I will meet someone. Someone to stand with me through all this, to clench their hand over mine in childbirth, to share the inevitable heartbreaks and joys. To share that sense sydney single parenting dating site oneness with another and to become three. The imagery inherent in media coverage too often focuses on assisted conception as the commodification of nature.
An option reserved for wealthy working women who "want it all". A phenomenon of this generation. Yes, there are deep ethical and legal questions and dilemmas.
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Yes, the best interests of the child must always be paramount. And no, there are no easy answers. Nor a universal experience or story. The dilemmas and unanswered and unanswerable questions raised by advances in fertility science are complex. However, before judging those who, within confined choices, are choosing this path, know that we grieve deeply for not having the opportunity to have a baby the "normal", "natural" way.
Everyone has dreams and assumptions about what life might hold; our own pre-written biography. Or simply vague aspirations and hopes. When our preferred biography is shattered or disrupted, it is deeply dislocating and can ignite profound grief.
IVF is rewriting the narrative of the life I assumed would unfold. However, no matter how this chapter of my unexpected story ends — failure or fairytale - I have to find the courage to accept the inherent uncertainty of the human experience sydney single parenting dating site the strength to keep embracing life.
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