“Mum, you just became a Grandma!” I cried enthusiastically.
“Yes”, my mum laughed indignantly, “But it doesn’t count if they’re not at room temperature!!”
“But I made you 12 frozen grandchildren!” I grinned, extremely proud of myself.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that Bloody Good Bloke and I recently went through the romantic process that is known as IVF.
AKA making a few 6 day old cell-cluster babies and popping them in the freezer.
A lot of you responded saying you’d love to hear more about the IVF process/ decision, and so, here we are, chatting about frozen babies.
If you couldn’t give two damns about the “Should we have kids?!” decision, or IVF, best to sit this one out.
I’m currently 35, though by the time my team sends you this blog post, I may have just tripped and fallen accidentally into my 36s.
Whilst I’m a big fan of aged cheese, I was a little worried about turning into a salty old gouda before I got round to making a decision about kids.
I’m also not in the position to have kids at the moment due to ongoing struggles with long-covid.
…Also I’d quite like to delay the loss of freedom (and sleep) for as long as possible!
…Also I don’t feel even nearly ready!
…Also I love my life as it is right now…
…Also I want to enjoy my relationship without kids for a few more years!
Hence IVF / embryo freezing began knocking on the door.
I wrote more about my “should I have a kid” kerfuffle in this blog post: To Kid or Not to Kid.
After I sent out that blog last year, I received tonnes of beautiful replies from you guys, with stories of people who…
…happily chose not to have kids…
…wanted kids but couldn’t or didn’t have them and are either sad, accepting, or happy about it…
…have kids and urge me to consider seriously because having kids is hard AF…
…have kids and are stoked about it, yet exhausted.
There were no exceptions to the exhaustion.
I popped some of the most illuminating responses into another blog post over here: To Kid or Not to Kid – Part 2.
Unexpectedly, reading through all these stories helped me to realise that I had a slight internal bias that I hadn’t previously noticed AT ALL.
As I read through all the various experiences of kids/no kids, I noticed that I had a very subtle feeling of disappointment when I read stories from people who were loving their kid-free lives.
I found myself wanting to read stories that would convince me that having kids is still a good idea even though it seems like the most ridiculously hard and illogical idea ever.
This was a huge shock for me, as I was 70% sure I was most aligned with the people who loved their kid-free lives and all that glorious freedom (and sleep).
Even now, having a bunch of cell-babies on ice, I still feel 94% scared of having kids and 6% curious/ open/ keen.
To back things up a little and veer off on a tangent which will quickly become not a tangent…
I’ve been doing some somatic therapy + inner child work with a great psychologist over the past little while, focussing on “belonging”.
The more I break down the walls that trauma put up, and the more I heal the parts of me that don’t feel like they “belong”…
…the more open I become to creating a family with Bloody Good Bloke and our possible future minis.
In one particular therapy session, the psychologist guided me in a somatic-meditation something-or-other, where he encouraged me to hug a pillow while imagining myself hugging and talking to the traumatised little-girl that lives in me. He guided me to nurture her with love and compassion.
Tears were streaming down my face at the time.
As I was chatting to younger me, in my head, an image suddenly appeared of me nurturing my own baby girl and helping her to feel the sense of belonging that trauma stopped me from experiencing.
I was overcome with love and connection in that moment, and I felt certain that this would be part of my future.
“Cripes!” I thought, “That was unexpected!
I wonder if maybe we should have a baby sooner and not freeze embryos… but I’m not even healthy enough to look after myself at the moment… and it’s all too scary and what if I can’t handle the jandal and—”
Neville had jumped in and distracted me from the task at hand.
Back to hugging the pillow and nurturing the inner child.
Despite Neville’s best efforts to avoid and distract me from healing old trauma…
…And despite the fact that my psychologist has me doing the kind of hippy-trippy, whack shit that I previously would have given the finger to…
This work I’ve been doing has been monumentally healing and eye opening for me.
So now I’d discovered two new things:
1. A subtle bias towards wanting to be convinced that having kids is a good idea.
2. A random premonition of impending motherhood.
With these two new pieces of information filed into my bulging “Do-I-Want-Kids-Or-Not” folder, I headed off for coffee with a new friend, Brandy…
This blog post ended up far too lengthy so I chopped it in half, added some strawberry jam,
and stuck it to a gluten free scone that I’ll post to you next week.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of “That time I freaked out about having kids and then somehow ended up freezing some anyway”.