As we prepare for one final attempt at Frozen Embryo Transfer to complete our family, the results of my blood tests were shocking. My GP warned me that I was like a walking timebomb – putting all energy into work and others at the cost of neglecting myself had wreaked havoc on by body in many ways: high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and an overall unhealthy inflammatory state. Neglecting myself had taken its toll. Despite years spent striving for success through fertility treatments after many failed attempts along the way, here I was facing harsh truths about how far away from taking care of myself I had grown. Shame flooded over me; could this be what it took for me to start putting more focus into attending to my own needs?
Overworking and over-giving had left me feeling lost, powerless, and unhealthier than ever. I was so caught up in other areas of my life that I’d forgotten the importance of looking after myself – it took a wakeup call to make me realize how much my mind and body needed TLC. It’s time to start loving Myself again!
After reviewing my family history of heart issues (thanks dad for your genes!) , I was referred to a cardiologist for precautionary tests. Thankfully, everything came back clear and this gave me invaluable insight into my future potential health risks in order to take preventative measures now before anything serious occurs down the road! Women are at most risk of heart disease – post menopause!
My older age and the results of blood work mean that conception carries a higher level of risk. Pregnancy after 35 is classified as ‘geriatric’ or ‘advanced maternal age’ which puts me at an elevated danger for gestational diabetes and high blood pressure – conditions already flagged. The potential impacts on any unborn child are daunting, premature birth, low weight gain during pregnancy or worse hangs in the air. Although petrifying to think about, I do take courage knowing that by taking proactive steps now to control health issues before conceiving, both myself and any potential baby Mullins can have a healthy journey into this world together.
After assessing my situation and potential risks associated with pregnancy, and my consultation with the specialist, she confirmed that if we worked together to carefully monitor the process, there is still hope for having a successful FET and pregnancy.
Knowing what is right for us and having the information to make informed decisions has been empowering. I am determined to be my best self so that Ella, our family – and maybe even a new baby!- can reap all of its many benefits. To do this, I’m more committed than ever to becoming healthier in mind body as we venture down this journey toward embryo transfer with the highest chance at success possible; it’s not just about getting ready for a potential future child but ultimately about bringing ME back first.
Time to step up and take control of my health! It won’t be easy, but it’s better than turning a blind eye – courage is the first part. Daunting tasks can become achievable if you break them down into bite-sized chunks and tackle one piece at a time. So that’s what I am going to do. I am facing this challenge head on and giving myself a sense of control over this journey towards becoming my best self once again.
As an anonymous wise person put it: “Start wherever you are and take one step at a time; every bit helps bring us closer to our goals.” Here we go!