IVF

Coming To Terms With Having a Baby

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I’m now in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I found the first trimester difficult because I was extremely anxious about having another miscarriage. Consequently, I shut out the reality of the situation. Last week I attended the dating scan and saw that despite my anxieties, the baby is doing fine.

Following the scan, I decided to create this picture as a way of engaging with the realities of my situation – that I am having a baby. I’ve opened the curtains and engaged with what is happening and what is going to happen. Just writing this has set off the tears again! I guess it’s a mixture of anxiety and joy that the dream I’ve held for so long is finally set to happen in six months time.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Thank You

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After eleven rounds of fertility treatment I am blessed to have a little person growing inside of me. The photo is from the week 7 scan. My first creative instinct following the scan was to create an image expressing my gratitude to all the people who helped to create my baby. It is taking time for the news to sink in, and creating this image was a way of tentatively engaging with the situation.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Letting Go of a Sperm Donor

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I started another round of IVF last week and was forced to choose a new sperm donor. I have encountered an emotional blockage during this process which has made it difficult for me to accept a new donor. I did really like my previous donor and am not sure if the emotional blockage has been about losing him, or the previous IVF losses in general. I decided to create this picture of letting go of my last donor in the hope that it will help me to move forward.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

IVF 5

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In November I went through my fifth IVF, the second attempt using donor eggs. Like the first attempt with donor eggs, it resulted in no viable embryos. For several weeks  afterwards I felt unable to do anything creative (due partly to another difficult situation which cropped up at the same time). This week I had the opportunity to start another donor egg cycle however I realised that I wasn’t ready to go through it all again. And so I decided to create this picture to make contact with the difficult feelings from the previous attempt and hopefully ready myself to try again.

In the centre is the one embryo which did grow for a few days. As it was a case of deja vu, I chose to depict the embryo the same shape and size as the picture I created following my previous attempt (see My Red Haired Embryo). The embryo reached seven cells, hence the seven hexagons inside the embryo, and was very fragmented. The donor had hazel eyes and blonde hair, represented by the hazel like ring and yellow bits. I was very stressed and wanted to depict this with the swirling blue and purple.

It’s fingers crossed for a better outcome next time.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Red Haired Embryo

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For my recent IVF cycle I chose an egg donor who had red hair and blue eyes. I worked through some of my feelings about the potential child not looking like me (I have brown hair and hazel eyes), and then fell in love with the thought of my red haired embryo. I felt love and excitement for this potential little being.

Waking on the day embryo replacement had been due to take place, my first thought was to create a painting of my embryo as a way of being with and processing the grief. I wanted to depict the dream, the energy, the excitement and the hope.

The red bits on the outside represent the hair. I chose a deeper red rather than red hair colour to emphasise the colour red. The blue circle is the eye colour of the donor. The five inner circles represent the 5 cells which grew in the best embryo. The sun is shining on my embryo, it’s dancing, and it’s flying away from me.

It does feel good to have something to remember my red haired embryo by 🙂

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I am Hurting

After months of preparation, I went ahead with my donor egg IVF. Embryo replacement was scheduled to take place yesterday, only the treatment failed with no viable embryos created. I initially sat with my grief, working on a painting to help me process the situation, however last night the emotions became intense and so I decided to express them on a canvas. I didn’t plan this piece of art. I simply depicted what was coming up at the time. As you can see, there has been a lot of anger and emotional pain, but it was positive to let my feelings out in this way.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fuck Off I’m Doing IVF

 

Whilst writing a flame letter to my therapist after she left a triggering treat on her website, a part of me emerged who wanted to fight for me and my IVF dream. This part says Fuck Off, I’m doing IVF. So here I am, lashing out against the challenges which accompany me as I go through IVF. The zigzags and crosses are my anger – I didn’t want to waste any canvas. The heart is the love that I deserve. I’m now off to burn the flame letter.

The smaller text in the image reads

Despite my financial worries

Despite my lack of money to provide for a baby

Despite nonsense postcards from my mother

Despite not having a job

Despite having little income

Despite having no practical support

Despite my therapist adding to my worries

Despite having a body full of stress hormones

Despite having thoughts of killing myself

Despite having intrusive thoughts

Despite having self harming thoughts

Despite problem chap not buggering off

Despite my head imagining spiders in my house

Despite people betraying confidences

Despite my stomach having been poorly for weeks

Despite my house being in a rubbish state

Despite not having done fertility yoga

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.