It isn’t often that you meet someone and instantly feel a bond. Our next guest blog contributor and I found each other across many miles. We have corresponded as pen pals for several years, but only met face to face a few months ago in a heavenly place called Bled, Slovenia. It was like meeting an old friend for the first time. Our shared six-foot height aside, she and I have seen eye to eye and heart to heart from the beginning. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t speak Slovenian, Klara speaks English (as well as Italian and German) with ease. She agreed to share her story in English. Here it is:
The last few years were really hard. We had 10 failed IVF treatments in five clinics in three countries. We had our hearts broken for a million times. We were so sad for all of our embies who didn’t have enough strength to live more than a few days.
We had the last treatment in autumn and it was the hardest because of all the increased drugs the doctors prescribed me. I had so many horrible side effects that I made a promise to myself: if the side effects go away I will never ever take any infertility drug again. Luckily, the side effects went away after two months, and I am sticking to the promise I made myself.
I know one may ask, why so many treatments?
The explanation is simple. For me, till now, it was always easier to endure all the physical pain compared to the pain I had to go through when I faced the decision to stop trying and to embrace a child free life. In my country (Slovenia) we have six IVF treatments completely free of charge. So, many women just jump from one treatment to another without even taking a break or thinking of the side effects that all the drugs can leave.
With the help of our computer I was playing with numbers a bit. Just a few days before Christmas we will celebrate 3,000 days since our wedding day. Our first 3,000 days were mainly sad. Of course, there were also lots of great things. The greatest was that I realized I married the love of my life; all the pain brought us even closer together. If we are lucky, another 15,000 days are waiting for us. So, we decided to start living a new, happy life. We lost, already, enough days being sad. We just don’t want to lose another day.
Christmas is coming, and for the first time in years I am actually looking forward to it. Our capital, Ljubljana, is already in Christmas lights. It is beautiful! And Winter solstice is nearing — when the night is the longest and the darkest. After it … the dark gets shorter and the day gets longer.
I like this symbolism a lot.
I began a list of all the positive things that my new decision brings. Some are important, some are small … but everything helps.
- I don’t have to save money for the next treatment. This December I enjoy spending money. For books on Book Depository. For movies with my husband. For enjoying delicious cakes in cozy coffee shops with my friends.
- I don’t have to save free days at work for future treatments. I have 10 days off from work around Christmas and New Year. For the first time since we married we are spending New Year’s Eve abroad. Can’t wait!
- They are downsizing in the company where I work. It will be clear within weeks if me and my coworkers will be made redundant or not. Coworkers with kids worry so much. But I do not. I am not responsible for anybody else so I can afford not to earn anything for a while. And I don’t mind finding another job even if far away from home. Being childfree gives me flexibility.
- It is our busy season at work now. My coworkers with kids are always so nervouse at four, the high time, when they leave the office and pick up their kids in kindergarden. I realized it is quite nice — always to be able to finish work without the pressure of time.
- We started to dream about our next holidays. Our favorites so far are: Malaysia; Japan; Australia; USA; Canada. We love traveling so much!
What was (or is) on your list of positive things for the period when you started a New Life? All ideas welcome! They will help me and the others who read Pamela’s blog. Lots of love from sLOVEnia, Klara
Editor’s note: I found Klara’s depiction of looking beyond the darkness inspiring. The idea that many thousands of days await us makes me all the more committed to living each day better than the last.
p.s. One of the other many things I learned from Klara — as her signature above demonstrates –is that Slovenia is the only country with the word “love” in it. If this beautiful “Ex-Yu” country is not on your list of destinations, it should be.