Once upon a time there was A Little Princess. She lived a very happy life. Full of smiles, rainbows, ponies and flowers. When the Little Princess was not so little anymore, she went to the ball and met a very Handsome Prince. They danced, they hugged, they kissed and got married. The Not So Little Princess and The Handsome Prince had loads and loads of babies and lived happily ever after.
But this is not what happened. This is not my fairy tale…
In my story The Little Princess does all of these things – picks up flowers, looks at the rainbows, goes to the ball, marries the Prince yet things got complicated when it came to the baby part.
My name is Barbara but everyone calls me Basia. And this is my story.
I always wanted to have a child. Don’t most little girls do? I never thought that it could NOT happen. In my head it was always ‘a given’. Something which just happens, a part of adult life. When I found my handsome prince we decided to make our family complete and create new life.
We had been trying very hard, doing all the right things, on the right days at the right times but after a year of trying, and following our very busy baby-making-timetable, it started to be obvious that something was just not quite right. Many tears, disappointments, stressful situations and negative pregnancy tests later, we decided to go to see the doctor. At this point we were struggling. Struggling to understanding why? It’s supposed to be easy? Why is everyone else around pregnant but not us?
We needed some answers desperately.
We saw the doctor, we had some tests, and a couple of weeks later we knew. Unclear became very clear: infertility. There would be no fairy tale babies unless we got some help. I was shocked; or was I? I guess after all those months I knew somewhere inside that this was the case. Did I cry? No not yet, not at this point. I actually felt relieved. We got some answers. We knew what was wrong, where the problem was. If you know the reason you can find the solution. With heavy hearts but also full of hope that things would change we went home to plan the next steps of our journey.
So it started. A long 4 years on top of the year we had already been through. The longest 5 years of our lives. Fairy tale? Absolutely NOT!
It is not easy to explain what we experienced during this time. It is not easy for you to understand what a rollercoaster life we had unless you have been there. One step forward, three steps back… one day up one day down… tears of sadness, tears of joy… never ending appointments, tests, 1000 different diagnoses and advice. All we wanted was just to give new life, to give love to the new little human, to cuddle, kiss and cherish him/her until we were out of breath.
There were many days when we thought that’s it, we will not get there. At one point we were told that if I ever did get pregnant I may die because of the way my body was constructed. How can you choose – baby or me? Hope given and then taken away. I had to undertake 3 surgeries, once being hospitalised due to complications. But kept going. Not giving up.
We also started the adoption process. There are so many little ones waiting for a family home and we had so much love to give.
Our first treatment came and we were full of hope and dreams – we thought, ‘we will have
a beautiful baby in our arms at last. What can go wrong now?’
As we faced the first negative test our dreams were shattered. It took us a long time to get over that first, unsuccessful treatment. I can’t even explain how I felt. Empty. I couldn’t feel anything but when I did it was just pain. Pain of the heart exploding into 1000 tiny pieces. I couldn’t get out of bed I could only cry. And when I couldn’t cry anymore as there were no tears left I just lay down and stared into empty space where my dreams and hopes used to be.
Day after day passed, I was starting to get back on my feet. But our marriage? Hmmm….. All these years and recent events certainly put a strain on it. There was a big elephant in the room with us all the time. We didn’t talk about it. We wanted to put it in our pocket or throw it away just not to see it – if you don’t see it it’s not there, right? But we couldn’t. We both knew the only way we could fix it, fix us, fix our marriage was to keep going. To make our dreams come to life. So we tried, and tried, and tried again, and when we thought we couldn’t try anymore- we held each other’s hands and we tried again.
5th June 2015 – positive pregnancy test.
28th January 2016 – 16:45pm – perfect baby boy Frankie is born; we became a Mummy and Daddy – the happiest people on the whole Planet Earth.
I looked into his eyes and I couldn’t breathe. I was scared to move just in case I would wake up from this amazing dream. I wanted it to last forever. The previous 5 difficult years disappeared as if by the touch of a magic wand. Tears, injections, surgeries… never happened, crossed, forgotten. The curse of the cruel witch was lifted. The Not So Little Princess, The Handsome Prince and their Miracle Baby Boy. All three of them together. And they laughed, and they smiled, and they played, and they danced, and they picked the flowers, and they looked at the rainbows – TOGETHER. And they lived happily ever after.
Fairy tale? ABSOLUTELY! My personal one.
Frankie is now two and a half years old. He is our pride and joy. He gives us hope and courage, he gives us strength. We gave him life and he gave us the reason to live.
Since my Miracle Boy was born I promised myself that I would do something to help people like us, people who are going through a difficult infertility journey. I want to help to make their dreams come true, help to create more miracle lives. I want to make it possible for them to hold their child’s hand, to see their first steps, to kiss their cheeks, to hear their first words. This will be my way of saying thank you to The World for giving me the chance to be a Mummy – the most beautiful gift of parenting.
There are many people like us. 1 in 6 couples in the UK experience fertility problems. Going through heartache, loss, despair. NHS funded treatments are very limited and in some areas have been withdrawn. People losing hope that their dreams will ever come real.
The Fertility Foundation is a UK charity which aims to provide support and help to anyone with advice, information and ultimately, practical assistance in accessing fertility treatment. They offer infertility grants and IVF financial assistance.
They help people like us, stand behind them when they are most needed.
I will be organising series of events, challenges, actions with the main and final being my big Kilimanjaro Climb. All to raise the money for The Fertility Foundation.
So here I am standing in front of you with my story, kindly asking you to join me in this amazing journey which will help many families, many lives and hopefully many children.
A BIT MORE ABOUT ME:
My name is Barbara McMillan but everyone calls me Basia. I was born in Poland but have lived in the UK for 12 years now, I am 35 years old. I am a primary school teacher and am fortunate to have one son, Frankie. I have a MA degree in Law, MA degree in Education and a BA degree in Animator and Manager of Culture and am currently considering my next degree! ;