IN VITRO AND BEYOND............
A TRUE MIRACLE HAPPENED, AGAINST ALL ODDS I GAVE BIRTH TO OUR BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY BABY GIRL, AMELIE MEAR, BORN AT 37 WEEKS. HEALTHY BABIES BORN AFTER A STILLBIRTH ARE CALLED RAINBOWS AS THEY ARE THE COLOUR OF HAPPINESS AND THE JOY OF A RAINBOW AFTER THE STORMY CHAOS OF DEATH, SHE IS OUR POT OF PURE GOLD.
I turned 50 years old during this year and after the misery of a full-term stillbirth, with some cynical people thinking we were too old and past it to even consider starting a family. So, with complete determination and with the help of positive people, we started again.
After we lost Molly at 40 weeks, I was so desperate for answers and had reached an all time personal low, after trying to work away the pain by literally going to work every hour God made me suffer another breath on this earth. I simply buried my head in the sand for three years. As a professional medic I was the one unable to ask for help. A long-term friend (catherine) noticed my crazy behaviour and depression, she quizzed me directly, her concerns paid off as she directed me to something called 5 elements acupuncture.
Claire DaBreo became my practitioner in February 2016, within a short time Claire saved my life in many ways. I started to wake up from my nightmare and the healing process began. We worked on my grief first and my fear of attending our first big Mearfest in August 13th, the day after Molly’s 3rd birthday, to stand in front of 300 people wearing Molly’s handprint on their chests and for me to not cry was a huge challenge. My emotional wellbeing was not well at all, my mind had been dumbed down with the weight of my trauma and my complete inability to ask for help, I had become very reclusive as time went on, I just didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, or go anywhere. My body weight had doubled to a size 22, as I felt empty in my tummy all the time, Claire helped me identify what that emptiness was, it was not an empty tummy of hunger to be filled with comfort foods, it was the desperate empty hunger of motherhood that had been taken away from me just before we reached the finish line.
My diet and eating habits soon changed, my focus changed, after just a couple of sessions from three years of silence, my creativity returned, I heard music again, I started singing to myself in the car, I appreciated art, I took up my previous passions of photography and writing, since the 10th August 2013 had all been reduced to ashes along with my first-born baby, my creative phoenix had arisen with the help of some chinese needles. Many times, within my sessions I said nothing, as the thing with 5 elements is my body of Claire spoke to my practitioner Claire. If you are the shy type or just unable to talk because you are so backed up and blocked with pain, she quietly carries on with her work, silently observing your skin, its textures, your smell, your body language cries out to her as you lay supine in deep pain. My stillbirth blended in with my loss of my own family, as I was placed within the car system aged 13, I have suffered every day since being a very young determined child, it was all connected and intertwined.
Claire was the right person for me, she helped me untangle myself, cutting away all the crap, she helped me to believe I could do anything at 49 years old and beyond. But acceptance had to come from me first, I needed to heal myself in order to lay new fresh and more solid foundations, to remember to always take a deep breath and that I was very capable of starting again and to finally have my own family.
Here is the link to Claire's blogpost about IVF. It is a real insight into the whole process. For me, after a stillbirth, there is a lot to think about and a lot of hard work on myself was needed which would help the conception process and as a couple to start to feel connected and alive again, even then there are no guarantees.
The London Acupuncturist
A couple of months into my therapy with Claire, doors opened for us both as along came another friend who inspired and guided Brian and myself in to trying IVF, but in Athens Greece as they are known to be world leaders in this field. I was on my own yellow brick road, strangely meeting all the people I needed to meet to help me through this traumatic time of transition. This was also Claire DaBreo's speciality-IVF, once I told her I wanted to go forward and do this she got her needles out and work began, new goals were created.
With a new lighter me physically mentally and emotionally, flights and hotel to Athens were booked in a heartbeat, amidst the sweltering heat of Athens City, after an in-depth consultation where Brian and I were questioned about every part of our lives. Bloods were taken, his sperm checked, my womb inspected with the intensity of a crime scene investigator at a murder scene, a hysteroscopy was ordered to clear 49 years of uterine debris, all over seen by the kind doctor in the clinic, the most incredible physician I have ever met. Once all the I's dotted and t's crossed, my first round of IVF drugs began alongside a lot of praying to every God and Goddess in this universe to please give us a chance, to give me a chance at being someone’s mummy, to finally have my very own family.
We returned to Athens six weeks later in September, after I had my uterus checked at a private clinic in London, for its thickness to see if I would be able to carry, it was 11.5mm which was perfect, anything less than 4.5mm this is where alot of women can fail at the first hurdle. I was an incredible four stone lighter since February which is when I first woke up and asked for help. I ended up with a perfect womb all clear and healthy for an egg to grow. We managed to get five perfect 5-day old blastocysts (fertilised eggs) that were created on the 19th September 2016, via a donor, which at my age and because Molly had Down Syndrome we could not risk using my own eggs. The thought of being a mother to sextuplets at fifty nearly gave me blood clots there and then. I had just two eggs transferred into my cleansed palace of a womb on the 24th September 2016, three were frozen. Sadly, I lost one at five weeks, but one egg kept on growing. We were both so nervous about the pregnancy and its terrifying outcome for obvious reasons. I listened to my body like the blind fine tuning a piano. I learned from previous mistakes, speaking up when something was not right, finding the best doctors and practitioners in the field.
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes which is common in a lot of pregnancies at any age, I went on a strict diet of ZERO SUGAR, protein, high fat, low carbs. This saved me and my baby, as sugar can kill off the placenta, the placenta is the baby’s life force, its epi-centre. This one live baby has had a very strong life force from conception and she needed to be born to us, with all our combined personal and worldly experiences, I believe she was born to give hope to this miserable, selfish world.
Brian and I have together cashed in every karma coin we have ever accumulated over the years, this journey is just so epic that I cannot find the words to describe the joy and love we have as Amélie’s parents, she is a total dream, vibrant, alert, clever and as her mother I am so in love with this tiny being who is already teaching me new things and has helped me feel 100% complete as a woman and now as a full time devoted mother. She is now 15 months healthy clever, funny, walking, mumble talking I could not ask for anything more. Dreams do come true, but you to work hard for those dreams.
Brian & Claire Mear pride themselves on putting on a good show. Photography is Claire's passion, only the finest collection of images will be added here by the best photographers.