Zdraveĭte from Sofia!
I recently returned to my fertility clinic in Sofia, where I have a cache of frozen eggs and am slowly preparing to do the embryo transfer.
It’s exciting for sure, and I am remaining curious about it all as it all unfolds for me here in Bulgaria. Why Bulgaria? I chose this particular clinic a few years ago in considering my age, finances, and the donor anonymity laws. If you are curious why I chose a fertility clinic in Bulgaria, you can learn about that here.
*It’s not an endorsement but a short blog post on why I chose a clinic ‘off the beaten path’*
So right now, it’s needles, paperwork, and insertable progesterone suppositories 🍑😱😱😱
And Then I Realized…
Traveling, or not, for egg freezing, many women embarking on the journey of egg freezing often find themselves feeling isolated and unsupported.
Does it feel safe for you to ask for support?
“As a therapist who has been navigating this process alone, I’m realizing how difficult and lonely it is.”
While I can’t speak for Risha, the loneliness with the fluctuating hormones (read mood swings), stacked with the other stressors going on in my life at the time was enough for me to realize that I needed support and self-regulating tools to process the emotions. Chocolate and Netflix every night as a coping strategy just isn’t sustainable.
When I began egg and embryo freezing in Sofia, I wasn’t on speaking terms with my mother, or other family members, as they were recovering from recent trauma within the family and well, just weren’t able to ‘hold any space’ whatsoever in my journey. It would have been nice to be able to share what was going on for me but unfortunately, they just weren’t emotionally available.
Cultivating a strong support network at every stage of this significant decision and medical procedure is crucial. So I googled and researched and read I found a relationship book-*like the couples kind of relationships*-that made some sense about what makes supportive relationships.
In “The Missing Manual to Love, Marriage, and Intimacy” by Tracie Sage, she wrote about four radical commitments to create relationships so that you CAN HAVE that support system (family, friends, and partners) during the egg freezing process.
The Radical Commitments Are…
- Collaboration: Foster an environment of collaboration where everyone is seen without competition, ensuring you feel fully acknowledged and loved.
My two-second take: Sooooo, drop the competition.
- Discovery: Recognize that every person is a work in progress, striving to remove judgments, stories, and assumptions from relationships.
My two-second take: You never know about people, you think you got someone figured out and then BAM!
- Full Disclosure: Practice 100% honesty and ownership, understanding the delicate art of delivery to ensure open communication without causing harm.
My two-second take: Own what you say and say what you own. Is it about you? Is it really about them?
- Safe Haven: Allow your friends to be exactly who they are, imperfections and all, embracing them with love, kindness, understanding, and tenderness rather than criticism or judgment.
My two-second take: Love them where they are.
And of course, applying these situationally is always the part where the rubber hits the road!
If we think that in order to get the behavior we want, all we have to do is to model the behavior. Well, sometimes the message just doesn’t get through and we have go with boundaries.
From my coaching practice, here are real-life examples of how you can implement boundaries to compliment the commitment strategies from Sage’s work:
- This could look like limiting contact or communication with someone as much as possible.
- This could look like “saying no.”
- This could look like taking personal time and space away so that you are able to focus on yourself.
Including Tracie Sage’s radical commitments and my boundary examples can help transform your relationships into safe and nurturing spaces during the egg-freezing process.
What I love about these is that they are universal, and you can use them elsewhere in life.
Leveraging these agreed commitments within friendships, while also incorporating clear boundaries, is a powerful way to unite your support network for your egg freezing plans.
In a world that never seems to slow down, it’s essential to have tools that help us maintain our emotional equilibrium. Breathwork provides a cost-effective, powerful, and sustainable means to process emotions and manage stress. As you navigate life’s twists and turns, remember that you have the power to maintain your emotional balance.
Before we part ways, we’d love to hear from you. Have you ever tried a breathwork session? If so, what were the most valuable takeaways for you? Feel free to share your experiences and insights in the comments below. Your stories can inspire others on their journey to inner peace and well-being.