I have a special guest post for you today and a request for help in her quest to have a baby from the lovely Steffie. I have followed Steffie online for a long time now and with time being of the essence for her, I really wanted to see if I could help in some way. Here in her own words is Steffie’s story and how you can help.
My name is Steffie and I am 44 years old.
I’m originally from France and moved to the UK at the age of 18, 25 years ago. I live with my lovely partner Shaun and our 2 kittens Matt and Rosie.
All I have ever wanted to do was be a mum but a mostly single life and demanding jobs got in the way until I decided it was time to try. This is when it all went wrong.
In 2010 I suffered a miscarriage which was left untreated for just over two years and following 3 operations, I lost both of my fallopian tubes and in turn my fertility. I was also diagnosed with Lupus and other blood disorders making it harder to me to maintain a pregnancy as well as effecting my day to day general health.
It was a serious case of medical negligence, instead of being looked after, I was told to stop moaning about being in pain, I was ignored for all this time. I had a breakdown as a result and I still struggle with severe depression and anxiety meaning I had to give up my job. I find it hard to imagine a future without children.
I have always been a crafter and after giving up my job, crafting became my therapy. I was making gifts for friends and family.
One day I made myself a little owl, something I had seen online. I started to alter the pattern, I gave her eyelashes, put a bow on her and also feet… I called her Dotty, she became my little friend and as you’ll find out when you visit us, so much more.
Due to guidelines in the UK, the fact that by the time my health issues were discovered I was 40 and my partner had a teenage son from a previous relationship, we were told that we didn’t qualify for IVF treatment on the NHS and that we would have to raise the funds ourselves. An average of 7 thousand pounds per cycle.
After various trials at counselling, reaching out for my GP to support me, I was offered medication and just told to “move on” which I couldn’t do. I had to at least give myself a chance to try IVF. My goal was to achieve 3 cycles, the standard offered to couples on the NHS by the time I reach the age limit, 45.
I turned back to crafting and to Dotty, and started to make more of my little owls, I called them my Cuties, all different colours, with different names and personalities, I listed them all on Etsy and started networking online. I called myself “madebysteffieb” and I posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. After a very slow start I started making friends online and eventually got a few sales. I also blog about infertility and mental health.
Although it took over two years to do so, I did raise enough funds for one cycle of IVF which we had last January (2017) sadly our 2 little embryos didn’t make it and our first cycle failed. So, after a couple of months of dwelling, Dotty and I started again.
I will be 45 in July and this is the age limit for IVF in the UK so my aim is to raise the funds for a second cycle this year. I don’t think I will make a third cycle sadly.
As well as making little Cuties I have branched out to handmade gift ideas in the last year and more recently I started a new venture; Care and Square. Tiny Care boxes full of goodies, designed to make people smile.
My Cuties as well as my Tiny Care Boxes are very much inspired by and for those of us with mental health issues and the principle of caring for one another. My creations are here to bring joy so if they bring a little bit of sunshine on a dark day I think they are a success.
Almost 1000 Cuties have been adopted so far and that makes me proud, whatever the outcome of this, I really hope I can at least keep my little business going, my purpose.
Thank you, Steffie xx
So how can you help Steffie? By adopting a Cutie, sending a Tiny Care Box or treating yourself on Steffie’s Etsy Shop Made By Steffie B And following Dotty’s adventures online and sharing Steffie’s posts on Facebook Twitter and Instagram. You can also read more at www.madebysteffieb.co.uk/blog.
Good Luck Steffie!