As soon as I walk into the acupuncturist office, the whole vibe is different from what I had expected it to be.

Somehow I had imagined a nice curl of incense, an ohmmm-track playing in the background, decorative pillows on the ground, and a Buddha or two. I mean, this is an alternative treatment, right? Holistic and stuff?

Instead, the waiting room is entirely empty and bleak. It smells like a doctor’s office. There are health and women’s magazines, ten tips to please your man, things like that. This summer’s crash diet!

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We have filled out a lengthy questionnaire, sat through forced counselling, had multiple vials of my blood taken for a full HFEA approved chromosome screening, and then waited for a few long weeks.

But now we know that….

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I am ALWAYS cold. It’s not unusual for me to wear a fleece in tropical temperatures, and even when walking in bright sunshine at thirty plus degrees my body is cool to the touch. I have long known that this is perhaps not exactly normal… But I just assumed it was one of my various oddities, something that might be annoying to live with for me, but that no doctor cares to diagnose.

I have had my thyroid checked a few years back and found out then that something is off with it, but it wasn’t bad enough yet that it warranted treatment.

Until now.

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It’s raining.

The west London pavement is strewn with dirty leaves, and Jo and I huddle under our hastily bought umbrella and hop-skip our way over flooded gutters and large puddles.

By the time we make it to the Lister clinic it’s with sodden shoes. It isn’t exactly the most graceful way to arrive but we hurry inside, and shake out our umbrella before wrapping it in a plastic bag so we won’t drip all over the waiting room.

The first thing I notice is that this looks like an actual hospital. It’s much larger than I had imagined, with a proper reception desk, and several floors to the building. It’s closer to what I would associate with a clinic in Belgium. We settle in to wait, but then… someone comes to inform us that actually the open evening is cancelled, and that we should have been informed (we weren’t.)

Oh, great. We ran through the rain for this!

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It’s kind of strange to post extremely personal stories online for strangers to read.

While Nele’s done most of the writing for this blog, it’s been me (Jo) that’s been posting on social media. I have to admit that I completely failed at Twitter – it felt a bit too much like shouting into the void. But I have gotten completely addicted to Instagram.

The difference is the amount of positivity and love that people seem to freely share on Instagram. Posting that first picture and seeing the support from total strangers was amazing. By using tags I was able to find people going through similar situations to us. We’ve seen heartbreak and success stories and been amazed at the warmth and compassion of the Instagram community.

It’s been two and a half months since we started our Instagram account and I feel pretty damned lucky that so many people have chosen to follow along on our adventure. I’m an introvert by nature but one thing that Instagram has taught me is that reaching out to people can be a good thing. We’ve been able to share our experiences with others, get answers to burning questions and now collaborate with an amazing small business that is really deserving of support.

To celebrate crossing 1K followers we teamed up with the awesome ladies of The Happiness Troupe. Karen and Nienke are based in the Netherlands, and they make LGBTQ art with a twist. We loved their designs as soon as we saw them, and we’re so excited that we’re getting the chance to work with them!

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