Diana Casalis (30 ans), Livingeneva

Il y a quelques semaines, j’ai reçu un mail de Diana, une blogueuse lifestyle que je connaissais via Instagram. Jamais, je n’aurais pensé que cette jolie brune au sourire radieux et à la joie de vivre contagieuse puisse, en sous-marin, se battre de tout son corps pour concrétiser le projet d’une vie, devenir maman. Elle a décidé aujourd’hui de partager, en toute transparence, son histoire avec nous. Un effet libérateur et révélateur qu’elle espère pourra aider d’autres femmes. Merci du fond du coeur Diana pour ton courage et ton état d’esprit ultra positif. #inspiring

Diana, peux-tu te présenter en quelques mots ?
I was born and raised in Mexico, more specifically in Toluca (40 min from Mexico city). When I was 21 y/o I came to Switzerland for a 6 months exchange program at Les Roches School of Hotel Management in Crans-Montana, I never really left after that.

After school I found a temporary job at Procter & Gamble in Geneva, I had met Emmanuel when I was in school and he was already living here.

After a couple of years dating Emmanuel asked me to marry him and we decided to plan the wedding in Mexico. It was the perfect excuse to take some time to visit the family in Mexico, take some time to plan the wedding. After this great break I had the chance to come back to P&G in a more interesting position that included design & sales.

Since June this year I decided to give a chance to full time blogging, start a Master at CREA in digital Marketing and also give a chance to our lifetime project of having children. A daily struggle we live that I will explain a little further.

Tu as 2 blogs, quelle est la différence entre les deux ?
I started LivingGeneva 4 years ago mainly to share with my family and friends in Mexico my life in Switzerland. Aslo I wanted to discover things, and share with people in Geneva that this city has a lot to offer. Most of the time Geneva is considered boring and plain, but there is so many things to do!

My other blog dianacasalis.com is more like a curated & more photogenic blog. The purpose is to share more global lifestyle posts and also in the near future share tips in the digital area.

Comment organises-tu tes journées ?
This has been one of the biggest learnings of being independent. I use a lot Google Calendar (giggles) it is like my best friend, it really changed my life. I can block time and color code things depending on the tasks and categories. If not, when I wake up (around 7-7:30) I drink a glass of lemon water, I do some stretching since I suffer from back and neck pain and I also try to journal 2 or 3 times a week. I try to avoid looking at my phone before 8:30 if not I am gone in the rabbit hole of Instagram (giggles).

I try to do the maximum in the morning and avoid procrastination; except Fridays are relax-and-do-whatever-you-feel-like-doing days. Mornings are content creation hours and afternoons are more meeting and “things to do”. Of course, this is all big theory because in reality every day is different, I love to travel so there is a lot of that too. Weekends I work a little bit, but only on things that bring me joy or that I truly feel like sharing.

Réussis-tu à en vivre ou est-ce un « à côté » ?
It is obvious that I don’t make the same salary as Procter (giggles). On top of blogging I offer consultancy services for the hospitality industry to help them on their social media & digital marketing. I am also working on a social media course for brands and bloggers to increase their productivity online.

Que conseillerais-tu à quelqu’un qui souhaite lancer son blog ?
The two most important things: consistency and authenticity. It is important to be coherent in the publications and adopting a content strategy. Also, to be open to other influencers/bloggers helping each other out and supporting their projects instead of pulling each other down. Also, learn from other and take courses, this has helped me a lot! Oh! And one last thing… Please don’t buy followers it is like the most looser thing you could every do.

Comment choisis-tu les sujets de tes articles ?
It is really organic, it changes depending on the new things coming, inspiration and also according to the season. The blog is focused on Geneva and Switzerland travels. The articles are written in English.

Quel est ton réseau social préféré et pourquoi ?
Instagram! I love it because it goes fast, it is aesthetic and you can reach a lot of people quickly. I am in constant contact with my followers thanks to Instagram Stories and I take time to reply one by one to keep a close relationship with them.

Assez parlé travail (sourire). Tu m’as parlé de ton désir de devenir maman et de la grande difficulté pour y arriver. Peux-tu nous expliquer pourquoi?
Yes, it all started when I was born (of course I had no idea !). I was born with Kallman Syndrome; which is the deficiency of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) – the explanation of this syndrome is explained below. When you have this syndrome, your childhood is completely normal, you have no idea you have this. However, when the teen years arrive you start to see differences. At 17, I was lacking period and puberty; this made me go to see some Doctors to understand what was wrong. I was diagnosed with Kallman and started taking hormonal treatment. I was blessed to be diagnosed on time, this made it a lot easier when wanting to have children; most women unfortunately are not diagnosed and spend all their life going through failed fertility treatments.

Fast-forward to September 2015, after 1 year or so of being married I went to see my Doctor in Mexico. I told him I wanted to have children, and he answered that the only treatment that could work would be to request an oocyte donation and have IVF. I was devastated, I had always asked the Doctor what would happen the day I wanted to have children and he would always reply it would be super simple. I am sorry, but IVF + oocyte donation is not what I call “SIMPLE”.

I did not give up, I started to research and look online for Kallman syndrome fertility treatments. The information online is not always very clear and often misleading. One forum after another I found an email, from a Doctor in Lausanne at the CHUV: Prof. Pitteloud. I immediately sent an email and hoping the will reply quickly I waited impatiently.

In less than 24hrs I received an email from Caroline, the head nurse in charge of the endocrinology department at the CHUV working closely with Prof. Pitteloud. Never in a million years I would have thought all the conversations and things we would live together. Caroline, if you are reading this THANK you for being you, and being so supportive and kind.

The treatments adventures started last year October 2017 with the first intravenous pump, I was scared to dead the first time they put it in. The treatments last a full female hormonal cycle and it imitates the dose a normal woman would receive of GnRH. The first one did not work, it was a little disappointing, but the results were positive, I was in the right track.

The second one worked, not sure how… At the time I was still working, managing 15 million things, extremely stressed out… but it worked… I WAS PREGNANT. I was not all excited at the beginning, I thought it could not be real, it could not be true. However, after the 3rd pregnancy test and hearing the baby’s heart I really got into the idea. After 1 week of hearing the baby heartbeat, I went to CHUV to check if everything was ok that they told me: “sorry there is no heartbeat”. ME: “What do you mean there is no heartbeat? It is my baby you are talking about, of course there is a heartbeat, I heard it last week!”

That was it… No baby, no heartbeat and back to square one. The pain you are able to feel when this news hit your heart can feel unbearable, I really thought I was never going to be happy again, EVER. After a couple cloudy weeks and painful months here I am. Sharing this not so you feel bad about me, but to tell you that if you have been through it, or you are going through it or if one day you get to live this, I am here for you, I understand you, I support you and I would take your pain away if I could.

 

“I am here to tell you that YOU WILL BE OK. Baby or no baby, married or single, job or unemployed, sad or hopeless.”

 

There is good news. We heal: the scars stay but our hearts keep beating to be happy. We grow: the memories stay but our brains keep creating and imagining keeping us full of hope. We lose: our feelings resurface but our body keeps building life inside.

Est-ce que le fait de te consacrer à ton blog te permet de focaliser sur autre chose ?
Yes! I feel so free now. I keep working, more than ever probably, but the flexibility of being able to manage my schedules is priceless. I am still going on with the cycles and I go to Lausanne at least once a week to see the Dr and run tests.

When I was working I kept feeling guilty and not able to do by job properly, before my job and professional relationship would deteriorate and turn into a nightmare I decided to leave. I am very lucky my employer was very comprehensive and flexible around all of this.

Auprès de qui as-tu trouvé du soutien?
My husband was definitely my rock, thanks to him and his love and care I was able to heal slowly. But also, a friend from work, she was really the person that helped me the most on understanding what I was going through with the miscarriage and we were able to talk about this openly and without TABOU.

We grew very close to each other after this, and I believe it is super important to talk about our scars, fears, and troubles. Because you are no alone, I am not alone, we are not alone; someone somewhere is going through the same thing as you and acknowledging that helps to feel less desperate.

Melanie was also a HUGE support during all this treatments/ miscarriage, she has been to a lot herself and just sharing this made me feel less hopeless.

All this to say that it doesn’t matter if you have an amazing doctor, a super nice nurse or a very professional therapist. This helps of course! And should be part of the process of having children. However, the support you can feel from other women and to weave those relationships and conversations with them it is priceless! I spend nights crying in front of youtube videos of women sharing their story and sometimes that was the only thing I wanted to do: share with them and live their pain.

 

#sharingiscaring

 

N’as-tu jamais voulu te confier à ta communauté ?
No, not really. I built my community sharing tips about Geneva I am not sure fertility issues and desire of maternity would have a place in there. It is a very personal thing and concerns mostly women, therefore I felt it was more suitable in MotherStories.

By doing this I would like to tell all the women out there: “don’t lose hope” never! Whatever happens, listen to yourself, find solutions, never give up; but also keep in mind that having a baby is not “the solution to happiness” you should be happy every day and comfortable with your current situation. You are already complete, you are already amazing and whole, a baby will probably bring you a lot of joy, but don’t pause your happiness or life for this. Keep going with your projects, do adapt your life to suit what is best for you.

Also share whenever you can, don’t shut it up. Showing your scars and struggles don’t make you weaker or vulnerable, it makes you brave and courageous to help others.

Le fameux « tu devrais lâcher prise » tu connais j’imagine ?
Oh yes (giggles)! People love giving you advice even when you haven’t asked for anything. Not everyone wants to adopt. Not everyone wants to do an IVF or has the money to do it. All this is extremely personal and it is always uncomfortable to answer.

Everyone should just stop asking “do you want any children?” this is more personal that you can imagine. Some people don’t want children, others can’t, others have gone through hell… It seems like an innocent question. It is not.

Penses-tu en tant que blogueuse avoir une sorte de mission, un objectif ?
I am not sure, since I started I wanted to treat the blog as a job and a brand. I immediately gave a name to the blog that was not mine, and wanted to share my personal tips and places without giving so much of the personal. I thought “who cares?” however, now that I am going through this it is important to share if it can help at least one person.

Une personnalité inspirante ?
I recently found Daniel Habif on youtube and I am really inspired by his positive message and energy.

Genève en 3 mots ?
Security, proximity, nature.

A Genève, où vas-tu pour :

Dîner en amoureux ? Osteria ZAZA in Champel
Boire un cocktail entre copines ? Maison Balkii
Transpirer les cocktails de la veille ? Urban Ride
Te faire chouchouter ? SPA Kempinsky
Dénicher une tenue canon ? Flair 3

Ton look de cet automne ?
More than a look, a palette of colors: white, taupe, nude...

Ton dernier achat ?
H&M earrings.

Un pêché mignon ?
Dark chocolate.

La pièce préférée de ton appartement et pourquoi ?
My new office since its recent transformation. Many thanks to Eliette and Marieke from Clarity Home Detox and Sofia Clara

Ton prochain voyage ?
Sevilla.

Diana, que peut-on te souhaiter aujourd’hui pour demain ?
Happiness.


CHH – Kallman

What is CHH?
CHH is caused by a deficiency of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). When combined with a lack of sense of smell (anosmia), it is known as olfacto-genital syndrome or Kallmann syndrome (KS). All these are diagnosed and treated the same way.

What does GnRH do?
GnRH is an essential hormone for sexual development, puberty and fertility.

GnRH is released from the the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls several body functions.

GnRH acts directly on the pituitary gland (a nearby pea-sized gland in the brain) to release two hormones: luteinising hormone (LH) & follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

LH & FSH are important for puberty and fertility
. In men: LH & FSH stimulate the testes to make testosterone and sperm. In women: LH & FSH stimulate the ovaries to make oestrogen and progesterone that are important for fertility

What happens if there is no GnRH?
Complete or partial GnRH deficiency results in absent or very low LH and FSH. This results in failure of puberty and infertility (see figure below). This means that:

In men:
1) The testes do not grow.
2) Testosterone is not produced in normal amounts.
3) Sperm does not develop. 


In women:
1) Although eggs are present, they do not develop or grow and are not released (ovulation).
2) Oestrogen and progesterone are not produced.
3) No menstrual periods (bleeding) occur.

interview, story, womanElsa Gonzalez