and second time round it’s bound to happen naturally…
These are just a few words a woman struggling to conceive hates to hear! My journey of infertility started at the age of 25. It was the first time I wasn’t over the moon about my period coming back. We were newlyweds about to embark on our next adventure of making a family. I’d lost my Mum and had to organise probate and sell and buy a house as well as get married. So like everyone else I kept positive that the next month would be our month, it was just the stress taking it’s toll on us… But it never came! And deep down I knew one of us had a fertility issue. Little did I know, down the road we’d discover that both of us were the reason we were not conceiving.
Having grown up in a small town, as well a working in one of the most popular pubs and my mother knowing everyone, once we’d got married the question of ‘so when are you having a baby?’ soon got disheartening. With my father having terminal with cancer you could say I hit rock bottom. I then wrote a blog and became open about our journey. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it eats you up mentally. The doctor transferred us straight away to a fertility specialist as I’d had tests previously and they had come back fine. It was now time for my husband to have his sperm tested (it had been going on for 2 years) and I remember being away with work in London getting the call from him, saying his sperm count was very low and that the ones they did find were swimming the wrong way.
Me being me, I put on my brave face and joked ‘typical Aaron, so laid back he’s on his back and even his sperm are too!’ I tried to stay positive, there were some sperm that’s all that mattered. After a few dramas with GP appointments and the fertility specialists, I was getting used to my life not running smoothly now! Our appointment with the specialist came around pretty quickly though it’s never quick enough when you’re willing to fall pregnant every month.
They say with IVF you get used to being poked and prodded, needles etc and this first appointment sure was an eye opener for myself and Aaron. With both of us being taken into separate rooms to be examined, this was where I longed to be told ‘you’re pregnant no need for IVF!’ but as she inserted the wand for an internal examination the Doctor just just kept repeating ‘oh my god, oh my god!’ (not in a good way) followed shortly by ‘I’m in shock i can’t believe how little eggs you have’ …And BAM another sucker punch to the gut!
After our examinations she took us into a side room and told us together that we definitely needed IVF to conceive. Recommending sachets to take to help sperm life/speed and egg quality. Telling us there was a slim chance it could happen naturally …very slim… but the good news was there was no wait for IVF and we could have three goes.
Once all the paperwork (that we received in the post) was filled out it was all systems go! Of course we had to do more blood tests and more sperm samples they were never ending and then we had to wait for my period etc. I should have been happy we were about to start our IVF journey, that there was no wait, but instead i was like a kettle brewing. Aaron picked up on this, he was trying to be positive, but I remember just flipping and shouting how life was fucking unfair, why us?, ‘why both of us?!’ I just couldn’t understand it.
But I knew I had to keep positive and threw myself into yoga even more (it seriously helped me out of my funk ) and kept with the positive mantras even on the worst days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, I made myself. You see I’m early menopausal so was IVF even going to work?! What would I do if it didn’t? Pack up and travel the world?
After weeks of nasal drops and injections and internal scans and meetings of how the IVF procedure would work, we had our egg collection two days before my 30th and the transfer the day after (best present ever). I was strict and didn’t test until the two week wait was up (gosh that was long.) There was someone looking down on me and I was finally pregnant, a very rare thing to get pregnant on the first go but we’d done it! All the professionals we spoke with kept reminding us that it only takes one sperm and one egg – I was lucky to get 7 eggs only 5 viable for insemination and only one surviving the whole process.
But i was still nervous to shit, was it ectopic? would I miscarry?!! Again the positive mantras came out, grow beanie grow grow. And if i thought the two week wait was long, nah, it was the wait for our scan, where we saw our little bean’s heartbeat flashing on the screen. EMOTIONAL!
So we made it and 15 months later as I approach my 32nd Birthday two years since our last IVF journey, I’m a lucky mum of one but I’m also dealing with the struggles every woman does when they are struggling to conceive, as much as I’m happy for friends and family to be pregnant I also struggle with the fact that we are still infertile and as lovely as it would be to fall pregnant naturally it is also very unlikely. So remember when you see someone childless or even just with one child, remember you don’t know their back story!
We have decided not to have another round of IVF as we just can’t afford it and want to enjoy our son, not that it doesn’t toy with my heart. Turning 32 means another month and year and even less chance of falling pregnant naturally. I bought a camper van in the middle of our IVF journey that we escaped to the beach in to forget our woes and now we plan to adventure the three of us making memories and enjoying the here and now. It’s hard but it’s about being grateful with the life that I’ve got, I’m one of the lucky ones.
A Guest Blog from Amy Curtis
Inspired by everyday objects and life, Amy uses her life experiences and travels to create contemporary pieces of jewellery. Working primarily with silver and using a range of hammers to planish, mark make, form and develop into conceptual pieces.