Tag: fertility blogger

#IVFis40

#IVFis40

So this year marks 40 years since the 1st IVF baby was born.

In honour of National Fertility Awareness week, i wanted to share some of my experiences/memories.

Ive done a whopping 9 cycles. 3 of those resulted in no embryo transfer. Of the other 6, 3 worked. Im INCREDIBLY lucky to have such good numbers. Sadly, only 1 pregnancy made it to term. The other 2 were lost at 21 weeks.

I remember after being referred for IVF i cried. I honestly thought we’d make a baby the normal way (or as i now say, traditional way). We had no idea there was a problem at the time of referral either.

Then at our 1st meeting at the clinic we are told i have polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome) and he has poor sperm in terms of count, morphology and mobility. We have 0.01% chance of making a baby tradtionally.

Then the wait to cycle. I think the waiting was one of the worst things for me. Youve got your head round the idea and then you have to wait. Wait your turn. Get knocked back due to clinic being full/bank holidays/clinic closing for a clean/incubators not working/hormones inbalanced/uterine lining too thin…all of those were actual reasons i couldnt start a cycle or why i couldnt have an embryo transferred.

The 1st time i was naive. I got 23 eggs, the most that day. But only 13 fertilised. Youre not warned the numbers drop so fast. I got ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but didnt tell the clinic in case they cancelled my cycle. I was really quite poorly but i was also desperate. Itd been 2.5yrs of trying by then. By transfer day i had 3 embryos left and a touch of OHSS. The transfer went ahead. 10 days later my period started.

Little did i know itd take another 6 years and 8 cycles before i brought a baby home.

I started out shy, taking my knickers off for a scan, WHILST on my period, was mortifying! By the end, id take my knickers off as easy as most people take off a pair of sunglasses when entering a room.

I knew all the acronyms, i was a huge contributer to online communities, i read all the research, ate brazil nuts, pineapple core, avocado, whatever the lastest study revealed. 

I lived, breathed and loved IVF. Im still an advocate for talking about infertility, and now, sadly, terminations for medical reasons and late miscarriage.

I went abroad, to Cyprus, for my final 4 cycles of IVF. I met a wonderful team at my chosen clinic. They blessed me with 2 pregnancies including the one who made it to term. They are like family, and i like to think im paying for thier kids to go to uni!! Haha! 

They were the best of times but also the worst of times

Even now, with my miracle rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, im still jealous of a pregnancy bump. 

I have 5 frozen embryos, im exceptionally lucky. But im not sure i can do anymore IVF. Its emotionally draining, its a lifestyle not just a treatment. Its scary and hard and consumes your very being.

Im so grateful for IVF. I am truly lucky to live in an age where treatments get better every year. Still, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

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#hiddenfaces (National Fertility Awareness Week)

This week is National Fertility Awareness Week. I really wanted to do something to mark the occassion, but im so tired.

Infertility is exhausting, we’ve been fighting it for 7.5yrs now, and it is a fight. A fight to get pregnant, a fight to appear OK when everyone around you is pregnant, a fight to raise awareness, a fight not to scream at people when they ask when youll be having kids.

Its exhausting, all of it.

The hardest bit, apart from constantly watching EVERYONE get pregnant is listening to the unsolicited advice.

Relax itll happen (no, it wont)

I know someone who had IVF and then got pregnant naturally (right, and?) 

Itll happen at the right time (its been 7.5 years, when is the right time??) 

I know someone who had IVF and it worked first time (screw you and them)

I know someone who tried for X amount of time, theyve got 2 kids now (whooptido for them)

Enjoy this time, it all changes when you have kids (no shit Sherlock but ive had 7 years to prepare)

You want kids? Borrow mine, youll soon change your mind (firstly, no i wont and secondly, do you have any idea how lucky you are???) 

We are taught from a young age that pregnancy can happen anytime, the first time you have sex even, we must protect ourselves at all costs, blah blah blah.

Not once was i told it might NOT happen at all. That i might need science to intervene, that i may have to go through the most intrusive of procedures just to have a chance. Nope, wasnt warned about that in school.

1 in 6 of us are infertile. 1 in 6. That’s huge. Yet its taboo.

When it is talked about, its always focussed on people in their late 30’s, early 40’s.

Well, we started trying at 25, so where’s my representation? 

The media seems to focus on the career driven woman who left it too late, or the against the odds IVF story. But its happening to the unmentioned, the women AND men that no one talks about. We live it everyday, and its hard and it hurts.

IVF isnt a miracle cure. Ive done 9 cycles now, 9. Yes ive been pregnant 3 times but im yet to birth a living child. Ive spent upwards of £20k on treatment, thats nearly 3 years of university fees, a house deposit, all to try and create a baby. 66% of the time IVF failed me, but on average, it fails 75% of the time.

Its not just the monatary cost, its the physical and emotional toil it takes on a couple. The up’s and down’s are severe. Hope can be dashed in a phonecall, marriages can be ruined, friendships lost. There is no end to the ripple effect that infertility causes.

Mr Me and I are affected by male infertility. Something thats even more of a taboo. We have, and contine to be, open about our issues. However, the focus is always on women. The focus of medical science was, in the past, on the woman. But years of research have shown that more and more men are suffering infertility. This is a bigger taboo. Men are portrayed as the tough, closed, resiliant cave man of days gone by. Infertility strips them of that for a time and the support just isnt there. It needs to change.

Infertility sucks, Ive often talked about how its made me feel on this blog, and even though im pregnant (after IVF cycle 9) i still feel like im only half a woman, i fear im not good enough, that im unable to do what essentially a woman was put on this earth to do. Have a baby and procreate.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx