Tag: IVF

Stop cutting IVF

Stop cutting IVF

Today I was asked by Fertility UK if I’d comment on Trafford CCG possibly cutting funding to IVF to the local news

They need to save £20m, cutting IVF would save £400k. Hardly worth it in my opinion.

They also pay more than other CCGs so could shop around and save instead of denying anyone IVF.

Anyway, here we are…

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Cats out of the bag…

Cats out of the bag…

As of Wednesday, i became a stay at home mum.

I handed my notice in at work. A month earlier than needed but i wanted to give as much notice as possible.

It was weird. I love my job, i really do. I just love being at home with Little T, more.

I’m in the minority, most of the Mums i know can’t or don’t want to stay at home. I feel very lucky that i can.

Little T is changing so much now and i don’t want to miss a thing. (Although he is some how moving and i always miss how he does it…I’m thinking bum shuffle?!)

Motherhood is everything i wanted it to be, and more.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days i want to pull my hair out and can’t wait for Mr Me to come home to give me a break, but 95% of the time, Little T is a joy to be around.

He is now 9 months old, weighed in at 20+lbs a couple of weeks ago, still can’t roll over and has no teeth, but he has the most amazing smile, loves music and his sensory toys. He babbles a lot (like his Mum) and loves food.

I’m so ridiculously lucky

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Keep talking, wear a pineapple

Keep talking, wear a pineapple

Ive got mine, have you got yours?

Show your support and keep the conversation going about infertility by wearing your pineapple badge.

The original concept is by IVF Babble a great website about infertility, IVF and everything in between.

Many celebs have joined the campaign, and you can too.

Badges can be purchased via Amazon

Go on, wear a pineapple, have a chat, tell your story

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

New Year, No Plan

New Year, No Plan

2018 is around the corner…its the first year in however long that i dont have a project 

Its either been; get pregnant or stay pregnant for so many years.

And now? Now there is no plan.

Its weird but utterly amazing. IVF and loss is exhausting. Its all consuming. This year there will be none of that.

2018 is about making memories…enjoying Little T and rejoicing that IVF isnt on the cards, nor is another loss.

We have 2 holidays booked, so far. Mr Me will despair if i book another break! So ill try not to! 

2018, im ready for you and i hope itll be one of the best

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx



I feel a lot of guilt. 

Mummy guilt…am i doing enough to stimulate him, does he watch too much TV, is he bored? Am i keeping him warm enough/cool enough, is he happy? Am i feeding him the right food? 

All in all this guilt i think is normal for any parent and i try not to let it ruin my day, but in the middle of the night, it eats away at me.

Sibling guilt. I dont want to try for another baby. I feel like, in the IVF world, im the only person who doesnt want another baby. Im too scared of another loss, Little T has escaped his Dad’s blood condition and my asthma, hes perfect, i like my life how it is. I dont think i could manage a newborn and a toddler. All legit reasons. But i feel guilty anyway. Like i should want another baby, that i should give Little T a sibling. I feel selfish and i hate that.

Infertility guilt. Christmas is tomorrow. For the first time in a decade, i dont feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, for the first time in a long time, we have a tree and decorations. I dont need to hide away, i dont feel angry at the world. I dont feel broken

But i do feel guilty. I feel guilty because i know so many other people who havent got their baby yet, i know this time of year is horrific for them. I feel guilty because i remember it all too well.

I feel guilty because it happened for me and not them

I know i went through the mill to get Little T, that i deserve to be happy, but once you suffer infertility, i think ot stays with you for life. I feel guilty for feeling jealous when someone announces a pregnancy. I dont even want another baby. But im still jealous. Infertilility is life long.

So, for those of you lucky enough to have all your dreams come true, enjoy tomorrow, cherish every moment. 

For those of you still waiting, do what you have to just to get through it. Hide, drink, rant, rave, avoid whatever hurts you. Dont worry about letting people down, theyll forgive you.

Merry Christmas

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

NHS Funded IVF

NHS Funded IVF

There has been a lot of press recently regarding whether or not the NHS should fund IVF. 

Many CCGs have cut all funding and all but 3 of those that do provide IVF do not provide the recommended 3 cycles.

Funded IVF has become dependant on postcode. The ability to access IVF is now wealth based, not need based.

Ive been following articles regarding this subject on facebook. Reading the comments has either made my blood boil or made me weep…

‘Infertility isnt life threatening’. No, but the side effects (depression being a big one) are.

‘Infertility isnt an illness.’ Yes it is. Something doesnt work that should meaning a baby cannot be made the traditional way.

‘Having a child is a choice’. Nope. I NEEDED to be a Mummy. I NEEDED a biological child.

‘IVF shouldnt be funded as fostering/adoption is a better alternative.’ No. Simply not true. As above, for some, if not most, having a biological child isnt just a want, its a need.

‘If you cant afford IVF you shouldnt have children. Plain and simple’. By that logic there should be no child benefit, no child/working tax credits. If you lose your job your child should be taken away and given to a family who can afford them. In fact, unless you earn £X amount you shouldnt be allowed to concieve.

The majority of these arguments have been argued by couples able to concieve by the way.

Many of the arguments against funding revolve around it not being a medical need…tummy tucks, boob jobs, lipo, all provided on the NHS due to the mental health impact of not having these surgeries on a patient.

How is IVF different? A couple are not awarded funding willy nilly. There are so many hoops. Length of time trying, length of time living together, years of investigations, years of other treatments, smoker status, BMI. Its not an easy option. 

I totally agree that once you have a living child, the funding stops. However if that child is from a previous relationship i do think 1 cycle of IVF should be funded. At the moment, people are being punished for having step children, which doesnt allay the NEED for a biological child.

The other problem people have is, IVF doesnt guarantee a couple a child. Hate to break this to you, but nor does the tradtional method. Otherwise every time a couple had unprotected sex during ovulation, a woman would be pregnant.

There does need to be a national standard on how much a CCG is charged per cycle of IVF. That would help enormously as some areas are charged 3 times more than others. However, that issue should affect the patient. Ever.

The widespread cutting of funding means thousands of couples are left without any options. I was lucky. I was awarded 2 cycles. Used 1 and then borrowed money to go abroad, the rest of my IVF was funded by inheritance. I opted out of my second cycle to access better treatment abroad. That was my choice. Choice being the key word. No funding means no choice. 

Alcoholics, smokers and over eaters all have a choice. And whichever choice they make, the NHS is there to help. So why are infertile couples any different? 

They arent. 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx



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

But, what if?

But, what if?

Awesome bank holiday.

Down to Bristol to see the fam. Little T was a dream. Drinks were flowing, laughs a plenty were had by all.

But, i was late. A fair few days late. I mentioned this to Mr Me on Sunday, i couldnt possibly be pregnant, could I? 

Theres a 0.1% chance we could conceive on our own, and i thought we had avoided my fertile window. But we were worried.

In the last week we had come to a decision. We dont want another baby. We dont want to go through the anxiety of another rainbow pregnancy, we dont want to go through the IVF stress of will it/wont it in order to achieve a pregnancy. We dont want to risk another loss. Little T has seemingly not got Mr Me’s blood conditions or my asthma, would the next baby be as lucky? 

Our lives are pretty awesome just now. Little T is a great baby, sleeping through the majority of nights, happy and content. 

On a more selfish note, i cant face the 1st 8 weeks again, im enjoying being able to have a glass of wine, drink coffee, eating paté and soft cheese. I like being able to afford nice holidays and having a spare room. We work well as a 3, Mr Me and I have found our rhythm again. All in all life is pretty perfect.

Was that all about to change?

2 under 1? Really? What would we do? Financially it wouldnt really be viable. Id be permanently exhausted. A tandem pram costs a grand. How would i cope heavily pregnant with a 10/11 month old? 2 in nappies?!! The exhaustion of pregnancy, on top of parenting exhaustion? We were terrified.

The T word (termination) came up. It would be an option. But could i really go through with it after all we had been through? I didnt think so. 

Only one thing to do, test and find out.

Cue a family trip to the Trafford Centre and Boots. A latte later, and there i am peeing on a stick in a Costa coffee toilet. Classy but I had to know whether i could have a glass of wine at lunch!! 

Never ever have i hoped for a negative test. Those 3 minutes were agonising. 

1 line!! Whoop! Mr Me’s sperm hadnt made a miracalous recovery! Pass the wine!! In fact pass me 2. (It was nice wine)

So, what this taught me was: A, i really am not ready for another baby, and B, i need to get back on the pill ASAP but it looks like ive not ovulated so it may be a very long cycle!!! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

9-8, 5-8 (not a math problem)

9-8, 5-8 (not a math problem)

14 weeks! 

Little T burst his way into the world 14 weeks ago and forever changed our lives for the better! 

I really struggled with being a Mummy in the beginning. I found it hard to accept my new role, to accept the change in relationship between Mr Me and I. I was warned id be tired, but i didnt understand, i was warned it was hard, but i didnt understand.

Now i do. Im permantly tired, thats the new normal, so i can cope with it. Sleep deprivation is a thing of the past, because we are used to it. For example, i got 3ish hours last night whereas Little T got 11. Go figure. Think i was waiting for him to wake for a feed all night, not daring to believe he’d sleep through.

One off or is this the start of 11 hour nights? The latter would be amazing but i wont count on it, yet.

Since allowing myself to love him, im finding my new role as Mummy, so rewarding. I love watching him learn and grow, although it seems to be going so so fast. Everyday, his smile melts me, i cannot believe we made something so so beautiful and clever.

The last few years seem like a bad dream. Ill never forget Milo and Millie, how could i? They helped shape who i am, but our rainbow, Little T, glows through those dark clouds, and makes those times seem so distant, that the grief is manageable, the pain dulled somewhat.

So at 14 weeks, my little man can smile and grab, hes so close to rolling over but hates tummy time. He loves music, and the car, he has a favourite toy, and being the centre of attention is his forte. He is the most amazing waste of time, i can spend hours just watching him. I cant believe how lucky i am.

Im so happy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Its all starting to make sense

Its all starting to make sense

I went back to counselling this week. Mr Me made the referral when i was struggling. In the hour i was there, i managed to cover the time from his birth to my struggles to feeling better.

Over the course of this week ive realised my next session will be my last. I dont need that level of support anymore. I know how to manage my issues now. I can self analyse, know what will make me anxious and why and how to cope with that.

I know ill probably need to be medicated for depression for most of my life but im ok with that. Im ok to admit that i suffer with anxiety and depression, the same way i suffer with and am medicated for asthma. Its just part of my life. Im at peace with that.

Actually, im happy. Im happy i finally have my baby, happy that, despite all the crap, Mr Me and I made it. Happy im a mummy, a wife, a friend.

Worry, sleep deprivation and self doubt are creeping away. Little T is nearly 12 weeks old (oh my god i have a 3 month old) and hes thriving (now that hes being treated for reflux) 

Now i get more than 2 hours sleep a night, im more rational, more confident. In the last couple of weeks we have settled into a nice routine. 

Ive joined more classes, i spend more time just enjoying Little T and watching him learn and develop. I no longer constantly hold myself up to the impossible standard i set myself.

I now love being his mummy. Now that ive stopped worrying about losing myself, ive found my feet. Im still me, still put my make up on, do my nails when i can, go out with my friends, spend quality time with Mr Me. Im me AND a mummy. 

Now i know why we fought so hard for so long, now i know i was right to want this so much.

Ive stopped caring if i get all the washing done, stopped worrying about keeping on top of the housework. It gets done. Not today though. Today ive spent all day snuggling, because he needed me, and i needed him. There wont always be days where we can just snuggle so these days are special.

My family is special. And i love being a mummy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx