I really thought writing my IVF journey would have been easy for me but as I put pen to paper (or finger to keypad!) I realised how hard it would be to write about such a sensitive subject a subject that I know many couples will be living right now and although we’re out the other side the raw emotions from IVF still remain.
I suppose our journey started when I was 26 and had been diagnosed with endometriosis i can clearly remember the consultant saying we may struggle to get pregnant and that my mind was far from having a family I just assumed when we wanted to start a family it would just happen and why not, little did I know the journey that was lying ahead of us.
Then I hit 29 and all of a sudden I started to notice all these pregnant women and all my friends and clients were falling pregnant ‘on their first try’. We decided the time was right and we wanted to start our little family but I found myself in this constant cycle of having a period and feeling like a complete failure. Then being surrounded with more pregnant friends, everyone seemed to be pregnant and have these gorgeous baby bumps, you smile and say congratulations but deep down the heartache is unbearable. The one thing that really helped get me through was to not compare our journey to anyone else’s as you never know what other people have gone through themselves it helped me to stay positive and not let it eat me away.
After all the usual fertility tests we were put forward for IVF and started straight away at Bourn Hall in Cambridgeshire we had the lovely Dr Mauro as our consultant. I approached the first round completely blind with only my cousin for advice (she has beautiful twins by IVF). Wow if I thought the emotions were high before, this part of our journey was a complete mind f**k. Having a needle phobia was just the beginning, the hormones made me feel like I had pmt x1000 and the constant night sweats whilst down regulating were such a joy! Our first cycle was classed as a long cycle and boy they weren’t wrong from start to finish it takes about two months, after too many hospital visits being prodded and pocked we had our egg collection and we got 5 embryos but only 3 fertilised and they decided to put 2 back in, after the dreaded tww (two week wait) we got our first ever positive test yay. We lived in this lovely bubble for a week to then discover we had had a missed miscarriage, my heart broke into a million pieces.
Our second cycle was a blur we saw a different consultant who didn’t change a thing and if I’m completely honest I didn’t give myself enough time in between cycles and my head wasn’t in it, really I just went through the motions. We did manage to get 7 embryos after a slightly traumatic egg collection (I reacted to the anaesthetic) 4 made it to blastocyst and two were put back on day 5. This cycle unsurprisingly didn’t work and we was back to square one.
Our third a last NHS round was only a year after our very first round and my mindset was extremely different this time I went back to the original consultant Dr Mauro and took complete control over my protocol we decided to do a short cycle with less drugs, we payed privately for a pipelle scratch and I was doing yoga and meditation, electro acupuncture and had changed my diet so I was eating clean and nutritious food. This round we got the most amount of eggs (13) and 7 fertilised. This round also gave us 5 embryos to freeze. The TWW was very calm I continued doing yoga and when it came to taking the test I was in complete shock that it was positive after everything we had been through we were blessed to have a successful round and our beautiful little boy came into our lives.
We planned our wedding and got married in Ibiza in 2016 straight after we decided to start trying for our second child, after a year of trying we agreed to use our Frosties and have a FET (frozen embryo transfer) which was self funded and very similar to the long cycle just no egg collection feeling positive I was completely taken back when the cycle was unsuccessful. Don’t get me wrong I knew I was so lucky to have our son and I kept telling myself there were women who just wanted to be mummy’s and how selfish was I to feel disappointed but I didn’t feel complete and the yearning to have another baby was back.
I went back to the clinic with my mum for support and spoke with my consultant and we decided to go straight for another FET round which would be our last financially and for me emotionally I didn’t think I could do it again. So waiting for my period to arrive and waiting and waiting......... little did I know that a little natural miracle was already growing in my belly and she is now 3 months old!
I know I’m one of the lucky ones my heart breaks when I hear of women struggling to become mummy’s I was once that women who’s friends didn’t want to tell them they were expecting, who’s parter had to hold tight when someone else had announced they were pregnant and who cried themselves to sleep because they felt like a complete failure as a women.
The journey through IVF can be extremely lonely at times and no matter how much support you get no one truly understands what your going through. I found speaking to like minded women really helped me the website www.fertilityfriends.co.uk is brilliant I’m still friends with a group of incredibly supportive ladies who understood the emotions I was going through. Taking time out for myself was so important and crying when I needed too most of all don't give up hope, I really believed I needed to change my cycle and luckily I had a great consultant who listened and allowed me to. Go with your gut feeling and keep telling yourself "I WILL BE A MUMMY”