Every now and then there are Social Media campaigns run in the world that is Instagram, that I like to join in with. I don’t tend to get involved or have the time for these things (too busy pretending to be busy) but two that were run before Christmas, miscarriage awareness week and fertility week, I felt I had something to contribute towards. The idea of campaigns like these is that you share a post talking about the fertility problems you are going through or have experienced and you use the relevant hashtag so people can look through all the linked posts. The overall outcome being that hopefully in sharing, it will join people together and make others feel less alone. After taking part I had a look through all the posts and read many honest and open stories. Stories from women who are desperate for a child, who have various problems that prevent them from having one naturally and whose only option is assisted help. After reading I had a bit of a lightbulb moment (well for me it’s more like someone slowly turning a switch on and off, repeatedly, for a long time) I realised that in hindsight we bowled headlong into IVF when we didn’t need to. There is nothing wrong with my husband or I per se – well, nothing that has flagged up on any kind of test. We easily conceived our first child we just frustratingly can’t conceive a second, we have unexplained secondary infertility. My point being that I realised we didn’t have to have IVF – we chose to have it. Now that I know what a stress and strain IVF is, I think (we both think) we should have waited before going down that route. There were perhaps other avenues we could have explored before IVF. Hindsight eh. Off the back of this lightbulb ping I was pondering about what I wish I could rewind the clock for and go back and tell myself. Here are six things that I wish had been on my radar four years ago.
I had the opportunity recently to share my fertility story over on a site called My F Word. The host, Selina has been through several years of fertility problems, and has a section where others can share their tales on her site. There’s a real mix of lives in there, I urge you to go and have a read if you are experiencing similar issues. For me personally, for a while now I’ve been wanting to get the last few years written down, for my own benefit but also for any other women out there experiencing secondary infertility, to hopefully see that you are not alone. Here is my post.
After our missed miscarriage, we flew on holiday. Not the best time to go away but hey, these things don’t give a heads-up or warning, do they? Timing aside, in hindsight the space was really good for us, just what we needed as we were away from our everyday lives back home. Whilst trying to deal with what had just happened, towards the end of our trip, my husband started to write ‘a plan’. He began writing notes, a to do list as such, covering what our goals were, as a couple and individually. Things that we wanted to achieve, something for us, and for me to focus on after our heartache. Sometimes when you experience a loss, it can help to have something to work towards, something to get you back on track.
We’re ten months down the line from when we made the final decision to go for IVF and whilst I’m no expert on it, I know a heck of a lot more about the whole process, than back when we started. It’s been a real learning curve for me and my husband. There’s so much you’re not aware of before you take the plunge, despite probably the majority of us knowing friends or family who have had to have IVF. Pre treatment, I somewhat naively just though you went in to your clinic and they magically did something with your sperm and egg, and VOILA!! OK maybe not quite but, I didn’t know about the daily injections, or having to have a general anaesthetic so they can collect your eggs, and I definitely didn’t know about the emotional roller-coaster that it all turns out to be. It’s IVF but so much more to boot. A lot of which you don’t or won’t have considered beforehand. Obviously I’ve learnt a whole load more, but here are ten main things for you.
When you finally make the decision you want to do IVF, that’s just the first hurdle, next you have to choose your clinic. And that process can be really tough as there are so many amazing places out there with their own selling factors, so where do you even start? How do you decide which one is best for you? Should you go aboard for treatment? I went through a bit of a process when it came to choosing ours, but ultimately it fell down to four main factors which I’ve shared with you below.