There’s been a distinct lack of posts on here this past year (anyone noticed?!) with only six written to date. I’ve been feeling a bit indifferent and detached from writing, as much as I enjoy it, and I’ve felt less and less need to write on here. It filled a space for me before, I had lots of free time before Olivia started school, it gave me something to do while she was at nursery, napping during the day or if I just wanted to ignore her (!) It gave me some purpose and a chance to use my brain (tiny Homer Simpson brain that is). And also, with our fertility problems, it helped writing everything down, I found writing very cathartic. But now I work two days a week my time is taken up with lots of other things and the few times I’ve sat down to write, nothing has come. And also, if I’m completely honest, I’m a bit bloody bored of writing about my fertility nonsense. Quite frankly, I’ve had enough of it.
There were two Social Media campaigns run recently that I got involved with, miscarriage awareness week and fertility week. I had a look through all the posts linked with the relevant hashtags 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. Afterwards 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. 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) I wish we had 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.
In the last three years, I’ve found myself seeing and wishing on all the signs possible. Be it a clear blue sky, a shooting star (yep, I’ve seen one in this time), a lone floating dandelion seed, a perfect shaped cloud, I’ve seen and I’ve wished on them all, and yet, I still find myself stuck in an eternal groundhog cycle. The same pattern of roller-coaster emotions every month. I get my period, I despair, then I have hope during the fertile window, then there’s the horrendous two week wait, then I get pains, signals, signs, I wish, I am pessimistic but I hope and then, as always, my period comes. This on repeat for the last three years.
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. Here are ten things for you that I discovered along the way.