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.
I have been sharing my fertility struggles for a while now over on Instagram and am always amazed by the love and support I get from women I’ve never met. I’ve had some wonderful messages of encouragement and sharing of stories, just from a post about what is happening with me. There is something incredibly powerful in this I think. A few months ago, after our failed frozen round I discovered there an actual (actual real life!) #TTC (trying to conceive) community on there, and after much searching and connecting with various people in similar situations, I came across Alice Rose.
I thought for a long while on how I could introduce Alice on here, because she doesn’t have a title as such, but she doesn’t really need one because just know that she is most definitely someone who is making waves on social media (namely Instagram) with her positive attitude covering the emotive topic of fertility problems and baby loss. Alice hosted an intimate event in London recently that I had the pleasure of going along to. Despite the intense summer heat (think a room full of women with humidity hair) Alice gave a brilliant talk about her life and how she found she wasn’t coping very well when she discovered that she couldn’t easily conceive or deal with the subsequent, ever stressful IVF treatment. She shared the tools she has, and is still using to help her cope day by day with these issues. I came away from her talk believing I could make some positive changes in my life. Her blog tag says, ‘I am on a mission to empower people during one of the hardest experiences in the world: a fertility struggle’, I caught up with her to find out a bit more about this mission of hers.
I’ve had two very different announcements this week. A pregnancy one on Facebook with the standard scan photo, and a text from a friend, telling me about her miscarriage. What a stark difference. How exciting and wonderful for one person, and how truly rubbish and shit for the other. This is sadly just the harsh reality of life. Off the back of this, a thought popped into my head, it’s June. It’s June. This is the month I was supposed to be due, the month I was supposed to have a new baby. How had I forgotten about this and now I’d remembered, how did I feel about this?
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.