My name is Liz, I am a 28 year old mother to my little man Theo and wife to my wonderful husband Dan and carer for our mini zoo. I work as a private nanny and live in Gloucestershire.
My husband and I decided once married we wanted to start a family, we never thought for a second that I would fall pregnant the 2nd month of marriage. I had an easy pregnancy, although I always measured around 5 weeks ahead or my due date. Theo was born a month early and the birth was fairly traumatic. The MW kept insisting that Theo was stuck in my U bend (bloody U bend, the cheeky cow) very apt considering hubby calls me Loo. Due to Theo being stuck and back to back, I was taken to theatre and they dragged the poor blighter out of me. The reason I tell you all this as hubby strongly believes that all my current medical issues, stem from Theo’s delivery. I have a feeling that Glandular Fever could have been a cause, but we will never know.
So jumping on 2 years, we decided it was time to start thinking about a sibling for Theo, after all we hadn’t done too bad a job with him so far. To start off with, we didn’t put too much thought or effort into TTC, after a couple of months my periods suddenly went crazy, and I mean bat shit crazy. I had many occasions where I had to round the boys up and fly home due to being so heavy, I was flooding and on some days confined to our home. I would have periods that lasted months, not just a little bit of bleeding over months, I’m talking loads. I was going back and forth to my GP on a weekly basis but to no avail.
Thankfully, we moved house, which meant moving GP surgeries, when joining the surgery we all had to go for a basic meet and greet type meeting. At the meet and greet, I totally lost my cool and had a mental break down on the nurse as I was worried that I could have had a miscarriage, after loosing clots the size of a golf ball and after passing a Decidual Cast (Google at you peril!!). Eventually my GP referred me to the Consultant Gynaecologist. The Gynaecologist introduced me yet again to the “Dildo Cam” and in doing so, informed me that I had small ovaries and barely any follicles. She said that I would need a Lap and Dye and a Hysteroscopy to investigate further, but it didn’t look good.
During the op, they found that I had a huge cyst on one ovary, loads of scarring which they would normally associate with having numerous other surgeries, “lazy” Fallopian Tubes and my ovaries were attached to my Pouch of Douglas (yes we all have one of these strangely named body parts). They removed the cyst, reconstructed my ovary and detached and sorted all my mangled insides.
A couple of months later, hubby and I had a review with the consultant, this is the time at which our hopes were well and truly crushed. She informed us that my AMH level was comparable to that of a 45 year old premenopausal woman, tubes were basically buggered and ovaries were tiny. The consultant said very bluntly, don’t wait around, go for IVF ASAP as no one knows how long my few measly remaining eggs will last. She sent us off with some paper work about her IVF clinic, told me that if by some miracle we do conceive, that it would more than likely end in an ectopic pregnancy and then shut the book on me, never to be seen again.
And this is where our IVF journey began. . . . .
I spent most my days researching clinics, drugs, talking to fellow IVF ladies and trying to work out what the hell to do next, and my evenings relaying my finds and persuading hubby that it was the best route to take. This is the time when I was most thankful for our pony, she was an escape and a place to retreat and cry without having to be around people and having to explain and talk about it. Only she had to go through the trauma of seeing my screwed up, red, blotchy tearful face.
After many tears and lots of discussions, we decided Cyprus was the place for us to try. We wanted to go abroad as we would at the least get a holiday if, God forbid, the cycle failed. It also worked out a lot cheaper than the £8k I was estimated by my consultant. We chose Cyprus as I grew up in Cyprus and felt my heart never really left the gorgeous island.
We had a short window of opportunity to get the cycle in before my son started school and then we would be tied to school holidays for the next 12 years. Around 2 months after the crushing blow from the consultant, we packed our bags and set off to Cyprus. The cycle itself was stressful, tiring, emotional and a bloody nightmare. I put it all down the specific clinic we chose and in hindsight, a smaller more personable clinic would have suited us better. We felt like cattle being moved about the place and fitting in around the other hundreds of patients being treated all at once. They managed to retrieve 7 follicle, which I was utterly gobsmacked about, after the consultant struggling to find even one follicle. 5 follicles contained eggs and at transfer day, I had two healthy looking embryos. One embryo was graded slightly better, so I had the one Grade A embryo transferred.
Unfortunately that embryo just didn’t stick, not even for a couple of days. As you can imagine we were totally heart broken and hadn’t a clue where to go from there. Unfortunately we still haven’t found our money tree, so doing round after round of IVF just isn’t possible for us.
We spent a couple of days/weeks in a bit of a post IVF trance. Hubby found injecting me every day hard and felt guilty that I’d had to go through so much with injecting, scans, medication etc. I felt riddled with guilt that due to my f*****d up body, I couldn’t produce a brother or sister for my son, and another child for my husband.
So today, we are coming to terms with the fact that unless by some miracle we win the postcode lottery or win the This Morning competition for £50k (its crazy the things you try when desperate), we simply wont be able to have a shot at IVF again.
I am currently popping around 15 different pills each day, mainly supplements and vitamins, nothing illegal, in case that sounded dodgy. I spend a fair amount of my spare time researching miracle cures, watching youtube videos on how to steam your foo to good health or how to massage your bits to release any toxins, and basically hoping and praying that by some miracle one of those little swimmers gets past my lazy tubes to my crappy ovaries on a day that my body chooses to release one of the very few left. Unfortunately time isn’t on our side as every passing month my egg numbers are depleting and my periods have now come to a total stand still.
I am awaiting blood results to see if anything can be done about my non-existent periods. I never thought after the horrific two years of bad periods that I would be so desperate for them to start again. If my periods could start back up then I think I would have just a glimmer of hope that by some miracle we could conceive naturally, against all odds.
Infertility is horrid for anyone going through it, I always thought how lucky I was, and still very much am to have my amazing son, but on the days when your child asks why all his friends have siblings but he doesn’t, or says that all he wants for Christmas is a brother, it totally breaks your heart into a million pieces. I was that mom in the school playground 2 weeks into his first year at school, having a total break down because the teacher has told me that my son has told his entire class that “mommy has a baby in her tummy”. I go through days when I decide to sell all Theo’s baby stuff, but have a total breakdown when going through it all. My biggest fear is that when Theo is older or when something happens to Dan or I, Theo won’t have anyone to support him or to be there for him.
Thankfully, I do have my two wonderful boys. Hubby is amazing and is my rock, and Theo keeps us well entertained each and every day. Poor hubby has had to deal with my hoard or animals which until the other week, I hadn’t released were my way of filling that big hole in my life.
My other huge support through out has been a friend that lives hundreds of miles away that I met through IVF forums, and all the other ladies on the forums. As much as I love my family and friends, no one truly understands the situation, or how it totally takes over your life. They seem to think it’s all happened and been forgotten.
Working as a nanny brings its own problems, I’m due to start a job looking after newborn twins as soon as they are born. I really couldn’t say how that going to effect me. I’m hoping that it gives me a bit of a baby fix that I need, but I fear it could totally break me. Only time will tell.
Well enough from me, I must dash off on my unicorn to find and tend to that blasted money tree.
Thinking of all you other ladies struggling through SIM. Love and strength to you all.