Hearing others’ fertility and IVF journeys is becoming a regular thing for me now. Probably because I’m now pretty open about our own journey. People may think “But Sunita, you now have two wonderful daughters, so why feel upset about doing IVF?”. The feelings are like scars; they’re with me forever. Although we’re blessed to have two of our own IVF miracles, why does hearing others’ fertility and IVF journeys still brings me tears?
Mumsnet has invited me to be interviewed alongside celebrity Izzy Judd (wife of Harry Judd from McFly). You can see or listen to our Facebook Live from 12pm-12.30pm on Wednesday 28 June 2017. You just need to like the Mumsnet FB page to join us. We’ll be chatting about our journeys to motherhood and the amazing blogger Kiran Chug from Mummy Says is compering our honest discussion. I know when I hear Izzy’s story face-to-face I’m going to remember how IVF felt for us too. I know there may be tears inside and out.
Different paths…One thing I know is that everyone’s IVF path is completely different. When I was invited to visit a new IVF clinic last year as a blogger, the Director of the clinic talked through all of the different forms of fertility treatment. It’s a very long list. I had no idea. When we went though IVF, there was only one option for us – natural IVF – so that’s what I chose to read about. The other day my friend told me how it took them six years to conceive. I always feel our differences in the stories, whether it’s how long it took, was it always successful or what medicine we had to take or how many blood tests we had to endure?
I remember that feeling too…You suddenly relate to other people who may be very different to you. You can somehow feel how they may have felt going through IVF treatment. I’ve put a lot of our rollercoaster ride into words on the blog and I often chat about IVF on the @luckythingsblog Instagram corner. On the blog, our story is quite a journey so I ended up writing about it in four parts. You can read part 1 of our IVF journey here.
It doesn’t matter who you are…When we first attended our appointment at CRGH in London, we remember seeing the diverse range of women and men in the waiting room. Many also seemed to be in their mid-thirties. They all seemed to be professionals or who were doing ok in their careers. When we left we were surprised to see that a lot of people seemed to be successful in other areas of their life. But it doesn’t matter who you are when you go through IVF or fertility treatment.
I‘m not you but I feel your pain…We are all different and we all live different lives. Although everyone has different fertility stories, I will always feel their pain. It’s a whole new level of empathy that I have grown. A whole new level of compassion. I get knots in my tummy when I hear others’ talk about their stories. It’s not that I don’t want to hear them but it generates an understanding of how they may have felt going through or what they’re currently going through.
We all share a similar emotional and physical pain. We had to go through the monthly disappointment of discovering we weren’t pregnant. We feel the anxiety that at any moment a pregnancy we’ve been wait for will be taken away from us in a second. We had to be disciplined with our medication and injections. That’s why I’m featuring other people’s IVF journeys on Lucky Things Blog. It’s about raising awareness of the different fertility routes and those different feelings. It’s also about the different ways to support yourself or others going through fertility treatment.
It really is more common than we think…I’ve discovered through blogging and being on Instagram that the more we talk about life’s ups and downs, the more normal these challenges can feel. According to the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) who monitors statistics in the UK, during 2013, in total 15,469 IVF treatments were experienced by women in just London. How does that statistic make you feel? I know it still shocks me how many women and men still have to go through fertility treatment to move closer to their dreams of becoming parents.
We just want or wanted the same thing…I’ll still feel tearful on the outside and the inside when I hear others’ fertility stories as it reminds me that we all just wanted or want the same thing – we want to be parents. We want to be able to hold our own baby. We want to watch our own children grow. We want to know what our own children would look like. So many things that we want but feel so impossible when you go through IVF treatment.
Maybe it’s taught us something about ourselves…I often ask people about this when they feature their IVF journey on Lucky Things Blog. At times during our IVF journey I felt very weak. I didn’t feel in control. I felt there were so many unknowns. Looking back the whole journey reminds me of how resilient I can be, how calm I can be, how it’s OK to focus on hope and be grateful for the good and simple things in life. I know our IVF treatment has also made me who I am today.
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