Hello, hope your week is going ok. Well, here’s part two of our IVF journey. I’ve decided to share our story and as it’s kind of complicated, it’s appearing on Lucky Things blog in a few posts. If you missed part one, you may want to read it first (just a quick click here).
Time to sort out the main issue…
Following on from the HSG test, we soon found out what was the problem. Me. Let’s just say that things wouldn’t be able to get where they needed to go to then try and become a little magical embryo. The consultants told me that I would need to have an operation to avoid having ectopic pregnancies. So we knew I would need to get “my body in shape” if we wanted to have a baby one day.
In July 2010, I had my first gynae operation to sort out the main issue. The consultants were hopeful that they wouldn’t have to operate too much and we could start trying for a baby afterwards. It was going to be a minor procedure and I’d be back to myself within a few days. I was weirdly looking forward to getting the operation out of the way. Once I recovered, we could start thinking about babies again and I wouldn’t risk having an ectopic pregnancy.
Apart from the fertility tests, it was the first time I’d really been in hospital. My Mum’s proud how my brother and I rarely had to be taken to hospital when we were little. The only time was when I was about five. I was rushed to hospital on a windy day as I caught my thumb in the kitchen door.
I grew up around hospital life as both of my parents worked at the local hospital so it didn’t feel like a strange environment. I sympathised with hospital teams as my Mum and Dad trained as nurses so I knew how hard nurses worked to look after people. I had my operation at UCLU in central London. It was a familiar area of London for me. There was something comforting about it. Hubby Mr. H and my Mum chaperoned me to UCLU for my first operation.
Waking up feeling very vulnerable…
When I woke up after the operation, I was told they had to do more work than planned. It wasn’t just the general anaesthetic that caused me to be emotional; I was in flood of tears hearing how it ended up being a bigger operation. It didn’t help that I was kept in the holding ward for hours as there weren’t any beds available on the recovery wards. I was desperate to see Mr.H. but he was on another floor waiting for me. I felt very alone. Little did I know how how anxious he was feeling not being able to see me soon after my surgery.
One nurse in the holding ward felt really sorry for me.Visitors weren’t usually allowed in the holding ward. She knew I’d been there too long and told me “you’ve been here too long, I’m going to get your husband down here to see you”. My hero Mr.H appeared and after a gentle hug, I broke down into tears again and told him what happened during the operation. I suddenly wanted to see my big Brother who didn’t even know I was having an operation as I was so private about it all.
When I finally moved to the ward my Mum was also there to comfort me. My Brother had rushed over to see me from work. He’s a funny guy and made us all smile, even after I had a devastating operation. I always remember my Brother and Mr.H a joking about the cool view of London from the 14th floor. We love a good view of our city!
The only way to chase our dream…
The time soon arrived for us to hear more about what they had to do during surgery. After the operation, it was no longer possible for me to conceive naturally. The consultant reassured me that we could still have a baby, but only if we went down the IVF route. It was a weird feeling. I didn’t have a hysterectomy but I ended up having a part of ‘me’ removed. Mr.H reminded me “they had to do what they had to do” during surgery to ultimately protect me.
The consultant gave us the impression that due to my operation and my age we could start the process fairly quickly. She also told us how it would be easy for us to get funding for our IVF. Somehow that gave us a bit of hope. The operation was now over and we could move onto the next phase. We had no choice but to consider IVF if we wanted to start our own little family.
After visiting hours ended, my dearest Uncle A in Mauritius gave me a call. He’s the Uncle who gave the wedding speech as my own Dad couldn’t be there. My uncle has always been a wise figurehead in our family; he’s so well travelled. He adores Mr.H and loves chatting about premier league footy with him.
You could imagine how happy I was to hear his voice. He reassured me that IVF would be a good option. In his wise Morgan Freeman-like voice he told me “You know my dear, I watched a documentary the other day. IVF is so popular in Sweden and these days the doctors really know what they’re doing. So many people have their children this way“.
His comforting words gave me a thick layer of hope. Plus he reminded me about my favourite Swedish friend SC who always gives me the best hugs. So being reminded about those who loved me made me feel a bit ok although I had to stay over in hospital. As a lot of our close ones didn’t know about our fertlity tests and the operation that day, I realised I had to tell them what I’d just been through. I then fell asleep.
Working through a form of bereavement…
I’m blessed with some great uncles and aunties. I’m so glad they were there on our IVF journey. A few weeks after my recovery, my favourite uncle L in London explained to me that my operation was like going through a bereavement. I strongly disagreed. I reminded him that I didn’t have a hysterectomy and never had a miscarriage. I could still have children through IVF. I felt determined for the first time. IVF worked for other people. I was also telling myself I was OK about it all. I obviously wasn’t. I didn’t realise it was OK to not be OK.
I didn’t realise at the time but my Uncle L was right. Something had suddenly been taken away from me and I couldn’t get it back; the chance to have a baby naturally. So this was a heart-breaking time for Mr.H and me. I slowly acknowledged the loss as my body inside was physically different. Did I feel any less of a woman? I did and soon the feeling of embarrassment kicked in. Mr.H was also hurting as he had to see how upset I was during our journey so far.
Time to consider our options…
So we got our heads about the IVF process and switched into practical mode. We researched the funding options. Starting the process wasn’t easy after all. Our GP was lovely and really honest about the chances of us getting funding. It would be a lottery and we we willing to wait to find out if we won the prize to start IVF? We realised that going on the two-year NHS waiting list in our area could lessen our chances of IVF working. I was heartbroken as we just wanted to get on with it. Two-years was too long for us to wait. I was already in my mid-30s and my fertility clock was ticking away. So we decided to fund the IVF ourselves. We knew we couldn’t afford lots of tries but we had to give it a shot.
You can read part three of our IVF journey here. It’s pretty moving writing our story down. I still remember these moments so vividly. They’re a part of me.
Thank you so much for reading. Please share this post with others who might be interested in reading about it. All of your comments are very welcome too. The more I hear what Lucky Things readers think, the more I want to write…