Another story II

Last month I wrote a list about a trauma I experienced. I now know some of you would like to tell your story and you don’t because you don’t have a website or a blog to put it on. NOW you do! I’m hosting stories (anonymous and public) on my blog. I can truly say from my own experience that the world will listen and be kind ❤️ Message me or tag someone who has a story the world needs to hear. (Ps. a list will do... no need for essays or eloquent prose) I’ve been really moved by the messages I’ve had from people telling me my post helped them somehow. It made the nerves worthwhile. I hope you’ll share too! There's no deadline. Just know this offer is always there.

Sometimes if you expose your vulnerability, someone else will feel comforted. It’s like we’re all in this boat together.
— Tavi Gevinson

The second anonymous story I've received is below ...thank you to the person who shared this. You can read other stories here and here. 

  • One in seven couples are struggling with infertility in the UK, yet it often feels like you are totally alone.
  • We are that one in seven but we’re also lucky in that we knew why. What was misdiagnosed as a cyst was actually an infection the size of a grapefruit.
  • It left me in daily pain and with severely damaged Fallopian tubes. If I was ever to fall pregnant naturally it would likely be ectopic. Needless to say, we never fell pregnant.
  • It was not that we left it too late, that I put my career first or any of those other stereotypes.
  • Please don’t judge people going through fertility treatment or make assumptions. You don’t know why they’re there.
  • Often they don’t know why they’re there, infertility is described as ‘unexplained’ which must be a particularly difficult diagnosis to deal with.  
  • It’s not always covered on the NHS and is at the local authorities discretion. My friend who lives 2 miles away got funding when we didn’t. Purely down to our postcode.
  • The IVF process is all-consuming. You can have daily scans, injections, tablets, supplements, all sorts. I even had a drug to sniff!
  • I took my injection to trigger the release of my eggs on a tube platform at London Bridge as it had to be bang on 11 pm.
  • Who knows how your partner feels about all of this when it’s not happening to their body. Even though it may not be happening physically to them don’t underestimate the emotional toll.
  • We had to have the conversation about what to do with our embryos if one of us died. Just how you’d always imagined trying to conceive. How romantic!
  • It’s a lot more about numbers than I thought. How many follicles grow, how many eggs collected, how many are fertilised, how many make it to embryos on day 3 or day 5. After the egg collection, the numbers are decreasing day by day.
  • You wait for a phone call each morning for an update until they say come in for a transfer. At any point, you could be out of the game. But all the while you’re pretending nothing is going on and trying to carry on like normal.
  • At the same time, your hormones and emotions are all over the shop every person you see has a bloody baby on board badge. Your whole social feed is people who seem to just look at each other and get pregnant. But you never know what goes on behind closed doors.
  • If you take one thing away from this story let it be this - never, ever ask someone “So when are you going to have a baby?”. The number of assumptions in that single question is enormous.
  • I never announced we were having a baby because I would have hated to cause someone else that pain.
  • I got told I was pregnant by my husband because I had made up my mind it hadn’t worked and couldn’t bring myself to even look at the test (luckily he did look at the stick!).
  • Even if it is successful you never quite relax. My pregnancy was full of anxiety. Although was more reassured when I could feel movements. It’s a bit like the phone calls all over again you just want to make it to the next scan, the next milestone.
  • We didn’t buy any baby stuff until after the 20-week scan. We didn’t talk about names until 27 weeks when more than 90% of babies born at this point survive. I’m not sure other people are this paranoid but perhaps I’m wrong.
  • I don’t think I actually let myself believe we were going to have a baby until we brought him home from the hospital. You get so caught up in the not getting your hopes up you can forget to be excited.
  • Now I hug my little one tight and think how lucky I am, trying to drink in the whole experience, knowing there probably won’t be another chance. I am making the most of my one shot and I’m forever grateful that I have him.

If you are affected by this post please visit The Fertility Network.