Neil and I have for the past few years been trying for a baby, it should be the most natural thing in the world, most people find it easy enough, but for us, it has not been so simple.
To go back a few years (12 to be precise) I had my left ovary and fallopian tube removed due to a cyst. It had grown so large on the top of my ovary that it twisted my fallopian tube causing such extreme pain that I was rushed to hospital where spent 11 days. After many tests they finally worked out what was wrong and by that time the only option was surgery to remove them.
Being a young woman at the time it was a hard thing for me to come to terms with. I at the age of 16 lost an ovary and was diagnosed with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It took me a long time to come to terms with it all, the surgery, the trauma of the experience, the hormones, how my body had changed, the surgical scars I now live with and the emotion that came along with it all. At the time I had so many questions… what does it mean? Can I still have children? How would I explain it to a future partner ? what is PCOS all about? Why me?
I do consider myself lucky in some ways, as life has gone on I have met the most loving and supportive man who told me that he didn’t love me for my ability to have a baby, he loved me for who I was ( I think it also helped that I make him laugh and I have an amazing rack…) Neil makes me feel truly loved and valued and I am so lucky to have him supporting me.
How could you not love him?
So Fertility has become an issue for us, with people around us having babies left right and centre I started to get those little pangs we women get and that desire in my heart to have a little baby of our own. It may sound silly but I just have this longing inside me to Give Neil a child, to make him a daddy, to see him smile as we take a little one though the adventures of life (i’m crying as I write this but that’s ok, emotions are good right?). I know none of it is easy but I have always seen myself being a mum and when someone tells you that you can’t have something or it is hard to get … you just want it even more!
I have a lot of people tell me things like … you’re jumping the gun with fertility treatment, you’re still young, stop stressing, it will be your turn next, oh that must be awful for you?. The worst one is when people tell you how bad it was when they tried for three months to get pregnant and how hard it was… Try three years!
As much as I understand it isn’t their fault and that my fertility issues aren’t anyone else’s problems, people just have no clue how emotionally draining and upsetting they can be with their comments, all the positivity in the world about it being my turn next won’t make me ovulate, so my frustration continues.
Our first Baby… Miss Riley
When I got my first appointment to go to the hospital the letter said that the appointment was in the “infertility clinic”. How my heart sank, I have been trying to be positive calling it the fertility clinic but when you see the word infertility there in black and white it’s hard to keep the spark of positivity alive, but I try.
My first clinic appointment was a pretty horrific experience if I am honest, off I goes to the hospital, hopeful and excited about the day to finally get moving on the whole process. I gave them a urine sample, had some blood taken, they weighed me, measured me and took all my observations then in I went to the consultant. She was lovely and had lots of questions, for me which I answered as best as I could. Then came the “if you just take your bottom half off and pop up on the bed”… Great.
The internal exam, followed by a smear test, other swabs, an internal ultrasound all went pretty smoothly then I heard the phrase “biopsy of your uterus lining”. Unaware of what to expect I said yeah sure go on ahead!! The pain was intense to say the least, the cold sweat broke out and the faint spell came over me I begun to shake and I really think my body went into shock! It felt like the seven dwarfs were mining diamonds inside my uterus!
Needless to say, I got through that undignified drama of being poked and prodded and only to be told that I needed to lose weight, a fact, that despite what people think, I am aware of! Having PCOS and an underactive thyroid make it difficult to lose weight but I am trying
There are no words to describe how attractive an assless gown makes you feel…
I do try to stay very positive through it all, I joke about it and make light of it all as I feel if I am too serious or over think I will stress myself too much and it will make it all worse, I don’t want to be baby crazy and just be 24/7 thinking about it, I will admit sometimes I get sad, sometimes I cry and sometimes I lose all hope of ever being a mother, we all have moments of weakness, I am just so lucky to have a supportive husband and family helping me through it all.
The whole thing has been a rollercoaster so far and it hasn’t even really begun, all the bloods, scans, samples, ultrasounds, biopsies, appointments, smears, x rays and hospital gowns that flash your ass to the world, they are the beginning and if we ever do get pregnant that will be a whole other adventure!
One thing I keep saying to people is never to take their fertility for granted, never assume things are going to be easy, never underestimate how amazing pregnancy is, but also never underestimate the heartbreak infertility can bring to other people. It is such a sensitive subject and I feel empowered by being able to talk about it, by telling my story of infertility, I hope it can make other people feel a little less afraid to talk about it and to be more open to dealing with issues, seeing their GP or just talking to someone.
Our baby journey continues….