Four days to go and I am in absolute hell, we both are, it started last night, by far the hardest night so far.
Never mind the injections, the bruises, the scans and the swelling…
This waiting game is killing us both. Neither of us have had a decent night sleep since we started and most nights are sleepless or full of nightmares and weird dreams.
We’re at a time when “normally equipped” people wouldn’t even know they’re pregnant, they probably wouldn’t think about it.
The world, which seemed better for a little while (thanks to the lovely hormones), is once again filled with pushchairs and babies, children laughing or having tantrums and I can’t bear it.
I’m completely exhausted, I am over injecting myself with blood thinners, every night, being bruised and in pain and to top it all I have been having cramps for the last two days…
Probably sounds like I’m complaining. This is exactly what IVF is, not some romantic storyline in Coronation Street where love may conquer all and they will probably get their baby dream or raise the cash in two months.
In any case, the character won’t spend her life hiding from everyone who’s had a child and traumatised forever if her dream doesn’t come true, blaming herself, wondering why her or thinking she’s just not worthy. Dear writers, please also note that not all partners of infertile ladies go round calling them crazy and obsessed… Also, infertility happens to men too. Why is infertility always portrayed so badly on tv?
IVF is feeling every twinge in your body (which you don’t normally notice) and wondering what’s happening, being scared to go to the toilet 20 times a day, just in case, having the biggest and sorest boobs and not knowing if it’s normal, hormones or just that dreaded time of the month coming again. Not wanting to go to sleep for more nightmares and even worse, waking up to bad news.
I know, I know, I asked for this, well I didn’t. I would just like to be a mum, the most natural thing in the world, yet it appears to be the hardest things to achieve for people like us.
I was let down by the NHS ironically after getting pregnant seven years ago and left to deteriorate for two years after losing my baby. It took me seven years to try to rectify their mistakes, put myself back together ish and save up to have a go at this torturous process (we must be mad!) Seven years of my life doing this.
Trust me, whatever way some people may be trying to glamourise this process online with semi naked pictures of themselves or showing themselves injecting (we all know what an injection is!), there is nothing glam about having IVF.
Worse than the people doing that are the people advertising themselves for being the best in the “business”. Believe me, unless you are going to sit next to me every minute of everyday and tell me 100 % that my poppets have implanted and are safe for the next 9 months, you can do one! And you can also keep your miracle cures!
I don’t believe you or your diets, your magic wands stories, your acupuncture sessions, I don’t believe you care for one minute. Shame on you for cashing in and profiteering from the misery of infertility. (That is my personal opinion of course.)
If you cared that much about helping us have babies, you should do it for the true cost (according to Professor Winston, you could do this for about £1300). So why aren’t you?
In the mist of my trauma this morning, I turned the radio on and an advert came on for our clinic. It goes: “we’ll be with you every step of the way… we are family…” I burst out laughing!
Let’s see what £6500 has got us from our “family”.
Medication, 5 scans, a 30 mins procedure for egg collection including a cuppa and a biscuit, keeping our poppets for 2 days whilst they went from eggs and tadpoles to 4 cells by themselves, two phone calls, another visit for 20 mins where the poppets were returned to me.
Number of visits with an actual consultant, a real “fertility expert”, one, for 30 minutes. We didn’t see the same nurse twice, no continuity, it’s a huge “family”!
The quickest way I’ve ever spent that much money.
No moral support (we wouldn’t want to give you any false hope, or empathy, or reassurance, or anything), none of the counselling advertised in the package, when I rang and asked for it I was told I could probably get a phone call from the counsellor or a skype call but it would take a few days so ask me instead, said the random nurse.
This two weeks wait is the hardest part and yet I’ve not heard from the clinic at all, they say they’re “with you every step of the way”, so why aren’t they checking up on you, just one call half way to say how are you, any questions/ worries, nothing.
Not much more care than your standard NHS procedure really despite paying a lot, oh and I forget, one cheap pregnancy test, in a little foil wrapping. Not even a posh clear blue I hear you say! Nope, not even that.
Well you’ve guessed it, I’m over tired, I’m still in some discomfort and I am absolutely bricking it as the time draws closer and I don’t know what’s what.
Here’s the thing, cramping could be a good sign, it could also be a bad sign, massive boobs are definitely a result of being pumped like mad with hormones and could be the beginning of another time of the month, or it could be because I am 12 days pregnant… I’m not crazy but I am very anxious and I do wonder if we were advised as well as we could have.
It’s been a very fast and lonely process. We are NOT family at all.
I’m not lashing out, for all we know the Popps are both fine and this is all normal, even the mess in my head right now.
But other than following the very clinical and cold process and just “doing their jobs”, it wouldn’t be down to the “loveliness” or the “eclectic approach” of our clinic. It’s basically “biology” as Shaun told me last night, no luck comes into it, it either works or it doesn’t.
I feel that our clinic could have been a little bit more informative, the only time they were was when I called to complain that one of the nurses I had for a scan told me that I would only get one embryo transferred back as an NHS patient. Not that I have anything against anyone having IVF on the NHS, on the contrary, lucky you. But, I have just spent two years making 650 Cuties to get to this day, so please, the least you can do is know that I’m paying for this and I do have a say in what happens to me.
I know that there are different processes that we could have discussed or been advised about (now with hindsight) yet nothing was really discussed. We didn’t get any real advice, we had an endo scratch because we heard it might help, we didn’t get offered the choice to have our eggs artificially fertilised which could have got us more than two poppets, we don’t know why only two worked. Don’t ask them, they don’t know. Probably better we got through the whole process again than have some spare poppets. It makes perfect business sense.
I know that so many people go abroad for IVF but we chose not to. This was basically because I feared that with Lupus and my other issues I would be best served by staying close by and asking the clinic and my consultants to communicate… They didn’t speak once.
My local rheumatologist has been very helpful as always, the clinic hasn’t taken any lead from them and I’ve had to remind them about taking blood thinners and my usual treatment every step, no “tailored” “personalised” service at all. No one has checked my bloods.
It looks like we could have had a holiday abroad, better weather and possibly better bedside manners for a third of the price and no real difference in our treatment.
I’m sorry, I really need to vent my frustration and this is what this post is, but it’s also the truth.
I’ve read a few stories (my bad) mainly about other clinics online. People promising you 16 embryos in one cycle… all good to go or freeze, you must be mental! We are desperate to have a child, not genetically modifiable lab rats for you to practice with. My clinic told me that freezing embryos was almost always a bad idea even though they charged me £500 in advance for the eventuality, so why do some clinics say it’s better to use frozen embryos? Go figure.
Yes, we did do our research, we looked at success rates, we looked at cost, but really unless you go through this, you can’t anticipate what your experience will be like. Some people might be happy with one place, others not. It’s a very personal experience so don’t let anyone influence you too much, and don’t be fooled or blinded, listen to your gut feeling.
If I need it and if there is a next time, it’s going to be very different and somewhere else.
As difficult as it is to remain hopeful I am really trying to and of course, it’s not over til the Poppets stop swimming and if they do, I’ll blame myself and it’s going to be even tougher. It will take time to get over this, for my mind and also for my body, it will take time for Shaun too. This has affected him a lot more than I could ever have imagined.
Sadly, we’ll pay again if we can afford to, because I’m desperate. I realise how sad that sounds but if you have kids, maybe you can relate.
Just don’t be fooled into thinking that I don’t know what this is, it isn’t “family”, it’s business.
No money, no help… no help, no hope.
Thank you to our online friends as always for your support. Thank you for keeping me sane Shaun, I couldn’t do this without you. I’m sorry in advance if I let you down.
Hang on please little Poppets.