Sunday, 21 May 2017

Our (in)fertility Story


I've thought long and hard about writing this post and I know some people will see this as oversharing. Please know I don't write this for sympathy but I was reminded yesterday of the power of stories. Particularly the power of stories from the in the midst instead of from a place of resolution. 


Rising Strong - Brene Brown
Brene Brown

 Besides, this blog is meant to be my space on the internet and it would be wrong to ignore what is currently a huge part of our lives right now.So this is our story and I'm telling it. I also hope that in sharing this I help somebody. That by sharing, someone won't feel as alone as I have felt at times in this journey. Side note, I'm not going into certain details of my relationship with Andy or anything like that, I do think somethings just don't need to be shared! 



I have always wanted to be a mum, for as long as I can remember. When we got married we decided to enjoy the first year, just us and then try for a baby. But, obviously I was impatient so it was more like 9 months. Most of what I'd heard from people around me was that getting pregnant was easy, so I told myself the voice in the back of my head telling me something was going to go wrong, was just me being a worrier and assumed I'd be pregnant within a month or two (I now know on average it can take between 12-18 months regardless). While I tried to tell myself that I wouldn't be obsessive, this is me, so of course, I tracked things on an app and kept records and honestly, now I'm glad I did. 

In December I was late, that never happens. Several negative tests later I went to the doctors. Where the nurse proceeded to make me cry. She started with "Well, those tests are very accurate so you're obviously not pregnant" (a lovely way to talk to someone who has just said they want to have a baby) then gave a long lecture on being obsessive, worrying too much and how I should relax (one day I might compile a list of things not to say to someone who is trying to conceive, this would be the top!) Then ended with, "aren't you a bit too young to try for a baby?" I left in tears and vowed to change surgeries. 

Six months into trying and my cycles were everywhere. Which for me was the bigger than concern than not yet being pregnant. So having changed surgeries, we went back to the doctors. Andy accompanied me this time because I'm pretty passive and would have accepted a brush off. 

This time, they were fantastic. He suggested it was perfectly normal, that these things can take 12-18 months but they'd send me for initial blood tests to check there wasn't anything "glaring". Well, it turns out there was something.

Three days after my first blood test, the surgery rang to say they needed to discuss my results. Naturally, I freaked out and wasn't placated by being told that there was a 2-week wait for an appointment. There's an ongoing joke at work that I am useless at asserting myself, not this time. I rung the next day and got an on the day appointment. 

The GP we saw that day was absolutely amazing. The blood test had shown abnormally low hormone levels (and coincidentally, Vit D so he suggested I go somewhere sunny, I mean, ok.. can you give me a doctor's note for that??). The plan of action was to send me for another blood test at a later stage that month. But then he asked how long we'd been trying, around 8 months at this point. I held my breath for "well, you'll have to wait until the 12-month mark". But instead, he said, "life is too short. You have better things to do, have these tests and we'll refer you" I could have kissed him.

So last week my second blood tests came back. The same results, unfortunately, we saw a different GP. Who said, "you'll have to wait until 12-months". Again, I think I'm developing some sort of Mumma-bear instincts for my unborn babies because for once, I was assertive and insistent they refer us. 

The 12-month mark is the stage at which we are classed as infertile. Hence the brackets in my post title. 

So, now we wait, they may well push back and make us wait until September. They can also take up to 18-weeks to see us. For me, the patience and the waiting are the worst part. They are definitely not my strong point. Also, it's rare that I don't have a plan so I'm floundering at this point. 

So what do we do now? We wait, and we pray. I'm definitely learning how to pray for this and not run to other people to do all the supporting. While we wait I'm going to keep tracking so I feel like we've got all the facts when we see the specialist. Hilariously, my friend said on Friday if anyone was going to be the perfect patient for this kind of thing it would be me! I'm also looking into what changes I can make to my diet and potentially acupuncture.

How do I feel? Mostly sad, I'm grieving for the life I expected this time last year. I'm sad that my body isn't doing what I hoped it would do and as a result, I feel like I've let Andy down. I feel angry. But I'm also trying to feel hopeful and thankful for Andy, for the unwavering love and support of our family and friends, for proactive, kind doctors and the ability for us to get these test and get these answers.  

I'm sorry for this blabbering, essay of a post. If you've stayed with me this far, thank you for letting me tell our story. 


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