Motherhood… or not.

I’ve never been one for a blog, and yet, here I am, writing a blog. It’s not actually my first blog as I did do a bit of a travel blog many moons ago. Still, it’s my first serious blog so bear with me if it’s not fluid. I’m sure I’ll get better.

I have decided to write this as I’m about to go through what many women go through and yet, it doesn’t seem to be openly discussed. IVF. In vitro fertilisation. I’m not sure why we don’t talk about it. Maybe it’s the uncertainty of it all. Maybe it’s because it means laying bare our inadequacies, our inability to produce a child. Surely that’s what women are meant to do? Have children? Maybe it’s just a lack of understanding. Even as I’m writing this I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it all. The last few years have been a rollercoaster of emotions. Being told I can’t have children, then being told I might be able to have children, then getting pregnant, then having a miscarriage, then not being able to get pregnant again, then being told I qualify for IVF, then being told I’m too late, then being told they can just squeeze me in. As I said, it’s been a rollercoaster. And I’m sure my journey has been fairly easy compared to some.

I think the strangest thing for me is the lack of discussion. It’s funny how women are actively encouraged not to tell anyone about a pregnancy until 3 months. This is because there is a high risk of miscarriage within the first term. So does that mean that we are not allowed to get excited, not allowed to share our joy with those we love? But this also means we can’t share our grief when things don’t go the way we planned. Grief is personal, yes, but a problem shared and all that. How do you tell someone you had a miscarriage if you didn’t even tell them you were pregnant? It’s like we’re not allowed to share. We have to go through the ordeal by ourselves. Ok, so maybe with a couple of other people – husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, etc. but my family is wider than that. My friends are my family. Talking about these things is cathartic. It helps us to heal.

Anyway, I digress, I’m not here to talk about miscarriage, I want to talk about IVF. Before I got signed up I can honestly say I had no idea what it was all about. I imagined men in white coats shaking things around in test tubes and didn’t really think any further than that. Reality hit when the box of medication turned up on my doorstep. Sorry, I say medication… what I actually mean is needles. A massive box of needles. Despite the fact I start injecting myself tomorrow morning, I am still not completely sure what I am injecting myself with. My primitive understanding is that it is some sort of hormone suppressor. I have to stop my body doing what it wants to do, i.e. ovulate, so that in a week’s time I can start injecting myself with another drug to induce ovulation, but on a grand scale. I think that’s pretty much the gist of it.

My body is going to start to change shape, my hormones are going to be all over the place, logistically I have to travel backwards and forwards between North Wales and Shrewsbury for scans and blood tests and somehow, I have to carry on as normal because the world does not stop just because I am going through IVF. And then, at the end of it all, I might not even get pregnant. In fact, if you look at the statistics for a 43 year old, I’m pretty damn unlikely to get pregnant.

So why go through it all in the first place? I can’t not, surely. I consider myself to be a fairly pragmatic person. I’ve accepted that it’s a long shot, but it’s a shot nonetheless. If we get pregnant, we deal with that. If we don’t, we deal with that. Life goes on.

Anyway, I’m not writing this because I want your luck or your prayers (that’s not really my thing) but because talking about it is my way of dealing with it. Being open, being honest, engaging in conversation and sharing my journey is my way of facing the unknown.

8 hours until injection number 1.

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4 thoughts on “Motherhood… or not.

  1. Hi – you don’t know me but I saw the FB comments through a mutual friend. My best friend of 30 yrs is an acupuncturist and when you go into her consulting room there are always a couple of pictures of babies – the latest success stories. If you go into her office she has loads more. I commented last weekend on a new picture that she had. She said that acupuncturists are not allowed to say they can help with IVF but she says that she has had lots of success. She also said that it can help with the side effects of the drugs that are taken during the process. Timing of your treatment is important – I know cause I have often given up my appointment for a potential mum. Maybe worth investigating? Good luck and I hope this time next year you will be sharing pictures of your new baby. Julie X

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  2. Oh Tabitha, I can fully sympathise with every word you have written – I am very honoured that I have Caitlin, she is a very much wanted IVF Baby x Please do get in touch if I can help in any way – well your emotions are going to be and will be ALL over the place, Elton will need to tread carefully xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tabitha , I am a friend of Eltons from school. Lady I feel your pain so much. Reading this has brought back all my memories of the process I went through, or should I say ( we – my husband and I ) went through. It’s very hard to include your other half sometimes when doing the injections etc … but they are there, seeing your pain and wishing they could do anything to stop it.
    I started the rollercoaster of emotions some 9 years ago now, I have just turned 40. There was only one other person I knew going through IVF at the time, however over the years I have resided just how many people there are out there that struggle to conceive, naturally!!
    I have been through tests and needles and more tests, 6 failed iVF attempts, a miscarriage and I now have my rainbow baby – she is nearly 2.
    Please please follow your heart and if you want something go and get it with both hands. Never give up on your dream.
    I was told after 5 fails that I would never be able to have my own baby due to my egg reserve being so poor. So I went through the grieving process again and the realisation kicked in that in order to have a baby – the thing I wanted so much, she would have to be the product of another woman’s grief too. So I went to a clinic that did egg share and my anonymous donor very generaously helped me to have a my baby girl. I will forever in debted to the lady , who I have no idea is.
    I think what you are doing is brave and I take my hat off to you.
    I wish you and Elton all the very best , from the bottom of my heart xxx
    I am here for you if you ever need anyone, speaking from experience xx

    Liked by 1 person

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