… You long to hear
Mother’s Day is a week away! Every year when this date comes round i can’t help but feel for the ladies out there that are longing for the day that they will get to be a Mother. Celebrating with their children, centre of attention, centre of their world. The feeling of being a Mum, to have their own little ones, that call for her, that reach out for her. Mother’s Day means so much to me, because for years I was one of those ladies longing to be called Mum.
It doesn’t matter how you come to be a Mother, whether you conceive naturally, through IVF, through adoption or as a step parent. It is for so many women, something deep down inside that they desire. Which is why for so many, the path to becoming a Mum, can be a long and heartbreaking journey.
It’s funny, I spent most of my twenties trying not to get pregnant and have spent most of my thirties trying to! It’s not something you expect, I always assumed getting pregnant would just happen! For some it does, but for a huge amount of people I know, it hasn’t.
I have spent about seven years in total trying to get pregnant and thankfully we are so lucky to have our two gorgeous boys, but it has been a rollercoaster, a journey I did not imagine.
My Mr and I got married in 2006, we knew we wanted a family and assumed it would just happen, but as we approached our first wedding anniversary, it became clear, that it wasn’t going to be straightforward.
It all starts with THE chat about starting a family, he lies back and thinks about all the great sex we’re going to have. Meanwhile I romantically imagine the love that will create our baby and anxiously consider how fat I’m going to get and how the hell I’m going to push it out! But as the months pass, I did a bit of research and realised that you need to be getting jiggy between certain specific days to increase your chances of getting lucky. In the early days of trying to conceive this starts out as a gentle coaxing with a romantic night, a nice meal, pretty undies and the kind of wife he has envisaged. However as time passes, this declines into a snappy Mrs, who demands he comes straight back from work and gets jiggy immediately and no I haven’t bothered to shave my legs! Sex becomes ‘Baby Sex’, it’s not sexy, it’s functional!
The Elusive Smiley Face
There are loads of fertility products out there, herbal tablets, books on special diets and kits that help you figure out when your hormones are up. So I bought some ovulation kits that would tell me when I had to summon the Mr to the bedroom. The kits I bought were simple enough, pee on them from this day to this day and on one of the days a smiley face would appear! 😃 Go get jiggy 😉 But for me, I rarely saw a smiley face, something must be wrong 🙁!
The Two Week Wait
Ever the optimist, every month I hoped it was the one. I would count down the two weeks, waiting for any sign that I might be pregnant. Imagining sore boobs, believing the cramps must be implantation pain, feeling nauseas. Pant watching, hoping not to see red and imagining how I’ll feel when I read the words PREGNANT on the test stick. But for months I’d find myself sobbing on the toilet. Not understanding what had gone wrong, why my body hasn’t worked. The emotional impact, overwhelming feelings of sadness, helplessness and grief. Each month passed so fast because I was constantly counting them away. Friends and colleagues announced their pregnancy and celebrated their babys birth and I was still stuck trying to get past the two week wait!
For months, years, I would sob and grieve for the baby I wasn’t having, feeling totally depressed and disconnected. It wasn’t until I went looking for more answers that I came across a forum with posts titled TTC (trying to conceive) and read other stories, that I realised I wasn’t alone in my silent grief. I found others in the same position, that felt the same way. I came to accept that things weren’t going to happen naturally and we would need to have fertility treatment. Although scary and daunting, I came to terms with what would be our next chapter, it was ok.
His & Her Fertility Tests
It is a weird thing sitting as a young couple, in the waiting room of a fertility clinic. All the men are deeply studying the floor, dreading what is going to be asked of them. Meanwhile girls are subtly trying to glance at each other, wanting to know their story, share theirs and offer hope and support.
Losing Your Modesty
Having a phobia of needles and being prone to fainting, is not great for someone that is being sent to different hospitals for all kinds of hormone blood tests. However the hardest part is leaving your modesty at the door as you climb onto yet another white padded table, having stripped off your bottom garments, leaving them in a pile on the floor in order for yet another internal exploration of your lady baby making gear! In the end they didn’t find anything wrong with me. Which was very frustrating but technically good news!
Next it was the the Mr’s turn. Having spoken to a few male friends and my Mr about when it was their turn, although their test is painless, it is rather more humiliating and rather pressurised. Men have two options, bring in a sample, or create a sample on demand at the clinic.
The Cum Run
We chose this option the first time he had to do it! We were told that a fresh sample had to be handed in no more than 50 minutes after it had been created. Living 40-45 minutes away from the deposit point, we had a plan. As designated driver I was sat waiting on the driveway, with the engine running as the Mr did his thing. He then came running out of the front door and we went speeding off to the hospital to drop of the little fellas!
The Shelf & Little Door
The next time he had to do his thing, he opted for the private fertility clinics special room. With white walls, one white chair, one white table and a small collection of dated, well used reading material. Once completed he left the pot of little fellas on the shelf next to the little door as instructed and pressed the bell before leaving, notifying the people behind the little door that they had a fresh pot!
The first time round after all our fertility tests, we were told we could be trying for the rest of our lives to conceive naturally! So not a very encouraging result and with that we set a date to start IVF, but two days before our appointment I found out I was pregnant. An unbelievable surprise and our little miracle Monroe arrived in May 2010.
After years of hoping for a second miracle, we underwent more tests to see if anything had changed. This time we were quite simply told we had unexplained infertility. The most useless of answers! So with the realisation that IVF was the only answer, we started treatment and third time lucky I saw the magic words ‘PREGNANT’ on the little test kit. Lorne arrived in January 2015.
We have traveled our journey trying to conceive and we are so lucky to have our boys. We don’t feel there is anything to be ashamed about and that’s why we are happy to talk about our infertility journey.
To all ladies out there, those that have their littles ones, those waiting for theirs to arrive, those waiting for the call to collect, those hoping it’ll soon be their turn and those grieving the angels they have lost. Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing, strong women. xxx
Did you know that…
After pregnancy, infertility is the most common reason for women aged 20–45 to visit their GP
1 in 6 couples in the UK experience difficulties conceiving – that’s about 3.5m people
Over 60,000 cycles of IVF are performed in the UK each year yet fewer than 25% of these are successful
In over 40% of instances of infertility, the causes are unexplained
(Taken from Infertility Network)