We Are 1 in 7
Just a quick hello from me this morning as I’d like to introduce you to Jane who will be joining us on these pages over the coming months. We are always honoured when our readers feel able to share their own personal stories here on Rock My Family and how supportive our community is. We have shared stories about IVF before but these have been one off accounts. Jane is at the very beginning of the IVF process, and over the coming months she will be back regularly to keep you all updated on the emotional and physical aspects that entails. I hope you will welcome her and find support if you are going through the process or equally are able to support Jane if you have already been through assisted conception.
I’d like to introduce myself today as ‘Jane,’ a long time lurker of Rock My Family who has been hiding out in the shadows for quite some time. I have been waiting patiently to gather my thoughts so that I can write this post and I now feel ready. Well at least I think I am! There is a little part of me which thinks I may be tempting fate by talking out loud about our plight, so please see my anonymity as a much needed form of protection.
So.. it’s time to talk infertility. It impacts as many as one in seven couples in the UK and earlier this year my husband and I gained membership to that exclusive club that nobody really wants to join. With some hesitation, I wrote to Lottie and Charlotte to ask if they’d consider featuring our experience as it’s an area which I feel needs exploring. Trust me when I say I’m beyond happy to be here, even if it’s not in the way I would have planned!
Born into the ‘Sugar’ magazine generation, I was led to believe coming within three metres of a man’s nether regions would mean instant pregnancy. I’m not going to lie, after six months of ambivalence and ‘waiting to see what happened’ followed by months of ovulation sticks and post-coital leg cycling, my husband and I were both pretty surprised that we weren’t seeing that big fat positive. Surely it wasn’t supposed to be this hard?
It was in February after both undergoing a variety of invasive procedures that we were finally diagnosed with primary male-factor infertility. If you throw my BMI and hormone levels into the mix, we’ve actually met the NHS criteria for funded treatment by the skin of our teeth. After a few frustrating months we finally received some really positive news and have recently gained approval for assisted conception funding for one cycle. Yes we’ve done our research, we’ve talked to the experts, we’ve explored our options, but however cautiously optimistic we are this whole thing is just downright scary! We don’t dwell and try not to bury ourselves in the experience, but honestly the odds are against us to conceive. However I’m a very positive person so we are trying our best to see fertility treatment as an extension of the whole TTC process. (What is with the endless fertility abbreviations?!)
We have never wanted our struggle to define us a couple. We don’t want this situation to become our ‘everything’ and there are so many more dimensions to us other than our infertility. My decision to write anonymously is absolutely not because I am ashamed of our plight. In fact far from it – I could burst with pride at how well my husband has dealt with the diagnosis. However, whilst some couples choose to share the news that they are trying to conceive, this was never going to be our way. We were always very private about our initial decision to try and get pregnant and we don’t see anything wrong in that. A small part of me holds on to the idea that one day my husband and I will be able to make a surprise announcement, and why should we be deprived of that moment?
Despite my optimism however, the last year or so has felt suffocating at times. We hadn’t anticipated just how overwhelming and exhausting it can be keeping everyone in the loop, but we are forever thankful that we have been able to confide in our family and a few close friends.
We are both nervous about the emotional and overwhelming path we are about to take but I am so very grateful that over the next few months I have been given the chance to share our journey with you all on Rock My Family. Things have now become very real but I know what a supportive and caring forum this blog has become and I hope we can get through this together!
I would also love to blog about my experience of acupuncture and the things I’m doing to prepare my body to conceive. Perhaps this will also be relevant to anyone who is trying for a baby, naturally or otherwise?
Please do let me know if there are any assisted conception aspects you would like to see covered in my posts. I think it is so important for people to be able to open up a discussion around fertility and I hope in some small way we have started this today.
Most of all I would be very grateful for the advice of anyone else who has been in a similar situation and has any words of wisdom you have to get us through this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having me here.
A cautious optimist sharing her experience of IVF and ICSI. Making the most of the unexpected.