A few snapshots of our journey…. The time when the hormones got too much and I burst into tears whilst eating a chicken fajita. Richard, being Richard didn’t rush to my aid, he decided to photograph it and walk off. The scan of my follicles growing before egg collection, that next one doesn’t need any explaining, signing the forms, and going into theatre…. the last one when I’d just come round.
So if you’re going through this and feel lost, please visit those websites, please feel free to message Rich or I and ask us any questions. If you have a friend, daughter, son or anybody you know who you suspect is struggling here’s some advice on how to talk to them.
1) Let them talk to you, don’t be the one to bring up the subject, they will avoid seeing you if you do, I did, I avoided anywhere I felt I was going to have to talk to somebody who knew bugger all about it.
2) Don’t suggest things, even if it comes from a good place, like “have you tried”…..
Legs up in the air after doing it, ovulation tests, cutting out certain foods, praying to some god, acupuncture, yoga, sending them websites with info on….
I can guarantee that they have tried all of the above. They certainly won’t appreciate it coming from somebody who falls pregnant easily. These people are consumed with this, that’s all they do. Sometimes the best thing to do is say nothing.
3) Don’t tell them stories of “I know a girl who tried for years and years and gave up and went on holiday and bam got pregnant” - they’ve heard this a million times, it doesn’t get easier the more they hear it, In fact it makes it worse, because they do the math in their heads…. maybe, just maybe I am completely unable to have children.
4) Be mindful of them if you get pregnant, whilst they will be happy for you it will tear them apart. Before you announce it on social media, tell them to their face or personally, and explain the reason why you’ve done that so that they know you’ve considered them. Their problems are really none of your business but being a decent human being and at least looking like you give a shit is the right thing to do, but don’t be angry with them if they cry infront of you, this news will send them off kilter for the next few days.
Suggestions of what to actually do:
1) Treat them to a day out of relaxing
2) Buy them a bunch of flowers every now and again to remind them that you’re thinking of them, I imagine it’s hard when you have an infertile friend (I was the worst) I cut myself off from people, didn’t visit them, wouldn’t go out, and so they didn’t know what to do.
3) Educate yourself on what they are going through. Then if you really want to support them suggest outings to the fertility show or google local support groups. This kind of help will be appreciated over some old wives tale of drinking some shite potion.
4) Try and find out what their fertility issue is, many women suffer with PCOS, endometriosis and men with low sperm count. There is not a “fix all solution” so sometimes suggesting things will do more damage than good because you may not know that your friend doesn’t have Fallopian tubes so can’t ever ever get pregnant naturally. You don’t know that its a genetic issue thats causing their infertility or that they have poor egg quality. Trying to do this research and gently asking them will allow you to help them more. At the very least they will be more likely to want to talk to you because youve made the effort to understand what they’re going through.
What I did differently:
There were many things I did differently on our successful cycle…
I took a herbal medication called Agnus Cactus (vitex) the month before I had my frozen transfer.
I used a hot water bottle on my feet every evening to keep my uterus warm
I wore socks to bed every night (and still do)
I carried on with normal life, cycling to work, going to the gym, going out with friends.
I took a low dose aspirin every morning (and still do)
All of these could have been a load of bullshit because at the end of the day, this cycle was different, for a start it was frozen, so my body had 3 months off the hormones to return to normal. Do not underestimate the difference this makes. Our frozen embryo had been grown for 5 days - 2 whole days longer than the first one that failed, so already it was in a stronger position. I also knew what to expect because I’d had a previous transfer so I wasn’t nervous. So it all goes to show that you cannot control a damn thing. It needs the perfect mix of things to go right and I simply cannot say with 100% certainty what made this round work. To try and guess would be irresponsible of me. All I can say is that 100% we decided to get on with our lives and not allow it consume any more of us. I make that last bit sound easy but it wasn’t. If you’re reading this and you’ve been trying for while, you won’t stop thinking about it until you’re ready to stop thinking about it. Rest assured, one day you’ll wake up and just say to yourself
“today is the day I no longer have any shits left to give”