I have always loved babies. When I was 14 years old one of my mother’s friends had a baby boy, I can remember going to stay at their place one weekend just so I could hang out with him. He was the most beautiful baby! I thought I would have 2 or maybe 3 babies, It never occured to me that there was a possibility this may never happen. I had the opportunity to start a family with my first boyfriend, I have absolutely no regrets that I didnt.
On the morning of 6 November 2005 my husband & I woke at The Hilton after our amazing wedding day! Hubby said to me ‘So … what’s next?’, I said ‘breakfast!’, he said ‘no, I mean WHAT is next?’, I said ‘babies!!’, he said ‘let’s do it!’. We had no clue what the following 10 years would bring, thankfully we didn’t as I may well have jumped off that balcony right there and then, ha ha.
After a couple of years of trying we embarked on a journey with the fertility clinic. Some of the tests were awful, especially the ‘dye test’ to see if my fallopian tubes were blocked. This was painful and hubby was there holding my hand, we hoped that there would be good news. All of our tests were normal, there was no explanation for our infertility. This meant we had to be trying for 5 years with no success before we would be eligible for publicly funded IVF. During the wait we tried IUI (insemination), I hate that word, it makes you feel like a cow! This was unsuccessful and dissapointing but we had a back up plan … IVF was coming.
Our first IVF treatment started, we were super excited! I got the hang of the daily injections very quickly and was not too phased by it. I also got used to the squillions of blood tests. The doctors said I had lots of eggs and my uterine lining was nice and thick so we went in for egg collection. It wasn’t too bad, I was sedated but remember it being painful … they insert a HUGE needle through the wall of your vagina to get to the ovaries!! They collected only 4 eggs, all 4 fertilised in a petri dish. After 3 days only 2 had ‘made it’ and they weren’t looking good either. They placed both in my uterus and hoped for the best. The two week wait is excruciating, I started bleeding before the pregnancy blood test was due. We were devastated. We had no embryos left for freezing, we would have to go through that whole process all over again. I didn’t feel I had the strength. Everywhere we looked there were pregnant women and babies, along with pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement. Each a kick in the guts and a reminder of our failures.
It took years before we would be ready to start another round of IVF. The second round was extremely stressful. For this egg collection I was given a general anaesthetic in an effort to get more eggs. My left ovary hides behind my uterus, they managed to collect 3 from my right ovary and 1 from my left! The lovely nurse was convinced that this would be the one, so were we. Of the 4, 2 healthy embryos developed! We cried in the fertility clinic rooms when the embryologist delivered this news. One (we named it ‘lefty’) was placed in my uterus and the longest 2 week wait began. The clinic phoned to advise the 2nd one had stopped developing … my husband and I joked that lefty’s mate didnt make it ha ha. There was no bleeding this time, I developed pregnancy symptoms, we were home free! The pregnancy test came back as positive but we were advised not to get too excited as my HCG (pregnancy hormone) was low and we would have to wait another couple of days to see if it would rise. We were positive all would be well and were heartbroken when the clinic phoned to say I was not pregnant. We were in disbelief. That was it, I didnt ever want to do IVF again. It was too hard. I cried buckets.
Over the next few years this would be a huge contributing factor that spiralled me into the worst depression imaginable. I did not want to live if I could not have a baby. I didn’t think we would ever be happy or feel complete without the family we so desperately yearned for.
In my recovery from depression and anxiety I have reached a place of acceptance. I have realised we can be happy regardless. We are blessed with so many beautiful children in our lives. We are so very happy together, just the two of us and our fur babies!!
There is beauty everywhere, I am loving life so much. Sometimes I cry with happiness … my heart is full ❤.
Much love peeps, never give up. There is so much to live for.
Annie Fanny xxx