This will be my last blog post for a while, but I just wanted to round off with an update on our third and final IVF cycle.
As many of you know from my social media update, our third round of IVF failed. This happened about 4 weeks ago so we are currently still trying to get our heads round everything and figure out a way forward in our lives.
Reading back on my previous blog post, I feel so foolish for having been so positive and full of hope about our cycle. However, that was my true feelings at the time; despite the odds that are always against you as well as the ever-present feeling of fear, I truly felt we were going to get pregnant. I don’t know if that was because it happened in round 2 and therefore I just presumed it would happen again, or because theoretically your odds are supposed to increase the more times you do an IVF cycle, or really if it was because I just felt it was our time, but I just felt hopeful and excited for the future. If anything, my biggest worry was miscarrying again.
Unfortunately however, infertility once again made a huge mockery of us and took all our hopes and positive feelings and threw them back in our faces and I started bleeding half way through the second week of my 2-week wait. At first, I thought it was perhaps a good sign, as this has happened during my second cycle of IVF and it ended up being implantation bleeding, which in turn resulted in a pregnancy. Strangely, I was actually excited to have the bleed, as I felt it was a signal that things were working and the embryos were implanting as they should be. As the hours and days went on however, the bleeding became worse and worse. I dreaded going to the toilet as I knew that sooner or later I was going to have to accept the realisation that there was now too much blood for any embryo to survive.
Before we had even started this cycle, I had tried to prepare myself for a failure and what that would mean and how it would affect me physically but more importantly, mentally. I just didn’t think I could cope with any more heartbreak; I couldn’t cry anymore. And it turns out I was right; I didn’t really cry. Alternatively, I wanted to punch something. I had so much anger and rage; I felt like a cruel joke had been played on us once again and I wanted to punish the world. Mostly however, I was angry at my body. My stupid, broken body which once again had failed to do the thing that billions of women do every single day all over the world. Why was mine like this? Why couldn’t it for once just do something right? I wanted to punish it; I wanted to starve it or beat it up; I wanted it to suffer for letting me down again.
As with a lot of things however, time is a great healer and despite it only being a month or so ago since our cycle failed, we are actually doing fine. We haven’t spoken much about what happened or where, if anywhere, we want to go from here. At the moment we are just enjoying the summer and appreciating not having any more trips to the fertility clinic! As usual, we were invited in for a review of our cycle, but I phoned them and said that unless they had anything earth shattering to tell us, we didn’t want to attend. Usually these appointments consist of “Sorry your cycle didn’t work, we never really know why some do and some don’t”. And what good is that to us at this stage? We’re not planning any more rounds so it would be pointless and just another unnecessary trip to that place which now holds so many memories for us which are predominantly sad and upsetting. I have to add here that although I have moaned a lot about the fertility clinic in the past, I think this round was definitely our best experience with them. The nursing staff in particular couldn’t have been better and we are really so grateful to them for trying to help us.
Unfortunately, my body is still giving me some problems; as ever the after effects of a cycle have taken hold, but generally I am feeling ok. Dave is really busy at work so has a great outlet there for taking his mind off things. He continues to be an absolute rock for me and I appreciate him more and more every time we go through another difficult patch. He really is amazing the way he can handle bad situations and turn them round with his caring nature. They really broke the mould when they made him and I feel incredibly lucky that he loves me like he does.
I’m hoping to head back to work in some capacity this year, however for the moment I am still continuing with my writing which is my first passion. I was asked to write an article for The Daily Mirror on Infertility and Mental Health which should be published in the next couple of months, I’ve been asked to speak at a Fertility Conference in London in November and I’m still continuing with my volunteering for Fertility Network Scotland. I’ve also started writing what I hope will become a book of our infertility journey so I really want to see what I can make of that.
I need to work out however, how much involvement I still want to have in the infertility community. Whilst it’s been an invaluable outlet for me to connect with hundreds of couples battling infertility too, it’s very hard to see them continuing their journey when we have come to the end of ours, especially when they have the positive outcome that we so desperately wanted. I know that sounds a very selfish thing to say as of course I’m delighted for anyone who becomes pregnant, especially those who have had a hard road to get there, but it’s just hard to have daily reminders of it. It might be time to take a step back from the community and concentrate on other things.
Dave also turned 40 a couple of weeks ago so we had a great weekend of celebrating with friends and family. In that area again, we are so blessed and really appreciate so much all our nearest and dearest who make us happy every single day.
As for becoming parents, I don’t think we will ever really give up hoping that it may come true for us one day, and of course miracles can happen. However, for now we feel that we have done all we can physically do. The last few years have been hard but we feel like we have given it our all and surely that is all anyone can do.
We have so many other things in life to be grateful for and every day we are thankful for all the blessings we do have and take comfort in the fact that we tried our best but perhaps parenthood just wasn’t the path we were supposed to take. Sometimes you just have to trust that life has a plan for you; it might not always be the plan you hoped it would be, but it might be wonderful all the same.
Dave and I want to thank everyone so much who has supported our journey, read our posts and sent us good wishes along the way. It has really meant so much to us knowing we had so many people behind us wishing us success and we can’t thank you enough.
For now, I won’t be updating my blog anymore but all the posts will still remain online for anyone who knows someone going through infertility and wants to direct them here. All I can hope is that they can give comfort to others in our situation.
Rachel & Dave xx