Our journey through infertility started in April 2009. I was 26 years old, we’d been married for a year and a half and the time felt right to start a family.
After nine months, nothing had happened and I was starting to worry that something might be wrong, so during a routine health check with the nurse at my local surgery, I broached the subject with the nurse. It was awful: she was so unsympathetic and laughed me out of the surgery saying that they wouldn’t even consider tests to see what was wrong until we’d been trying for at least eighteen months. It was humiliating.
After that incident, we carried on trying and every month I would religiously take ovulation tests that would always come back negative. This went on for about another year until I finally plucked up the courage to return to my doctors’ surgery. This time, the trip couldn’t have been better. My GP was so caring and understanding: she immediately booked me in for tests and when the results of those showed that I was not ovulating, but there didn’t appear to be any other reason why I wasn’t getting pregnant, she referred me immediately to a fertility clinic. Finally! Something was happening.
We had to wait about nine months, but finally in July 2011 our appointment came through. I was so excited. At my first appointment, the consultant didn’t mince his words in telling me that I would not receive fertility treatment unless I lost weight. My body mass index (BMI) was 35 and I had to get it down to at least 30 before I could have treatment. I was heartbroken. I have struggled with my weight my whole adult life, but his words were just what I needed to do something about it.
So I went away, worked extremely hard and retuned to my next appointment two stone lighter. I still wasn’t where I needed to be, but the consultant was a lot more positive this time. He told me I was one of his success stories (exactly what I needed to hear) and sent me away for another three months to lose the rest of the weight. I arrived at my next appointment in March 2013 at exactly the weight I needed to be, and left with a six months’ supply of the ovulation drug Clomid to try.
It was just before my 30th birthday, and it felt like things were finally going to work out. I first fell pregnant on my fifth cycle of Clomid in July 2013; it felt like a miracle. We were so happy that we were finally going to be parents. But it wasn’t to be, and after a difficult few weeks of bleeding, confirmation of heartbeat, and then more bleeding, we lost our baby at the end of the first trimester in September 2013. We were heartbroken.
The next few months were a blur. We had to return to the fertility clinic for another check-up, where we were given another six-month dose of Clomid. But we were not in a good place, and certainly not ready to start trying again.
The next few months were difficult and were made harder when my sister announced her pregnancy. I was really happy for her, but I was just so sad and confused; I was so upset that getting pregnant was so difficult for us and I was heartbroken that I didn’t get to keep my baby. Christmas and New Year passed in a bit of a blur.
By January 2013, although we still didn’t feel ready to try again, we also felt like we would never be ready to go through something like that again, so it was now or never. And so I started taking the Clomid again. This time I fell pregnant on the second cycle. Thankfully, this pregnancy went a lot more smoothly, and our daughter was born at the end of November 2013.
She is absolutely perfect and her existence makes the whole journey worth it. We hope one day (with the help of Clomid) that we might be able to expand our family, but if that doesn’t happen, then we already have more that we could ever have dreamt of.
Infertility sucks. It affects everything. It’s a lonely place. It’s ok to be sad about it. It’s ok to feel hurt by every new pregnancy announcement that isn’t yours. Hang in there.