Martin and I had always envisaged a life with a family, although getting there has been a difficult road of loss and unexplained infertility. Our story began when we, ironically, became pregnant six months after getting married. Happy to be in this position we had no idea what was to unfold. Sadly at my 20-week scan, doctors noticed that our daughter had some developmental abnormalities, including hydrocephalus and spina bifida. They suggested that she had a chromosomal abnormality. They were right. She had Patau Syndrome; a rare genetic disorder that meant that she had an extra copy of chromosome 13, meaning that she would not have lived past one year. Having terminated, I gave birth to Poppy Mai Savage on 30th April 2011.
After a short break, we decided to start trying again. At first we had no reason to believe that we couldn’t conceive, but as time went on getting pregnant became difficult. Gradually this put more and more pressure on our relationship; the fact that we had begun to imagine and prepare for our lives as parents and it now wasn’t working out that way made things incredibly hard. With an immense feeling of emptiness and grief to contend with, we began to argue frequently. We both felt low, but Martin found himself feeling depressed.
We were at odds as to what to do; while I would have sought any kind of assistance, Martin was far more reluctant to accept help. A combination of pride, fear of history repeating and our previous experiences meant that the idea of seeking help was a tough one for him. At the time I was experiencing some strange symptoms; my periods became a little irregular, they would be particularly heavy with clotting and I would sometimes bleed between my periods. Having retained some of the placenta following the birth of Poppy, I was concerned that this complication had caused further problems. I needed reassurance that my reproductive health was ok. We discussed this at length and decided that I would seek treatment for my issues, and any fertility treatment we would seek together when we were both ready.
The one thing that I wasn’t expecting was the impersonal treatment that we were met with: processes had to be followed and while there was some concern regarding my symptoms, treatment was refused until Martin went for tests of his own. I felt held to ransom; a product on the production line. From here we faced a battle, one that we should never have had to fight to just get the right treatment.
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