We are lucky enough to be Mum’s to our amazing Annabelle and Bisbee. However we had a plan that 2020 would be our year to, hopefully, start expanding our family. The reason for this post is to share an update on that because while having plans is great and all, it turns out not all plans work out. Ours aren’t.
Firstly because of unexpected news leading to Plan A not being possible.
Secondly because the world is not the world it was 3 months ago and so many things have changed.
Thirdly because infertility is now part of our story and this post will explain why a whole new plan is required.
As it is national infertility week it made sense to share this update now.
In March 2020 we had a fertility check up appointment at the clinic we had used to conceive Annabelle. The staff were the same. The venue familiar. The treatment as great as it was last time. The appointment was straightforward. A couple of tests, a follicle count and a result. The only thing not straightforward was the result.
1 in 8 women experience infertility.
Laura is that 1. With a low follicle count and low AMH level the results were conclusive. If we were to try using Laura’s eggs the results would almost certainly result in no pregnancy. In fact the consultant went as far as advising even trying based on such a low follicle count.
We recorded a YouTube video with our story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-swceJUyDQ or you can read on below.
Infertile was not a phrase we expected to hear that day. It wasn’t something we ever expected would be part of our journey. I mean why would we. Infertility, like so many things, is unseen. You wouldn’t know about your fertility level until you tested it or tried for a baby. There are no signs. There are no things to look out for. We walked in there expecting to find out how fertile Laura was and walked out having to decide on a whole new plan.
The feelings that we went through in that appointment were a roller-coaster. From our excitement walking in to a very steep plummet into panic, disappointment, shock, fear and gutted-ness to a stabilising sense of relief when we started to look at options.
The overriding feeling of shock was related to the fact that we had been discussing how we wanted our journey to look and all of a sudden we didn’t have the wealth of options we thought we had. The news of infertility was dictating the journey we now have to take.
For many reasons we are thankful. For being in a same-sex couple where Sarah has already had a cycle of IVF so has frozen embryo’s. That Laura’s womb check confirmed that she could carry. Thankful that we have an option to go forward with reciprocal IVF. And of course that we have an amazing family already.
The disappointment was from the fact that none of our children will have Laura’s genes. Biologically Laura’s genetics don’t continue. No solution, no option will ever change that.
In the weeks since we have discussed at length how we move forward. With the clinic closing due to Covid-19 we have had more time to consider and share our news with family. The conversations we’ve had have been supportive and helped us come to terms with things. Losing Laura’s Mum in January has made this news more of a blow. She would have been top of the call list, first in line to reassure us.
For now we wait. We wait until clinics reopen. Until we know when we can try to start this new journey. We will keep our channels up to date with news as best as we can.
And if you do know of someone struggling with infertility just be there. To listen. To commiserate and to celebrate. It is a topic that isn’t widely discussed but there is help available. There are websites full of advice and if you search on the hashtag #infertilityawarenessweek you will find 100’s of people sharing there journey. Sometimes it helps knowing you aren’t alone and that the feelings you have are justified.
The NHS details support available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/infertility/
Or https://infertilityawareness.org/ has a collection of stories on the subject.