Fertility Diary #10: Barren

Round 4, 2018. 

Fresh cycle. Cost £6075

We are in the best place we could be and I’m feeling ready for one last go. We are settled in our jobs and financially stable. What am I doing differently you may ask? I am following an IVF diet (weekly cost £100), I am taking 7 weeks unpaid leave from work and mentally I’m in a good place. For the last year I have been having regular reflexology. My reflexologist has also been my counsellor, she has no idea how much her listening ear has helped me over the years. Shout to Tanya.  

Here we go…

Tuesday 27th March 2018.

I had a procedure (MK testing) and scratch. This is to test for any abnormalities in my womb (cost £880). I had this as I feel that there must be a reason why it’s not worked 3 previous times. Second time I have had the endometrial scratch. Bloody painful! I’m on my 14th day of injections (yet again suffering from bad headaches). I’ve also had small bleeds after having the injection, (I checked with the clinic and all is fine). Tomorrow 17th April I have a scan to see how my eggs and lining of the womb are doing. If someone was to tell me 5 years ago what I would need to go through, I would have told them I will pass on it thanks! But I do truly believe Dave & I will be parents. 

My life has been on hold for 5 years, I don’t like to plan things ahead (thinking I could be pregnant) but I know there needs to be time when I say, ‘enough now’. I have lived and breathed infertility. My married life has been consumed by anger, frustration, sadness and loss. But on a positive note, Dave & I love each other so much and both want the end goal. 

17th April 2018

8.40am appointment. 

Long probe put inside me, all is perfect. I had the result from my MK(£1500) testing (all is fine) So, still no answers to failed IVF so far! I still will never know why our previous IVF never worked. How can you fix something that you have no idea how to fix it. How is that fair?  Tomorrow I can reduce my injections to 0.25 mg and Thursday I start the second injection. 

19th April, 7pm and second injection done. Since the reduction to 0.25 my headaches have been much better (still having slight headaches all day every day). It’s now been one week since finishing work and I already feel so much happier, calmer, relaxed and just loving having me time!. Been on plenty of long walks with my dog Edie and watched some lovely feel good films. Doing IVF in spring is also a massive bonus because the weather has been amazing (vitamin D is a must). 

25th April , 9.20am appointment scan and blood test. 

Well today went very well. 11 follicles in my left ovary and 7 follicles in my right. My lining of my womb is nice and thick and hopefully by Friday (27th) my follicles will be bigger, and Monday 30th we are hopefully good to go on my egg collection. For the last few days I have been having dull aching on my low abdomen (ovaries) apparently this is a good sign!  

27th April, 9.20am appointment, scan and blood test.

All Follicles are growing as expected but not ready for collection on Monday. So, we will need to have another appointment on Monday for a scan and blood test. I felt frustrated that I was not ready for Monday. But what I have learnt over the past 5 years is to never plan! Disappointment happens a lot, but hey it’s out of our hands and in the hands of science.  Since yesterday I have had a lot of discharge and very sore boobs (apparently all good). Oh my lining of the womb has three lines (the nurse was very happy with this).

30th April, 9.20am appointment, scan and blood test.

Follicles have all grown nicely. I’m ready for egg collection on Wednesday 2nd May. Dave will need to do my trigger injection tonight, then tomorrow I have a drug free day!I am feeling nervous and excited. Can’t wait to see how many eggs they retrieve. 

2nd May, Egg collection day!

We left the house for 7.30am (as the drive is 1 hour away). Sat nervously in the waiting room and I was called at 8.50am. In room 5. There was a lovely gown for me to put on, (you can keep your top half of clothes on, even your bra) do remember to wear socks as your feet get cold (I had to borrow Dave’s). Called to the procedure room at 9.40am. Lay down on the bed and put my feet in stirrups. A nice man put a catheter in my hand and put in a nice off to sleep drug. 30 minutes later I was awake. 

They had collected 15 eggs from my follicles. Great result. I was then taken to room 5 to recover and eat my lovely peanut butter and jam sandwiches I had made in the morning. Oh, and a nice piece of lemon cake with a cup of tea. 1 hour later we left the clinic. The sedative made me feel very tired for the rest of the day. Throughout the day and overnight, plus the day after (3rd May), I have felt terrible. Very bloated, strong tummy pains and a lot of vaginal bleeding.    

3rd May., Clinic called at 8.30am to tell me that 5 embryos taken and are improving well. 

The nurse said they will call me Saturday morning (5th May) to see how they are doing. They will either want to implant on that day (3rd day) or on the Monday (5th day) I have done a lot of research on the best day to transfer and it always says the greatest chance you would want to do is day 5. So fingers crossed, and yet again it’s a long waiting game!

5th May, I’m currently away on a long weekend holiday with my family. I have not been able to relax due to waiting for the phone call to know how my embryos are doing. I get the phone call at 9am. I’m told that they have good embryos and would like to carry them on to day 5. Wow what a relief! I cry my eyes out with the news and my family are there to congratulate us. Dave and I are very pleased. 

7th May, Transfer day.

A nurse spoke to us to say that 1 embryo has made it to blastocyst stage (Grade A) and that they are only able to transfer that 1.  1 had not made it at all and 3 more had very little change. She will call me tomorrow to see if the 3 are any good. 1pm our strong, fighter embryo baby is transferred. We could see our embryo baby being released onto my womb (again the most beautiful thing I have ever seen). I requested to have 10 minutes resting on the bed before leaving. Otherwise you are told to get up straight away.  Dave and I had that time to hold each other and we both had a few tears. I arrived home and spent the rest of the day relaxing in the garden (beautiful sunny day). Dave waited on me. I have been constantly listening to a beautiful song by Christina Perry (A thousand years) . Every lyric is written for my baby and gives me all the hope in the world. 

8th May, The clinic called me at 8.30am to tell me that the remaining 3 embryos have not made it. And wished me every luck with the 1 we had transferred. I do feel very sad that we have only been able to have 1 embryo. I have been on an IVF diet for 3 months and followed it completely. The diet is meant to help create lots of strong embryos, since last time I did it I did not follow any diet and had 5 blastocysts embryos. BUT: I have 1 strong baby embryo fighting hard inside my tummy and I’m very positive we have our baby.

So now it’s the 2 week wait………..HELL     

17th May: day before test day. I woke in the early hours of the morning with tummy pains (I just knew) I went into the bedroom to tell Dave yet again it had not worked (I could not stop crying for hours and hours) and it was confirmed by a very heavy period that afternoon. 

18th May: test day. 

Negative. NOT pregnant.  

Reflection 2020: I could not have done anymore. I followed the rules and sacrificed my life for the last 5 years to try and have the family we so wanted. IVF has taken everything from me and it’s time to close the door for good! The injections, blood tests, internal examinations, trips to and from the clinic, taking weeks every year of my annual leave, £13,733 and then the 2 weeks wait (doing it 4 times is an 8 week wait) Enough is enough. I am truly heart broken.

For me the most frustrating part of IVF is that I have never had an answer to why it never worked. All they can say is…. unexplained. How can I fix something that I have no idea what to fix? God I’m angry, who can I blame? If I was ill I would get help to find a cure, I could take time off work due to feeling ill. I could have medication to make me feel better, other people might be able to relate to me due to them having that illness. Unexplained fertility has no cure, there is no medication to fix me, I must return to work, not able to talk to others as they can’t relate and to add salt to the wound I would need to pay a lot of money to go through the low percentage of success yet again. And I feel ill, I have this pain in my heart that might never go away. How do I look forward to never having my own child? Being and feeling pregnant, giving birth and loving something that is out of this world? I have lost 1 stone in weight with worry and I have this knot in my tummy that has not gone away for days. Why would I ever want to do this again and possibly have the outcome that seems to keep repeating itself. Of course, if I was given a guarantee that I would get pregnant and have a baby, I would do it again tomorrow. 

What I am blown away by is how strong my marriage is, Dave has been so strong and positive throughout. We very much love each other if anything it has brought us closer. 


Fertility Diary #9: Everything happens in 3’s

Round 3 

January 2016

(Cost £1800) Our last 2 embryos. 

I decided to save some sanity and take some time off work. The 2 week wait deserved calmness and my full attention! 

I made sure I did ovulation sticks from day 7 (turns out I ovulate on day 11), so this confirmed I missed it on our second go. 

Here we go again, our last 2 embryos. Having 2 weeks off work did help, I stayed in bed most mornings listening to calming music whilst speaking to my tummy/embryos/babies. There was nothing that I felt went wrong, surely this is my time? 

I sat holding the dreaded stick of fate. Dave holding me and kissing my head. I said ‘ready’ I slowly released my grip and the words I see…NOT Pregnant. I cried so hard that I almost forgot to breathe. Everything happens in 3’s…was I doomed from the start? We have lost 5 embryos, 5 babies. 

My heart is truly broken. 

Some weeks later, I was still in a very dark place. I hated the world, friends that felt it was OK to tell me ‘it’s not meant to be’ ‘just go on holiday and relax’ ‘your time will come’…..What I really wanted to say was ‘fuck you! Take your comments back to your many kids and piss off!’ What I actually said ‘ah I know, our time will come.’ 

In the same month my best friend told me she was pregnant (telling me she was sorry). My face must had said it all. I knew what she was about to tell me, I took a deep breath, I could not look at her, tears began to fall. She just said the words I had longed for. 

I mean why should she be sorry for the best things that could ever happen to her?

For months I could not even look at her belly as I felt so jealous, I knew she felt she could not share her experiences with me in case she offended me. I hate that she felt that way, I’m her best friend and she should have told me every little twinge she had, but I also do understand how I must have been around her. I was in a complete rage of jealousy.  

April 2016. Dave is made redundant.

April 2017 (yes, a whole year of Dave going crazy) after many, many interviews. Dave finally gets his dream job. 

October 2017 (needed to reapply for my job) I get the job…..Phew.   

April 2018. 5 years from our first try……5 dedicated years of what was utter torture to have only but a sad ending. 

2020 Reflection: 2016 – 2018 were the most terrible years. The first 3 years of our marriage was full of sadness. I should have had counselling, someone to talk to about my pain and rages of jealousy. I honestly don’t remember much, I was trying to black everything out. When you’re down, the littlest of things add to your sorrow and it can easily spiral. Luckily I can be open with Dave, I  always told him when I felt sad. He was after all in this nightmare with me. My advice would be to seek support from others who are going through similar experiences. Only now have I reached out, the support I’m getting is beautiful. Instagram has opened me up to a community and family of IVF warriors. I salute you all.

Fertility Diary #8: Round 2

If at first you don’t succeed, try again! 


I write 3 years on from our first round of IVF. 

I’m on the road to my last destination of the big positive. (hopefully) 

A lot has happened since 2014 and it’s not been all plain sailing!

After our first round of IVF we decided it was time to move (across our back garden I should add) into our dream home. I had tried to blame many things on why our embryo had not taken. I thought if we move and I love everything around me I would get my positive. Pregnant belly and the word I have been chasing…Mummy. 

Round 2

April 2015

4 embryos on ice (cost £1800). All I needed to do was wait till I ovulated!

I was told to test from day 13 from the first day of my period. I did just as they said and saw a very faint second line. I tested again the next day and didn’t see a second line. I called them and they said I probably ovulated the previous day and all would be fine. 

Appointment made for the following day for our 2 embryo babies to be given to me. It happens that quick. Dave & I decided to have 2 embryos hoping for a better chance. 

I’m not able to remember much due to not writing my experiences down, but I wanted it to be different from the first-time round. More relaxed and less focussed on worrying. So I went back to work the next day and tried to be as normal as I could! 

2 weeks wait…..just as I thought from my first round (the most stressful experience and one I’d never want to do again). For some reason I just knew….test done, 3 minutes down, looking down to the word NOT pregnant! Why, why, why? Deep down I knew we missed ovulation and it wouldn’t have worked anyway.  2 embryos wasted/dead/drifted away to nothing. So what did we do to get over me being so sad? We bought a puppy.

It was the best thing we ever did, our furry baby Edie is amazing and we love her so much. We considered adoption but decided it wasn’t for us at this point, I just had to try again, my 2 last embryos were waiting. I still have HOPE. 

May 2015.

Dave asked me to be his wife.

October 16th, 2015

We got married (best day of our lives) 

2020 Reflection: Well, reading this back is truly heartbreaking. I was not myself, I remember feeling totally numb for a very long time. I chased a dream and fairy tail of what I thought I needed/wanted. 

I moved, believing it was our old house putting a curse on us. I blamed everything/everyone on why it never worked. My advice to my old self would be….research, research and research. There is no rush, listen to your gut. I knew I missed ovulation, but the faint line gave me hope. I wanted to be pregnant. I deserved to be pregnant. Test ovulation from day 1, use those tests. I never knew I was early with ovulation..I learnt the hard way. 

The Two Week Wait

The two-week wait & pregnancy test

My Christmas was terrible; I smiled throughout and tried to be positive. But deep down I was a wreck. Every time I drank and ate I thought, ‘Is this OK for my baby?’ Every time I did anything, I imagined harming the baby. I also didn’t sleep for two weeks (oh, it is only 11 days altogether – two weeks sounds better and more dramatic).

I went to bed every night and prayed whilst rubbing my tummy and talking directly to my baby.

The suppositories were a delight….not. 7.00 am and 7.00 pm, putting a large bullet in my vagina then waiting 20 minutes for it to dissolve. Having to wear large panty liners (as liquid escapes from you throughout the day) all adding to the delightful experience.

Everyone that I knew was 100% sure it would work so inside I started to think the same. I was very excited to get to the January sales…Baby clothes here we come!

New Year’s Eve: night before the test
Dave has been so amazing, he cooked nice food and told me how amazing I had been through the whole experience. I felt absolutely terrible, the most scared I have ever felt. I have no idea what I will do if this has not worked, but why should it not work? Day 5 blastocyst and also used the embryo glue. It’s 10.00 pm and I feel I need to go to bed, not up for seeing the New Year in!

Right, next time I write I pray it’s good news!! Happy New Year all. Woke up at 3am. Right, time for the test.

We took the test at 4.00 am. Three tests in fact. Whilst weeing, my whole body was shaking. Dave took the tests off me after the pee had been done.

Three minutes later: He walks towards me and looks at me, ‘you’re NOT pregnant.’
I looked at the tests and was unable to cry…I felt really angry; the most fucked off I had ever felt.

After a few minutes I then cried…a lot!. I seriously hated the world.

I cannot put into words how disappointed I felt. Dave was trying to be far too positive about it all, telling me not to worry and we will just do it again. After crying for about two days I started to feel human again and I really did start to feel good. I had drank wine and ate lots of crap foods making me enjoy the things I had missed. Dave had booked us a holiday for two weeks time (5* all inclusive with very hot weather!)

I had left a message at the clinic to let them know the results: a lady called me back and asked me if I had my period yet? No I said, to which she asked me to carry on with the suppositories in case I still could be pregnant and could I do a test again in three days time. I got off the phone and cried (why is this happening to me?) I had just started to relax and get my head round it and now I had to continue over again.

I then started to freak out as I had eaten and drunk all the wrong things. Oh and I then gave myself hope again!

Two days later…period starts. It’s been a long road and it’s taken its toll. The question is, would I do it all over again…?

2020 Reflection:

Sat reflecting is quite a shock. I can’t believe how I got through that period of my life, it was upside down. From hope, excitement to physical pain, to utter torment. I carried on going to work, meeting up with friends, pretending I was having a great Christmas.
NO….Just tell people you need time to reflect, take time off work, don’t pretend! Turn off your phone, do not look at social media (there will always be a pregnancy announcement, and you will want to smash the screen!) The 2 week wait…..Why did I not have the 2 weeks off and go away with Dave? Because that’s what you should do – it’s the longest weeks of your life. I can’t tell you how hard the 2 week wait is, nothing will prepare you. LOOK after yourself, let others look after you.

The Egg Collection & Transfer

Tuesday 17th December: EGG collection day!

Woke up feeling very nervous: Voltarol suppository placed up my bum (which I did myself!) Arriving at the clinic for 8.00 am & taken through to room 4. I put on my gown and sat on the bed just looking at the four walls.

Dave sat, wearing a Christmas hat & was nearly falling asleep. I was kind of hoping he would look a tad more excited (Dave, however, does not show any emotion ever!) but I’m sure deep down he was as nervous as me. I was taken through to the medical room (8.50 am.) I lay on a bed with my feet strapped to big boot stirrups and I was given a sedative.

1, 2,3….Gone
I woke half an hour later with a nice man leant over me informing me, ‘We got 22 follicles.’ ‘Oh my god, that is bloody amazing!’

I was taken through to Dave and we cuddled and both said how grateful we were that it had all gone well. I was given a nice cup of hot chocolate and four lovely biscuits. I was left for half an hour and asked if I was ready to go home. I felt so tired and just wanted to get home and rest. Dave drove me home whilst I slept all the way.
I got home and did feel very bloated and uncomfortable. I felt so rough I could hardly move off the sofa, literally like I was 8 months pregnant!

I now had to administer suppositories twice a day (8.00 am and 8.00 pm)
I had a very uncomfortable day and night and was feeling really crap. My stomach actually now looked like I was 9 months pregnant.

Wednesday 17th December

The clinic phoned me to say 18 of my eggs had matured and 14 of them took with Dave’s sperm. (So amazing, and more than we could hope for!) They would contact me on Friday morning to see how they were progressing and may have me in mid-morning on Friday for insertion.

Thursday 18th December

Still feeling very bloated and uncomfortable. I phoned the clinic for advice, worried I may have OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) and left a message as they were busy.
The clinic phoned me back, they said it sounds like I have very mild symptoms of OHSS: advised to keep fluids up and rest.

Friday 19th December

The clinic phoned at 8.40 am. They said a couple of my eggs looked really good and growing as they should, they said they would like to leave them till the fifth day (Sunday 21st) They advised me to have a full bladder on the day. I was very glad they left it until the fifth day as it’s meant to be the best time.

Transfer day: IVF 1

The big day! I had slept really well. Dave and I were on the road at 7.15 am. Since waking, I had the feeling of period pain which was concerning me. We arrived at the clinic at 8.00 am and went to go in but the door was locked and no one was answering the door! (We were told over the phone on Friday to arrive for 8.00 am)
We finally got in at 8.30. I now started to feel very nervous/excited. (Also really needed a wee.)

We were called at 8.45 am. The nurse went through the procedure and said we had three eggs that had matured really well and three more were also nearly ready but would like to leave them one more day: they would call us the next day with the results (so hopefully they could freeze six eggs). I took my bottom garments off and lay on the bed with my feet in stirrups, like a pro. The nurse put a speculum inside me and opened me up (it felt very uncomfortable). Another nurse scanned my tummy to find my womb, I had a long catheter tube put inside (I could see it go in on the scan screen) our baby was then put in!

I could see the little ball of fluid go inside and roll around and then it seemed to stick to my womb (totally the most amazing thing I have ever seen). I felt very emotional. It took a total of five minutes to do. The nurse explained dos and don’ts of pregnancy and said we can do a pregnancy test on the 1st January (New Year’s Day!)

That’s it, all the rest is down to nature taking its course.

Reflection 2020: Egg collection and then transfer, happen so quick. My body was not ready for transfer. I felt so poorly after egg collection, also carrying on going to work. I was stressed! How could I possibly have a successful transfer if feeling crap!! Looking back, I would take time off work and rest, rest, rest after egg collection. Maybe have a massage, reflexology (if safe to do so) or a mini break away. You are allowed to feel special at this very important stage of IVF.

Fertility Diary #5: An Injection of Hope

Injections, internals & more 

16th October

We arrived at the clinic: the waiting room was full of couples. Whilst I sat waiting, my mind began to wander, wondering if any of the others were on their first go or paying through the roof for second/third, etc. We were called. A lady asked us to give her our picture I.D. so she could keep it on our files. We then had to go and wait in the waiting room again. We were called again: greeted by our nurse.

We sat down in her office and she asked us all questions we had been asked about 20 times before but as she said, ‘they have to make sure they everything is correct.’ She said I would need to have an internal scan of my ovaries (again!). I told her that a nurse has done this before at Northampton Hospital, but she told us I had to have it done again in case anything had changed. Never in my life have I needed to flash my vagina at so many people!

The Internal.

I was sat with the long probe (like a magic wand but larger!) inside me for about 20 minutes (a tad uncomfortable) I was told that my ovaries look good and that I had quite a few follicles  (she tells me nothing to worry about). Back in her office we signed lots more consent forms (same we had done in the past!) and more. She handed me a cycle form. This contained lots of dates throughout months of the year and I had to find the dates that matched my next period. I was due on the 24th October and the cut-off point for October was the 25th. If I did not come on then I would have to wait until the end of November which would mean I could not have transplantation until January due to the closure of the clinic for two weeks over the Christmas period. I hoped I would come on for the 25th!

The nurse then asked me if I would like nasal spray or injection. I chose to have an injection as I don’t like sprays up my nose and injections don’t bother me.

She gave me a demonstration of how to inject myself and then it was then my turn to try. My hand never stopped shaking and I was getting a little stressed by this time: Dave said he would do it for me (thank god!). I would need to have my first injection on day 21 of my next cycle. 

She handed me a leaflet which told me all about the injections and how I may feel whilst having them. I was told I may feel bloated, have headaches, mood swings and just not feel myself. Our appointment lasted 2 hours 10 minutes. 

Period due: 24th October

Did I mention I have always had the most regular 28 day cycle? Yes I have. And did I come on that day…..NO. I did not. Did I feel pissed off…YES (understatement.) On the 25th, I sat at the end of my bed and prayed, asking ‘please let me have my period today’! I sat on the sofa crying and feeling the shittiest I had felt through the whole of this experience. Dave, not able to calm me down, decided to make himself scarce and do the gardening (in the cold I must add..and he bloody hates gardening). 

At 11.15am I came on…thank you God!! I shouted to Dave in the garden ‘Love, it has happened! I am on my period!’ (What the neighbours must have thought. )

Once I had come on I needed to phone the clinic to let them know. Because it was a weekend I had to leave a message. 

The clinic phoned me the next day to confirm I had come on. She said she would let the drug people know so they can arrange delivery. If all goes to plan I could be pregnant by Christmas!

12th November

Drugs delivered; two big boxes (felt like Christmas).

I opened the boxes, so many things inside. injections for my down regulation, more injections for stimulation, and suppositories for pain relief (for after the egg collection). 

Friday 14th November (day 21 of my cycle):

Time for the first injection.

7.00 am: Dave got all the stuff ready and I sat down and pinched my tummy together to make a roll. Dave asked tentatively, ‘ready?’ 

‘Yep,’ I said. All I could feel was a stabbing pain. Dave looked puzzled, I looked down at my tummy and blood was coming out: the injection wouldn’t go in! The needle was too big; it just wouldn’t go in.

Luckily there was another size needle, so Dave started over again and hey presto in it went. I felt no pain, just a warm feeling as the meds went in. 

I booked the day off work just so I could relax and see if there were any side effects I might feel. 

By 2.00 pm, I had a raging headache and could not even lift my head up: I tried to sleep.I took two paracetamols, had a long bath and ate a large bar of chocolate: yep, felt totally fine after that!

Saturday 15th November

Day two. Dave up for 7.00 am to give me my injection; no problems this time, all fine and no pain. By 11.00 am I felt really tired and hot. I had an hour’s sleep and woke with a headache so took two paracetamol and half an hour later I felt better. 

Sunday 16th November

Day three. Dave up. I was a tad worried as he was totally drunk the night before, but the injection was given. 12.00 pm really tired: slept for one hour (no headache that day). My boobs were very sensitive and achey, and I was also not tasting my food much – everything tasted bland. 

Monday 17th November

Day four: back to work! Injection given, off to work I went. I felt tired and a slight headache, work totally kept me busy.

Next two weeks

I felt tired and pissed off: mostly feeling sorry for myself. 

I had a withdrawal bleed (heavy and very red in colour). I had slight period pains. This lasted for eight days, however, I did have hot flushes. My stomach did look like a pin cushion: on a few occasions Dave damaged some tissues by administering in the same place. It was very sore when it went in and bled a bit and then left me with a bruise. 

Tuesday 2nd December

Appointment at clinic. Scan of my ovaries: I was told everything looked really good. I had lots of follicles which were all a good mm in size. I had 12 one side and 10 the other. 

It was explained to me that they will need to keep a close eye as I seem to have more than normal which meant a high chance of me having Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (Google it!). Dave was shown how to administer the second injection (Gonadotrophins).

Wednesday 3rd December 

I still had to carry on with the first injection: but this was now reduced.

At 10.00 pm Dave administered the second injection: this did sting whilst the medication was going in.

Next nine days: two injections twice a day. I started to feel very sorry for myself! Bloody fed up, I felt a tad low and felt I had aged 10 years. I kept going to work and  the whole time I had to smile because of the work I do, but this kept my mind off things. Well a bit. 

Wednesday 10th December

Scan of ovaries and blood test

Again, all seemed very good and the follicles kept growing. Blood given. They were hoping to see good levels of hormone in my blood and they would let me know the results later that day. They were still concerned with the number of follicles I had, so advised I have a scan again in two days. 

We were told the morning injection could now stop on the 14th December.  They phoned three hours later with my blood results: all seemed fine. 

Friday 12th December

Scan and blood test. 

Same procedure as last time, however, we did have a nurse that seemed to be in a total rush. She did not go through everything like all the other nurses and to be honest I did get very upset with her and had a good cry. To which she replied ‘Oh dear, it is your hormones?’ I seriously wanted to shout at her but I managed to keep it together. This has been the only bad experience with the clinic so not too bad, but this could have been totally avoided if she had been more empathetic. Results came back for the blood results: all was great.

Saturday 14th December: last dose of second injection

Sunday 15th December: last dose of morning injection

Sunday 15th 8pm: HCG injection administered

Monday 16th December: drug-free day!

Reflection 2020: Looking back I should have taken a bit of time off work, I did suffer badly with headaches and in all honesty just should have called in sick. Give yourself some TLC and be open with your employer, it’s not like every day you have to try and mechanically make a baby!!

Fertility Diary #3: Exploring IVF

Dave* was asked to give another sperm sample. Thankfully this time in the comfort of our own home (much to Dave’s relief!!)

It was a short wait and sample results were in. The same as before…nothing. No sperm. Nada. He had to see his doctor again to be told again the same thing. Dave was given lots of forms (IVF application). We filled all the forms in and sent them off.

We were told that Northampton Fertility Clinic would be closest, or we could go to Oxford. We chose Northampton.

Weeks had gone by. Dave had to chase up what had happened to the forms we filled in. Northampton said they had lost them and would need to fill them in again. (Before I go on with my journal, forms getting lost and hearing nothing for weeks has happened to us a lot: feeling frustrated is an understatement.)

We finally had an appointment come through to go to Northampton to meet a fertility nurse (June 9th 2014). I was so excited and could not sleep the night before thinking that things were moving forward.

We arrived at the hospital and were greeted by a nurse. She asked us into this very small room and Dave was told his result from his sample…yet again! As if we didn’t know. Were they trying to rub salt in the wound? (Not literally – OW!) And basically, that was what the meeting was about. She asked us if we had any questions. All I did was cry. Dave knew what was wrong and explained to the nurse that we had waited weeks for this appointment only to be told what we already knew. She was very sympathetic and explained that the process is slow, and the waiting list was long. The nurse had asked me to arrange for my doctor to run blood tests to see if I was OK and I was ovulating OK. I explained I had already had this done but she said I needed to do them all over again: in case they had changed.

I then felt the most pissed off I had ever felt…really was is the bloody point? Will I be 50 before I can have a child (I was actually 32, Dave being 39).

The appointment took no longer than 12 minutes; a day off work I needed not take!

The drive home was not nice for Dave, all I could do was shout and cry. Dave being like he is, totally understanding and cool about it all (good job one of us was still sane).

Doctor’s appointment made; bloods given, results the same as before, all fine.

I had to pick the results up and post them off to Nurse D. They took one week for Nurse D to receive. 

Second appointment through: July 9th 2014, Bloods to be taken at Northampton hospital for HIV, Hep B Hep C. Arrived to be told we needed paperwork for me from the fertility clinic (which we had not been told). Luckily, they were very helpful and they did them anyway. The appointment took 30 minutes in all (half a day taken off work.) Why we had to go all the way to Northampton I will never know. We were told to think about possible donor sperm.

I felt totally sick. Me carrying someone else’s child, not Daves. No bloody way! 

Dave, of course, being the perfect man, he is said, ‘Jen as long as you get to carry your own child, I promise to be the best father I can be’.  Something happened to our relationship that evening; I had never loved him so much.  

We were told that the result would be sent to the fertility clinic and a nurse would be in touch. Even though you know there is nothing wrong with you: I still thought: what if I have got HIV or something similar…your mind goes crazy! One week later results in: nurse told us all was fine. She said they would be touch with an appointment for me to have a scan of my ovaries. Also, she asked if I could I arrange an appointment at my doctors to give me a deep sweep…. a what?! 

Deep sweep done: it was not painful at all (very much like a smear). The doctor said they are looking for any infection, chlamydia, etc. Results would be in four days. Again, worried sick thinking I had some terrible infection.

Results in: all fine. 

Third appointment: August 13th 2014. (I had to pick this date as it was in the middle of my cycle). Scan of ovaries: Internal with a camera on the end of a very long stick, this did not hurt at all; it was interesting for me to see my ovaries. The nurse told me all looked fine and healthy. Nurse D took us into a small room, handing us a lot of paperwork; forms to read and fill in (consent forms, criteria forms, our health history, etc). Nurse D said we would hear from her soon.


Appointment took 50 minutes: day taken off work. 

Three weeks gone by: not heard from Nurse D. Dave rang the clinic to be told the waiting list is long and things take time. He was asked why we were being seen by Northampton and not Oxford? He said because we were told it was closer. She explained we should have not been given the option because we are not in Northamptonshire. She told us that there was not a waiting list at Oxford so we would be transferred. I was so angry when Dave told me…why was this happening to us? The same day a lady from Oxford fertility clinic phoned to say she would need us to come in and fill in all paperwork (that we had already bloody filled in) 

She could see us the following day at 3.15. 

August 28th 2014: appointment at Oxford clinic. Met with a male doctor who went through all the paperwork with us and explained what to expect next. 

They could arrange for Dave to have an operation to see if they can find sperm (sperm retrieval). He explained that in Dave’s blood results he had normal hormone levels, which meant there could be a 60% chance they find sperm.

Why had we not been told this earlier? Dave was very matter of fact: ‘let’s get this done ASAP’ he said.

Appointment time: 90 minutes: 

We walked out that clinic walking on air…. ‘champagne tonight then, babe’ Dave said. 

Appointment through: Tuesday 7th October. 

The letter explained that Dave would need two days off work: he would feel very bruised!!. I also booked two days off.

2020 Reflection:

I wish I had spoken to my employer about what I was going through. I had to take weeks off work in total. I would also recommend you do your research – looking back, we didn’t do anywhere near enough. I wish we had researched the clinics instead of just going with the flow. This would have made things happen quicker for us I believe. It was so easy to get frustrated with all the appointments which seemingly covered very little, and having to take a whole day off just to travel for a ten minute appointment took it’s toll. So I would definitely recommend you get in the mindset that nothing is straightforward or easy. Letters go missing, appointments are cancelled and it does take a while. But – there is hope. That’s what you have to hold onto.

*Dave is a made up name to protect our identity, as any one who is entering the adoption process will understand, safeguarding and identity must be protected and respected.

Fertility Diary #2: Shock results – The Male Factor

March 2014:

Appointment with my doctor.

I explained to the Doctor the difficulties were are having, asking, ‘why have I not been able to fall pregnant yet?’ She booked me in for blood tests. One when I was on my period and one when I should have been ovulating.

Tests done, results saying was am perfectly fine.

Dave* was aware I took the tests and still was adamant it was because I was totally stressing over it, and labelled that the reason I had not fallen pregnant. 

Dave agreed he would also go to the doctor’s to put my mind at rest. 

Dave went to his G.P and was given a sperm sample bottle and asked to fill it and take it to Oxford…… Sample given. 

By the way, this was the second attempt! The first one he did (unhappily, in supermarket toilet) and then, arriving at the clinic, to be told he had missed the time slot. Sample down the toilet.  This was such a funny story…he again had the pleasure of using a supermarket toilet and being so rushed, that he left the bathroom and once back in his car, realized he had left his freshly warm sperm on top of the toilet basin!! He of course ran (leaving his car door open) and thankfully he found it untouched! He only had 45 minutes to get the fresh sample to Oxford so with the traffic, he had to be close by. You need to know these things so you can plan in advance! Why on earth could they not offer a room at the clinic? A bloody supermarket. 

The Results are in…. 

Dave was sent a letter(a LETTER!) explaining there was no sperm present in his sample. Not even one! This meant Dave was infertile. I mean a bloody letter! Face to face would had been better surely? 

I remember Dave’s face as he told me, very stern and matter of fact. He said ‘Well, Babe, I can’t give you want and it’s the most important thing in your life…a child, so you may as well leave me’. 

All I could do was cry and say nothing. I went upstairs and could not think straight. Could I be with Dave and not have a child? Of course, he meant the world to me.

I felt so bloody angry, a whole year of feeling like total shit for nothing.

For the next few days I drank a lot of wine.

Dave spoke with his doctor who again told him his result, and that we could do IVF if we fitted the criteria. 

Non-smoker, healthy BMI, no children already (funny joke), lady needing to be under 35 and living together. 

Phew, We fitted all the criteria. 

2020 Reflection:

I honestly wish we had gone private and gotten tested. This was a whole year of blaming each other, not knowing what was wrong, feeling stressed and hurt. We can laugh about it now, but for Dave to have to ‘produce’ his sample in the supermarket in order to be close enough to the hospital for the sample to be fresh, well, it’s just degrading really.

During this year, there were times when I was scared and thought we might never have our own child. We were so stressed we questioned whether we could make this work. We spoke at length about it, and how it would impact on us. Dave felt like the topic of conversation, everyone seemed to pity him. Men don’t talk about it – that’s something I’ve learned.

I never reached out to anyone at this stage and I can’t implore you enough to REACH OUT AND CONNECT with those who are going through it, have gone through it, to friends, family or to a therapist if you need to. If your man has the infertility issue, then they need support too.

*Dave is a made up name to protect our identity, as any one who is entering the adoption process will understand, safeguarding and identity must be protected and respected.

Introductory Blog: I am Brave. I am Bruised. This is who I’m meant to be; this is Me.

Hi Everyone!

Well this is my first ever blog, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I’ve always wanted to be a mum, so the last 7 years, our fertility and adoption journey, have been a pretty rough ride. It has felt like literally everything as been stacked against us.

Throughout the whole process, I wrote in my diary and took photos to help me through the journey and to process my emotions. For someone who has dyslexia, this has been no mean feat! The struggle has been tough; emotionally, physically and financially.

Despite the heart break; the fruitless IVFs, failed fertility treatments, unsuccessful operations and postponed adoption panels, there have been some real moments of joy too and I’ve held on to my positivity the whole time – as I truly believe that I’m destined to be a mum.

I recently made a vulnerable and courageous decision to share the video that I made of our journey. It was pretty raw. The fertility treatments, IVF and adoption process are not for the faint hearted. By chance, my video was noticed by Towie’s Debbie Bright, Star of TV show The Only Way is Essex. Debbie is an amazing role model who has fostered over 250 children.

In one week, I had went from a small cohort of friends and family idly liking my Insta account, to over 950 followers from across the globe! I have received messages of support from so many wonderful people!

All of this has encouraged me to share more of my story in the hope of inspiring, giving hope and supporting those of you on similar journeys. I’ve made the decision to publish my diary extracts, and create blogs and vlogs so that I can use my experiences to help others.

Please reach out, connect, ask me questions and get in touch, and remember…

Alone we are Strong, but Together we are Stronger.

Lots of Love xx

Fertility Diary #1: Trying to Conceive – Mechanical Baby Making

5th May 2013

We were sitting in our flat on a Sunday afternoon: Dave* said very calmly, do you feel ready for a baby? I replied, ‘Yes I want nothing more.’ 

‘OK babe… , let’s try, but please don’t let it take over.’

I said nothing: just took my clothes off! To bed we went.

As I went to sleep that evening, after hours of thinking…‘oh this is so happening’, 

I had never felt so happy. I’m 30 years old and knew it was the right time. 

The next day I booked an appointment at the doctors. I bought myself some ‘trying for a baby tablets’ and could not wait to get Dave in bed … again…

Three days later, I went to the doctors. I told the doctor we were trying for a baby and asked if there was anything I needed to do. She said, ‘all you have to do is not think about it and relax!’ From the day, we started I gave up mayonnaise and red wine, and guess what, I never felt relaxed!!

Period due in two days: I felt sick and tired… I must be pregnant? 

I endured a day of period pains and felt pissed off…. still, I could be pregnant? On my way back from work I bought a pregnancy test. I did think ‘you total idiot’ but was way too excited. 

That evening I came on. 

Oh, must say, my periods are dead on 28 days (perfect cycle), 

How did I feel? I cried for about two hours (did not tell Dave, remembering his words… ‘don’t let it take over!’) I poured myself a red wine and thought, ‘oh well will try again next week’. 

I will skip 10 more period stories…because the same happened every month.

How did I feel? Totally heartbroken, pissed off, worthless, what have I done to deserve this? I have put my life on hold for the last year; no going out out, no getting tipsy or having fun. I wasn’t eating what I wanted. Most of all, sex was no longer about love and fun. It was a mission and task that I no longer enjoyed – mechanical baby making. I was turning into a crazy emotional wreck, waving the smily face stick at Dave and believing he instantly had the raging horn.No, sex was a bloody mission and after the good deed, I would literally hang upside down with legs open, hoping for the shining light to beam down on my raw vagina. But that light never did shine, it instead just left me wearing panty-liners for what felt like evermore.

The people that say it will happen if you ‘just relax’ or ‘don’t think about it’ are wrong. It’s not a case of wham bam and thank you baby. NO PEOPLE!!! It does not just happen. Take your positives and do one!!

2020 Reflection

 Sitting here, reflecting back on the year of trying for a baby. 

Why do couples have to wait for 1 year before you can go to your G.P? It’s a year wasted and age/biological clock ticks (fast). Dave and I were doing everything we could to give us the best chance! Personally I would go to the doctor after 6 months especially if you’re over the age of 30. Also, in 2020 there is so much support, I would reach out and even pay privately to have fertility tests, right from the word go. That’s my opinion anyway. It would have saved us the the pain of monthly disappointment and generally making yourself ill. Looking back, I would not follow such a strict diet and would allow myself a wine over the weekend, my mental health is far more important. I lost weight and generally was unhappy, why put yourself through that for 12 months! 

*Dave is a made up name to protect our identity, as any one who is entering the adoption process will understand, safeguarding and identity must be protected and respected.