Sunday, 19 August 2007

Other people's news

We had friends to stay over the weekend. They arrived early, so we were still frantically stashing things in the cupboard under the stairs in the vain hope of making the house seem bigger/tidier. After Mr H and his friend M had had one of those pointless male conversations about which route they had taken - the A1 or the M1 - M & P looked at each other expectantly. 'You tell them.' 'No, you tell them.' I've been in this situation enough times to know what is coming, and so I begin trying to arrange my features into what I hope is an expression of pleased excitement, for yes - M & P have some news to tell us; they are going to have a baby. Of course I am happy for them, but there is a part of me that thinks, 'why can't we have our own announcement to make? why did this have to happen to us?'

I manage not to cry in front of M & P, but save my tears for bedtime, when it seems that a long, empty and childless future stretches out before me. Perhaps we will find a way of coming to terms with not having children - I will focus on my career; I may even write the novel that has been rattling around the back of my mind all the time I've been supposed to be writing up my PhD. But then another image flashes into my mind - we will be invited to other people's children's birthday parties, which will serve as a constant reminder to us of what we could have had, and my plans for a childfree future collapse around me. 'Everyone we know is having babies,' I wail. 'We're going to be the only ones without a child. People will invite us to their kid's parties just to feel sorry for us.'

At this point, Mr H kindly points out to me that not everyone we know is pregnant. He goes on to list every single one of our acquaintances who does not have a baby.

I do love him, but there are times when I want to smack him.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

The road so far

Everything changes once you make the decision to go to the doctors. Up until that point, you can continue to think 'well, maybe next month...' But after you've made that first appointment, there's no going back - you're put on the waiting list for another appointment, and then another one, and then another one. You hand your body over to the medical profession, and then, somewhere much further down the line, you realise that you've lost the happy, healthy and instinctive relationship you used to have with that body.

After about a year of trying (initially to conceive, but then latterly to convince ourselves that we didn't have a problem in that respect), we made an appointment to see our GP, who referred us to a gynaecologist. After waiting twelve weeks, we saw the gynaecologist, who did all the usual bloodtests, and recommended a laparoscopy. The laparoscopy revealed some minimal endometriosis & two small fibroids. All my bloodwork came back normal. Only then did anyone think to test Mr H, at which point it became apparent that there were problems with both the morphology & motility of his sperm. We then received the devastating news that our best chances of conceiving lay with IVF/ICSI. Since then, we've moved house, changed clinics and been on more waiting lists.

Then in June 2006, the unbelievable happened. Against all the odds, I found out that I'd managed to conceive naturally. At long last, I was carrying the baby that I had longed for. Unfortunately, I had barely had time to get used to being pregnant before it was all over; I miscarried at seven weeks.

Since then, we've kept on trying, but to no avail. Time is marching on, however, and so we've made the decision to go ahead with a cycle of IVF/ICSI in December. In the meantime, I am trying to remain optimistic; there is a small chance that, with some judicious timing and copious amounts of Foresight vitamins, we may manage to conceive naturally.