Deep down, I always thought I’d need IVF. I don’t know why, but I just did. It’s like knowing that you’ll never win a competition, or knowing that you’d get picked last for a team at school. I just knew that it wouldn’t be straight forward.
So, after we’d been trying for nearly a year, we trundled off to the GP for tests and a referral. It was all a bit of a palaver really until we got referred, then everything seemed to happen pretty quickly. I remember sitting in the waiting room for the results of our tests and saying to my husband, ‘what if we can’t have children?’. Although I always thought we’d need help, and we’d got this far, I’d not really processed the ‘what if’.
It turned out that I had a low egg reserve, and my husband had at that time less than 1% ‘morphology’, which means that less than 1 swimmer in 100 looked normal, you know, 1 oval head, 1 tail, swims in a straight line…. Did you know that 5% morphology is considered normal? This is dropping rapidly so I am told, and only a few years ago was higher, so I do wonder at what point it’ll drop so low that the human race struggles to survive.
Getting through IVF splits into two parts for me, mentally coping, and physically coping. The physical stuff is easy enough to get through if you’re not squeamish, frightened of needles or prudish. The mental stuff is much harder. When you’ve spent your whole life being in control of your own destiny, it comes as a massive shock when faced with the odds of success. Endless googling, reading, researching, trying to find out how you can beat the odds. The short answer is, you can’t. Accepting that is hard.
The only way I could stay sane was to have a plan, an escape route, a way of holding on to a tiny thread of control. For me, this was adoption. We’d discussed how many rounds of IVF to have, and when to call it a day, and we both felt that we’d prefer to throw money at a child who was already in the world, than endless rounds of IVF. This is such a personal choice, and I know others who’ve had more than 7 rounds.
We were lucky though, round 2 gave us our little girl. She’s such a delight but every day I look at her and think how lucky we are.