A Real Life Doll

My baby sister is 13 years younger than me, and she was my first real life doll. I used to sew her fancy dress costumes and plait her hair, and curl it. I now have my very own real life doll, and I can’t wait for her hair to grow long so I can plait it to!

In the mean time, I have been sewing for her. I’ve started with bibs. Do you know how much babies dribble?! A lot! And the shop prices are silly for what is essentially a small triangle of fabric. So, my little baby girl is styled in off cuts, old t-shirts & pretty fat quarters that have been remastered into bibs.

My next project is to make her a sun hat, so far I have made a handful of mistakes, including cutting on the fold line, and giving too big a seam allowance so the body and rim of the hat don’t fit each other, but I will get there.

So we had IVF…

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.

Hello Out There!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks procrastinating as to how to start a blog, trying to work out what I wanted to write, and trying to figure out what I want to achieve. Truth be told, I am not entirely sure. All I know is that I would like to share my experiences with anyone who stumbles across this site and cares to read.

I plan to dig out my journal that I kept during the two rounds of IVF that we did, and share some of the extracts. It all seems so distant now that we have our baby girl. At the time, it was all encompassing. I am usually a very outgoing, loud, positive person, but in hindsight, I completely changed. I cut off friends and family, and point blank refused to talk about it with anyone, apart from the hubster, and a couple of colleagues, but not my Mum, who I usually share everything with, and not my best friend, who’s been there for me through a lot in the 20+ years that I’ve known her.

My poor bestie, she called way before our IVF was in full swing to tell me she was pregnant. They’d been trying a couple of months. I was pleased for her, I really was, I just couldn’t talk to her. I came off the phone and sobbed, and I mean really sobbed, on my husbands shoulder for a good while. I am lucky that she was and still is there for me. The problem is, in this day and age, we’re all used to being fully in control of our own destiny. I had a fantastic job, an amazing husband, a lovely and warm home, but I couldn’t just pop the cherry on top with a little baby, and it took a long time to process this.

I will dive more into the IVF story next time….. x