I’m 33, incredibly happy and lucky to be pregnant with my first baby following successful IVF.
I wanted to share my story from its painful beginnings to its eventual happy ending in the hope that it may help someone else out there who is going through a similar experience feel less alone. I’ll be publishing my story in several parts, leading up to the birth of my daughter, expected in February 2012.
Even though we’re going back around four years, I can distinctly remember how my story started. I went to the doctor to talk about my intensely painful, heavy periods (which lasted 7-10 days and often made me anaemic), and how nothing I’d tried had had much of an effect. Since we’d already tried prescription medication for the pain he wanted to do some blood tests and mentioned a couple of possible conditions, PCOS and endometriosis, which, if I’m honest, I had never even heard of at the time.
I’ve always been really healthy so I didn’t expect there to be anything wrong with me, I was just after some way to relieve the monthly pain. I asked my doctor what the blood tests could show, and he said it’s best not to worry just yet but in some cases PCOS (which is what he thought was the most likely) can make it difficult to conceive. At the time my husband and I had been trying for around ten months but I hadn’t been concerned because ten months didn’t seem overly long to me.
After taking my blood tests on the appointed days, I went back for my results. The tests showed that I had ovulated normally and fortunately it was unlikely I had PCOS. The doctor said there could, of course, be other barriers to our fertility but he was unwilling to do further tests until we’d been trying for another nine months or so because it was likely we’d conceive naturally in that time.
I know it might seem like it was nothing but, at the time, that scare was a turning point because made me realise just how much I wanted to become pregnant. Following internet research and discussion with the wonderful ladies at Momtastic’s Baby & Bump forums, I invested in ovulation sticks, a digital thermometer and learned how to track my fertility in order to maximise our chances of conception. I’d become a woman on a mission! My husband was very supportive because he wanted a family as much as I did.
Would it work? At the time I was determined it would! The next part of my story will track my efforts to conceive naturally, the emotional highs and lows that accompanied those efforts and my first real forays into fertility treatment on the NHS.