10 February 2012

Three Little Letters


It’s funny how your perspective changes over time.

Even before we went to the GP to say we were having trouble conceiving, I told Mr Goldfish that IVF wasn't an option. Of course at that point all I knew about IVF is what you see on the news, cases where women are having quintuplets - but that wasn’t my only reason.

I believe things happen for a reason and that trying to fight fate just brings you pain and heartache. My health is already quite poor, and I worry about passing these conditions on to a child. If my health stops me from being a mother, I can’t help but wonder if that’s for the best. I was also concerned by the cost. In a time when medicine has a treatment for everything, I wonder where we start drawing the line; when are the costs for society too high? And finally I have a serious phobia of needles. This doesn’t mean I avoid them though. I was on Depo injections for three years and have had more than 17 blood tests in the last twelve months, but - no matter how often I face them - the phobia doesn’t budge. I’ve worried many a doctor by bursting into twitchy hysterical laughter when faced with needles, to the extent that several have refused to even try. The idea of weeks of needles, full of hormones, bound to make me even more irrational, sounds insurmountable. I worry that I won’t be able to follow through. That I may get two or three weeks in and have a complete breakdown – refusing to have anymore. It’s not that I don’t think the cost is worth it, but I’ve been paralysed by anxiety before and, like depression, it’s not something you have control over. So for a multitude of reasons I didn’t think IVF was for me.

Then we got Mr Goldfish’s test results back. Those first results were so poor, that our GP suggested that IVF would be our only option. Suddenly the landscape changed, instead of it being my health that was causing the problem it was the hardy Mr Goldfish’s. Where I had the final choice before, this became a decision between both of us...and Mr G wanted a child of his own, he wanted to try the IVF.

Since then things have continued to change dramatically. Vitamins improved Mr Goldfish’s tests results, but we’ve still been on this conveyor belt, marching ever closer to IVF – and I’ve still not been convinced. After Christmas I seriously considered giving up. The Clomid hadn’t worked and I was draining the last of my reserves, I didn’t have much fight left - but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t change my heart. When I spoke of having children it was when, not if. I’d catch myself each time, but couldn’t convince myself we were done.

After a small rescheduling panic last week we finally went back to the fertility clinic for the first time in nine months. The doctor greeted us with ‘I assume you’re here to tell me three letters?’ Within minutes we’d signed the papers and were on our way – We’re now IVF patients.

This was originally published on the Emma's Diary Blog.