Our Rocky Road to Family Life (My IVF Story)by Ellie Thompson
IVF is An Accumulator Bet
As this is my first blog post for Your Baby Club I thought I’d fill you guys in on a bit of a backstory…
Self-funding an IVF cycle
Picture the scene if you will: Charlie Bucket in a newsagent’s with just enough money scraped together to buy one of Wonka’s chocolate bars in the slim hope of finding a golden ticket. THAT is how it feels to be standing down the barrel of an IVF cycle. The odds are probably about the same as a trip to the chocolate factory, or for some, winning the lottery.
That was us this time a year ago.
I was STRESSED. Silly really as I knew the drill the second time around. We’d been successful the first time - our daughter is now 2 years old. Something about a second cycle scared me even more than the first.
Fertility and age
For a start I was older: 37 years of age. That’s a lot of old in the world of fertility; you only have to look at the stats.
I was certainly skinter: we had minimal funds left from our remortgage and if a second cycle failed we were left with no other options, so it would have been game over for sure.
Second time around I was most definitely wiser which I’m not sure worked in my favour. The old saying of ‘ignorance is bliss’ comes to mind. What you don’t know won't hurt you… It’s all about PMA. These are good clichés for a reason.
IVF/TTC A Place to Talk
Having set up an IVF support group on social media I’d witnessed so much heartbreak from others it seemed almost impossible to succeed. And why should we get lucky a second time when others couldn’t be lucky at all?
None of it felt fair on so many levels. Why us anyway? Everyone else I knew seemed to be popping out children to order. “I’m happy for you, I’m just sad for me.” That’s the meme I kept seeing on the #ttc thread on Instagram. Well, hats off to them - I admire those girls for being so gracious. I was mostly just angry.
And then all of a sudden there I was, with a heart full of hope and a big blue hospital bag stuffed full of suppositories, syringes and needles of various different shapes and sizes, numerous vials of drugs and an endless supply of sachets of antiseptic alcohol wipes. It was happening. Again.
An IVF cycle can appear to be fairly straight forward when you see it all mapped out – and it can be for some IF your body decides to play ball. Usually, the point of IVF is because your body or your partner’s isn’t obeying the rules, and that’s when things can err of the side of extra shit.
Embryo transfer day
There are many hurdles to jump before you can even hope to be lying on that hospital bed legs akimbo while they catapult your viable embryo up into your womb. It’s at precisely this point you’ll be lying on your back staring at the ceiling wondering if they’ll let you lie there for two weeks stock still because you’re too scared to stand up in case it falls out onto the floor in front of you.
You’ll also (by the way) be petrified of coughing, sneezing, weeing and shitting (especially shitting) during the dreaded two-week wait. I’m personally a huge believer in gravity - how does it not fall out?
To get back on track – what I’m trying to say is to reach embryo transfer day is a massive milestone but its by no means a home run to the 12-week scan, the baby shower or the due date.
IVF is a gamble
To finish with just one more inspiring sports metaphor, here’s one of my own: IVF is putting everything you’ve got on an accumulator bet at the horses. It’s gambling. From the very first appointment to the day you give birth. SO much has to go right when so much can go wrong…
We won the lottery twice and our second child was born eleven weeks ago.
To be continued…