Why Can't I Just Get Pregnant Like a Normal Person? | My Frustrating Journey through Infertility


I thought it would be so easy.

When my husband and I decided to start trying for our first child, I thought it would happen straight away. Maybe not the first time, but I'd been reading pregnancy-related books and websites (to prepare myself for the inevitable) and heard that most couples manage to conceive within the first six months of trying.

We were both fit, healthy, non-smokers, with no medical issues and the ideal weight for our respective heights - the perfect candidates on paper. So it was bound to happen quickly and easily, right?

Wrong. It's now more than three years later...and we still have no baby to show for our efforts.

Our Infertility Story

This isn't going to be one of those 'All I ever wanted was to be a mother' type posts. I've never been the maternal type and always said I didn't want kids. While other women would swoon over newborn babies and make soppy goo-goo noises, I'd always stand slightly back, politely mumbling "Aww, he's so cute" while secretly hoping they wouldn't try to make me hold their little bundle of joy. (Why do women insist on making everyone hold their baby, btw? It only starts screaming in the unsuspecting victim's face the second it leaves its mother's arms.)

But then something happened: I hit The Big 3-0. That wonderful biological clock that all females seem to have started ticking away inside me. I began to wonder whether I really never want to have children, or if I just felt like I wasn't ready for them right now. I knew that if I wanted kids to be a part of my future, I'd have to start trying now - otherwise I might miss my chance and end up regretting it.

My husband, meanwhile, is so laid back he's almost horizontal. While he always saw himself having a couple of kids, he was happy just to go with the flow and let me decide when the time was right (which was quite a risky game in my opinion, as I might never have decided that).

We were both 31 when we started trying to conceive. I think our age was the only thing going against us - after all, we weren't 21 anymore, but plenty of couples have babies in their thirties and even into their forties. It's becoming the norm nowadays.

I remember getting my period after that first month of trying. I felt quite amused, to be honest. All those years I'd been using contraception and trying not to fall pregnant - it felt so weird that you could have unprotected sex with no consequences. But then a few more months passed with nothing happening, and I started to get confused. This was weird. Then six months passed, the time it takes for most people to conceive. The confusion turned to worry. There must be something wrong with me! There must be something wrong with him! What if there's something wrong with BOTH OF US?

After a year we decided to visit the GP. We were sent for a series of blood tests, scans (me), semen analyses (him) and a hysteroscopy (me again - and ouch!) over the next few months - all of which came back negative. There was nothing wrong with either of us. The doctors seemed to think this was good news. "There's nothing stopping you from getting pregnant!" they told me. When I asked them to explain why, in that case, I hadn't got pregnant, they were at a loss. It was just put down to 'unexplained infertility' - possibly the most frustrating kind of infertility, I think, because there's no problem to solve. I was hoping they'd say, "This is the issue and here's how we're going to fix it" but nope, just a "Sorry, we got nothing for ya".

Meanwhile, our friends were busy having their second and third (and in one case, sixth) children and people were beginning to ask us when we were planning to start a family. I don't mind discussing it with my friends and close family but these people were often just casual acquaintances and sometimes downright strangers. Let me tell you, when you're struggling with infertility the last thing you need is nosy busybodies sticking their oar in and questioning you on your sex life.

Eventually, after two and a half years of trying unsuccessfully and my becoming a little hysterical, a doctor decided to refer us for IVF. She said that as I'm in good health with no medical problems, and because of my age (now 34) I was a good candidate. In theory there would be nothing stopping the procedure from working. I was referred to Bart's Hospital in London.

Unfortunately though, while we were in the process of being referred, the funding for IVF on the NHS was cut from three cycles down to just one. That means if the first cycle fails then we'll have to pay for any further treatment. I'm so grateful to have the NHS and the opportunity to have IVF for free even once, but I do feel like a safety net has been taken away from me when a few weeks earlier I would've been able to have three tries - if nothing else, it would definitely have meant a little less pressure on me to make it work the first time.

That's the gist of my infertility struggles so far. We are starting IVF so our story is still ongoing, but now we have hope for the future. I turn 35 in June and if our one free IVF procedure doesn't work, we'll probably pay for another round or two, but after that I'll probably just accept that it was never meant to be. I'll keep you all updated in a future post dedicated to my IVF story.

Have you ever dealt with infertility?


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Comments

  1. The unexplained infertility category was always one that never sat well with me. Like you, I thought if there’s a problem we can deal with it but when it’s unexplained there’s no reason and no answer. I remember I told the infertility specialist I was looking for answers after three years of trying too and she told me to stop looking as things will remain unanswered. I really do feel for you and I can relate to a lot of your emotions and frustrations in this post. It saddens me that NHS in England have reduced the amount of IVF and it often seems like a postcode lottery North of the Border. I wish you every luck and success with your IVF and hope you get that positive outcome.

    Leann
    https://arthritisfighterleann.com

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    1. The unexplained part is the worst. I want to know what's wrong so I can fix it! Yes, the funding being reduced for IVF is frustrating too; I just feel like it's one obstacle after the other at this point. Thanks for reading and commenting and sharing your experience x

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  2. I can completely relate to turning 30 and suddenly thinking it’s now or never (although at 34 myself I don’t have any children so I suppose I’ve been thinking it’s now or never for 4 years so far).
    I wish you all the luck in the world with your IVF treatment! I’ll be here reading your story as you go and crossing everything for you! x x

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    1. Thanks Elaine. Well, maybe start trying now as you don't know what curveballs life is gonna throw at ya! If I'd known it was going to take so long I'd've started earlier. Thanks for your support x

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  3. Good luck with your IVF hun I really hope it works for you! I can imagine how frustrating it must be to have no answers as to why it isn't happening naturally for you, I really want a big family and I don't know how I'll cope if I end up being told I can't have children I actually think it'd break my heart! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and I can't wait to read more about your journey!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

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    1. I only want to have one or two kids, I can't see myself with a large family (especially at this point) but I hope everything goes smoothly for you when you decide to start your family!

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  4. I wish you nothing but the best on your journey. Your season is coming just wait. Don’t let the setbacks keep you down in the dumps!

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    1. Thanks MJ, I'm trying to stay positive but no-one can guarantee that it's going to happen.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I think infertility needs to be talked about more, as I believe there is a massive misconception that when you start trying you'll fall pregnant practically straight away and that often isn't the case. And it can be hard to deal with that. We're still in the process of being referred for tests etc to investigate me further, I've already been diagnosed with PCOS but beyond that know nothing of my reproductive health, but have established the problem probably doesn't lie with my husband after his sperm analysis. We're looking in to going private, as the tests etc and consultation will all be done in a day which seems like a better option to me. We are also now considering adopting. I know we're young and could continue trying for years before we reach a point where we might consider ourselves to be getting too old, but I have so much yearning for a child of our own. Honestly, all I've ever wanted is to be a mother. I've never wanted anything else in life. And whilst we adopt, nothing is stopping us from continuing to try and hopefully one day produce a baby brother or sister for our adopted child. Still, nothing is set in stone yet. It's just something we are looking into. I'm pleased to hear you're going for IVF - and I'll crossing everything that it works for you. Please keep us updated <3 x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. Thanks Aimee. After reading your story, and the book you recommended to me, I wanted to share my story too. However, I know that some women have it harder than me. They have an actual physical and emotional NEED to have a baby, to have someone to love and nurture and will do absolutely anything to get that. My feelings are not quite that strong although I would love a future with children and want to be able to give my husband a kid or two. I'm not sure if we'd go as far as adoption; that's something to consider when we've exhausted all the options of having our own.

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  6. This was so interesting! I'm so sorry that you're going through this. There's absolutely nothing more frustrating than when a doctor turns around and says 'I don't know' especially when there's a clock ticking. I have everything crossed that the IVF works for you x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Sophie! I'm glad you found it interesting; infertility is something that more people should know about.

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  7. I know this post is almost a month old, but I was exploring some of my favorite bloggers when your link came up. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I remember when I got first pregnant and then loss the baby only a few weeks afterwards. My husband and I were worried we would never get pregnant. Turns out, I have a blood problem that is not compatible with my husbands. Anyways, I am your age pregnant with my second child. I know it is frustrating. We had to watch my cycle carefully or else there was no luck for us. I pray that the IVF works for you. I hope my comment doesn't bring you down, but I will keep you in my prayers.

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    1. Hi Amber, thanks so much for your comment - it brightened my day. It was really nice of you to stop and offer your support even though the post is a month old. I wish you a safe and happy pregnancy.

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  8. Hey I know we don't know each other but if I could give you a hug I would. I was you, we were you, only a few years ago. Those few years feel like both a lifetime ago and just yesterday.
    We too tried on our own expecting the inevitable to happen, struggled as we watched everyone around us get pregnant (the unplanned ones got to me sometimes), and prayed every day that the next treatment would be the one that works.
    We ultimately ended up having to do 3.5 cycles (long, weird medical story) of IVF. That last hail Mary our doctors threw was the one that stuck. Our ONLY good embryo and our only positive pregnancy in over 3 years of trying made our daughter.
    We never gave up on each other and I think that's important. It's scary, emotional and crazy but you just have to be there for each other no matter what happens.
    If you ever, ever, want to talk, want something weird that's happening explained, or anything else. Please let me know. After going through it I wouldn't want any other woman to feel like she's the only one.
    Good luck with your journey!

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    1. Thanks so much for this comment. I love talking to other women who have had or are having IVF. It's a scary and unpleasant thing to go through but knowing others have been through the same thing is comforting. Thanks again for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a lovely comment, it really means so much.

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