Fertility Treatment: The Second Go

It was a Monday afternoon. I was looking forward to having the afternoon to catch up on all my daily tasks. But when you’re undergoing fertility treatment you’re at the mercy of your cycle.

I went to the loo. There was blood. Shit I thought. I’m doing this already. You see, for the uninitiated amongst you, day one of the cycle is when the go button gets pressed. I’d only seen the consultant on Friday. My periods have been a little erratic of late and this one had decided to be shorter than ever. I’d been hoping I had a week or so to relax a little but here it was surprising me. Of course last time when I was desperate to start the treatment it was five days later than normal. You just can’t win.

So I dropped my house admin tasks I’d set myself and phoned the clinic for an appointment tomorrow. I was on hold for two hours. Still, I managed to not get quite as stressed as last time. In fact, I’m typing this as I listen to the monotonous hold music over and over again. I need them to answer soon as I also need to phone the sperm bank because I didn’t manage to sort that on Friday either and I couldn’t get hold of the right person on Saturday. Somehow, even though this shouldn’t be such a rushed stress, it seems that yet again it’s going to be.

So I’m nervous, but excited. This time I feel like it’s going to work. I guess you always have to believe it will work else you’d never do it. Just because the odds are bloody low, it has to work for someone right so maybe that someone will be me.

I went to the hospital the next day, had a scan and started my treatment. Five days of tablets, followed by three injections on alternate days. Injections which I had to administer myself I might add. Once I’d got over the fear of stabbing myself it actually wasn’t that bad, but it took a hell of a lot of guts to push it into my flesh that first time. Luckily I had a friend staying who was able to talk me through it (thank you if you’re reading).

It felt like I was back to the clinic for a scan every second day. They wanted to see how things were progressing. On Sunday my womb lining was very thin. By the Tuesday when I had the next scan, it was even thinner! Things weren’t looking good. Although I had two lovely follicles growing (now 16ml), my womb lining was only 3ml (and they wanted at least 7ml). It seemed like the treatment would be cancelled. Apparently the medication I’d been on, although it can help with ovulation, can (in very rare incidences) also stop the womb lining grow. Great to know that now folks.

I was beyond gutted.

I’d let myself believe that I was worthy of some good luck after the stresses and strains of the last few years. I thought maybe this would be it. I’d be able to get pregnant ‘easily’ (or as easy as it can be when you don’t have a free supply of sperm and it involves wads of cash, numerous appointments and seemingly endless waiting). It wasn’t to be. I felt exhausted. Why did life have to be so damn hard. It felt like everything was a fight. If it wasn’t my ex, it was the child maintenance or the social services, or whoever the latest daily drama entailed – nothing was simple anymore, I had to waste all this energy fighting for things which shouldn’t be so difficult. To put it bluntly I was having a major self-centred pity party on my own behalf as I walked through central London in tears. I allowed myself long enough to get home, then I got back into fighting mode.

Thanks to the facebook group of women in similar situations I learnt that acupuncture was deemed the best thing to get the old womb lining going so I booked an appointment. I could just about fit it in between work and nursery pick up. I hadn’t done acupuncture since a back injury in my youth. I don’t know what other people make of it but it was bloody
painful as the woman stabbed me with the needles and twisted them in to me. Once they were in the pain generally wore off. I lay there for about half an hour with needles sticking out of the ear, arms, feet, legs, stomach and head. Yes, you read that right. I want this child so much that I was willing to allow someone to stick a needle in my head. On the Thursday I went back again for more needles, this time I even got one in my face. Seriously, the things we do!

Finally Friday rolled around, I had a scan first thing in the morning to see if there was any chance of going ahead with the treatment. I woke my son early, scooped him up and straight into the buggy and headed off through rush hour traffic on a busy London bus. The scan showed the womb lining had grown, but only slightly. The treatment was cancelled. I was upset, but not surprised, in fact I wasn’t even that upset. I’d been expecting it, this was really just a formality and I didn’t have time to feel anything as my son was yanking at my knee and we needed to head to swimming class before we were late. So my second attempt wasn’t to be my second attempt at all. Fingers crossed for third time lucky.


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This post is part of my single mum by choice series. You can read all about it here:

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