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It Started with ICSI

A blog by Jane Newman, January 9, 2015

I have an amazing relationship with my eldest daughter. Ask her who my best friend is, she will say she is. Going through fertility treatment is tough. Most of the time I’d encourage people to talk about how they are feeling at each stage. To express their emotions. But not when another child is involved. When they have one already, like I did. I had to be very careful not to let her see when I was hurting. By this I mean both physically and emotionally.

Luckily I was able to do this. Even on the days when I felt so low I just had to have a moment to myself, to stop myself crying or at least do so without her noticing. I seemed to become a pro at this, because fortunately when I checked with her school to see how she was doing they’d always tell me what a happy, kind and caring little girl she was.

The fact that she was at school also counted in our favour because we attended the fertility clinic as much as we could when she was there, which saved us having to explain to her where we’d been, what we’d been doing, why. Children of her age like to ask a lot of questions!

So back to the treatment. After my menstrual cycle was monitored, numerous blood tests were taken, scans were performed and conversations arose. The outcome of all of this was the decision to use ICSI. A nurse showed me which injections to do where and explained when to do these. She also went through a list of do’s and don’ts, gave me a hard copy of this, and sent us on our way. It was all very overwhelming to say the least. So much to take in, so much to remember. I’m not a great sleeper at the best of times, but my nights were spent lying awake stressing about the next injection, worrying I’d do it wrong and treatment would fail and it would be my fault.

I did make a mistake once. I managed to lose half the liquid in the syringe before I’d injected it. Hence I frantically called the clinic, who reassured me to carry on as normal and try not to worry about what had happened. However, despite being reassured, my anxiety levels had increased after the episode. With time though, I understood the importance of trusting the professionals. For my sake because I needed to be as relaxed as possible in order to give treatment the best shot.

Travelling to the clinic became a journey my husband and I dreaded. It was a long journey, with a great deal of traffic, which meant a lot of time to ponder what would be the outcome of each appointment before we got there. Too much time on our hands meant we’d speculate what would happen, what the consultant might say or do. Either that or we sat in silence, having the same thoughts, just not vocalising them, not wanting to stress each other out.

I was given different injections and medication at each stage of treatment. So many stages meant that at each of these stages, was a chance something could go wrong. It’s a very negative way to look at it, but I couldn’t help it, couldn’t prevent the doubt from forming in my mind. Even if we got to the stage of egg collection, my huge problem was the lining of my uterus. We never knew whether it would be thick enough for implantation to take place. To remind you, it was very thin due to the scarring I’ve mentioned previously. The uterus has to be a certain thickness before implantation can be carried out.

Our lives had been encapsulated by our attempts to have another baby, provide our daughter with a sibling, complete our family. Some days we could only aim to get through each day, the stress was so overwhelming. The waiting to hear whether our embryos had survived overnight, how many we had left. However, as with other who have secondary infertility, our reality check was the fact we had a child of our own. Our amazing precious daughter. We reminded ourselves of this every day, and were always, always grateful of this.


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