“Why didn’t you try IVF?”

Which answer do you want?

The short answer is this “because it wouldn’t have worked and I couldn’t of coped if it hadn’t worked or worse I fell pregnant and lost a child”

The long answer.

When I was 18 months old I started having fits. I was on so many drugs that I don’t really remember any of my early childhood. I have a couple of random memories but the rest are still as they are from photographs.

When I was 7 I had appendicitis that went terribly wrong, I was in hospital for a month, everyone thought I might die. I didn’t.

At 11 I was meant to go to my Dads wedding but I couldn’t I’d just got over another operation and I just wasn’t well enough. This operation had been fought for, I’d been off school on and off ever since my operation and progressively was unable to poo, felt sick all the time and just felt awful.

My gran ended up paying for me to see a consultant in London as local doctors said there was nothing wrong. The consultant scanned me and I had poo up to my mouth. I was operated on again and was in hospital for 3 weeks. I then had ME for about 3 years but at its height I couldn’t get up and walk to the toilet and slept 23 out of 24 hours. Roll on about 12-14 years, I finished school started university. Came home with glandulafever, started Uni again. Started being sick, started having this intense pain in my stomach, kept on being asked if I was pregnant, I took tests but they were always negative. But I didn’t want children any time soon so it was ok.

I wanted to work with children, so I started working in nurseries, did a stint in a children’s home and met my ex boyfriend, we moved in together, I kept being sick, had a scan I had Gall stones, I’d lost about 4 stone and the Dr sent me for another scan as she noticed distortion in my stomach. Giant cysts, which had probably laid dormant since my appendicitis. I had my gallbladder removed on the 31st of December and my Cysts removed the following May. It was all open surgery as I had so many adhesions the surgery was always risky. “We might cut your bowel, you’d have to have a colostomy bag” the surgeons told me, My Mum who was always with me throughout all the operations and recovery time said “oh they always have to tell you the worst”.

I woke up after the Cyst operation and my Surgeon came to see me. He rubbed my foot, I couldn’t feel it as I’d had an epidural. He smiled and got out some photos. He’d taken photos of the cysts by his hands and they were bigger than his closed fist. There were 4 of them and my Fallopian tubes were infected so he’d removed one and tied up the other. I’d been operated on for 8 hours. It was complicated and due to the extensive damage caused there was very little chance I could get pregnant by natural means. He threw some percentages at me 32% chance of IVF working before I was 30 then it would start to fall.

I was gutted. But I don’t remember much else just feeling very sad and sore and told my Mum to tell my boyfriend because I couldn’t say the words out loud.

My ex and I broke up a year later and I met my later to be husband. Years went by and we had a wonderful life with friends and family and going on holidays. I remember driving back up to Luton after visiting friends and family in Kent and I told him that I wanted to have children. I told him I wanted to adopt, I told him I wanted to marry him first. He agreed to it all!

We talked about IVF and he was fine not to try it, my honest thoughts about it were how would I be able to have children. I was 34 so extremely limited chances, IVF would be a gruelling process that would probably not work. But adoption. We are good people and there are so many children that need a good home. I knew it would be tricky. But not as tricky as not being able to fall pregnant or worst still falling pregnant and losing the baby. I couldn’t of coped with that.

So we did it. We adopted and it’s absolutely the right decision for us. It wasn’t an after thought. It was the easier option for us.  So many people have heard such wonderful stories of how IVF worked or how people fell pregnant after IVF and some people go on to say “why didn’t you” even though they know we adopted.

I had it yesterday in the hospital from a nurse, who was lovely by the way and meant no harm.

But of course adoption and giving birth to your own children is different. There is no denying that. What seems to be up for discussion is an open chat about whether I feel disappointed that I didn’t “have my own children” I’ve got two of them actually. Two of my own children who didn’t grow in my tummy and were not with me from birth but they are the children I have always dreamed of. Their personalities are awesome, hard work but awesome. Their laughs and smiles could light up the night sky.

Just because I didn’t grow them in my tummy, just because I didn’t go through the birth process or breast feed them. They are still mine.

I am their Mother, I am the one raising them, messing up daily, occasionally losing my shit but loving them always. I am the one trying to show them that feelings are important but there are better ways to express them, I am the one they call out for in the middle of the night and who they run to when they leave school or nursery. They are the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night.

I have no judgement about others having children through IVF, I think its amazing. I know several families who IVF has worked for and they have the most beautiful healthy children. But IVF wasn’t for us. I couldn’t of coped mentally or physically. Maybe I could, we all know we are stronger than we ever knew was possible, but I still wouldn’t change anything. Adoption was our first option.

2 comments

  1. Thank you. As someone who turned down IVF and had tried to be in the online infertility community, it’s a lonely and judged place to be. Never mind the ‘real’ world.
    Thank you for sharing. It means the world that you shared your story. Thank you.

    Like

  2. You really are so brave and amazing.

    I can’t even imagine someone thinking just because you adopted that you don’t have your own children?! It wouldn’t even enter my head. You have two beautiful children and I bet they think they are the luckiest kids ever to have you as mum 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

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