By Imogen Rossam
It never crossed my mind that infertility could or would ever be part of my life! I have wanted to be a mom since I was young, and I just assumed it would happen easily when I was ready. I met and married the man of my dreams in 2013 and after our wedding we immediately started trying. We daydreamed and planned about the baby we were “about” to have and both assumed that within the year and our little family would begin.
Sadly that’s exactly NOT what happened. After about 9 months of no positive results, I went to see my gynae who said there is nothing to worry about as it can take some women up to a year to fall pregnant. I was a healthy 32 year old with no gynaecological problems and so I shouldnt worry! So I went home feeling slightly better, but something deep in my stomach was telling me something was wrong. A month later my appendix nearly burst and I had to have surgery to remove it. After the operation the surgeon came to us and told me that she had had a look around whilst in there and found that I had very bad endometriosis. “Endo what?” I thought. I had never even heard of the disease and certainly didnt know I had it.
I approached my gynae once again with these findings who suggested we do a lapscope immediately. He confirmed that I had severe endometriosis and that he had done his best to clear it during the procedure, but that it was most likely the reason I was battling to fall pregnant. He suggested we go straight for some Fertility assistance as it was quite severe. So in August 2015 we first visited the Vitalab.
It felt like a whirlwind death sentence – I did not know I had endometriosis? How can this be happening to me? I don’t want to have an infertilty problem! I don’t want to see a doctor to help us fall pregnant when its supposed to happen naturally! This was not part of my plan.
Fast forward a few months and our first attempt at IVF. The injections and hormones were completely bearable and I was slightly relieved at being closer than ever to having a baby. Our embryos grew well and we were able to implant two and freeze two. I was ecstatic! Then the crash came… Our blood test two weeks later revealed that I was not pregnant and after genetically testing the frozen embryos they were found to be genetically abnormal and therefore not usable. My entire world fell apart – I felt like I had had a miscarriage. Our marriage was suffering as both my husband and I were dealing with the process in completely different ways. How did we get here?
We decided to take a years break, where I focused on my health and I saw a Homeopath an acupuncturist. After the year, my hormones levels were nromal and I felt like to was ready to try again. We went back to the fertility clinic to pursue a round 2 of IVF, but after a scan it was revealed that I had a huge endometrial cyst on my right ovary that would make IVF impossible. So another lapscope to remove this and as much other endo as they could was scheduled for Nov 2016. Once that was completed, we began hormones straight away. And once again the rollercoaster of emotions and joy and hope and fear, was set into motion.
In January 2017 we had only four eggs from my left ovary removed as my right ovary was not usable due to more endometriosis. Sadly none of these 4 survived their first week. Devastation once again,
We are slowly recovering now and planning a third round with a bit more focus on getting rid of the endometriosis first. The worst part is, I feel so hopeless that getting excited for round 3 doesn’t even seem possible.
How does this happen? Why me? These are questions I deal with daily.
But I do believe that there is always a silver lining and light in all of life’s hardest lessons.This journey has brought my husband and I closer than I ever thought possible, we both realise that we are each others rock and without each other there would be no parents to love a baby anyway.
I have learnt that I am stronger than I thought, and that no matter what happens I will be ok and I am a good person.
I have learnt that laughter and moving forward, not dwelling in the past, is also essential to not letting this journey kill you.