“What do you want to be when you leave school?” is a question that is often asked. When I was younger my answer was to be a mum first and then a vet/doctor/chemist/teacher (depending on the year!) I would have been more than happy to leave school, get married and start having kids but knew that in this day and age that was unlikely. I even used to joke to my friends during year 12 that I didn’t need to go to uni because I was going to meet a slightly older guy who had already started his career and we would get married and start having kids straight away …… well, I ended up falling in love with (and eventually marrying) one of my classmates and did the whole uni and career thing. But what I am trying to say is that having kids was something I always wanted and as I am sure most of us do just assumed it would happen when I wanted it to. Although, there had always been a deep seeded nagging fear that it wouldn’t happen.
My husband and I married quite young (I was 22 he was 21) and I still had 6 months of uni left to finish before becoming a school teacher. Having a family was something we both wanted and something we talked about …. alot. We planned for in our finances and major decisions that we made. We didn’t want to start straight away for a few reasons (wanting to enjoy being married, wanting to be secure financially and I wanted to work for a few years to make studying for 5 years worthwhile) but we talked about having kids often and it was something that we both wanted with all of our hearts.
After being married for about 5 years I started to feel like the time was right and we talked it over and it was an easy decision for me to go off the pill and for us to start trying. Being a science teacher I was fairly aware of the best times to conceive but I also read a book on natural fertility and felt like if we gave it a bit of time it would happen. Well month after month it didn’t happen …… and month after month I felt a pang in my heart and the more time went on the more I started to wonder if there was something wrong, was my deep seeded fear coming true? We started to get more serious about it and I started charting my temperature and trying on the right days and I was SURE it HAD to happen soon.
During this time it felt like everywhere I went someone was getting pregnant or having a baby and it just didn’t feel fair ……. I wanted this SO much. A friend of mine shared with me that she was pregnant after only a month of trying, another friend shared that she was unexpectantly pregnant and they weren’t even trying and well ……. it didn’t feel fair but what can you do other than be happy for your friends even though you feel so sad for yourself inside. I also remember going to the shops and feeling like every second woman was pregnant …… why does your brain do that to you???
After around a year of trying I was starting to think that maybe we should go to the doctor when my Papa died and that hit hard. I was really close to him and had always wanted to give him a great grandchild and I didn’t cope with his death very well at all (but that would be another article in itself) Its hard to put into words but I felt like something was missing in me with him dead. I did not deal with my grief well at all. Then a bit over a month later a student from one of my classes was killed in a car accident and about a month after that my husband’s uncle passed away and well ….. grief doesn’t add, it multiplies and I was not coping well at all! My body responded by getting quite sick with infection after infection after infection (tonsillitis became a chest infection which become bronchitis etc etc) and for a few months having a baby took a bit of a back seat …… even though once a month I still felt that stab in my heart.
Once I was physically well again and emotionally coping better we decided that we should give it 6 more months of trying naturally until we should see a doctor and get things checked out. In some ways it was the last thing that I wanted to do as at that point I didn’t really see IVF as an option …… I am a Christian and believed that I should be putting my faith in God to perform a miracle rather than turn to IVF. My thoughts at that time were that maybe there was some small issue that some medication or an operation could fix …… and if that was the case than I wanted to be able to fix it as soon as possible. I never really imagined what was ahead …. I still hoped that we would be able to conceive naturally.
So we made an appointment with our GP who ordered some basic blood tests for me and a semen analysis for my husband. I was so terrified of what they would find ….. I didn’t know what to expect or what to hope for ….. do I hope there is nothing wrong (but then WHY wasn’t it happening) or do I hope there is something wrong (but then what does that mean?) …… I was a bit of a wreck really. I very clearly remember the appointment when I got the results of my blood tests ….. there was nothing wrong ……. and the doctor referred us to a fertility clinic in Adelaide called Repromed. I got into the car and burst into tears …… why was this happening to me? It felt like that deep seeded fear was becoming not so deep seeded ….. and I was scared of what was ahead.
Amanda will be sharing with us her journey through IVF over the coming weeks.
To read more of Amanda’s story, click here!