Just Keep Swimming

Oh how true this is. Although it’s not easy at to tell yourself that at the time.
Keeping a positive frame of mind throughout the process is one of the hardest things. Knowing you’re limited in terms of money really adds a lot of stress to the situation. We only had enough money for one IUI cycle so that put a lot of pressure on us, even though we couldn’t see it at the time.
In April 2015 we went for a procedure to check my tubes to ensure we could proceed with IUI. The hycosy itself wasn’t painful but the idea of it was terrifying. I not only felt extremely vulnerable but I was also scared they would find something was wrong and I would have to have IVF instead which we wouldn’t be able to afford. Every time we set off down the road to the clinic the nerves would kick in. I don’t think there was even one time I felt calm going in. It’s the fear of the unknown. I tend to overthink most situations anyway so going through this just made me 10 times worse.
Thankfully the results were normal and the consultant was extremely happy for us to proceed with IUI. I felt relief and terror all in the one breath. Now we had to go through with it!
We decided to try an unmedicated cycle first which meant I had to come up to the clinic every few days for an ultrasound to check on the progress of the follicles (essentially the eggs) and the lining of my uterus. Because I tend to have longer cycles we spent a bit of time up and down the road to Belfast for scans. For anyone going through this process you may leave your dignity at the front door, there’s no time to be shy and if you are (like me) you get over that very quickly; trust me!
My follicles didn’t progress much (they have to get to a certain size before they can do the procedure which would mean you were about to ovulate). I was told we would have to abandon the cycle as it didn’t appear that I could ovulate by myself due to having polycystic ovaries. To say I was devastated was and understatement. We had planned everything around the possibility that we could be pregnant that month! It’s impossible to think otherwise, I just wish I hadn’t put so much pressure on myself. At the time I was destroyed. I felt like a failure as a woman and a partner and as much as Jenny reassured me that it would happen I just didn’t believe her. I couldn’t help but be sad. I went home that night and cried my heart out. It didn’t help that everyone around me seemed to be getting pregnant and giving birth. It just wasn’t fair, I know it was only our first real attempt but I felt like I’d put so much into it already. I was incredibly naive to think that maybe the difficult part for us would be that we were gay and would need a bit of extra help. Oh how wrong I was! I never imagined that there would be something wrong with me and I was so angry with myself and my stupid body for not working the way it was supposed to.
Looking back now I can see it as a blessing in disguise. Had I been straight I wouldn’t have had to go straight to IUI and would probably have suffered years of heartache trying to conceive. Lucky for me I was spared that.
I should point out as they never performed the procedure this didn’t count as a cycle and we were able to try again the next month, or we would have had the clinic not been closed for a few weeks for renovations. This gave us a little time to absorb the fact that we would have to go through a medicated cycle and gave me time to accept that I had an issue but that it wouldn’t be the end for us.
Everything happens for a reason.


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