Failure and a Proposal

In July 2015 we were ready to try our first medicated cycle. I was terrified at the thought of having to inject myself every day and worried that even with the injections my body wouldn’t react in the right way.
It was a really stressful time and it’s only looking back now I see just how stressed we were. In the moment we didn’t realise the pressure that we had put on ourselves and were blissfully unaware of how tightly we were wound.
We were brought up to Belfast during the first few days of my cycle, given a scan and then we met with the nurse who showed us how to administer the injections. I was to take them every night at the same time and to come back up every few days (can’t remember exactly how many) to get a scan to check the follicle growth.
When we went back we saw progress! I was so relived that the drugs seemed to be doing their jobs. The follicles were actually growing and at the rate they were supposed to and not only that but there were two lead follicles. This meant our chances of it working were higher and it could also result in twins!!
After over a week of visits we heard the words we were longing to hear from that very first visit, “Sarah is ready for IUI”. I could have cried I was so happy (and also a little scared). Now what?? This was it, the moment we had been waiting for and what if it didn’t work? Then where would be be? We didn’t have the money to try again so we were literally putting all our eggs in one basket.
We were again taken to the nurses who showed me how to inject the trigger shot (an injection that forces ovulation) I was to take it at 11pm that night, my IUI was scheduled for 11:00 on the 29th July (they wait 36hrs between trigger and procedure to give the medication time to work)
I’ve never been as nervous as I was that morning and I could tell Jenny was too. The whole way up the road we never stopped talking, we were so excited and so convinced that the timing was perfect! We had just moved into a new house and things hadn’t been this good between us in a really long time. This was it! Jenny was acting a little off but I thought it was just the nerves and the realisation that if this all worked out we were going to be parents.
When we got to Origin we found out that while the clinic was closed our blood tests had expired (you both have to have blood taken to ensure you’re healthy enough to look after any resulting children and these only last for 3 months before they need redone) so we both had to get blood taken. Jenny is a bit of a wuss when it comes to needles and she can be a fainter. It took them 6 tries to get her blood as her veins kept collapsing. They eventually filled about half a vial and left it at that. It was really funny to see them all fussing over her when I was the one going through the procedure, the poor thing was black and blue from being poked and prodded. But it actually took my mind off the whole situation and even though she was suffering it distracted me for a bit.
Before we knew it we were being called in. I don’t think I stopped shaking until we got back into the car. The procedure takes only a few minutes, and the build up before it is way worse than the IUI itself. They insert a catheter into the uterus and inject the sperm, that’s it! It’s more awkward and embarrassing than anything; but like I said before, you may leave your dignity at the door! These people are going to get to know you in a whole new way and they won’t even buy you dinner first.
After the procedure we were given a pregnancy test to take home and were told to wait 2 weeks before we tested. If I had gone home that day and tested I would have been given a false positive due to the hormones I had been injecting. We were also told to ring up once we had taken the test and let them know either way.
We had decided to stay in Belfast that night to give ourselves a much needed break. We had booked into The Fitzwilliam (our friend works there) I waited in the car while Jenny went on in to check where we should park. We were told the room wasn’t ready just yet so we went to get something to eat, I was glad of it. I’d been so scared that morning that I hadn’t given food another thought until now.
So we set of to find somewhere to eat and Jenny was still acting weird but again I put it down to the IUI. She was checking her phone every few minutes to see if our room was ready (unlike me Jenny barely remembers to take her phone with her let alone use it constantly) our friend called about half an hour later to tell us we could check in so back we went to the hotel, I couldn’t wait to lie down and destress.
When we bumped into our friend she too was acting odd but I dismissed it, I was too worn out after the day.
When I walked into our room though it all made sense….
Jenny had arranged for the room to be set up with all my favourite treats, there was strawberries and cream and the bed was covered in rose petals, it was perfect. But what I noticed next took my breath away. There on the bed in the middle of a rose petal heart was an engagement ring. I couldn’t speak I was crying so hard. Jenny was stood behind me laughing and all she could manage to say was (in a very Jenny way) “so is it an Aye or a Naw?”
All I could do was laugh and nod my head, I still couldn’t speak through the tears.
That was why she was acting so weird all day (and why her veins kept collapsing) she had the engagement ring in her pocket and was worried if she fainted it would fall out and I would see it.
She had slipped the ring to reception when she went in to check if the room was ready and I was none the wiser.
It was a perfect ending to an interesting day and I’m so blessed to have her by my side through all of this.
When we got home from Belfast the next day reality began to set in and the two week wait was already driving me crazy. I had bought a pack of 30 cheap pregnancy tests and managed to hold off until day 5 before I used them. I wanted to test out the trigger and make sure that if I got a positive that it was a real one.
To say I obsessed over it is an understatement. I took about two tests a day and as much as I squinted and held the tests under different lights all I got was negatives. By day 11 of testing the reality that it hadn’t worked was starting to take hold, but I didn’t want it to. I upped testing to 3 times a day (just incase it would magically change in a few hours).
I had myself convinced it was because they were cheap they weren’t working, so I set off and bought some First Response pregnancy tests. I tested with one of those every morning until the 2 weeks were up and still I was in denial. I read stories about people who had been 6 weeks before their tests showed as positive so maybe that would happen to me. I had been so sure that it would work that I hadn’t properly prepared myself for when it wouldn’t. We were so sure we were going to have our wee twins. But it wasn’t meant to be.
The morning I took the test given to me by the clinic I couldn’t even cry. I was numb. I wouldn’t be a mummy and we had wasted all this time, money and energy just to fail. I just remember crawling back into bed with Jenny and staring into space while she told me it would work out some day and we would get there eventually. But I just couldn’t hear it. It wouldn’t ever happen, we just couldn’t afford it.
I went to work that day like a zombie. I remembered that I had to call Origin so I stepped out to my car and rang and said the words I never imagined I would have to say. “I’m calling with my pregnancy test result; its negative” and then it hit me and I couldn’t stop crying. My heart was broken into a million little pieces and I wasn’t sure it could ever be fixed. The thing about this journey is it’s cruel and unpredictable and a real roller coaster! But with the lows come the highs and if nothing else came from it she finally put a ring on it!

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