When I came home it was time to get busy making my dream a reality. Lots of tests ensued. Initially I had a false sense of confidence when one doctor told me all was well and that I had a 20-25% chance of IUI working. I was positively buoyant as I really hadn’t expected this! When I finally made my way to a Fertility Clinic two months later thinking I had all of the answers I was given a very different reality. Based on my eggs, ovaries, hormone levels etc. the chance of IUI with a donor sperm working was just 5%. Follically assisted IUI has a success rate of 5-7% while IVF was 7% and a lot more expensive. Quite simply I was devastated. It was the first time that I thought it might not happen, and I really wasn’t prepared for it. It was just before Christmas which isn’t my favourite time of year anyways, too much time to think about what you don’t have when looking at everyone playing happy families. I cried my way through the holidays and berated myself for not meeting someone, for leaving it so long, for anything I could think of. I cried, I grieved, and then I made an action plan.
I decided that for the next year I would throw everything at trying to have a baby. I went to a bootcamp in the UK to sort my head out and refocus. I came home feeling strong and determined. I decided against IVF as it was pretty much the guts of 10k, and for that money I could go to Spain or Greece for egg and sperm donor IVF which had a much higher percentage chance of working. I think it’s about 20%, but I told myself it was 40% to keep the panic at bay. I would only be able to spend that kind of money once, so best to spend it on the highest probability of success. I did however decide that I would try follically assisted IUI a couple of times first at home with my own eggs. While it was a long shot it was worth it as I would have always wondered what the outcome would be. It was also relatively cheap in comparison! Next step was to pick my baby daddy sperm. I went for a non-anonymous donor so that my child can contact him when he’s 18, should he so choose. I also started doing acupuncture and reiki to centre my body and mind for what was to come. It’s not something I practiced previous to my treatment journey, however, I feel this and positive visualization were paramount in the success of my treatment. With all these things in place so it began.
I started the treatment three times, only completing the last cycle with the insemination. Each cycle includes approx. 2-2.5 weeks of self injecting yourself with different hormones at home. One to make the follicle grow, another to stop it releasing until its the optimum size and a final trigger release to time your ovulation release. Throughout this process you receive regular scans to monitor the growth of the follicle and determine the best time for insemination which happens 36 hours after you take your trigger injections. For me none of this was too invasive. The hardest part was self care and minding myself through the rollercoaster of it all.
The first time I started the treatment I made a mistake with my injections at the final hour and wasn’t able to complete the treatment, the second time the follicles collapsed in the final hours and again the insemination was cancelled. The latter in particular was heartbreaking as I really felt it might work that month and that I could be close to making my dream a reality. After that I took a two month break in treatment as I was emotionally exhausted and started to again think that it might not work out, and even if it did, it could be a very long road to get there. I needed some joyous memories to get me through it all so for the next two months I kicked back and enjoyed weddings, holidays, festivals and time with my friends. I restarted my treatment 2 days after going to Love Sensation, maybe it was written in the stars because just over two weeks later as I was looking at a positive pregnancy test at 4.30am in the morning, I absolutely fell in love at that moment with my unborn child.