As I sit at my kitchen table and write this blog I am incredibly aware of just what a lot has happened over these last few years . And how , for all the noise , tantrums and lack of sleep I will never cease to be amazed that I have finally got here .That I can finally be a mum .I guess thats one of the only advantages to having had such a fight to get my family . I will never take it for granted .Change the scene to about 8 years ago and the situation was very different and in a sense where our journey began .
I had met my husband at university and always had a strong friendship as well as romantic hope for him . So it was with little suprise that we finally told family and friends that we were getting married in 1997 . We were very much in love and talked from early on about how great it would be to be parents .The summer before we officially started trying I remember being on holiday and writing a list together of our top girls and boys names for the family which lay just within our reach . There was such optimism and such hope . It was to be over so soon .We tried for a family for about 9 months before I could take it no longer and assumed there was something wrong .
I was never known for my patience and thus nearly everyone told me to calm down , stop trying so hard etc etc ….the usual . But deep down I really just wanted reassurance . And so I persuaded a doctor to do some initial tests on both of us . Fully expecting the results to match the helpful comments of friends and family . That we would be fine and to just relax more .However the results for my husband were utterly devestating . He was Azoospermic , there was no sperm whatsoever present . The ” kindly ” doctor pronounced we would never have chidren and we were sent on our way .
And just like that our world crumbled and a new chapter began .We then went through every test we could do , choosing to use my savings rather than wait ..again that old impatience . I found out information about my inner workings that I never thought I would know . And certainly more about my husband than is common in most marriages !Finally we saw one of the top specialists in the country and were told in no uncertain terms that ours was one of the worst situations a couple could find themselves in .” If I were you mr Sizer i wouldnt put my wife through IVF but would look at Donor or adoption . You have a 1 in 125,000 chance of this ever working “To say my husband was crushed would be an understatement . And I grieved that day as Much for what it was doing to him as for the loss of our dreams .
Over the next few weeks we re emerged from the duvet and began to talk . ..and talk ..and pray and talk . Until finally , and for no good practical reason we chose to give that 1 in 125,000 chance a go . Not good betting odds but I guess we needed to close the door before moving on .And so we started IVF number one at the lister clinic , a wonderful warm enviroment who supported us all the way , even when they felt it was a run to nothing .The cycle went badly to begin with and then got worse with the realisation that I was what they called a “poor responder ” ( how I hate that phrase !) and probably early menopausal ..just to add to the tension !!Finally however 4 eggs were obtained , my husband had a very painful op to remove the few sperm he did have and the wonderful world of science miraculously made 4 embryos .Just 3 days later 2 little bundles of potential were lit up on a screen and shown going into my womb …and so began the dreaded 2 week wait .Again we were so low on hope that I almost didnt do a test on the set date . But eventually we did . And amazingly 1 little ball had made it .I was pregnant !! 9 months of elation and anxiety ensued until finally on April 26th 2003 our first miracle was born and Hope Sizer came into the world .We were literally over the moon to become parents and loved those early days with our new daughter .
And yet our dreams of a family had always been of two or more children .And though family and friends pretty much begged us not to keep going we entered the wonderful world of ART once again when Hope was just over a year old . The abridged version of what happened next was that amazingly , our odds actually seemed to get worse ! I was diagnosed with High FSH , and an over active immune system as well as the initial poor responder bit ! We went through 3 more cycles and two miscarriages before our final attempt at the ARGC clinic .This was to be it . Enough of the battering .And so a new regime was started ,new protocol and an immune suppresant drug for a mere £2000 extra .Two embryos put back in and …..well lets just say Barnaby sizer is a very meant little boy !
We finally felt like a family.I have done many things in my life that I am proud of and many things make me grateful . none of them howehver come close to the pride I feel personally and as a couple, in fighting for our family .It was without doubt the hardest thing I have ever done , possibly ever will do , and amazingly it was worth it .During my time going through IVF I retrained from a counselling background , into Life coaching and began to specialise in supporting encouraging and resourcing couples through Infertility .
To come up with specific coping tools through this most emotional of times .One of the key things I always say to people is to never belittle what you are facing . Infertility has recently been given a stress point reading akin to Cancer and Bereavement and as such a person dealing with fertility issues needs support . A new chapter has again then started for me through this work . A new chance to help support and encourage other people facing the difficulties of Infertility . Whether it is running the support group , running workshops or speaking to the media I remain passionate that people facing Infertility should be as best looked after as possible .
Best of luck to everyone reading this