The baby making journey
My partner and I have been on the baby making journey for a few years now and to put it bluntly, it fucking sucks.
Sure, when it works and I’m holding the tiny little human in my arms that I’ve created, I’m certain all the pain, tears, arguments, crazy hormones, doubt, uncertainty, empty bank account and anxious days/weeks and months will be worth it but right now? It fucking sucks.
I was reluctant to talk (or should I say type?) about the experiences we’re having with starting a family because the reality of it all is hard (emotionally and physically). It’s hard to talk about something you can’t get your head around and it’s hard to talk about how much it hurts. It’s confronting talking about something that isn’t working when all your mind is telling you is that it should be. It’s hard feeling like you’re not the problem.
Letting people in is scary because when things don’t go the way you hope you’re not only dealing with your own pain, you’re now relaying it to those around you and talking about it all over again.
It’s a catch 22 of wanting to let people in but then not wanting to in fear of another disappointment. You want your friends and family to be there but at the same time you’re scared to tell them anything in case it doesn’t work out. It’s a mind fuck of emotional and mental confusion where you ultimately never know the right thing to do.
After failed IUI attempts and a bank account of savings that is pretty much wiped clean I’ve decided it’s times to open up this dialogue and share the struggles and realities of what the fertility journey (thus far) has thrown at us.
Why now? Because for some, this journey carries a cloud of hurt and embarrassment and this part of their world is kept private. Whilst I can now (having gone through it and continuing so) appreciate why it’s kept private I wanted to share my reality with you in the hopes that if you (or someone you know) ever began this journey or are going through it, you’ll know you’re not alone.
So far Gwen and I have had three failed IUI attempts.
Never heard of IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.
Each one of them hurting more (emotionally) than the one before it. It didn’t help that on the last attempt I was certain I was pregnant. I felt sick, missed a period, mood swings etc but it turns out that (after a blood test) I wasn’t and all the things I was experiencing were only effects of the trigger needle (hormone injection) I was taking.
In a nut shell the process is this (or how it was for us anyway):
Getting a referral from the doctor to the fertility clinic, meeting with the specialist, completing three counselling sessions (you know, just to make sure you’re ready to be a parent and aren’t a fucking psychopath?), doing a police check, completing a working with children check (all the whilst you think ‘why don’t all new parents have to do this shit?’), choosing a sperm donor (from the clinic’s database although you do have the option of BYO), getting the trigger injections (hormones to help), booking in the procedure and then having it (basically a glorified turkey baster inserted into your cervix whilst you’re in stirrups, gyno-stytle FUN!).
SIDE VENT: When I saw we had to complete the mandatory counselling sessions, police check and working with children checks I flipped my fucking lid.
I mean, surely the fact that I’m coming in and spending most of my life savings on this demonstrates I’m fucking committed and ready for a family? For fuck’s sake we’re PLANNING IT. It’s not like we can slip, fall on a dick and get pregnant by accident.
Anyway, back to the journey (it’s hard not getting emotionally side tracked whilst re-living all of this shit).
So, now that we’ve had those three failures we’re allowed to commence our IVF journey.
WAIT, did I mention the reason we weren’t allowed to go straight to IVF was that we are ‘socially infertile’? This is a SUPER FUCKED way of making any female that is in a same sex relationship or single woman wanting to have children feel like a piece of shit.
It basically means that a woman is making a choice not to have sex with a man to achieve pregnancy. It’s a discriminative term and needs to be changed immediately.
We also had to do three IUI rounds before we could get any rebate back through medicare and let me tell you, it’s fucking expensive (see ya later, savings!).
Never heard of IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.
So, as of now (August 2017) we haven’t done our first round of IVF as of yet due to a surgery I had 8 weeks ago on my cervix (abnormal cells removed after a pap-smear and colposcopy) but the plan is to commence towards the end of the year or early 2018 (or sooner if we win lotto).
In the meantime, I’ve applied to commence training in 2018 to be a Doula in the hopes of helping singles and couples through their own pregnancy journeys (in a deeper way than I can now as a Coach) because what I can say is (after going through this process and still doing so), support is so essential and sometimes you need it from someone outside of your circle.
Here’s to creating a tiny human sooner rather than later and to anyone going through this process, my heart is sending you love.