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Hoping for a miracle

A same sex couple's IVF journey

First blog post

Featured post

Fertility Testing

This was something i wasn’t too worried about.  I’ve been fit and healthy my whole life.  Not a big drinker, no drugs or smoking and i eat healthily and do a lot of exercise.  Having the fertility tests was so the clinic could plan our medication protocol around this and i thought ours would be fine, no bother.  Compared to a lot of people going to our clinic, we are young and healthy so the fertility should be fine right?  Wrong!

My partner initially found out that her thyroid was too high for treatment.  There are only a few tests that the person carrying the child needs to have and we’d already fallen at the first hurdle.  The clinic luckily came back and said that there was medication she could take to lower this and that it should all be ok.  After a visit to our very understanding doctor, she now has the required medication (which she has to take for life!) and we are hoping that it does the required job and her thyroid comes down enough.  She has now been researching anything online that can help with a high thyroid and is now partaking in a gluten free diet.

My fertility testing started with a transvaginal scan.  The purpose of this is to count the follicles in each ovary.  I had a long list of things i needed and had been googling what results were good/bad etc.  So i went for my transvaginal scan and was looking at my uterus on the screen trying to see what the ultra sound person was describing.  My first ovary was looking ok and we counted 7 follicles, not too bad.  However, when we came to look at the other side the ultra sound person found a massive cyst covering my entire left ovary so she couldn’t see if it had any follicles.  I asked about the cyst and she said it was large and contained blood, shouldn’t be too much to worry about but i may need it removed for that ovary to work.  I had to go out and tell my partner the good news and the bad news.  I was trying not to get stressed but straight away emailed those results to the clinic in case i needed to rush through some kind of cyst removal in the few weeks we have before flying out for treatment.

It was then off to the many blood tests as all need to be done on day 3 of the period.  Testing FSH, AMH, Oestradiol, Progesterone, LH, Prolactin and thyroid for me too.  Turns out that the cyst i have is stopping that ovary from working properly so my fertility results were way lower than i was expecting them to be.  We were going for IVF initially as 2 girls who needed the help but it actually turned out i’d probably be needing the IVF anyway.  Luckily the test results weren’t so problematic we couldn’t continue with treatment but it has certainly added a lot more stress and uncertainty at what, if anything, will come out of this treatment.

Turns out i have endometritus, which i’d never heard of before we started this process.  I had no symptoms or anything but it appears that the large cyst i have is formed by bits of the lining of my uterus that are growing outside where it should be.  These bleed when you have your period but the blood has no where to go so it clumps together and sticks to your other organs.  Not nice and can be incredibly painful.  Its actually a very common cause of infertility.  The clinic have told me its nothing to worry about at this stage and they wont be removing it.  Hopefully the other ovary is working well enough and i will have a medical protocol planned out for me based on my fertility test results.

My partner has been constantly researching endometritus and my fertility results since to see if there’s anything we can do to help it not get worse and help our chances of me producing enough healthy eggs.  I am now on a gluten and dairy free diet, no red meat, no alcohol and no caffeine.  I am also taking folic acid, a pre pregnancy supplement, vitamin D, Omega 3, Co-Enzyme Q10, Royal Jelly and Milk Thistle as well as asprin to thin the blood.  It’s a lot.  It’s a big change and particularly in the run up to Christmas is going to be tough not being able to have a glass of wine or two at work do’s etc but this is the most important thing.  We don’t have the money to keep attempting this IVF if it doesn’t work so we’re giving it our best shot.  Fingers crossed it pays off.

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Finding a Donor

Once we had our IVF clinic sorted and we’d started the ball rolling there, we had to wait for a number of things.  We needed Fertility tests but they have to be done on day 3 of your period.  We needed to sort accommodation but were waiting on a winter price list.  All we could do was wait so we decided to have a look at a suitable option for the other half of the genetic makeup of our baby, if all goes well.

We’d talked about it and ruled out people we knew.  As much as we have many people in our life who we love and would make great baby daddies, we want this to be our child and decided we didn’t want the added complication of a 3rd person who may want to play a part in raising our child.  So we decided to use a donor.

We were recommended to use Cryos bank as they ship all over and meet any EU, UK and international requirement. They also have a very large database so you can choose anything from hair/eye colour to education.  Some of the donors are anonymous and some aren’t, some have extensive profiles and some just basic information.  I would say though that there is pretty much an option there for whatever it is you’re looking for.

We had a look through their database a number of times and kept coming back to the same donor.  His profile was extensive, there were baby photos, family tree, a few pages on him – his life and his likes and dislikes etc as well as medical history, a staff opinion of him as a person, a personality quiz and something he’d written saying why he was doing all this.   You could even hear the voice as he reads out his reason for donating.  Although you can’t see what they look like as an adult, Cryos give you a celebrity they resemble to give you an idea.  I wasn’t expecting to be so sure about something this important but both me & my partner had a gut feeling on this guy and it hasn’t wavered yet.

We then gave the donors name to our clinic for them to order ready for our treatment in a few months time.  This then became the first thing we started to stress about!  The clinic said to us that if they didn’t come back to us then it was all good and the sperm had been ordered no problem, however my partner was checking the donor every few days for a couple of weeks and the number of his stock didn’t go down.

We emailed the clinic again and they said they’d check and get it sorted.  Again we waited but nothing had changed.  A week later in despair, we email Cryos asking if they’d received an order of this particular donor from our clinic.  The answer was no, no order had been placed.  Definitely not what we wanted to hear!  We’d ruled out so many other donors and this was the one thing we were so sure of, we were then fearful that as he didn’t have much stock left that it would all go and we’d lose out.  Many emails went back and forth between our clinic and the sperm bank, eventually our order was confirmed and we had our donor.  We decided to reserve a few straws ourselves after all that.  As much as we are hopefully that this treatment will work first time, we wanted to have more donor sperm in case we had to go back for another attempt.  It will also give us a chance to have a full sibling down the line if things go well.  If we don’t need it, say we have a multiple birth first go, then the sperm bank buy back what you have reserved for 75% of cost.  Great piece of mind for the future but not a huge expense if down the line its not needed.  Believe it or not we’re actually hoping for twins so that we only have to go through this process the once!

 

The Actual First Blog Post

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the misleading first post, still getting to grips with how this all works!  So for this actual first blog post, i wanted to share a little about us and how we came about on this journey for IVF.

We are not your conventional couple.  This is my first same sex relationship, my partner has dated women her whole life.  I’m sure there will be people reading this thinking well if she’s dated men before then why cant she go have a baby that way, that in itself is not an alternative for us and it will be explained if you read further into this blog.  However, the main reason is because we are both in a loving committed relationship, we see a long future together and we love the other person so much we want to share a new little persons life together that’s hopefully a little piece of both of us.

In the first year and a half of our relationship kids weren’t on the cards.  We were busy getting to know each other as people, working hard and enjoying our downtime together.  We’d both discussed a desire for children in the future but had thought we had plenty of time on our side.  That, as we later found out, was not the case!

I am approaching my 35th birthday in July, and this, as we have found out is a timely deadline.  The plan was at some point i would donate my eggs to my partner and she would carry and be the birth mother of our first child.  However we found out that after 35 you can no longer donate eggs so if we didn’t get a move on then that opportunity would pass us by.

We looked for an IVF clinic that would be able to work with our situation and found what looks to be a great one with excellent success rates and deals with many a unique situation but it means we have to travel abroad for the treatment.  After an initial contact email we were extremely happy with the response and further speedy and informative answers to the extensive questions we had so we paid our deposit and started the IVF process.  Exiting but very nerve wracking at the same time!

And where did we go next after finding a clinic…?  The sperm bank to find us an ‘anonymous’ baby daddy.

 

 

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