Ok, so I’m on the road to thirty, not long married, and working in a madly busy, though very fulfilling career as a doctor. At a glance, I have it all – a degree, a beautiful home, a wonderful, successful husband and a menagerie of furry animals, but there is one gaping hole in this Desperate Housewives-esque dream, and that is a baby.
One thing that academia does to you is to instil in you that, if you work hard enough at something, you can achieve anything. This is a mindset that is so difficult to shake off, having been ingrained in you since childhood. And it sets you up for misery later on in life, when things are beyond your control. I liken it a little to taking a driving test – it doesn’t matter how many books you read, or even how much you practice your reverse-around-a-corner, it’s all about your luck on the day. If that white van decides to cut you up when you’re so diligently driving along, that’s your lot. And your £70 or however much it costs to take a test these days. I failed my test. Twice. And it wasn’t books that helped me the third time.
Approximately 14 months ago, we decided the time was right for us to embark on the next rite of passage. As with most couples who find themselves in our predicament, you don’t imagine for one second that it will be difficult to conceive when you choose to do so. I mean, aren’t you told, “You’ve missed a pill?! Use condoms for 7 days”, “There’s a small risk you can still get pregnant on a period”, “Best thing to do is to use the Pill AND condoms”. It makes you think you only nearly to be looked at by a man to catch. You only nearly to do go down to the local shops (especially where we live) to run into a pregnant woman. So how hard can it be, right?! Is it not what our entire purpose is on earth?
Well, 14 months on, doing the textbook (here goes the books, again!) “no smoking, no drinking, healthy eating, exercise, healthy BMI, regular Folic Acid, man-Vitamins for the other half”, here I am.
What is the purpose of this blog? Well, over the last year or so, one of my biggest struggles has been the inability to discuss this with the significant others in our lives. Infertility is one of those taboos – not unlike miscarriage – where there are countless people who have experienced it. But nobody ever seems to talk about – not unless it was a problem years ago, and now resolved. 1 in 4 pregnancies miscarry. 1 in 6 couples will have problems conceiving. Lift up both of your hands and name 10 people you know. Statistically, two of these will have difficulty conceiving. That’s one hell of a lot! And yet, it’s just not talked about openly. And it’s because you feel like a failure, don’t want people’s sympathy, don’t want people to know you’re trying in case there’s no chance you’ll have one of your own… and that’s just to name a few.
And so, this is my way, of not only being able to vent my anger and shed my tears, but hopefully share some positive experiences about the process, too.
This is my journey.