In 2007 myself and my husband started trying to conceive with no success. By July 2010 and two failed IVF cycles later we were told that our only options were egg donation or adoption, which was devastating news. After a long painful year and some very helpful counselling we came around to the idea of egg donation and began to look seriously at this option. In 2011 we were lucky enough to have a beautiful baby boy through egg donation. In 2016 we were doubly blessed with the birth of a baby girl through egg donation. I have included some excerpts from my diary below to share this journey with you.
Back to work tomorrow and boy am I going to change things, no more really long weeks hopefully! Lots more delegating (definitely), and one hour lunch books (yum). Hopefully in the next couple of months I can get pregnant, this stuff really takes time. It’s strange you spend half your life trying not to get pregnant and all of a sudden you are trying to get pregnant. Although it has only been six months, so I am not yet worried about it, it would be nice for us and make my husband so happy. So, no drink, no ibuprofen, eating well and moderate exercise all the way for me now, god I am going to be so healthy!! Roll on 2008!!
‘’Poem from an infertile woman to the rest of the world’
Please do not call me bitter, when I do not want to hear,
About your child, your niece, your nephew or grandchild you hold dear.
It’s just that I may never have those memories that you treasure.
My childs laugh, their hugs, those wonderful simple pleasures.
Please do not call me angry, if I seem to lose the plot.
When I see a child ignored, unloved, insignificant like a dot.
It is just so hard to understand, why I cannot be a mum.
When I promise to love and cherish children and never leave them numb.
Please do not call me a failure, because I cannot reproduce.
This failure is so hard to take, ands feels like a too tight noose.
I’m sorry if there are times that I seem moody and quite sad.
It’s just that another month has passed and my loving husband will still not be a Dad.
I beg you all to never joke, about me expecting a baby.
When I simply do not want a beer, or have a tummy bug maybe.
I plead with you all, to never ask me, when I will join the club.
When deep within my heart of hearts I feel we may never have a cub.
For those of you who have a child, please love and treasure them dearly.
Even on those difficult days when your efforts leave you weary.
For those like me, who have to live with this loss, this grief, this pain.
I truly believe there’s always a plan, and none of our lives are ever in vain.
We had our first consultation today for our first IVF cycle. For me it was not good, my husband is much more positive, but I now believe it will not work for us. I have a very low ovarian reserve, which in my mind indicates poor egg quality. Normal AMH levels are 15 to 48, mine are 4.0 !. I now believe that doing the IVF is just an exercise in having no regrets, but I really do not believe it will achieve anything for us. I have decided to take some time out and not put myself into social situations that will upset me, i.e. hearing about other people getting pregnant, peoples kids etc. I feel this is the only way I can cope right now, and wonder will I ever feel normal again. I feel so crap and just want to hide away for the next couple of years until all this is over and I am okay with being infertile. I hope to god this gets easier, all I can do right now is hide from the world.
Still hiding, still sad, still heart broken. I am no longer me, I feel like a zombie, like a walking dead infertile barren woman. We did two cycles of IVF and though we got to transfer stage they did not work as my eggs were too poor quality wise, as I strongly suspected. It’s strange to wake up every day and go to sleep every night feeling heart broken, I keep thinking I can take no more and yet I continue robotically through my excuse of a life. I am not me anymore, I feel like I have been body snatched by a big black cloud, my poor husband must hate being around me and yet he is so kind and loving to me, even though I have failed him completely. If only he had never met me, I wish he had fallen in love with someone else and had a lovely family with them, he is such a good person, he deserves that. I could explode with sadness and yet there are times I cannot cry anymore. I am numb yet I hurt so much, my heart physically hurts so much, it’s like a constant dull ache in my chest. I am worried that I have lost myself for good. I do not know if I will really and truly laugh again, smile again. I do not remember how to have fun anymore, I feel dead. But I am not dead because I am in so much pain. Right now pain is the only thing keeping me alive. It seems like there is a normal world where families do normal things together like shop and go to the park, and I am outside looking through a glass at this world, trying to figure out why I cannot be normal. I feel invisible like a ghost walking through a crowded room. I do not know how much more pain I can take, the longer I am in pain the more I feel my life force slip away. I am beginning to feel like I have nothing left.
I am afraid of hope, I am afraid to trust myself to hope. I want to hope but I fear the rollercoaster. I want to hope that egg donation will work for me and my husband, but if it does not, then I do not know if I can recover from that. I read on the internet that it generally takes infertile couples two to five years to accept that they cannot have children. I think it is easy to write statistics, but a hell of a lot harder to feel your way through being one. I want to have children, I do not want to accept that myself and my husband cannot have a family. But the problem is that I am afraid to hope and also afraid to not hope. Maybe we will finally be lucky, maybe not. I have to give this my best shot, I have to figure out why I am so tired all the time, when did it start and what triggers it. Maybe the mental pressure is showing physically, maybe it is the start of an early menopause. Maybe I am going crazy, I do not know.
I am pregnant with a beautiful strong healthy baby, I cannot believe how lucky we are. I am so happy, I am so in love with this amazing baby. We had a scan just over a week ago and we could see their little arms and legs moving, and even their little mouth moving, it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, I will never forget it, and then we got to hear their heartbeat, an incredible 134 beats per minute. It was amazing hearing our little babys heartbeat. We have only just told all our family and they are so happy for us, especially after it being so difficult for us to have a baby. I will be eternally grateful to that wonderful woman in Madrid who donated eggs to us so that we could have a baby. I will always think of her with love and wish her every happiness. I never thought I would be eleven and a half weeks pregnant like this. I am so looking forward to holding our gorgeous little baby in September I am so excited about meeting and getting to know this little person inside me. My husband has been so amazing for the last twelve weeks (and more !) even through our six week scare he has been so strong. I am so lucky to be married and in love with such an amazing man. He is going to be such a kind, loving & wonderful Dad. I am so happy that he is finally getting his chance to be a Dad, and what a Dad he will be. I think all the pain and sadness we have been through before this has now finally been worth the wait. I think this special little person inside of me is meant to be a part of our lives and only this path would have brought us together. This really feels like the rainbow after the hurricane. All our extended family have been so supportive through all of this and all now seem really excited too about this special little person, there is a lot of people looking forward to meeting this gorgeous baby, but none more than me and their Dad.
Healthy baby boy born, weight 6lbs and 12 ounces !!!!!
Hello Baby !!!, I hope you are very happy in my tummy and having lots of fun swimming around in there. I am your mum Siobhan, your Dad is a lovely kind man called Ger, and most importantly you have a lovely very kind older brother who is four years old, he is very excited about becoming a big brother to you !!!. We are all very happy to have you in our lives and are really looking forward to meeting you when you are born. We are very lucky to have you in our lives as we had to go to Spain to have you via IVF with egg donation. We are very lucky that a very kind lady in Spain gave us some eggs so that we could have you. I will never get to meet that lovely lady but I know she must be a very kind special lady to help us like that. We love you lots and lots little baby and so look forward to meeting you. I hope you have a very happy time in my tummy, lots and lots and lots of love, Mum. xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Healthy baby girl born, weight 8lbs and 9 ounces !!!!!
To be faced with infertility is a very difficult and painful cross to bear, and as with many situations in life I think you have to personally experience it to fully understand the trauma it causes. For me and my husband egg donation was the right choice for us and has brought us a lot of happiness. But I fully appreciate that people need to handle infertility in a way that is right for them, whether that be by doing further treatments, having a child via surrogacy, adopting a child, fostering a child or quite simply accepting their circumstances. To anyone reading this and living with the reality of infertility I wish you peace whatever path you take. Also, I applaud you all for being so strong and brave, you may not think right know that you are such an amazing person, but take it from me, to live with infertility day after day, and still get up and face the world every day takes immense courage. If I can be of any help to anyone considering egg donation, please do not hesitate to contact me through Ruth. After all the happiness egg donation has brought us, it would be my pleasure to help others feel that same happiness. Both Ruth and Procreatec in Madrid went out of their way to make us feel comfortable during every step of the process, not only did they make it possible for us to have a family but they did it in a way that felt like a big comforting hug !!!!.