About Me

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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Documentary on Fertility And Prayers For The Process.

Just watched a BBC Four documentary, Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic, which was recorded during 2012 at Liverpool's Hewitt Fertility Centre, by Richard Macer. He followed the journey's of four couples who had not yet been successful in conceiving a child, and so they were attempting a course of IVF.

The opening statement made by Richard, is that Britain is "in the grip of a fertility crisis", as more and more of us struggle to conceive a child naturally. One of the opening statements of gynecologist Richard was following was that a woman who is infertile is suffering from a disease - as he defines as disease as the body's inability to function what should be a normal process. In his opinion, every woman should be offered the chance to be treated for her illness, and so they offer women two courses of IVF on the NHS (so if a woman is a step-mum, it wouldn't hinder her from having the treatment).

It was interesting to see how the process works, and how the team of embryologists consider what they do to be as emotionally charged as they follow the couples they are trying to help. In the case of one couple, where the husband had a low sperm-count, the embryologist "played God" and chose which of the sperm she considered to be the strongest swimmer, which she then injected into each of the eggs which had been collected from his wife - in this instance, five eggs. Although the five eggs were fertilised, only one of the eggs  continued to develop, with the other four deteriorating. This meant the "selection" of the best embryo was made, and then implanted back into the wife. Sadly, when the pregnancy test was done 10 days later, I cried with the women as she read the negative result.

One of the other cases, the embryologist separated each of the eggs into their own petri-dish, and then some of her husband's sperm were injected into the dishes, to fight their way in "natural selection" toward the egg. After a few days, again the strongest egg was chosen and implanted back into the woman. Again, more tears were shed when they realised that the healthy, "camera shy" egg they had been shown prior to implantation, was not a successful pregnancy. This second couple had been through the two rounds of NHS treatments, and were not sure they could cope with a further course of IVF. It is an emotionally exhausting, mentally draining procedure each time, and not one they felt they could embark on lightly.

Of the four couples, only the final couple Richard introduced to us, had a successful pregnancy, and their son was born in December 2012. Again, I cried with this first time IVF couple, as she had received the news they had been hoping for when they first started IVF.

If you want to know more about what IVF is, and how it works, then I would highly recommend watching this hour long fly-on-the-wall documentary. I find there is nothing better than following another person's journey, even just to know I am not the only person struggling with this difficult path known as infertility.

It was interesting listen to the observations of a man who interacted off-camera with the four couples he was following, and the staff they were interacting with - including telling one nurse who didn't have children, and hadn't wanted children, that she may be considered special! Awkward!! Lol!! I don't know much about him, I don't know if he has had to walk a journey of infertility himself - a look at his limited FB page shows he is a father, but he is sensitive in his communication with each of the couples, even at the end of the process with those who have not had a successful round of IVF. Through his narrative, it was easy to identify with the way the staff felt, as each embryologist did her best to try to make a success story for the couples they were trying to help. Because we had been given a brief glimpse into their Journey's for Bubba, I felt the heartache of the couples who didn't have a positive pregnancy test result. This confirms to me, that IVF is not for me.

Lord I pray for each of the couples who were featured in tonight's programme. I pray You would comfort each of them through the grieving process, even though it may be almost a year since they were filmed. For the couple who suffered the ectopic pregnancy after the programme was filmed, I pray you would draw close to the mother who lost her child she had been carrying. I pray, Father God, that You would map out out each couple's journey for Bubba, and lend them Your hand to uphold them through the tough times. I pray Your peace would be with them, and I pray, Lord Jesus, You would bring success for each of them - however this may look to them individually. 

And for each couple who has taken the step to entrust their baby to the success of IVF, Lord I pray You would lift them up through each course they attempt. Be with the people involved in the process, and let Your peace rule their hearts and minds.