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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, May 5, 2014

A (Very) Brief IVF Journey

At the beginning of the year, Hubby and I visited his Nan. We do quite regularly anyway, so it wasn't a special Christmas / New Year visit or anything. On this occasion though, she was really excited to see us and said she wanted to speak to us, but not in front of Hubby's son... She did anyway because the excitement was too much for her!

She'd been speaking to Hubby's uncle about what we are going through, and decided that "the worst thing I could ever imagine is to not have my children and grandchildren; so I want to pay for IVF for you both."

After putting the dream of having Bubba to the back of my mind for a while, this kinda knocked me for six! Surely this was a gift from God?? Wasn't it?? A new hope for a new year??!!

So, I arranged for Hubby and I to attend an open evening at our nearest CARE Clinic, as I thought this would give us an overview of what to expect, and would answer some of the questions I had. As I'd had such a bad reaction to Clomid, I had already decided I wanted to go for "Natural" IVF rather than the full-on drug induced IVF, but wanted to find out what exactly this would entail and whether it was the right thing for us. Hubby was his usual, "Whatever you decide, I'll support", which actually wasn't helping me, as it's such a huge step to take with someone else's money.

I struggled to comprehend what this could mean for us, and whether this was really what God was leading us into.

The day of the open evening arrived, and Hubby and I booked the full day off work, so we could spend some time together to talk about our hopes and whether this really was the way forward for us.

When we arrived at CARE, we were ushered into a "school room" which had been set-up for the presentation, with lots of other couples... I think there were about 20-25 couples in total, well not just couples, there were people there in three's looking for information about surrogacy, as well as a couple of gay pairings.

The consultant led us through her presentation, which focused on full IVF, which I knew would be the case. I did learn some interesting things which I'd not considered in the past - although this led to momentary panic rather than security of the situation!! Such as how there are immune aspects which can affect the implantation... It made me wonder about during the cycles when I had been sooo late, whether this had been a factor. Anyway... I have no way of knowing, so best to bury that one deep in my brain somewhere!

After the 40 minute presentation, there was an opportunity to ask questions. Now normally, I would shy away from such public arenas, preferring to vocalise my personal questions after, when I can speak to the lecturer in private. But on this occasion, I needed to know! So up went my hand and out came my questions about Natural IVF. She went through the process of what would be involved... BUT... She made a point of saying that she wouldn't necessarily be happy carrying out natural IVF on me. She went on to explain about how high the risks of failure were, because the clinic would have no control over when the egg would be ready to release from the ovaries. This means there would be a greater chance of missing the moment, so to speak, that when they tried to collect my one egg released in my natural cycle, that the egg might have already released, leaving nothing to collect. Add this to the normal risks of that egg not fertilising, or not implanting once it's put back in, and there we have an excruciating decision to make. It didn't help that I didn't actually feel as though I'd been properly heard when I spoke about what we wanted, feeling like we were another avenue to the more expensive revenue of full IVF. Maybe that's just my perception.

I had gone to the open evening hoping to have a clear sense of what our next step was, but instead I left with a huge sense of sadness, and feeling no peace whatsoever. As we made our way home, Hubby and I spoke. He wasn't comfortable with any of what he had heard, especially with the huge risks of failure involved - for my sake, because he isn't sure I could handle the disappointment of failure; and also for his Nan's sake, as it is her money being invested in something which may or may not work, even though she had told us she knows of the risks and doesn't mind losing the money to give us the chance to try.

Over the next few weeks, I prayed, I spoke to a couple of women I trust as I tried to work out what to do. Hubby was still saying he would support my decision, but I know God well enough to know that if this was really the right step for us, Hubby and I would be in agreement. And we would have a sense of peace about embarking on this path. We didn't.

In fact, one Sunday Morning, a couple of weeks before the open evening, I was part of the Worship Team when I had a clear phrase come to mind - right there on stage, right in the middle of worship: "I don't want another person involved in the making of Bubba". Whether this was my voice, or God's voice, I don't really know for certain, but I do believe that I have to put my trust in God and in Him alone for the making of Bubba. We are a three-stranded chord. We clearly don't need another person involved in the process. As hard as this decision was to make, I know that I hope, that I believe this is right for us.

So as suddenly as the opportunity had presented itself, it disappeared, slipping out of my fingers, out of my life, and out of my future. So endeth my (very) brief IVF journey.

Father God, help me to trust you. I don't know where else I can turn to for help - except to You, the Author and Creator of life itself.

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