…and it seems as though they are not particularly great.
My progesterone is too low. My oestradiol is too low. There are issues with BT’s SA which the doctor won’t discuss over the phone or send the results for; BT needs to go to the doctor and speak to him in person.
I think the not knowing is the worst. Either they will say there is hope and we do everything we possibly can to make a baby, or they say there is no hope and we look more seriously at adoption.
Everything just feels like such a battle at the moment when I’m already struggling with one of the hardest things that has ever happened to me. So far:
- getting my initial blood tests was a battle;
- getting a referral to the Fertility Clinic was a battle. The doctors sent my referral to an old address, despite me updating my address with them 6 months ago. When I went into the surgery several weeks later after I’d realised what had happened, they then looked at my new address and told me I could not stay with them as I was out of the catchment area. After much bartering, in which I explained that I needed to be at a surgery near to work because the surgery in the catchment area where I live is only open 3 days a week in the middle of the day and so I would need to book a day of annual leave just to have an appointment (not to mention that you can only book an appointment a week or two before said appointment, yet I need to book annual leave at least 4 weeks prior to this!), I ended up bursting into tears in the middle of the surgery;
- getting an appointment for BT to have his SA was a battle. During the week he works from 7:30am – 6pm as a minimum (usually more like 7:30-8pm, or even 48 hours straight when he is on call). He is stuck in the hospital and struggles to even grab a sandwich from the canteen for 10 minutes, let alone (ironically) attend a medical appointment. Even when he gets days off, he is expected to go into work anyway. He eventually managed to get an appointment, but they also sent the letter asking him to come in to the wrong address (different GP to me and he had also updated his address);
- trying to get an appointment for a private referral to the Fertility Clinic was a battle. Through work I pay approximately £50/month for private medical insurance (work pays for the insurance and we have to pay the tax on it). “Luckily” my policy covers infertility investigations. Some small ray of hope, I thought, but it turns out that they will only allow you to see certain doctors at certain places. The ones in my “geographical area” are 70 miles away, meaning that it would cost me a huge amount of money in petrol and I would AGAIN be forced to take time off work (I could take further sick leave, but my workplace is not very supportive so this would be difficult). The additional kick in the face for this whole private medical insurance thing, above having to pay £600/year for a policy that does not help me the one time I am “sick”, is that every single time I spoke to an advisor they told me “you’re ever so lucky that you have this on your policy as very few companies allow that on their policy”. Firstly, this is always said in a way that makes me feel like I am some sort of criminal or benefit cheat for even asking to have some tests that I am entitled to and for which I pay a large amount of money for; and secondly, I really don’t feel very “lucky”. Most women have unprotected sex and a baby appears 9 months later. Sometimes it may take them a few months of trying, and there may be some heartbreak along the way, but generally within a short space of time they get their baby. To date, I have spent month after month after month doing everything I possibly can to get pregnant, and every month I feel overwhelming despair when my period comes. To even get a referral to the Fertility Clinic you have to have gone through a certain amount of hell, so please don’t tell people that they are “lucky” that they get to go privately (when all that means is that you see exactly the same doctor at exactly the same hospital, just a few weeks sooner). Besides, and I really don’t mean to cause any offence by this, I very much doubt that if a patient called saying they had cancer and needed certain type of investigation the insurer’s response would be “Oh you’re just so LUCKY you can have these tests done privately”.
So to date, this year (i.e. the year we started seeing doctors and hoped to get “fixed) has just been one big shower of shit.
I am trying to think of ways to be positive and ways to relax and ways to feel a little less hopeless about everything. So here are the things I am most grateful for:
- I have an amazing husband. Sometimes I get annoyed because I have to nag him to cut his toe nails (gross) and he isn’t very good at washing up or keeping places tidy (although he’d say I’m the messy one) and sometimes he does bury his head in the sand a little (but less than most men). But he is extremely kind and he always has my back and he has put up with all my screaming and crying over the past few years.
- I have an amazing family and, with the exception of my grandparents who have sadly all passed away, they have been generally fairly healthy (I really don’t want to tempt fate though…).
- I have the best fur-babies on the planet. They make me so unbelievably happy. Sometimes I wonder if we can’t have kids because I will never love a baby as much as my fur-babies…(joking. Sort of).
- Aged 30, we are about to become the owners of a nice house with a little garden. Many people don’t have that. Yes, we have not been ‘given’ it and have worked our
sizeablearses off over several years and have made many sacrifices to afford it, but I will not forget how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads (and a very nice roof at that).
And here are the things I am doing over the next few months to try and relax:
- We have a spa afternoon booked this Tuesday. We never usually do things like that because they are SO expensive and BT and I try to spend ZERO money on anything EVER, but both of us really need a way to unwind and switch off. I am really looking forward to it!
- We have just booked a holiday for the end of January going to the Caribbean. I have bad depression (as opposed to, you know, “good depression”…hmmm) and I often end up in a really “bad place” (to quote your amateur self-help shite) over winter. We therefore tend not to go away over summer and instead try and go somewhere sunny over winter, so that I can recharge my batteries and come home thinking “only x months left of winter” (for the non-Brits, winter in the UK is bitterly cold with grey skies and constant rain, which unfortunately lasts around 364 days per year). I get a bit angry though because I get a lot of negative comments from people at work and some “friends” about how they’re jealous that I can afford these holidays. Firstly, they are not as expensive as people assume because we go when the school holidays have finished. Secondly, these colleagues and friends either have 3+ children each (which I would trade for a holiday in a heartbeat) or they’re out socialising/partying every weekend and every year will probably spend 3 or 4 times the amount I spend on a holiday in drinks/club entry fees/buying new outfits etc. Anyway, these meanies are not going to rain on my Caribbean parade!
- Try acupuncture. This is not a thought I ever thought I would have, or a sentence I ever thought I would say. I do not believe in alternative medicine and I think it can be quite dangerous in certain circumstances, such as when desperate people stop taking their actual scientifically tried and tested medication and instead start believing the witch doctors. I do think that certain things can be extremely helpful psychologically, if only to make you feel a little more ‘human’, and that is worth shot.
So anyway, I think positive thinking is something I really need to work on, and I also need to work on ways to relax and feel a bit calmer about the situation I am in.
Slightly easier said than done, but I can but try!