Health

‘Unexplained Infertility’… My Journey So Far

After months of debating whether I should or want to share this story, today I have decided that I am going to before we start the next leg of our journey.

It’s not a private matter and is something I often discuss with others as I find talking about it helps (you never know what advice or experiences others may be able to offer).

However, to write about it and post it publicly is something I have been debating with for a while.

The reason I began blogging was initially, as a distraction from this matter. After a while it became more than that, and I realised the support network involved in the blogging community. I have decided to share my story with you today not to benefit myself, but in hope that it may help someone else.

So here goes…

Myself and hubby have been trying to conceive (TTC) for over two years now.

My first hurdle along this path was deciding when to come off the pill. Annoyingly we decided to wait until after our wedding. Firstly, incase I caught quickly… I didn’t want to be pregnant on my wedding day. Secondly, we were going on our honeymoon to Kenya and due to the Zika virus, I was advised to wait.

To find out more about the risk of the Zika virus in certain countries click here.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Now I wish we had started earlier as I would be further along in this process right now, possibly with some more positive news, or with some answers at least.

My second hurdle was my thyroid. About 5 or 6 months down the line the doctors discovered my levels were low meaning it was unlikely I would have been ovulating, so wouldn’t have been able to conceive up until this point. They increased my dose, and as far as I’m aware my levels have been normal since.

To find out more about the thyroid and fertility click here.

As the one year anniversary TTC approached us, I was told to go back to the doctors for a referral to the gynaecologist. During my appointment I was told to wait for a letter from the hospital which would take a couple of months.

Every month my dreaded monthly cycle arrived, upsetting and disappointing both myself and my husband.

FINALLY, we had our first consultation with the gynaecologist, mainly gathering information and doing some basic tests. They then booked me in for a HSG scan where they inject fluid in to the womb to see if there were any blockages or abnormalities in the fallopian tubes.

I’m not going to lie, this was a painful experience for me as unfortunately both of my tubes were blocked. However, luckily, they managed to increase the pressure of the fluid and clear the blockages there and then which meant the pain instantly went once unblocked.

Tip – they advise to take pain killers beforehand and I totally forgot – don’t make my mistake!

Following this I was then advised I have a much higher chance of getting pregnant now so I wasn’t to have another appointment for 6 months.

As the 6 months came and went, I tried various things to boost my fertility:

  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Mindfulness
  • Paleo diet

Again, no results, so off I went for another appointment. This time I was given Clomid tablets which would make me ovulate.

Tip – if you think there is something else going on that hasn’t been explored, then make sure you express your views. I wasn’t ovulating at this point, but it was assumed I was as I had regular periods. This meant they were going to refer me straight for IVF (which I was not ready for) instead of trying something else.

After a few months on Clomid I still didn’t have the news I so desperately wanted. I had some side affects from Clomid, including blurred vision, so I was taken off this and told to wait for a follow up appointment.

Finally this appointment arrived and I saw a different gynaecologist this time – A lady who was also part of the IVF department and she was fab… like a breath of fresh air.

She was supportive, sympathetic and informative. I actually felt like I was being listened to and that we were finally getting somewhere.

Anyway, I was discharged from this department and referred on to the IVF department and told I had “unexplained infertility” and that I would start the IUI process.

We had a plan… I would have 3 rounds of IUI and if unsuccessful I would go on to have 2 rounds of IVF. The only downside was that there was a waiting list of up to 6 months.Image result for unknown infertility

Five months later and I have my first appointment to start the IUI process… next week!!

So here is why I wanted to share my journey with you:

For the last two and a half years this consumed my life. I became obsessive, angry, upset, jealous and withdrawn. I felt like I was a total failure as a female and that I couldn’t accomplish the one thing I was put on this planet to do.

But as a woman, giving birth and being a mum is not our sole purpose. We have many roles in life, whether that’s being a wife, a sibling, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a colleague or a manager. We all have many roles that play a vital part in shaping us in to who we are today. Don’t underestimate yourself and don’t think that you are a failure. There will be many obstacles along the way which will make you a stronger person.

At some point or another I always questioned whether there was any point continuing, whether it’s worth all the upset, the stress and the disappointment.

That was until two months ago when we thought I was pregnant. We even did a test and I don’t think we’ve done any along the way. That was a really hard time for us and I guess my body did what it knew it could do and put a barrier up. Image result for infertility

My thoughts went in the complete opposite direction and I decided I was fully satisfied with my life and didn’t necessarily want children. I have the best husband I could ever dream of, his lovely 8 year old boy, our beautiful beagle, my amazing family and friends, a great house in the most perfect location and a fab job (I had just had a promotion to a managers position at this point which really helped me to see my worth too).

We travel quite a lot and go on the most amazing holidays (this has been something that’s kept me going all this time). But thinking back, all I have thought about the last couple of years is getting pregnant. So I decided, enough is enough, I am lucky and I cannot let this consume my life. I need to go through this process and take it as it comes.

The truth is, there is nothing I want more than to have a child of my own with my husband. And that will happen, whether that means I get pregnant or we adopt, we will have our family! Adopting has always been something we are more than happy with. That child will still be our child and part of our family, and we will be able to provide a lovely family life for a child in need.

I have realised that I do not need to worry about missing out on the pregnancy journey, or giving birth, or being the first person to hold our baby. Because in the grand scheme of things, that is a very minor part of parenthood. There will be so many other journeys and so many other “first times” along the way.

So, if you are reading this and are going through a similar thing, whatever ‘stage’ you are at, remember that what you are feeling and the thoughts racing through your mind are 100% valid and you are entitled to those thoughts and feelings. Just don’t bottle them up!

You will receive a lot of support and advice from others and sometimes it can cause more worry and stress, so be selective in who you talk to, but be open and honest with those people. They really do have your back.

You will have days where you don’t feel like doing anything, you don’t want to leave the house and you don’t want to see anyone, but I promise you, those are the days that you need to be doing those things and you will feel a million times better for it.

Please remember that there is hope out there and there are options. I will share the rest of our journey and update you along the way.

Thanks for reading ❤️

Here’s some useful links for infertility info and support in the UK:

I have found the Fertility Network UK great. They have information on events and even local support groups available.

For more information on infertility have a look at the NHS. Although I have found some of the information given on their website contradicts what the specialists told us during our appointments, but it gives you an idea of the process, diagnosis and treatment available in the UK.

5 thoughts on “‘Unexplained Infertility’… My Journey So Far

  1. Rhiannon, you are so brave to share something so personal with so many people. I’m sure that there are many women going through the same experience as you and sharing such thoughts will be beneficial. I wish you all the luck in the world and hope that one day soon you and your husband will have a beautiful baby. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Rhi. Very brave of you to post this but it does contain a great deal of courage, hope and wisdom that is well worth sharing. Very proud of you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am brand new to blogging on this site, and I swear I was meant to find your page! I feel like I’m reading my own story!! thank you so much for sharing, I am going to be following you and praying that you get your miracle very soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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