IVF, Life of a Mum

Parenthood hasn’t cured our infertility.

Yes it’s National (or is it international) fertility awareness week. And I couldn’t let it pass without getting back to my roots, and the reason I started on Instagram and blogging.

My names Kelly and I’m infertile! Yes I’m also a mum of one- but this was after two gruelling rounds of IVF. And despite becoming a mum 5 years ago, a miracle hasn’t occurred- yup I’m still infertile!

So so so many people, it’s very annoying; have said ‘they know someone’ (yes we all do- but they’re probably the exception to the rule) that once they had IVF it ‘reset’ them and now they can get pregnant and have had more babies.

But, nah- doesn’t seem that fairy dust has been sprinkled this way. My/our infertility issues have not majestically regressed.

Infertility affects 1 in 7 heterosexual couple in the Uk NICE data and facts ….. and the older you get the more this increases. Despite that, infertility treatments are still very much underfunded and unavailable, unless you have a spare £10-20k sitting in the bank (which of course after the past few years, we all do, obvs)

So it fairly common, it affects your life, and yet treatment isn’t readily available, nor do we receive much (if any) education about fertility or infertility. Yes the majority of our teenage years and our twenties, it’s drummed into us about safe sex, and not having an unwanted pregnancy. This gives us all the false sense of security that we are all super fertile and then getting preggo is easy!!! Well for some it bloody isn’t.

My advice; never assume! If you’re in your twenties and wish to hold of ‘starting a family’ (I hate that term) then invest in some basic tests regarding your fertility- such as your hormone levels (blood tests), follicle count (ultrasound) and AMH (blood test)- this may support your feelings to wait, but may also indicate that your fertility isn’t all you’ve been led to believe. You, of course have options, to consider baby making earlier than planned or by banking/freezing eggs or embryos.

If you’re a guy; it’s similar, get some bloods and a sperm analysis (typically is cheaper and less invasive for men)

Unfortunately very little funded treatment is available on the NHS. So although we have 5 perfect ‘maybe baby’ embryos in the freezer, it’s more difficult to have the several thousand of pounds needed for treatment. But…. If you smoke, drink, take Drugs- and you have health issues related to this; then of course you can get NHS treatment and also medications. Don’t get me started.

Let me know your thoughts……


Positive pants, pineapples and the colour orange

IVF is stressful, time consuming and expensive. I thought I’d create a blog about what your friends going through IVF might need.

Just be a friend; we need a kind listening ear, some sympathy and someone willing to put up with our erratic moods. And when I say ‘we’ I mean the boys too (or the partner not taking the drugs) – it’s a really stressful time for both parties; and they’ll be regular ‘headfuck’ moments, hormonal outbursts, negativity and tears!

Do a little research; be a great friend by finding out a little more. Are they having IVF or ICSI – find out what these mean. Ask her about her drug schedule. Research IVF apps and support groups. Find out about her clinic and latest IVF news.

Be present; does she need a friend to attend appointments with? Help with her injections? A weekly pizza night? Don’t avoid her- that’s literally the worst thing- when someone knows you’re going through a shitty time and they disappear! Being avoided sucks, reduced phone calls, awkward silences- just talk, be there, be interested.

Things not to say!!!!

You just need to relax/have lots of sex/go on holiday!

People don’t turn to IVF if they have not tried everything else; prior to this decision they’ve probably been peeing on sticks and taking temperatures daily, having sex constantly in all manner of positions and taking weird concoctions and supplements.

Some reasons for infertility mean you physically cannot get pregnant the ‘normal’ way- if the man has abnormal semen analysis, or the women has blocked or removed tubes, then it simply cannot happen the ‘normal’ way. Implying a holiday may regrow their Fallopian tubes is just ridiculous ignorance.

Get a dog/adopt/sponsor a child

…er no Susan!!! Let’s face it one of the reasons we are on this earth is to procreate, many of us are naturally maternal and all we’ve ever wanted is a family.

We know there are other options of ‘parenthood’ or family- but we’ve chosen to try IVF, please respect that choice.

Social media- moaning about your kids/announcing a pregnancy/ doing an April fools joke positive pregnancy test or scan.

Oh my Facebook and insta can suck when you’re trying to conceive or are going through IVF! Pregnancy announcements, scan pics and bump updates seem to be everywhere. I can cope with these and be happy for others but…….. pregnancy test jokes!!!! just no

‘Great! You’re pregnant! Now you can relax’

If only. You are so used to feeling incapable of being pregnant you’re paranoid something awful is going to happen. Each cramp, spot of blood or disappearing symptom gives you a feeling of doom. I really never felt confident

Gift list.

A journal/diary, such as

Ivf diary

Ivf journal

2ww cards

Two week wait positivity cards

Lucky socks These are pretty awesome

Anything Pineapple themed; including pineapple! It’s believed the bromeline in pineapple (Especially the core!) can help blood flow to the uterus.

Anything Unicorn themed Unicorn stickers I used these in my IVF journal

Book of positivity Positivity quotes

Fertility bracelet Lulus gifts has loads of fab ones

Chocolate; hormones means chocolate is always appreciated!!

Water bottle

Nuts; Brazil nuts contain selenium which is supposed to be great for the endometrial lining. Chuck a small bag in her IVF hamper.

Alternative therapies- I had acupuncture and others I know had reiki; anything relaxing can only help.