IVF & Our Story - Part 1
All you can really do in life is keep trying.
There are times in your life when you’ll fail, for sure.
It happens to all of us. Failing isn’t the important thing.
What’s important is that you just keep trying.
As long as you never give up, then everything will work out for the best.
You should always do your best no matter what.
It may seem like it’s a never ending battle sometimes.
It feels that way for me a lot of times.
This has to be the hardest thing I have ever tried to write. I feel this because when I write blogs I talk to you as if I am a friend if that makes sense, I write the way I actually talk. This time however I don't feel I can talk to you like that, this time it is different, this time I am talking about something only I have truly been able to open up to Joanne about and vice versa. This is my perspective on what IVF is, how it affects you, your partner and the bond between you both. Joanne has encouraged me time and time again to open up about my side to IVF. Joanne has her story which cannot be told by me, she does have her outlets though to help her mind, forums, Facebook groups, friends and always forever myself. The thing is though there is not many men out there talking about this, none at least that I know of which makes me feel even more nervous writing about a subject that people would believe is a woman's heart ache but it is far more than that. It is a heart ache for both the woman and the man as their relationship becomes one big yearning ball of heartache and despair. In my first piece I am going to tell you how we got here and be as frank as possible. Before I go any further, this piece has been vetted by Joanne and encouraged, I don't even think I can grasp how I am actually posting this.
In May 2014 we got married, I figure I should start at the beginning. Up till our wedding, I don't think we ever spoke about kids in any great detail bar the usual "when we have kids one day", note I said when, no one ever thinks they can't have kids. There was always then the heated discussion about baby names, Joanne would always say a name and I would veto it and she would do the same to me. I always wanted if we had a boy to call it after myself, I know that sounds selfish but it is because in my family, my name has a history. Not many people say they like their name, I love my name, I am the 8th Willem De Korte in a row, the first boy and I have traced it back as far as 1780, every first born boy has been named Willem. Naturally soon as you are married and I am sure you have read this a thousand times but "When are ye having kids lads", "Better change the car now for a nice family one" the list goes on, but it is only natural. Society demands it of you once you are married, even in the Catholic marriage course, the main goal is for you to procreate post marriage. We decided on honeymoon to enjoy a few months first before we even thought about trying for a baby, we thought no rush like. We stuck by our word, we held out 3 months before giving it a go. I am sure you all know by now how it all happens the birds and bees etc. so no need for the biology lesson. We started in August 2014, we thought we are going be pregnant by the end of the month and the rollercoaster will begin. I picked up the pregnancy tests in anticipation you know the really early ones, First Response ones I think they are called. 3 days out before Joanne's time of the month, we tested, negative.... 2 days out we tested, negative.... 1 day out..negative. Aunt flow rode on in to town and the journey was over. Both of us thought the same, it is the first time trying, was slim chance anyway, will get back to trying next month.
Each month went by September, October, November, December, each single month as torturous as the last. Me looking at Joanne feeling shit for her, me bottling it up how shit I feel that this is not working, Joanne looking at me feeling shit for me, Joanne feeling shit about the whole thing. Those first 5 months turned very quickly from this is great trying to why has nothing happened yet? January 2015 hit me like a bang, I got sick, I suffered a mild TIA stroke with no real explanation and thankfully no lasting effects on my life, not even now. I may have said it before in a previous post I had a stroke back in March 2010 because of a heart defect which was ultimately fixed. After being sick in the January we had to pause the trying for a baby for a few weeks but come March we were back trying again. This time with a renewed sense of optimism, that is the thing about trying and later on IVF you always have to remain optimistic as best you can. We thought this time we would try something else we had not done before and buy an ovulation kit. These allow the woman to see exactly when they are about to ovulate which is the optimum time to try for a baby. The kit added more heartache, each month for nearly 3 months, trying to catch the little egg when it was released. We never got it right, it was now May 2015 and we decided three things, no more ovulation kits, no more pregnancy tests and when we came back from our holidays in Spain we would finally go to a fertility clinic. We said lets try up till August, because that would have been a year of trying. August came and we still couldn't crack it. It took some serious consideration to go for help, we consulted with our GP and she gave us a referral for a fertility clinic.
August 2015 was the beginning of a journey of many tears, excitement, hope and severe disappointment.
To be continued next week, feel free to ask me any questions after my next post. The next one will be quite detailed.
Our two podcasts on IVF: