I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times,
I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.
That is a long title isn’t it but it does what it says on the tin, I hope what I am about to say makes sense. These past 4 weeks like so many others on this fair isle of ours have been glued to the tv show on TV3 by the name of The Babymakers. Since my previous blog posts earlier this year about IVF, people talk to me a lot about IVF these days. People have read my blog, watched Joanne’s Snapchats, listened to our podcast episode on IVF, it is no longer a taboo subject for us. The best thing I could have ever done was talk about it all, it has made the transition smoothly in to realising we cannot have kids easier barring a miracle of sort. The Babymakers show these past few weeks has helped immensely in bringing the subject of fertitlity and IVF in to the public domain. I have seen so many people on social media, friends and family talking about it. I even went to great lengths to explain how IVF works to my brother and his wife Friday night. It has been a massive eye opener for everyone.
I suppose the question though for me is did I enjoy the show? I did and I didn’t. I loved finding out about other people going through this. I don’t mean that in the sense it is written, but in the way we were not the only ones out there going through or have gone through this torture. I found so many couples on the show relatable to our own scenario none more so than the Limerick based couple in the first episode and also Fiona/Eoghan in the last two episodes. Everything these couples went through just brought back the shit times, the endless highs and lows of something so torturous. Seeing the drugs being administered and the soul destroying phone calls delivering negative results. It was horrible to go through it all and then re-live it again on tv. In fact I remember saying to Joanne I don’t want to watch this show, I lived this already with her I didn’t want to re-live again. That was two fold, I didn’t want to have something that I was slowly pushing to the back of mind, brought right back to the front again and then drag all those feelings back. Yesterday morning I was speaking to my friend in work about this all who had been down the IVF road herself with her husband. It was the first time I had been actually able to talk to her about it properly since December of last year. Even though we chatted candidly about our experiences, however maybe like a loss of a friend or family member I still had processing to do. The 23rd of December 2016 was the most horrible day of my life, I think Joanne feels the same but it was just heartbreaking. Hearing you can never kids, it made for the most horrible Christmas I have been through, I operated on auto pilot with Joanne for quite some time following that day. It was the final kick in the stomach at such a happy time of the year.
We have since gotten on with our lives, we know we will not have children we are at peace with that thought. We did consider the donor route but mentally we didn’t believe it is something we could do. Viewing the couple on the Babymakers who did donor egg it was a good insight in to how that process worked. I was worried though watching them it would change my mind on donor eggs and Joanne felt the same. Thankfully it didn’t re light our interest in that side of fertility, it is not for us and we both agree on that, in fact I only checked in with Joanne yesterday morning on that having had my IVF chat with my friend in work. This year our relationship is back on track, alot of couples however want to keep pushing and rightly so but for us, for us to be truly happy with each other we need each other thats all for us and this year showed us that. One of the girls on the show, in the first episode said “It is only worth it in the end if you have a baby”. Is it though? from failure there can most definitely be success, galvanising our relationship and moving past such dark times will be our success.
Overall with regard to the show there were a few things I didn’t like and I figure I should at least mention them. I wish the show was able to give a little more information on the process of IVF from an actual in workings stand point. One of the main things we struggled with especially in the clinic here in Ireland when we did IVF was actually understanding how IVF worked. We were given no information about it and how it worked. From that stand point I wish the show gave timelines and what certain terms mean. There was one point the Polish girl had endometriosis, then had cysts on her ovaries but they didn’t highlight how long this process took. I think I would have also liked to see maybe more than one clinic involved in the programme just for some balance as it did feel at times I was watching an advert for the SIMS clinic. Also speaking of advertisements, I didn’t feel having ClearBlue pregnancy tests suited the tone of the show. Finally for me I would have liked more discussion around the mental health side of the show for the couples be it the woman or man and how it affects their life and relationship. Even for the man to show his role in the process and their support for the woman as-well as their own thoughts rather just the sperm giver.
At the end of the day the show has done a tremendous amount of good for fertility and getting people talking about such a taboo subject. Continuing on from the show it is very timely that the government is considering support for couples going through IVF. Right now the HSE offer the Drug Payment Scheme which after a long process of IVF helps alot and helps recoups some funds. I am bit unsure on how the whole government assistance will pan out, I read it will also be means tested too which could narrow who would be able to avail of the service. I did read alot of comments on Facebook and The Journal yesterday about people naturally delighted but alot of hatred too with a lot of people suggesting there alot more worthy ways of spending taxpayers money. I can understand in some ways the people who think the money should be spent elsewhere but I guess what can you do, I do however agree more money should be spent on homelessness and the existing health system. If the government however do want to help IVF couples I can only welcome it and be happy for these people.
Thanks for reading