Having read previous rainbow baby stories in the SPRING newsletter and taking comfort from other people’s success with conceiving following a loss, I was keen to share my story in the hope that other women can take comfort from it and also realise that there is support out there and, if you need to, you can seek help from a trained SPRING counsellor.
August 2010, my husband and I got married and were surprised to conceive on our honeymoon. Unfortunately I miscarried at 6-7 weeks but we tried to remain positive. As we had conceived so quickly we expected it to happen again with no problems. Little did we know we would go through three years of pain and suffering before we were to be blessed with our twin girls.
Following the miscarriage in October 2010, we tried unsuccessfully for 4-5 months when I found out I had developed a very large ovarian cyst. The doctor at the time said it would go away on its own, which it did, but I am sure to this day it affected my fertility and led to more problems later down the line. We spent the next 12-18 months trying all kinds of things that might help with conception including acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal remedies and more conventional medicines such as clomid, but nothing seemed to work. I even paid to go to a specialist in London to get tested for immune problems and I took a very strange concoction of herbs in the hope it would be the answer we were looking for. Every month that went by I would get so distressed when my period came and I got obsessed with wanting to get pregnant. We found it so hard to understand how we could get pregnant so easily first time and then struggle for so long afterwards. Looking back now I realise my stress and anxiety about getting pregnant definitely contributed to the problem of conceiving.
Following several blood tests and testing for my husband there was no clear answer as to why we weren’t conceiving so I was sent for an HSG dye test in August 2012. This test showed my right fallopian tube to be blocked (same side I had the ovarian cyst) and therefore was compromising our opportunities to conceive. We were given the option for me to have a laparoscopy or go straight to IVF. I was quite frightened at the thought of having IVF and certainly wasn’t ready for it so we opted for a laparoscopy to determine the cause of my sub fertility. Again this showed the right fallopian tube to be blocked so we decided to continue to try naturally for a further few months before going down the route of fertility treatment.
It was at this time that I was at my lowest point and a friend of mine put me in touch with SPRING. I attended counselling sessions on a weekly basis to start with and found them so beneficial. It was nice to talk to someone outside of my family who could help me understand the myriad of feelings I was experiencing and give me practical steps to deal with the difficulties.
After six further months we decided to have a couple of IUI’s (Intrauterine Insemination). Neither of these treatments worked for us – given the fact it was likely a blocked tube that was causing the problems it was unlikely to be successful. I found it really hard when neither of these treatments worked as you do invest so much time and energy and it can be an even bigger disappointment when they don’t work. I realised as time went on that the only way we were going to be parents was to undergo IVF treatment. I think after going through everything else I got to a point that I was accepting of this option and actually started to feel excited at the thought of going through the treatment.
It was August 2013 and I had started the injections ready to have the IVF in September. It was my mums 60th birthday that summer and as a family we decided that first week in September to take her to Lourdes as a surprise. We knew she had always wanted to go there and being brought up catholic we knew it was a special place that would be lovely for all of us to visit. Eight of us stayed in a farmhouse for a week and spent a couple of days in Lourdes. Whilst I don’t go to church I have always had a belief in god and it was in Lourdes I had a wonderful spiritual healing that I believe enabled me to find peace with the struggles of the past three years.
The medical advancements of IVF, together with my spiritual experience in Lourdes is what I believe has given my husband and I our most wonderful blessings. Our twins are nearly a month old and whilst it is hard work with the sleepless nights, I thank god every day for blessing me with them and also for everything I did go through as it has made me appreciate life so much more now. I am also really thankful that I had access to SPRING for the emotional support and reassurance they provided during such a difficult time.