Archive for January, 2012

Maternal low heartbeat, link to miscarriage?

I was only 6 weeks pregnant when I suffered my miscarriage last year, and like any woman who has gone through this I have analysed myself over and over to see if I could have done anything to prevent it. In order to move forward, I accept that there is little I could have done (other than lose some weight maybe) but recent events have made me consider that there may be something going on that I have little control (or understanding) over.

About 4 years ago I had a strange ‘incident’ where my symptoms made the hospital suspect I was having a stroke (numbness of arm moving up to my face, inability to talk, inability to see properly). I was admitted and seen to immediately, and although my symptoms eventually disapeared, they noticed my incredibly slow heart beat; it was about 29 bpm. They wanted to keep me in because of this fact alone, but due to the fact that no other physical symptoms accompanied the slow heart beat, I was allowed to leave, knowing that many tests lay ahead of me. During the subsequent year I had a brain MRI scan (no sign of a stroke…but possible evidence of a cabbage), an angiogram (where they follow injected dye in my heart via a monitor and I got to see my heart pumping on telly!), an echocardiogram (put jelly under my boob and move a scan thingy around, whilst I lay with my arms behind my head thinking of England) and a 24 hour ECG recording (which monitored my hearts’ rythym over a day). The final conclusion was that my funny turn had been a migraine with acute aura, meaning that I get the extreme, weird side effects as opposed to a headache, and that my heart beat was ‘normal for me’. ‘My heart shows ectopy, and I have sinus rhythm with occassional ventricular unifocal ectopy, and my consultant cardiologist is not concerned by this’. Well I don’t know about you, but that is just gobbledy-gook to me, but the bottom line is it’s nothing for me to be concerned about, nor do I have a ‘heart condition’.

Well on Monday when I was admitted for my knee surgery and having my heart rate taken, I was rather anxious. The nurse was aware of my ‘funny’ heart dance, but said “Oh my that is low, it’s 39”. This surprised both my husband and I as my anxiety would surely cause my heart rate to rise…wouldn’t it? The nurse agreed. Even more strangely, after surgery having my follow up ecg, my heart rate was a normal 72. So we have discovered that when I’m anxious my heart rate drops, which is the exact opposite of the rest of the human species as far as I’m aware.

This has then led me to consider if this is an issue when pregnant, as we know how important blood flow is in the early days as the clinic always mention it and make sure I’m taking aspirin to thin the blood. So my little brain is thinking “did my heart rate drop when I was pregnant? Is that why I lost my baby?”

So this is what I’ve found out on the Internet;

Maternal Heart Rate

The normal heart rate for a nonpregnant woman is around  70 to 85 beats per minute. To support the expansion of her blood volume that  occurs with pregnancy, the mother’s heart rate must rise to an additional 10 to  15 beats per minute. Generally, if you are pregnant and your heart rate is less  than 60 beats per minute, your doctor should evaluate you thoroughly for any  underlying cardiovascular or other medical issues.

Read more:

I will be seeing my doctor soon to have my stitches out of my knee so I know I’ll run this by her. Am I just clutching at straws, deperate to find a reason for my miscarriage? Or could there be something in this? What if nothing can be done for me anyway? Oooh, don’t you just love the constant questioning??!!

One thing that I am sure of, I must control my anxiety, or at least avoid it when possible. I happen to know the cause of my anxiety, but as it is work related, it is very difficult to ‘avoid’ completely. What I will do, is look into seeing a counsellor who can help me to address difficult situations at work, and maybe I will try and be pro-active and approach the person directly…..maybe.

So I am curious. Has anyone else had a heart rate issue, or heard of anyone with such a condition? I honestly couldn’t find out too much on the Internet so if anyone knows anything I would be everso grateful. There’s lots of info on the baby’s heart rate but not the mothers.

Thanks everyone and take care x


So happy for Amanda Holden! Get well soon!

Tragedy can happen to anyone, despite your fame or financial status, and life is indiscriminate when it comes to dealing out bad hands. Amanda Holden isn’t someone who I particularly admired as an actress, and therefore I didn’t follow her career or keep a keen eye on her personal life in the gossip mags. I always found it quite strange that she was married to Les Dennis; what on earth did she see in him? But today we find out that she has had a baby daughter but that this nearly cost both her, and her daughters’ life.

In 2010 Amanda suffered a miscarriage and then later lost a son as he was still born at 7 months pregnant. The strength that it must take to pick yourself up and continue trying for your family is incredible, and I admire anyone who does this. The constant fears that must accompany a subsequent pregnancy must be so hard to deal with, and the pressure on the mum to ‘be positive’ almost impossible to bear.

Britain's Got Talent Amanda Holden

Amanda shortly before giving birth

Maybe being an actress helps in such a situation as you’re trained in faking it, in putting a smile on despite how you feel inside and are used to rebuffing any line of questioning that you do not wish to answer. Or maybe it pushes a human being to the edge, being that exposed when you’re so vulnerable? Either way, I think Amanda has done a stirling job in keeping her private life as private as possible in her situation, and still been in the public eye and even working for as long as she desired.

Some people like to be wrapped up in cotton wool following a baby loss, and some like to return to as much of a normal life as possible, and I’m sure there will be comments as to whether Amanda should have worked as long into the pregnancy as she did. I feel so strongly about this that I’m now going to type in upper case….EVERY WOMAN SHOULD DO WHAT SHE FEELS IS RIGHT AND STUFF OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINION! The last thing any expectant mummy needs is to be judged when she is already trying her hardest to constantly do the right thing. Support is all that the woman needs; support and understanding.

So I’m giving out some good vibes towards Amanda who has clearly been through an awful journey, and I hope that now she can relax with her new family and be happy 🙂 Get well soon x

And of course, more good vibes go to those who are still on a difficult path, still trying to get their babies, still overcoming their losses and still trying to make sense of it all x

Sort my knee out, then get baby-body ready

I am currently lying on my sofa with my knee raised, a collection of drugs at my side and all the tv remotes/notebooks/books/phones I could wish for. On Monday evening I had ACL Resconstructive surgery to my knee as a netball collision resulted in my cruciate ligament…well….disappearing. This has meant that I have been unable to do competetive sport for roughly 3 years (I adored netball) and have had to find a new way to walk as my left knee doesn’t ‘work’. I fell over quite a bit and with each fall my knee would get slightly worse, my knee doesn’t stop, it just keeps going which is very unpleasent and VERY painful. I am pleased with how I handled my knee as I listened to my physio and did the exercises (well most of the time) and knew I had to build the surrounding muscle to  help me walk so that I looked/felt normal. I did struggle with walking up/down stairs though and needed to get one of those kneeling chairs to sort out my back which also ended up in pain as it coped with my distorted walking posture. I have been through this knee scenario all whilst going through my IVF journey, but it finally got so bad that I had to face the fact that I couldn’t risk carrying a baby with such an unreliable knee. To think that I could fall whilst pregnant and lose the baby was just unbearable after everything we’ve been through.

How my knee looks at the moment

So I had my reconstruction booked in before we go for our last IVF/egg donation attempt this year, hopefully allowing sufficient time for me to heal before becoming pregnant. This wasn’t easy as I’m sure most of you would empathise with the urgency and driving desire to go for IVF as soon as possible, I’m not getting any younger either so am more than aware that every month brings my chances down. But the bigger picture is that the healthier I am, the better my chance of producing a healthy baby. This surgery which is forcing me to lie down for recuperation, be looked after  in regards to what I’m fed and making me organise our family life more than normal as I am limited in movement, has also provided me with an opportunity to contemplate on my health and take some ‘me’ time for improvements.

I can be very self-negative, have low self-esteem and struggle with day to day situations that no-one is aware of (my anxiety and panic attack issues), so I’m hoping that this time will allow me to really address some of my issues and become a better, stronger person. One big area for me to work on is my weight, which will be difficult as I can’t work-out as such, but I can certainly help myself to develop a healthier eating plan. I have successfully avoided alcohol now for 3 weeks, not a problem, and am starting to see a difference in my skin! This is a great spur, and I am now enjoying being tea-total 🙂

I have some pod casts on meditation and weight loss that I plan to relax to, and a wonderful book on assessing and improving myself as a whole (a wonderful christmas present from Kristen). I’m feeling very positive about this, which is surprising as I’m supposed to have PMT at present, lol! My knee hurts unbearably when I bend it at the moment, but I have to move it to get it working, so I’m following my physio to the letter. In fact I think I might be too keen and have over-done it a bit as my large scar has just started bleeding….scary! I will be off work for at least 2 weeks (hopefully longer as I want to be as good as possible before I go back to all the stairs), but I have lots of lovely drugs to see me thought this rough time.

I know we aren’t supposed to blame ourselves with miscarriage, but the controversial fact is that I think we all probably do a bit. After all, something went wrong inside me, so it’s hard for me to not think that my weight played a part, or my inability to deal with the stress I get from work or my old womb..etc. I can’t obviously dwell on this, but I can learn from my doubts and hence why I’m now trying to improve myself for next time. I am truly excited for the next attempt and want my knee to be fully ready to support a big bouncy baby 🙂

Uh oh. I’ve turned my dog into my baby.

Last weekend a friend of mine came round with her baby. Cleo is adorable; not yet walking but crawling, curious and chatty, accompanied by cheeky smiles 🙂 Before they came round I hadn’t given a second thought as to how my dog and baby would interact, not because I’m an ignorant dog owner and just assume everything will be ok. But because I have always watched and monitored how my dog interacts with children, and today I would be the same, normal, attentive dog owner who has a young child in the house.

To give you the background on my dog, she is a staffie bitch, about 6 years old and came from Battersea Dog Rescue, London 3 years ago. We did immense research into getting a dog as I’d not had one before, and my daughter was 12 at the time so we knew we needed a family dog with no issues with kids. We joined nearly all our local dog rescues and even volunteered to walk dogs at weekends to gain confidence and experience. We watched Cesar Millan (aka The Dog Whisperer) repeatedly and we all fell in with him as a person, as well as our dog trainer. So when we finally went to get our dog, we felt confident that we had done as much as we could in order to get what we all needed, dog included.

So we knew that staffies are good with children (yes it’s true, the media portray a different story most of the time, and of course bad things happen with all breeds, but look into it, you’ll be surprised) and when we got our Shima we couldn’t wait to get her home. As soon as she had sniffed out her new pad we gave her some food…..and then I bravely (foolishly?)  put my hand in the bowl whilst she was eating to see how she would react. She just stopped eating and looked at me, waiting for me to let her continue. And that is our dog pretty much; she isn’t aggressive, she’s very soppy, she’s good around other dogs and doesn’t get bothered by children, even a newborn.

Anyway, back to Cleo. When they arrived Shima sniffed the feet and then sat down. The baby of course was curious, and started slowly crawling towards Shima (occasionally going ‘quack quack’ as that was the noise of the day, bless her). Shima simply got up and moved away, then sat down again. Every time Cleo got too close, Shima just moved. It became quite comical! I was watching Shima’s body language and she appeared to just not want to be near the baby, her hackles weren’t up, her ears were up, her tail normally dangling mid mast and her behaviour perfectly normal. But still I didn’t understand why she didn’t want to be near to the baby, it was as if she was apprehensive, not scared, but wary of what would happen if the baby actually got her. So I sat on the floor between them, to reassure Shima and to also play with Cleo….and this is when it got amusing.

I would say to Cleo something like ‘what’s this?’ holding a toy, and both Cleo and Shima would face the toy and look at me, both wanting to put it in their mouths.
I would say to Cleo ‘a duck goes “quack quack” but a dog goes “woof woof”, can you go “woof woof”?’ and immediately Shima would start barking.
If Cleo picked something up, or went too far from us I would say ‘Cleo come here’ and … you’ve guessed….trotting along would come Shima.
If I said ‘no!’ then both would stop in their tracks and just stare at me! Hilarious!
Throughout all this interaction you need to bear in mind that I am only addressing Cleo, and not even looking in Shima’s direction.

They're dogs!!! Make them walk!!

I know this isn’t that amazing in the respect that dogs follow and understand simple instruction, which is also how we talk to babies and young children, but I realised that my voice was the same. I literally felt like I was talking the same to both of them; using the same words with the same grammatical structures and same tones. It hit me that I had absolutely been treating my dog as a baby! Now I’m actually quite matter of fact when it comes to dogs, I don’t believe that you should put stupid outfits on them (unless it’s Christmass and then it’s just hilarious), I don’t believe you should carry them everywhere and I certainly can’t stand seeing people who humanize dogs to an extreme point (we’ve all seen the weirdos on tv programmes). So I felt like this had sort of crept up on me, that slowly I had turned my dog into a substitute baby, or at least an outlet for all my baby talk!

I quite often bury my desire for a baby, as it can be too overwhelming to admit to myself just how much I want one, so sometimes it’s just easier to think ‘hey ho, not that bothered if I have a baby really, they’re smelly and expensive etc..’ but quite clearly my actions speak louder. I found it fascinating to look into my dog behaviour from that day on, and I realised I do the following;

  • I sometimes refer to my dog as ‘baby’, ‘my girl’ and ‘baby girl’
  • I cuddle her often and she knows to give me a lick when I say ‘ give Mummy a kiss’
  • Shima knows that Simon is referred to as ‘Daddy’
  • I’ll tickle her tummy saying ‘is that nice? ticky-ticky’

Ok I’m sufficiently embarrassed now by what I’ve shared with you, and I’m hoping that your reaction is ‘Jeesh, she’s a nutter!’ because I’ve realised it too.

So am I an emotional wreck who has leaked baby love onto our pet dog? Or am I perfectly normal, and reacting to my situation to the benefit of my dog? Either way I shall be looking into it, just in case I become a truly weird dog owner! lol

On the plus side, I think I have one happy dog! Which is the whole point if you’re going to rescue any animal, surely? I would like to just take a moment to thank Hilary Collis who cared for Shima before she came to us from Battersea. People like Hilary do an amazing job caring for abandoned animals, and I actually find so inspiring that it leads me down the fostering thought path again….


The clinic that made our IVF possible

In just over a week I’m having knee surgery at the Chiltern Hospital in Great Missenden, and so visited them yesterday for my pre-op blood tests. This also happens to be the same hospital where we had IVF so I couldn’t resist popping in to say hello to Nikki who is my most wonderful IVF Nurse/companion/angel. It made me realise that I should write something about the Clinic which I’ve mentioned in my posts, but not dedicated one to. So here goes.

bmi chiltern fertility

BMI Chiltern is basically the nearest IVF clinic to us but we did look into Oxford and some London places that had satellite clinics near us too. We  made our initial consultation appointment and met with Mr Norman-Taylor who would be doing the IVF procedure. I really liked him; he had a friendly, warm smile and was very matter-of-fact with the conversation, which I like. Sometimes through infertility you need someone who is going to molly coddle you, tell you it will be alright and be overflowing with empathy and sympathy, Sometimes, however you need someone to be blunt, to-the-point, factual and lay it out straight. I know how I want my IVF consultant to be, and Mr N-T was perfect. I needed to feel that this man was doing his job, his calling and performing the best IVF for me he could. He only told me facts that I could digest without filling me with unrealistic hopes. We also met some Nurses who were simply lovely and all staff were informative and reassuring (as we were obviously nervous and didn’t really know what to expect). So the first visit was a success, and we left knowing what was coming, documentation with diagrams scribbled on, and with another appointment booked in 🙂

During the 2 IVFs and the Egg Donation, I have gotten to know the Nurses more and they have had to put up with me! I am an optimist and feel strongly that smiles fix most problems in everyday life, so I’m aware that I was a tad more bubbly than the other women/couples that we saw at the clinic. We all feel awkward; do we say hello, do you engage in eye contact and smile, or do you do the British thing and act like they don’t exist. I talk when I’m nervous, I also talk when I’m happy, or sad…..I talk a lot, but I did try to remain calm, honest. The truth is, going to the clinic got me excited, I was doing something, I was on my journey and trying to make a difference. Admittedly, after the first failed IVF I began to become scared of going to the clinic, as if it promised something that I thought it couldn’t deliver. When driving nearer and nearer I could feel my foot sub-consciously going for the brake pedal (I wasn’t actually driving). I think this is the biggest frustration of IVF, as you know you’re supposed to be positive but it’s really difficult sometimes when you’ve had your heart-broken. Through all my mood swings, my anger, then my upbeat smiley mental moments, the Nurses took it in their stride and got to know me. I always knew I could contact them over anything, no matter how silly I thought I was, and they would always help and re-assure me.

I must also mention my aneasthetist who was just the sweetest man I think I have ever met (I can’t remember his name!). I definitely felt looked after and in good hands when I went through my IVFs, and I had a full on panic attack the first time! The Nurses handled me beautifully and informed that I wasn’t the first and I certainly wouldn’t be the last to freak out over what was happening.

There were times where I felt angry or upset over something, and it’s easy to lay blame with the clinic, or at least associate it as being their fault somehow. But when I look back, I realise they absolutely did their best by me and I couldn’t ask for anymore than that. They are only human, and they work in a very difficult environment which is full of hope and babies, but also tragedy and frustration. It’s important to be empathic to them too.

If you’re looking for your clinic, this would be my advice;

  • get all the documentation from them, and check online for other people’s experiences and feedback (but remember they are not you)
  • visit your shortlisted clinics and ask every question you can think of. Then phone them up with some more.
  • go with your gut. How did the staff make you feel? You don’t have to click with everyone, but you need to feel comfortable with them
  • find out about the financial side. It’s not great talking about money but it’s something you don’t want to be worrying about when going through IVF. BMI do a great finance plan that made it very straightforward for us, and it certainly took the weight of my mind knowing that it was sorted.
  • find out about the support offered. BMI gave me mobile numbers that I could contact at anytime if the clinic was closed, which I did use and was very grateful for. Most clinics do this, but ask.
  • remember that you’re not committed to one clinic. I have a friend who used The Chiltern once, then chose to go somewhere else for her second IVF attempt. She had her reasons, so it was right for her, but when you put your heart into a place it’s easy to end up feeling obliged to them.

Finally be strong and resolved. Our clinic don’t like to give out too much statistical information, which I think is to save us from obsessing and finding hidden hopes that might not be there. For example, I really wanted to know why my eggs ‘weren’t great’ but I had to push for an answer. I do understand why such detail may be irrelevant as it doesn’t change anything, but I’m the kind of person who just likes to know as much as possible about myself. My eggs ‘weren’t great’ because they were highly fragmented, but then that just ends up with my asking what that means? And then the next question pops into your head, and then the next and so on. You can get caught up over-analysing and dissecting terminology, and that’s not good for the stress levels. At the end of the day my clinic tried to get me pregnant, which is what we wanted 🙂

So, to finish this post, I would just like to say that I would definitely recommend my clinic and that Nurse Nikki has become someone special on my fertility journey who I will never forget.

How we got our Egg Donor :-)

So as you may have already read, we had egg donation IVF last year, and I though I’d tell the story of how we went from ‘let’s go ahead with egg donation’ to actually doing it. Because it’s yet another thing to get your head round.

From the moment we decided to go ahead with ED (egg donation) I knew I had to fully understand what I was doing, and what the implications were for me as a woman. We had been to the Fertility Show in London and attended seminars that covered ED and listened to other people’s experiences and advice. This was all extremely helpful and I can’t recommend enough that you do as much research and digging as you can (if you’re considering ED) as it really shows you aspects that you may not originally have considered. I therefore knew that I had to ‘grieve’ for the biological child that I would now never have, but my logical and sturdy brain tried to reason this away. I thought that ED was just a straight-forward progression on our quest for a child, and I tried to not think too deeply about what was actually going to happen. This was a mistake. The harsh fact was that I was going to be carrying another woman’s baby that had been fertilised by my husband. It wouldn’t inherit any of my features, I could never compare my childhood behaviour to its and I would probably flinch everytime someone said ‘hasn’t she/he got your eyes?’ or some such remark. I could foresee visits to the doctor with situations where I’m asked for my medical history, and how I would have to explain that our family doesn’t quite work like that. As the law stands though, strangely, this child would be more mine than anyone else’s. The donor has no legal hold, as in the eyes of the law the woman who gives birth is known as the mother (which complicates things in surrogacy). But as time went on, I did pine for my own biological child, I don’t like being told I can’t have something and it tends to make me more determined and stubborn. But this wasn’t something that I could do much about. Sadly, I think the realisation that the donated embryo was truly mine, the moment when I realised that the little life did in fact belong to me and I would completely be its mother, only came when I miscarried and lost my little one. Only then did everything fall in to place. Life can be evil when some lessons can only be learnt through tragedy.

Anyway! Back to how we found our donor. After our decision-making discussion, I went through the documentation we had gathered from the Fertility Show and found the National Gamete Donation Trust leaflet. The next day I emailed them and was really impressed with how quickly they started things going and how friendly they were. They basically add you to their register as someone looking for a donor and contact you when any are located, as near to your area as possible. We were also given posters advertising that ‘someone in your area needs your help’ and all the NGDT contact details (we were anonymous so there was no panic about advertising your personal business to your local town). I trotted off one afternoon armed with numerous posters and a positive attitude. Within an hour I was an emotional wreck though, and couldn’t quite believe something seemingly so simple turned out to be an arduous nightmare! The first shop I went to I suddenly realised that I hadn’t properly thought this through; what do I say, more importantly what is the first thing I should say, how do I break the ice?

‘Hi. I need some eggs, could you put this in your window?’ if only it was that easy. All at once I realised that I would have to share my personal and painful infertility situation with a complete stranger…..and then watch their reaction!! I definitely wasn’t expecting the reactions. First there is the sadness in the eyes, quickly followed by the confusion of what I am actually asking for, and then sometimes, unfortunately, there is a judgemental glare. As if I am taking this too far and shouldn’t meddle with nature or something, at least that’s how I felt.
Neither Mothercare nor Boots put my poster up. Shame on them! One local small shop did put my poster up and I will be forever grateful to Ruby Moon for doing so and showing me such love and kindness.

Now moving on a few weeks and one evening I light-heartedly went through my Facebook friend list to see if I knew someone who could fit the bill as a donor. Originally we had thought that an anonymous donor would be best, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of knowing her. Only one person fit the criteria (under 35) and resembled me physically and I giggled when I thought about how I would approach her. She is a work colleague, and a close one, she actually came to my Hen Party, so I knew I could bring the subject up with her without embarrassing either of us. The next day I saw her in a corridor and pulled her aside. Here is how the conversation went;

‘Hi Sue (false name). I’ve got the strangest compliment to give you. You know how I am going through IVF etc.? Well, we decided to look into egg donation, and last night I went through Facebook to see who I knew who would be worthy enough for such an honour {giggles and blushes} and you were the only one!’

Her reply: ‘Well funny you should say that because when I found out that you were having trouble conceiving, I asked my partner how he’d feel if I could donate my eggs to you, should you need them. He said it was fine. So you can have my eggs! {big beaming smile}’

SHE HAD ALREADY DECIDED TO BE MY EGG DONOR BEFORE I HAD DECIDED TO HAVE DONATED EGGS!!! (there isn’t a smiley face image big enough to display here).

And this my friends is what they call the light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining in every cloud, the frown that has been turned upside down and just the awesome realisation that life always has something wonderful for you around the next corner. The love that Sue showed me in that moment alone is something I will never forget and never be able to thank her enough for. That moment, and the moments to follow where we laughed about the injections we were both getting and when we took her for her Egg Collection, and all the other shared experiences, are the upside stories on this infertility journey. They fill you with a warmth that makes you realise that humans are capable of wonderful things. I will love her forever, quite simply.

There followed months of tests and consultations and even counselling for all of us, and then the IVF went ahead. It worked, although sadly ended in a miscarriage BUT we have 4 frozen embryos to try again with later this year 🙂

AND……she’s only gone and told me that she’d do it all again for me!!!

I might be unlikely with my ovaries, but boy, am I one lucky human being to have people like Sue in my life.

A different kind of IVF guilt

I have moments when I stand back and take a good hard look at what I am doing. How I feel about IVF as a solution to infertility and how it fits into the world as a whole. This thought process always leads me down a path of guilt as I recognise how many unwanted and unloved children there are, already born, that are desperate for a Mummy and Daddy. I confront the inner adopter/fosterer in me, someone who is very much alive and keen to be heard.

I have often thought about fostering during the last 10 years, as it is something that I think I would be chuffing brilliant at! My own troubled childhood, 2 divorces, being a single mum for 9 years and other ‘life stuff’, have all left me very empathic and with an understanding of dysfunctional family situations deep enough to listen to any story without over reacting. My heart really does miss a beat when I think of troubled teens who feel no-one cares, young children missing out on cuddles and babies who just want to be held. Worse still are the ones who need help healing from some awful trauma, and I want to help them. When I think about this….I feel a terrible guilt for going through IVF.

My journey is (as is everyone’s) not just mine but a shared one with my partner, and he is my motivation and reason for IVF. I utterly understand and empathise with him, that he simply wants and needs his own child, and I would do anything to give him a son/daughter. Strangely I already have in a way, as he is Step-Dad to my 15-year-old daughter (and he is marvellous!). But as time goes on, and the money runs out, and still no baby, our conversations are forced to address other options. And we have. Many times. Sometimes I get hysterical, sometimes we both get angry but both of us completely accept that we want to have a family, however it is created. We both have so much love to give that we know it would be a crime not to share it.

During the last year I have made enquiries, just dipping my toe in the water of fostering and adoption, to see how it works and what would be needed of us. It’s not straightforward, but I strongly agree with all the stringent investigations, documentation and interviews as such tiny, and fragile souls are at stake.

This year though we have our frozen embryos, and they are our ‘little babies’, so we optimistically go forward with our last egg donation IVF attempt! This is the next chapter in our lives and we couldn’t be more excited about it 🙂

But if it doesn’t work…..well….then I think we both know where the next chapter will take us. You got to look at the bigger picture right?