My husband and I got together when we were 19 years old (almost 12 years ago now!) It was important to both of us to have a family. When we were on our first overseas holiday together in Barbados (lucky I know!) we spoke about the family we wanted to have and decided we wanted four children and we came up with their names. How naive we seem now thinking it worked like that!
We were both at university and living two hours away for a few years so we weren't really in a position to act on anything towards our great desire to have a family. Then we both moved to Australia and got engaged. We now felt we were ready for children. However, my husband had starting having some medical issues due to his diabetes and we were pretty sure this would damage our chances of conceiving naturally.
We had decided to try and just see what happened. We got married and nothing had happened for quite a while. At one point close to our wedding we thought it might be positive and we both got really excited thinking this was finally our chance. However, the test was negative. We were both devastated as all previous months when the test was negative.
I had heard of IVF but didn't know much about it, so I began to research and read that you had to have been trying for at least a year before you could be considered. We had reached that target and so I made an appointment for our first consultation.
We saw the doctor, who took all of our history and indicated a diagnosis for my husband and said that we would definitely need IVF if we wanted to have children. That appointment was full of such mixed emotions. We had hoped so much that it would turn out to be nothing and it wouldn't affect our chances so to hear it would was heartbreaking. However, it was also a relief as we knew that was the direction we needed to go down.
We wanted to go ahead straight away and then they handed us the costing sheet (In Australia you have to do it privately, there is no option for public treatment unfortunately). The costs were way over $10,000 and we just didn't have anything like that in savings as we had only recently bought a house and got married. This was absolutely devastating as our hopes were crushed once again. Eventually we had to think more positively and decide to save up as best we could and wait.
We didn't realise how much of an impact it would have on us though. When you want something so much and it is the most important thing to you in the whole world it is incredibly difficult. It can easily take over your life and affect everything in it. The worst thing is that we were keeping our infertility a secret so we had to deal with it alone and it was very hard to hide our emotions when they were so raw.
I often broke down thinking I would never be able to become a mum. I would see children everywhere; parks, shops and beaches and my heart would physically ache. I would witness tender moments between mother and child and I would feel such envy. I would watch TV programmes where a baby was born and the euphoria of the moment and I would collapse uncontrollably in tears. It really is the hardest thing and until you deal with it you cannot imagine how hard it is going to be.
After more time passed and we had more money saved we made an appointment with a different clinic. This time we had some more tests, which looked into our chances further. Unfortunately we found that I also had a blocked fallopian tube. This hampered our chances even further and meant that we needed the most involved and expensive treatment in order to be successful. So again money stopped us from going ahead and again we continued living a life with a hole.
The story is too long to tell in one instalment but the continuation of our journey will be available on my blog very soon...