Eight years ago I got pregnant. The moment the pregnancy test’s double pink lines sunk into my psyche, I started to think of myself as a mum. I was over the moon. The path I saw ahead of me was the realisation of a long-held dream of becoming a parent. I talked to the little sparkle growing in my womb about the life we would have together and how excited I was to meet them. I was full of joy and wonder at the magic happening inside my body.
And then… I started to bleed. I miscarried and the budding child I had loved and nurtured was gone. My world was shattered.
Needless to say, I never got pregnant again.
Miscarriage is a massive hurdle that all women going through IVF have to get past. When they put a fertilised embryo back into your womb, you have no idea whether it is viable (healthy) enough to create a baby, or whether your body will reject it part way through the pregnancy, resulting in miscarriage. Having already been through a miscarriage, I know how traumatic that is. Going consciously into a process where you know it’s likely to happen again, and may happen many times, is sometimes overwhelming to say the least.
When I started this journey I joined a number of online groups filled with women who are doing what I am doing. These women show such huge courage. Failed pregnancy attempts and miscarriages are rife. Women having to give up their dream of giving birth and raising a child are commonplace. After one, five or ten attempts at IVF they are unable to continue due to exhausting all avenues for raising the finances, or are unable to continue with the physically and emotionally grueling toll of the drug rounds and failed pregnancies.
We Hold On As Long As We Can
And then there are the gorgeous photos of the newborn babies that the lucky ones have managed to have.
What I have realised is that we hold on to a dream as long as we can. I am nowhere near done with this dream yet, although I’m more realistic about how long it might take. I have done three rounds of IVF, which produced only one embryo – now in storage. I have no idea if this embryo is viable. After three rounds, I couldn’t carry on. I was spent by the drugs and the emotional roller coaster. I needed a break. I wasn’t sure if I would do any more rounds because it was such a lonely and disheartening process, even with the support of my amazing family and friends.
Hope won’t lie down easily
And then I discovered a book called ‘It Starts with the Egg’, which many women swear has helped them have a baby. The protocol specified in the book is supposed to improve the quantity and quality of your eggs, no matter what age you are, The hope started to rise up in me again.
And so, after a 6-month break trying not to think about my eggs getting older, I have now started this protocol. I hope to have another go at having my eggs collected in three or so months, corona virus depending. I have no idea if it will work. It’s possible that the one embryo I already have could result in my child. Miracles do happen, and I haven’t given up on mine yet 🙂
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This Week’s Delicious Recipe: Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
And now for some yummy comfort food that also works brilliantly as a dinner party dish 🙂 This is such an easy recipe; great for a relaxed supper or for something a bit more special.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp paprika
300g chestnut mushrooms, halved
150ml vegan stock or homemade bone broth
1 tbsp gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp vegan creme fraiche (I use the Oatly one), or 3 tbsp vegan cream + 1 tsp lemon juice
1 large handful parsley, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring.
Add the paprika and stir through. Next, add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Pour in the stock or broth and the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid off for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the creme fraiche (or cream and lemon juice) and most of parsley, keeping a little back to sprinkle over the top once plated up.
Serve hot with freshly cooked rice or a big chunk of fresh sourdough bread 🙂