I am a 37 year old clinical psychologist from South Africa and have been working with children for the last ten years. I love working with children and families and have wanted my own children since I was about 15 (I’m not even kidding). I am married to a wonderful man who I know will make a great father and we are both blessed to have good and close relationships with our families. When our childen finally arrrive, they will be born into a lot of love. We are both very responsible and so waited for the ‘perfect’ time to start a family…. strong marriage, financially stable, lovely house with plenty of space…. turns out the perfect time for my body would have been about ten years ago, according to my doctor.
We have been trying to conceive for three years now. For me though, I feel like I have been childless forever and the last two and a half years have felt incredibly long. I knew early on that there was a problem and we have been under the specialist care of a fertility clinic for just over two years now. It has been a frustrating journey which started with the diagnosis of multicystic ovaries (similar yet different to PCOS), then endometriosis (at which point I had a laperoscopy). We have had numerous medicated cycles (clomid and femara) which were successful in getting me to ovulate but did not result in pregnancy. I then developed hostile cervical mucus as a side effect of the medication. One round of IUI on clomid and femara and one round of IUI with injectables were the only IUI’s that our doctor was willing to do as he felt that our chances of success with further rounds were not good. He recommended IVF. At this point we decided to get a second opinion and I was diagnosed with Diminshed Ovarian Reserve. A huge blow. After raging at the first doctor we realised that regardless of the diagnosis, both doctors were recommending the same treatment and so we put the first clinic behind us and started IVF. In June 2014 we did our first round of IVF. Unfortunately this cycle was cancelled due to poor response. We started on a new protocol, called an estrogen priming protocol (or in my doctors words, ‘the end of the road protocol ‘), in July. It is a long protocol and very taxing. We managed to retrieve 8 eggs, and by day 5 had two blasts. I fell pregnant but we knew early on that there was a problem… At nine weeks we could no longer see a flicker of a heartbeat and I had a DNC. At this point we elected to go the egg donor route and in February 2015 we chose our donor. She started cycling in May and on 20 May we retrieved 40 eggs. 16 were frozen and the remaining fertilised. On 25 May we transferred 2 perfect blasts, fell pregnant and finally saw a heartbeat. It was a stressful 9 week.pregnancy though with some heavy spotting and sadly I ended miscarrying again. We are now on another phase of this crazy, awful experience called infertility… Trying to understand why I can’t STAY pregnant.
When I started this blog I had felt extremely alone at many times during this journey despite having a good support system. There is something so intensely painful and isolating about infertility which is hard to express to people who have not experienced it. It is also such a loooonnggg journey and I had become tired of always being in the same place (childless), and always telling my friends and family the same thing. Because of this I had been lurking in the shadows of the blogging world for a while, finding immence comfort from realising that I was not alone. I finally decided to take the plunge and start my own blog…. whether we fell pregnant on the first or third (or fourth or fifth….you get the picture) cycle, I knew that it would be good to share the journey with others. And it has been, very much so. I could never have imagined how much support I would receive from this community and it has been an enormous blessing.
I initially wanted to call the blog simply, ‘between the lines’. I had never had the pleasure of a positive test, never had the joy of seeing two pink lines, be it a pregnancy test or even an OPK. I longed with all my heart to see those two pink lines. Little did I know that my journey would not end when I saw those lines, and that the concept of waiting would take on a whole new meaning as we waited to see whether our baby lived or died. Between the lines also encapsulated another dynamic which is relevant to my life….I spend my days reading beteeen the lines of the stories of the children and families who I work with, trying to understand what cannot be said or is too painful to express. Unfortunately ‘ between the lines’ was taken and so ‘Waiting between the lines’ was born. I hope to give birth to something a little less one dimensional sometime soon.