I’ve sort of not had much news on our IVF journey since the miscarriage in July.
In summary: We had our first round of IVF on the NHS resulting in a positive pregnancy test! Unfortunately this ended in miscarriage in July. During the miscarriage they found that I had a fibroid, pretty much smack bang in the middle of my uterus. The doctor and nurses told me this might prevent pregnancy.
The way I dealt with this was mainly to realise that there wasn’t anything I could do to change the situation. (And as my dad always says, there’s no point worrying about things you can’t change!)
All we could do was wait. And finally this weekend I got a little bit of progress.
I’m insured with BUPA (health insurance) through work. In the uk, healthcare is “free” on the NHS (the National Health Service, paid for through contributions from everyone’s salaries). The NHS is fantastic – and I’m very grateful that we qualify for 3 cycles of NHS funded IVF. I also got treated at the NHS EGU (Emergency Gynaecology Unit) for my miscarriage, which is where they highlighted the fibroid. However the NHS waiting times can be very long. They found the fibroid in July and my NHS appointment is in October.
I finally after a bit of wrangling with Bupa managed to get a private consultant appointment with a gynaecologist this weekend. I went to see him yesterday (Saturday). Let’s just say their hospital was swankier than our local hospital!
He did a scan and found that there was a fibroid as was previously identified. And he said that it might be the cause of my infertility. (I expressed some surprise that I might have had one for 15 years or whatever, but who knows?) He agreed it needed to be treated before we had another round of IVF.
He could do it next week! But we are at a wedding so can’t do it then, so it looks like it might be in two weeks. This is really quick compared to the NHS target of 18 weeks to get treated. (I don’t blame the NHS at all for this – it’s why we pay for private health insurance, so we can get access to more expensive treatment when we need to.) So – subject to some confirmations, I may have this little spirit-sapping fibroid out of me in a couple of weeks. That’s good news!
I also finally got through to our IVF clinic and they said they will book us in for November – I don’t know if this will ever happen, but I’m hopeful. I kind of felt a bit unhopeful when we found out about the fibroid because I knew we wouldn’t be able to start IVF before the fibroid was sorted out. So at least there’s a possible timeline there. Another thing I’ve realised is that other countries seem to do a lot more testing during IVF, such as PGS, whereas we don’t, at least not in our clinic. I assume this is an NHS thing – for example they won’t investigate losses until you’ve had three, I suppose because of economics.
They must have done the maths and figured out, for the money, that IVF works more often than PGS prevents miscarriage… I really wish they did do it but I suppose it would be prohibitively expensive. T thinks we should do our three rounds of IVF on the NHS and then if it hasn’t worked we try a private one where they’d do more testing. Just the thought of another three cycles is kind of depressing… I just hope that the next cycle works.
Anyway, it’s a small sign of progress on our IVF journey when we haven’t had news for ages. I still have my NHS appointment booked for October so if the Bupa operation doesn’t happen then I’ll still go for that. Really I am a big fan of the NHS but going private means you can skip some of the waiting – the system is very overburdened. I still have to pay for private health but it is part of my flexible benefits at work so I don’t really notice it coming out of my salary every month. I was actually tempted to stop paying for it next year because they never seem to allow you to claim, so the fact they’ve taken about two months to let me see a gynaecologist is a little bit of progress.
All we can do now is be hopeful. And concentrate on maximising happiness in the meantime!
This week I’m making a wedding cake for my friend, before attending their wedding. So I’m going to focus on someone else’s happiness for the time being! She’s a lovely person who I only met a year ago. She’s been through a lot, being a cancer survivor, which I only found out when she mentioned it was her anniversary of remission. Pretty cool. She’s one of the most friendly people I’ve ever met. And this weekend she’s been having a bit of a crisis of confidence because she’s worried about not looking lovely enough in her wedding dress.
I told her she will look lovely because she will be happy. And I remembered this Roald Dahl / Quentin Blake quote that I read as a child, and have always believed…
And for us: I sometimes think I’m fatter than I want to be. And I often think that I’m not quite the person I want to be. I try to be nice and sometimes beat myself up a bit in retrospect when I think of things I could have said or done differently. But ultimately I’m bloody grateful that we have what we have: I count my lucky stars every day. (The stars are shaped like T and Dog and my family who are unconventional and lovely at the same time!) I figure those happy thoughts have to go some way to smoothing out the imperfections.
Here’s to happy thoughts this week.