Friday 4 May 2018

Having A Baby*

I have always known since I was a little girl that I wanted to become a mother. When I was older I did have the worries, 'would I meet someone', 'would it happen for me', 'would it be difficult to get pregnant'?
In my third year of university I missed a period, not because I was pregnant (that was impossible) and started freaking out. Could I be going through the early menopause? I went to the doctor, who was very unprofessional, as well as answering the phone and swearing at his colleague he also laughed in my face when I asked if I could be going through early menopause. I swiftly changed my doctors surgery and after speaking to friends, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) came up. I made an appointment at my new doctors surgery and this time saw a much more understanding and professional doctor. I was referred for blood tests and when the results came back I had a higher level of testosterone than normal. I was then referred to endocrinology at the hospital and took a 24 hour urine test which my uni housemates thought was hilarious. I was also very specific about the day I did the test as I couldn't drink any alcohol which was a very important part of my social life back then! When the results came back they also showed some abnormalities and the endocrinologist said it was highly likely I had PCOS but didn't want to do any invasive scans at that point. As I wasn't planning to have any children in my final year of uni I was happy with that and the plan was for me to have a follow up appointment in a year. When my appointment came through I was actually moving back to my home town as I had finished my teaching degree and had a job. Since 2007 I have not returned to an endocrinology department.
PCOS was always at the back of my mind and I worried it would be difficult to fall pregnant. I always spoke about having a family and when a couple of my friends had babies it made me very broody. In 2012 the other half and I discussed trying for a baby, once my 30th birthday celebrations were out of the way.
Surprisingly I found out I was pregnant less than a month after my birthday. At an early scan the sonographer mentioned there were cysts on my right ovary.
I felt so lucky that it happened as I know that fulfilling the dream of having children is not always an easy journey.
I have friends that have gone down the IVF route  not only because it was hard to conceive but due to genetic reasons. For them I know it was a difficult time. I know that if I had struggled to conceive I would have certainly have seriously considered IVF.
Of course another option is adoption, not only for couples that can't conceive but same sex couples and single people too. Not everyone meets their so called 'the one' to bring up a family but that doesn't mean they can't become a parent, in addition to adoption there is the option of sperm banks and surrogacy. So how much does it cost to get sperm from a bank?  In the UK you're looking at around £800 for a vial of sperm through fertility centres such as Complete Fertility Centre in Southampton.
I can't imagine how painful it is not to have children when you so desperately want them. Fortunately there are options in this day and age to help people become parents and nobody's journey to parenthood is the same.

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