Saturday, 21 July 2012

How positive thoughts helped create my family

Besides losing my Dad to cancer, trying for kids was the most stressful experience of my life – and my Dad died in the middle of it - which made it much harder.  For 5 long years we went through that awful cycle of; planning when I’d be ovulating, having sex at the right time (whilst trying to remain positive), then waiting for 2 weeks seeing if I felt different, convincing myself that it could BE THE MONTH!, then being proved wrong and falling into a pit of depression...before pulling myself out of it to start all over again the following month.
We started to see an infertility specialist after a year of trying and due to a very extensive list of health problems (which could fill a book) we weren’t ready for IVF until almost 4 years later. 
IVF has the reputation of being difficult and heartbreaking, and we certainly felt beaten and bruised as we embarked on it.  But I must report hand on heart, that IVF for us was a positive and wonderful experience...and the easiest part of the previous 5 years.  The specialist care and work of the clinic obviously had a huge part to play, but so too did my conscious effort to remain positive and relaxed.
Here’s my story.
Looking back, the details of the injections and clinic visits are hazy, what I remember more is my state of mind.  I believe in positive thinking and the power of the mind.  My favourite quote is “All that you are is a result of what you have thought” Buddha.  So with this in mind I booked myself in for 2 months of hypnotherapy just before the IVF to help convince myself (consciously and sub-consciously) that it would work.  The other thing I did throughout IVF (and still do) is meditate on a daily basis – it did wonders to reduce my stress levels.  These and my constant vigilance to negative thoughts, were my saving graces.
I remember the injections were easy once I’d gotten the hang of letting my leg go floppy on the sofa.  I made sure that they were done at the same time every night and I managed to get through without any signs of being hormonal (Just double checked that with Anonoman, and he agrees).  I remember being nervous that the egg collection would hurt – but I didn’t feel a thing.  I produced 22 eggs, which apparently is a lot (and it certainly felt like I was carrying round extra bags of shopping in my groin).  They perform a tester implantation to check how easy it is, and that was uncomfortable, but over in seconds.  Anonoman and I had many moments of fall out and stress over the years, but going through this brought us close together again.
The funniest memory that stands out for me was Anonoman making his...donation.  The time came for him to go into the room and get in the mood which is difficult with a sample container and 20 strangers waiting outside.  He told me how there were different aids, but that it made it worse for him.  Apart from the obvious magazines, there was a stereo and he couldn’t resist looking at what the last person listen to - Now That’s What I Call Music 45 and I just have to share a few of the tracks with you.
Gabrielle – Rise
Tom Jones – Mamma Told Me Not To Come
Geri Halliwell – Bag it up.
You can’t make this stuff up.
My eggs and Richard’s sperm were left over the weekend in a Petri dish with candle light, low lighting and Barry White on the stereo.  On Monday, 8 had fertilised – all being good quality, but 3 being excellent.  We had one egg implanted (paid for my MR NHS), two put on ice and then had the agonising 3 week wait for the test.
Through it all, whenever a negative thought popped into my mind, I replaced it with a positive one and made myself believe in it.  I also visualise for 10 minutes every day having a positive result and how I’d feel.  It felt fake for the first few weeks, but I started to get into it and really believed it would all be fine.  And (thank God) we got our positive result.
Even when 8 weeks later I was very ill in hospital with a blocked intestine and at risk of losing the baby, I remained calm and positive and all was fine.  It was then, during a scan to check on the baby, that I found out we were having twins. 
An amazing result to an amazing experience.