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Struggling to conceive

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Woman struggling to conceive looking out to sea

My partner and I have been trying to conceive baby number two for over a year now. This is a secret I have been carrying for almost as long but I now feel ready (I think) to share our story.

It took us 13 months to conceive our eldest. Back in 2015, I had an unplanned ectopic pregnancy which resulted in the removal of one of my fallopian tubes. We were generally careful and had just one night of not being so, and bam, we were pregnant. We were not ready, so when the ectopic diagnosis came it was almost a relief. After to speaking with one of the nurses, despite losing a tube I felt reassured that the fact we had fallen pregnant so easily was a really good sign and I didn’t need to be too worried about the future.

ovulation calendar when trying to conceive

At the end of the following year, we were now ready to start our family. The first few months passed to no avail, but I wasn’t worried because I knew we had a slightly reduced chance of an egg reaching the remaining tube (around 30%), and it could take up to 6 months for your cycle to regulate following being on the pill. But it would all be OK, yes my cycle was more irregular than it had ever been before, but that was because of the pill right?

More months passed and I was starting to worry, I went to see my Dr, who reassured me that in some cases it can actually take up to 12 months to regulate after being on the pill, but because of my history sent me for blood tests anyway.

My blood tests all came back normal and highlighted no concerns, so we were put forward for the next round of testing, but before we managed to pull our finger out and book the relevant appointments I found out I was pregnant and my beautiful baby girl was born.

A mum cuddling her newborn baby in a birthing pool

Fast forward 18 months and we were ready to start trying again. After what my Dr had told me about the pill I was confident that was the reason we had to wait so long the first time and this time would be much less of a wait.

We started in-actively trying when our Biggest was 9 months old, after only two months I woke one morning feeling highly emotional, everything was making me want to cry, I was exhausted mid-afternoon - all of the early pregnancy signs, I was sure this was it. Then my period came. That hit me hard, I had been so certain I was pregnant, but I picked myself back up, after all, I still only had one tube, and we had managed to conceive before, and it had only been two months.

9 month old baby girl

More months passed, each one I felt more and more disappointed as my period came.

Then after 6-months, my period surprised me on day 25, something which had never happened before. Since coming off the pill following the ectopic I had always been irregular, but never earlier than 28 days, this was unusual. One of my friends who I had confided in asked if it could be an implantation bleed as it was quite light. I wasn’t certain but took a First Response test just in case - the result was unclear. I thought I could see the faintest of lines but if I could it was so faint I doubted whether it was just wishful thinking. I decided to wait and see what happened before taking another test and the very next day my period came in full flow. It wasn’t an implantation bleed, my body was just throwing me a curveball.

This marked a sharp downturn in my mental health surrounding our attempts to conceive.

All of a sudden every month when my period came it was a bigger let down than ever before. At the end of every month looking for changes 'I feel overly tired', 'I'm bloated', 'I'm having mood swings', so certain each time it was a pregnancy sign it felt like a loss when my period came. Rather than noticing signs of pregnancy I was actually just becoming more attuned to signs my period was impending.

Fertility tests

I felt betrayed by my body, I knew it could conceive - so why not now? I went back to my Dr and once again because of my history, and now my age, I was sent for testing straight away. Once again the initial blood tests came back normal - I had ovulated that month, my liver and thyroid function was normal. I was sent for more tests. This time to check my hormone levels prior to ovulation, again this all came back normal. I was referred to the consultant.

Following the referral, I had a HyCoSy scan which checked for any abnormalities in my womb and remaining tube, once again, everything is pretty much normal. Daddy H has been for his tests and we are awaiting an appointment with our consultant.

Cloth Bum Mum waiting for her HyCoSy scan

I’m not sure how I feel about these tests, obviously, I want to be told there are no problems, but equally, if they do say that then why on earth can I not get pregnant? If I am told there is a problem and there is very little or no chance of conceiving, I am going to be devastated, but it is something I can work on. Something to come to terms with and it will take away the hope which is actually the thing I find hardest to manage each month.

I don’t know what the future will hold for our little family. When trying to conceive the first time around, deep down I always knew it would happen, but for some reason, I just don’t feel that way this time. We will keep trying, we always will until it happens or we are told it definitely won't. Until that time I'll continue living in hope.

If you have come here because you too are struggling to conceive, know that I see you. Whether you have decided to confide in friends or carry it alone (both are fine), I feel you. My inbox is always open if you want to have a chat, sometimes it can be easier to tell a stranger than the people you love. Below I am including a list of infertility of stories I have found because all of our journeys are different. If you have a story to share but don't have a platform to do so, contact me and I will host it for you here - this can either be under your name or anonymously, I am here to support you and your journey in any way I can.

A sad couple hoping to conceive

Other people's stories:

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