Thanks to IVF: My darling boy
I’ve written previously about how IVF on the NHS in Essex is fast becoming a thing of the past.
Until 2014, all the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the East of England offered the same level of provision to all eligible patients, which was in line with the NICE recommendation of three full cycles of treatment.
Then things started to change all over the country… especially here in Essex.
By the end of last year lots of CCGs had ditched IVF completely – in a bid to save the NHS cash. Mid Essex now offers no IVF whatsoever, neither does North East Essex. Or Basildon and Brentwood. Castle Point still offers two cycles. And most recently, Southend (after an extensive consultation process) now offers just the one cycle – and only if you’re under 40.
Opening soon: Bourn Hall’s new purpose-built IVF clinic in Wickford
Sonny Jim was conceived thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at Barts Hospital, in London.
We were living in Leigh-on-Sea (in Essex) while undergoing the process. And while I think I would have travelled to Scotland three times a week, if it meant the treatment would be a success, there is no doubt the commute to the clinic did take a bit of a toll.
Juggling a job on a regional newspaper, with the newsroom based in Basildon, but travelling into London to undergo internal scans (always a joy!) and blood tests and egg collection and embryo implantation was not exactly easy. A lot of the appointments were mere minutes long… but the round trip meant it was at least a 3-hour plus process. Which was not simple to slip in before work. It meant I had to tell my boss I was having IVF – and while he was very understanding and good about helping me work shifts around it, I would still have rather not have had to tell him. Continue reading
Worth it all: My Sonny Jim
The first IVF baby was conceived on this day, 40 years ago (#IVFis40).
To mark the (rather amazing!) milestone, as a mama of an IVF tot, here are some rubbish things no one ever tells you about it…
- If you are a needle-phobe, it will either break you – or cure you.
By my reckoning, one cycle of IVF probably involves you getting stabbed about 70 times (in your belly, your thigh, in your bum cheek.) A lot of them you’ll have to do yourself, or get your other half to do. You’ll even have a special yellow toxic-waste sharps bin – like actual drug addicts on TV. Continue reading
So lucky: My wonderful baby boy
Tomorrow will be my first Mother’s Day as a mama. I am beyond thrilled to be able to type that.
But as wonderfully special as the day will be for me, there are so many, many women for whom the day is the hardest of the year.
Before Sonny Jim, even though I’m lucky enough to still have my wonderful ma, I disliked this day. I waited nine years for my baby. Spent more than five of those years under various hospitals, undergoing tests and procedures, being stabbed with hundreds of needles, pumped full of different hormones and then constantly disappointed. Mothering Sunday became a day when scrolling through my Facebook feed felt a bit like death by a thousand papercuts. All those gorgeous babies snuggled up to their mamas. All those cute kids with their homemade creations. It hurt. More than I can explain. Continue reading