I am Nigerian, suffered with Infertility and had IVF

@RubySuzeCreates shares her fertility journey

We had been married for 5 years and we hadn’t ever been pregnant. I was getting the look, the talk, the prayers, the hints and demonstrations. Yes, I do mean demonstrations. I was given sex advice from a well-meaning aunty complete with a demonstration of how to execute the baby making position.

I could shrug off (just about) the external pressure but the internal mental and emotional pressure constantly tripped me up.  It often caught me off guard at the most awkward of times like when receiving a baby shower invitation or when I saw ‘the belly’ of a pregnant woman. I was jealous and guilty. Jealous of their pregnancy and guilty for feeling jealous of what is an unmerited, unearned gift.  Meanwhile, physically I had been suffering with sporadic sharp crippling pain in my lower tummy for a very long time.  I also had heavy periods and never once thought that this would was a problem.  I thought it was normal – what every woman went through.

In the fourth year of our marriage and had tried everything that we knew to do – even the position that my loving aunt had suggested (much to my hubby’s shock and horror – the attempt didn’t last long).  Our backs were up against the wall and we needed answers. The ambiguity of not getting pregnant was total anguish and so we began our medical investigations which dealt us three sharp blows.

The first blow:

I was told that I had multiple fibroids.

I cried and recovered, feeling encouraged by friends who had become pregnant after suffering from fibroids.

The second blow:

I was told that I had Polycystic Ovaries.

I was frustrated and getting tired but, I was encouraged when the doctor explained that it reduced my chances of falling pregnant but didn’t make them impossible.

The fatal blow:

I was told after a laparoscopy that I would not be able to get pregnant naturally.   My fallopian tubes were filled with toxic fluid that would potentially kill any foetus that could grow.

I was devastated, we were devastated, we all were.  My hubby held me and I tried hard not to fall to pieces. Family members were petrified at the thought of further surgery I required that would render me ‘sterile’. I fell to the floor on my way out of the hospital trying to comprehend a life without children.

We were left with no card to play other than IVF. I summed up to courage to go for the second surgery, pushing thoughts of permanently being ‘sterile’ to the back of my mind.  I knew we were in for a journey but I was doggedly determined that no matter how – IVF, adoption or fostering – I was going to be someone’s mum. We joined our hearts, finances, hopes and prayers together and tried IVF. To our absolute joy – we got pregnant.

I never underplay how fortunate we were to have undergone IVF and have gotten pregnant on the first attempt.  We are incredibly fortunate. Our son was born in 2013 after 5 painful years of trying. We were blessed once more when our daughter came to join us in 2015.

Despite our blessings the ache of our fertility still sits with me.  It’s like an athlete who gets seriously injured during a race and after much rehabilitation they go on to win an Olympic race.  I’m sure that the athlete can still feel a twinge of that pain each time that they run.  Some days the pain is worse than others.  That’s the way I feel about my fertility journey.  I am eternally grateful to have my two bundles of energy that I call my children but, my heart still aches.  I still find myself wishing that my body ‘had worked’ normally.  This ache that I carry, spurs me to try to offer support to those who are on the journey because it can be extremely painful and lonely.  I am now a co-ordinator for the Beibei Haven Foundation where we offer support to couples who are experiencing fertility challenges, miscarriage, pregnancy loss and fertility issues associated with sickle cell.

If you’d like to hear my story in full please click the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzJTrNk0D60

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