Christmas and waiting::

This is one of my favourite times of the year. Simply because I let my hair down, catch up with friends and family. However, this can also be a very challenging time for a woman In waiting. Churches, schools and offices put up shows to celebrate the birth of our saviour, for me, having to deal with the the questions that comes with not having a child of my own was just too much. 

Being a choir teacher meant that I was tasked with putting up a Christmas show for the kids whose ages are between 5-12. My time with these kids was precious, as I just loved seeing them flourish… but the remarks from their parents though well meaning, were mostly uncalled for. 

I took it as a real concern from them as I was a married woman without a child of my own yet here I was helping with the kids choir, to them, it is must be the most difficult of jobs, which it was. 

I understand their concerns and genuine care but for a woman trying I did not need to hear it every single week, especially at christmas.  So Christmas is the one time of the year where I dreaded being with my choir kids. I love my friends kids, nieces and nephews, and my choir kids, but I just wanted the questions and pitiful looks to stop. I wanted to enjoy the seasons without the talk of ‘don’t worry’ it will happen. 

To deal either this time and other festive periods I had to develop my own coping or surviving mechanism: 

Here are five ways I dealt deal with Christmas seasons:

  1. I smile: it’s as simple as that, though I hurt inside each Christmas I had to gather my choir kids and teach them their lines, I smile and have fun through it all… at gatherings I don’t bring up the topics but smile when brought up… smiling mask the pain I felt inside. I didn’t have to sit and listen to all the comments which were sometimes too personal, but I always smiled and excused myself if I have to. 
  2. I seek ways to have fun: Having tried to have a have a baby without success i became stronger as the wait continued,.. where once I would hide away and not take part any event like being a choir teacher, as I walked the road I made a decision do the things I love. I started fun with my friends.

    Thankfully I was blessed and still am with friends in similar situations and during Christmas ime and other festive periods we would go out to movies, theatres and just hang out. This took our focus off the situation. Being with the kids, was also a way of escape for me as always come away elated and blessed after every meeting. 

  3. Spend time with non judgmental love one: our families were incredible through it all: even though they were anxious for us to have a baby, not one word of worry or concern was spoken. We identified those families members who were our strongest supporters and whom we knew were praying with us and spent our holidays with them. They were our source of encouragement and though their support was unspoken it was felt every time we were with them. We were comfortable with them and their kids without the pressure of answering or keeping up appearances. 
  4. Do not avoid gatherings: No matter what, I decided i will enjoy Christmas, i always join the party, in church or at work, knowing life must go on… As a naturally fun person I refused to be beaten by infertility… so I joined celebrations like Carol and nativity services… 
  5. I reflected: To me Christmas is a time of reflection, so I reflected on the miracle of a child brought to us as a saviour, to mend our broken hearts, to bring us our own miracle and to heal our pain… so I reflected on this miracle while having faith for my own. 

So this Christmas don’t dread or fear, rather do hope and find a way to enjoy the season. Believe in the goodness of others that their concerns and remarks although sometimes not welcomed or sought for, is well meaning. Look to God who brought the miracle of Jesus via a virgin birth to bring you your own miracle child… and as you do Smile and be encouraged by the lyrics from Kirk Franklin’s song: Smile: 

This song’s for you

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine

Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart

And it feels like a cold night

Today’s a new day, where are my blue skies

Where is the love and the joy that you promised me

Tell me it’s alright
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain

Fell from heaven like a shower
I smile, even though I hurt see I smile

I know God is working so I smile

Even though I’ve been here for a while

I smile, smile

It’s so hard to look up when you been down

Sure would hate to see you give up now

You look so much better when you smile, so smile
Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine

Nothing but clouds and it’s dark in my heart

And it feels like a cold night

Today’s a new day, tell me where are my blue skies

Where is the love and the joy that you promised me

Tell me it’s alright
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain

Fell from heaven like a shower now
I smile, even though I hurt see I smile

I know God is working so I smile

Even though I’ve been here for a while

I smile, smile

It’s so hard to look up when you been down

Sure would hate to see you give up now

You look so much better when you smile
Oh oh oh you look so much better when you

Oh oh oh you look so much better when you

Oh oh oh you look so much better when you

Oh oh oh you look so much better when you

Oh oh oh you look so much better when you

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Top Rated IVF Clinics in UK 

The HFEA is the authority which regulates and holds information about every IVF clinic in the U.K.

The information about success rates is published on their websites.Guides to clinics/ Every clinic is inspected to ensure that they meet the UK government standards and rules in relation to safety and ethics. In 2014 The HFEA published its data on fertility clinics.

How rates are compared. 

Clinics are ranked by the national average. A clinics birth rate is presented as either above, below or consistent with the national average live birth rate, this data is used to predict the future chance of a live birth for an average patient who goes to that clinic. This is presented as a range. eg, the predicted chance is between 12 – 28%.

Presenting the figure as a range is the preferred method, simply because no statistic is absolute and results vary from year to year. If an upper range is chosen this may change yearly. The range varies from one clinic to the next depending on the number of cycles performed yearly.

For example: If a clinic carried out 100 treatment cycle a year and 20 women had a live birth. This is a 20% live birth rate for that year.

How likely is it that the clinic could repeat this performance if it treated another 100 women with similar treatment needs under similar clinical conditions the following year? The range gives the answer that the success rate will fall between 12% and 28%.

There is no official ‘league table’ of UK fertility clinics, however, the results that are published by the HFEA do give a broad indication of the top-performing clinics in the country and show which ones have above-average rates of success.
The actual life birth rates shows how a clinic performs in a year. This data is used to predict the future but it’s by no way a guarantee of the results for each individual patient.

How figures are collate

Data published on the HFEA’s website is from individual treatment cycles and results gathered by individual clinics.

The HFEA visits clinics periodically to assess the reliability of their reporting. Each clinic is required to check the individual cycle and outcome data held by the HFEA against their own medical records for the reporting period, and then to self certify, by signing a document confirming the data they have provided is correct.

Success Rates:

There are many reasons why a clinic may have a higher or lower success rate. This maybe due to the fact that some clinics may treat few or more patient with difficult fertility problems than the national average. 

Latest Clinical Pregnancy Rates for London Clinics (results categorised by age group and listed alphabetically) HFEA published data (on 19/5/2014) for the period 1st July 2012 – 30th June 2013 (For fresh IVF & ICSI cycles)

< 35 years  35-37 years 38-39 years 40-42 years

ARGC                                     80.2%         68.3%           50.0%.             47%

Bart’s                                       36.3%        31.1%             25.2% 9.    9 out of   41*

Chelsea & Westminster     45.7%         34.3%           20.3%           14.8%

CREATE                                    40.2%       40.0%  10 out of 39*       19.3%

CRM*                                        44.3%       37.9%            29.0%          21.4%

Guy’s                                        36.0%         33.1%.           29.7%.         21.6%

Hammersmith                      41.2%          31.1%           26.6%           13.3%

Homerton                               23.6%         22.7%            17.1%           14.3%

Kings College assisted        30.6%.       31.9%             21.2%          17.5%

London Fertility Centre     29.3%        30.9%              20.4%         14.2%

London Women’s Clinic     32.8%        31.0%              25.5%          11.3%

Reproductive Genetics        54.4%       42.4%              42.3%         30.0%

The Bridge Centre                   29.4%      24.6%             17.7%         11.2%

The Lister Fertility Clinic     49.5%    38.2%                26.7%        21.5%

UCH*                                          42.8%      40.1%               36.1%       29.4%

 

Other related posts: Surviving Treatment, Exploring Treatment Options. ,Infertility: When to seek help

 

Disclaimer:

The information contained here is intended as a guide only, the writer is not an IVF specialist. Please check the HEFA website HFEA site  for more recent published data. This data was taken from the ARGC website, which has the highest results across all age range.
*Centre for Reproductive Medicine Coventry, UCH Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health.

*% not applicable if number of cycles is less than 50 in any group.