Celebratory seasons

Every year we celebrate all kinds of occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, halloween, thanksgiving and christmas.

These season can be triggers for the couple in waiting, because without fail, we see parents adore their young kids with outfit and proudly shows them off.

I did the same when my girls were still little. without thought for how my waiting friends feels. No one intentionally parades their kids to cause distress, we all do it from a place of joy.

But I understand the pain and agony these images can cause. The despair cause by your failed attempt to get pregnant, the repeated miscarriage and the loss of a child.

When I was waiting I discovered that more than seeing friends or pregnant women, the seasons of celebration is the hardest one to face.

There is no escaping the gaiety in the air as you watch friends, dress up with their babies, teens, sons or daughters in teamed outfit.

O the tug at your heart strings as you imagine how you will dress your baby. You build a picture and hold on to the hope that it will one day be you dressing up your child.

These image seems to diminish as the years go by.

And every year as you watch others with their tiny little babies dress up for school plays for halloween themed party for thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, you hide in floods of tears, loathing another celebratory season.

I am reminded by this passage in Psalm 143:8. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love.

Yes seasons may come and go and our desires tarries, but God’s word never changes.

Anchor your hopes to it and hold on, let each celebratory season remind you of His unfailing love and as we approach Christmas when you will have to face Santa and school plays, remember his birth is the reason we are here but his death and resurrection is a promise that we can hold on to his promise, that he will grant us our hearts desires.

For if he did not withhold his Son from us, he will give us freely our hearts desires.

Peace.

Your partner in hope.

Debi

Other related post:

A little town

Trust and Joy in mist of pain

Fertility Journey

Do you know what you are getting into I asked? “No, came the reply”, I don’t and I don’t care.

The only thing I care about is that a baby comes out at the end of it all. This was the conversation I had with a colleague a few weeks ago.

2 months into her treatment, she was exhausted, miserable and, an emotional wreck. She was broken in more ways than she ever thought possible.

She has had 3 failed cycle and became pregnant on the 4 try.

Little did she she know what she was getting into. If only someone had told me, she recalled months after giving birth:

So, how can you prepare for Treatment? How do you ensure that you are some how ready and have some insight into what you are about to embark on.

First you need to understand the stages of fertility treatments and what is involved.

According to the NHS websites there are 3 types of fertility treatments. 

Today’s post will focus on Medicines. 

  1. medicines
  2. surgical procedures
  3. assisted conception – including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF)

Medicines

Common fertility medicines include:

clomifene – This is a drug given to stimulate ovulation. It encourages the monthly release of an egg (ovulation) in women who do not ovulate regularly or cannot ovulate at all. 

tamoxifen: This is an alternative to clomiphene that is also an ovulation stimulating drug offered to those with ovulation problems. 

metformin – is particularly beneficial for women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Other ovarian stimulating drugs are 

gonadotrophins – can help stimulate ovulation in women, and may also improve fertility in men

gonadotrophin-releasing hormone and dopamine agonists – other types of medicine prescribed to encourage ovulation in women

These drugs are prescribed if your doctor thinks you need them.

Some of these medicines may cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and hot flushes.

So it is important to speak to your doctor for more information about the possible side effects of specific medicines.

Watch out for next post where we continue on Surgical procedures

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Sources

stages of treatment @nhs.uk

related post

IVF PROCESS: Step by Step

Add ins to fertility treatment

IVF:Stages to egg implantation


How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

How to cope with the stress of infertility

One of the worse things a couple can learn is that they are unable to have children. This very discovery can either make or break a relationship.

Having spoken with so many couples about their experiences I have discovered that everyone is affected in a different way, but one common factor is stress.

This post brings you ways of coping with the stress brought on by infertility.

The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is real to the infertile couple, this feeling if left unchecked can wreak more havoc.

The commonest forms of stress are depression, feelings of anxiety, and mental health problems.

Here are 5 ways you can adopt to deal with stress

1. Identify your feelings: Sometimes it is very difficult to know which feelings you are exhibiting so it is important to identify your feelings. It might hep to Talk to a professional to help you get in touch with your feelings. Identifying how you feel is the first step in dealing with other emotions like anger, guilt, fear, jealousy and shame.

2. Seek Help for your situations : there are a lot of resources on fertility options. (see sources below) rather than waste precious energy on negative emotions, busy yourself by seeking help. Find out all you need to know about your issues. Your doctor should be your first point of call as they will kick start the treatment process.

3. Consider the options available to you. Your research should include cost, the type of treatment available IVF, IUI, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, other alternatives such as adoption, fostering, surrogacy should be considered also. Advancement in medicine has made possible the impossible.

4. Have a support net work. It is much easier to cope with a stressful situation by talking to someone than by coping alone. Your support net work can be a close friend, who will not be judgemental or a family member like a mum or sister. It can consist of a group or an individual. Be sure they they are people you can count on to be discreet and to always be supportive. There are lots of support groups on social media You can join but only share if you comfortable doing so.

5. Take on a hobby: Find something to do to take your mind off the situation. It can be a passion you had packed away, hiking, fund raising for a good cause, cooking or writing poetry etc. The very act of being engaged in something rewarding frees your mind from the stress of infertility.

Finally always look on the bright side. No matter how worse or bad a situation feels believe it can get better.

So I encourage you to hope for the best.

Believe the best

and expect the best to happen.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Read More »

Sharing: Dealing with Miscarriage

The loss of a child is indescribable.

Chrissy and John Lenon lost their baby boy half way through their pregnancy and she’s shared her pain with millions of her followers. This has shed more light on the issue.

Miscarriage happens in 1 in 4 pregnancies, with lost occurring before 12 weeks. There are 250,000 miscarriages every year in the U.K.

She has been praised by charities for sharing her pain and heartbreak, even though she’s has been criticised for sharing so publicity. I think she’s brave and courageous, and I applaud her for her strength. 

The pain of miscarriage is so heavy and No one should suffer alone, posting about her loss gave courage to millions of women who also posted comments about their loss and how her openness helps them relate and deal with their pain. 

Her pain reminded me of the 2 miscarriages i suffered after 2 failed IVFs. I was numb for a few days each time as I bled out my babies. And the very thought of knowing it can happen again left me scared.

Miscarriage leaves a hole, a fear, an uncertain feeling deep down in ones guts.. 

Even after having two beautiful daughters, news like Chrissy’s always reminds me of those dark days. 

Although i no longer grieve, I do remember.  

Have you suffered loss, do not keep quiet, share your pain if you so choose, email us, leave a comment and we will lend a listening ear. We will cry with you and sit still with you. Grieve, don’t bottle it up.

Grieving is a natural way of reacting to devastating news.

Like a butterfly you flutter in my womb
like a womb you wriggle and turn.
I came to know you and love you so deeply
I saw our future as one big loop of love
your little feet truffled around 
your little face as it filled up with a smile
i saw your face before you saw mine will lill hold that still still we meet again. 

Holding out Hope to John and Chrissy and the milking who are grieving right now. 

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Read More »

An Uncommon Cause:Adenomyosis

The causes of infertility are varied and can also be missed or mildly diagnosed. 

Before our 3rd IVF treatment I was not particularly diagnosed as infertile but was classed as unknown cause and prescribed clomid, an hormone stimulating drug to stimulate my ovaries to produce more eggs. 

This  did not work and so the process of fertility treatment started with no specific diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and always felt this may have an impact on why we were not getting pregnant. We were fortunate enough to find a clinic that looked after our particular circumstances. 

Some women may not have a specific diagnosis but will have to go through the IVF process and be successful. While others may have several attempts without success. 

This was the experience Gabrielle Union had,  in an interview with the stylist she  talked about how she went undiagnosed through multiple rounds of IVF, with different leading doctors.

She suffered from a condition called adenomyosis

According to the NHS, this is a condition where the cells of the lining of the womb are found in the muscles wall of the womb (myometrium). The condition affects 1 in 10 women.

The most common symptoms are 

Heavy or painful periods,

Premenstrual pelvic pain. 

Feeling of heavy/discomfort in the pelvic.

Less common symptoms are:

Painful sexual intercross.

Pain related to bowel movement.

It can occur in women who still have periods but are common in women aged 40-50 and in women who have had children.

The cause of adenomyosis is unknown but It is believed that it may be related to genes, hormones and the immune system. 

Adenomyosis will not present itself as other causes of Infertility and about a third of women will not have any symptoms. 

It is not routinely diagnosed and may be found during a routine scan. Hence the reason lots of women may go undiagnosed. 

Like other causes of infertility, this is a condition which affects several areas of a woman’s life, their emotional well-being, relationships, and daily routines. It is disheartening to know that this is only coincidentally found during a routine scan.

Reason for delay in diagnosis is due to the fact that some women have no symptoms at all, hence a routine scan may be the first indication of a problem. 

Women have different symptoms and these symptoms may be due to other illnesses as well,  such as (pelvic inflammatory disease or irritable bowel syndrome).

The similarities to this illness and other diseases means that many women suffer infertility for years without being diagnosed, and diagnosis may be late in coming at a time when many have given up hope or are in menopause.

For Ms Union, her doctor delves into her past as a young woman asking lots of questions about her menstrual cycle, which led to her diagnosis. 

What to do if you suspect or have any of the symptoms above.

Speak to your doctor about your experiences with your periods, request for an MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this will produce a picture of the inside of your body

Available treatments 

Get the details about the available treatment before making a decision. 

The delay in diagnosis unfortunately has led to lack of treatment specific to the illness. the symptoms rather than causes can be treated with prescription for heavy or painful periods. 

  • If you suffer from  heavy or painful periods, you may be prescribed non hormonal medicines like tranexamic acid and mefanamic acid).

  • Contraceptive pills to stop bleeding.

  • Induce false menopause by injection, causing her lining of three women to shrink.( No usually for long term use).

  • Uterine artery embolisation – injecting tiny particles into the blood vessels, the aim is to cut off the blood supply to the adenomyosis. This is less invasive and may help to prevent infertility. But symptoms may return in future.

In Gabieller’s experience, she was diagnosed after several failed IVFs and only a change of doctor and detailed investigation led to the correct diagnosis. 

Her doctor was honest and after explaining the difficulty she’s faced, prescribed Lupron.

Although Lupron gives a 30% chance of pregnancy, . they decided against it in favour of surrogacy and are now the happy parent to a beautiful baby girl.

Next Step.

Remain persistent with your doctor, you need to be responsible for your health and well being so do not settle for a simple explanation if you have failed after several attempts. 

Do not be discouraged if your doctor dismissed your concerns. Ask for  a second opinion.

The party parliamentary group on women’s health revealed a lack of awareness on what is considered a ‘normal menstruation’ may that indicates a more serious issue.

  • Explore other options earlier on in your fertility journey and avoid delays which may lead to difficulties later on. 

Do all that is within your capabilities to get pregnant and hope for a successful end. 

I hope you have been better informed by this and inspired by the story of Gabrielle Union not to give up.

 If you suspect your symptoms are those described above you can find more from the adenomyosis association’s website at www.adenomysisassociation.org

For more help and advice contact the NHS choice at www.nhs.uk

Your partner in hope

D’Ebi

Related content 

https://faithfulwait.com/2020/03/10/surrogacy-finding-a-surrogate/

https://faithfulwait.com/2020/02/29/surrogacy-i-call-it-a-helping-hand/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/06/13/causes-of-infertility-in-men/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/01/20/whatever-you-do-dont-stop-trying/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

Treatment and COVID-19

IVF AND COVID-19.

The Outbreak of Covid-19 has sadly affected all aspects of our lives and more importantly our health.

As the spread of the virus continues Governments across the globe have had to take difficult decision in an attempt to protect the human race.

I have bee watching the trend and listened keenly to the news being shared. One thing that have been overlooked in all the main stream media outlet is the impact it has on IVF treatment. Once again infertility and IVT treatments takes bottom page on the list of important illness.

Stories being shared around the world shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult to access IVF treatments presently. Ash Mogg and her partner had waited almost a year to a publicly funded list in Ontario and were about to begin the process in two weeks, but their hospital has suspended the treatment indefinitely.

Health Authorities across the world have taken the decision to halt all IVF treatment. The Times of Isreal reported that Isreal has stopped all new IVF treatments over the coronavirus fears. Due to the fear that it could spread in clinics and potentially harm foetuses.

Similar decision has also been taken by the European Society of Human Reproduction and the Embryology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

These decisions were no doubt taken seriously with the safety of everyone affected.

The risk involve with continuing is too great to take. Apart from the risk for the medical technical performing the treatment, there is an increased risk for the patients undergoing the treatment due to the delicate nature of the process and close monitoring during the egg transfer phase, blood testing phase.

The waiting rooms of many IVF clinics are often small and holds between 30 to 40 women and their spouses at any given time. And, given the guidelines on social distancing, enforcing this will be difficult.

Furthermore, there is the added risk during the transferring of the embryo requiring extreme hygiene measures. This is a new virus and it is still unclear what effect if any it may have on foetuses.

the way it is spreading calls for urgent and severe measures to be taken. Never before has the world been shut down even in times of war.

Although the severity of the situation has left many couples heart broken, as their dreams of becoming parents are further, put on hold.

It is especially painful and heart wrenching for those who have had to stop their treatment mid-way. For some women, age is not on their side making this extremely hard to deal with.

I cannot imagine being in your place, I can only encourage you to keep your eyes on the goal. Now more than ever, stay strong. This too shall pass.

Practical things to do to as you wait.


If you must follow the news, limit it to specific times of the day.

Engage your mind with positive messages. Limit your exposure to social media, news outlets and other sources of negativity that may cause you to worry and panic.

  • Keep up to date with what is happening in the world of fertility treatment. Your hospital will also be sending out communications during this time to keep you updated on the developments.

Do something you have always wanted to do. If your city is locked down, take up gardening spring is here clear out the shed and bring out the flower pot

Plant some potted herbs or your favourite flower, watch it grow and bloom and as it does, say a prayer of hope faith that you too will grow and bloom soon with your own baby.

Take an online course learn a language, cooking skill, book club, dance class. The list is endless.

Iife must go on because here there is life, there is hope. My prayer through this is that we will all

I find our true purpose and embrace the real meaning of life.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Joy After 𝗣𝗮𝗶𝗻

I have previous written about the struggles of Gabriella Union  (46) in my post

speak out”.

In her interview to pure woman she told a heartbreaking story of going through 7-8 miscarriage. What pain she must have gone through. .

She found out that she has adenomyosis, which is endometriosis of the uterus. It occurs when the endometrial tissue, the same tissue that lines the uterus, grows into the the muscular wall of the uterus, causing intense period pain, prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding and, in severe cases like Union’s, infertility.

Union did not give up, and than masked the problem which she felt they were doing by advising her to go on the pills, she felt the problem where being masked.

Fast forward to November 7 she and her husband Dwayne Wade  welcomes a beautiful Miracle baby girl via surrogacy.

Her Instagram post is one of pure joy. You can tell that although the road leading to this was littered with pain and tears it was also hope and faith filled.

She did not give up, when her body said no, she sought other option, surrogacy.

A cation on one of her Instagram post was “This little dynamo reminds me to never give up on my dreams “.

I wanted to share this story with you because it is one of faith, hope, and the miracle of having a baby against all odds.

You too maybe at a point where it seems all Hope is lost, you have tried and tried but still nothing seems to be happening.

Don’t give up, try and try again.

Explore the options available to you, do hide away in grief. Speak out. And seek help..

You deserve a baby you deserve to experience the joy of that first smile and many more afterwards. .

Joy and and hope is not the presence of a few.you too can and I hope will become a mum as you with hope, faith and vigor try one more time.

If you want to know more about surrogacy please see previous post here

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

How to come back from a Painful loss.

The previous post talks about the painful decision of trying and coping with loss.

What do you do when your world has seemingly turned upside down?

How do you recover and rebuild again? This post looks at how to come back from a loss or failed treatment cycle.

That’s the question we are faced with after a failed treatment.

Speaking from my own experience, I know that the days immediately after a failed cycle or loss are the worse.

I remember going around  like a zombie and feeling loss, helpless and alone.

I did not know what grief looks like, looking back now, I was grieving but carried on as normal. As the days went on, I slowly came round to the ideal that another treatment had failed and I had to deal with that, but how?

How?

First thing for me was crying I cried the first few days, I was so emotional I refused to eat. Not many people knew the pain I felt because they did not know I had undergone treatment.

Since I was unable to open before the treatment, I decided to spare them the details of my demise.

Crying was my outlet, but a temporary fix.

Temporary because whenever I saw a pregnant woman or baby the emotions came back anew.

I then had to think seriously about  my mental health and how to ensure my body returned to health. Crying for me was a temporary fix providing a temporary relief. Another helpful way I dealt with it was to

Speak out.

I remembered a few friends who had gone through similar situations reached out to me. I was glad they did. They were very supportive and did not attempt to reason my pain away.

One friend in particular just sat in silence with me and we said nothing, that was all I needed. No words, no reasoning.

Often people mistake our grief for an opportunity to offer advice, one has to be sensitive at such times and not assume anything in that moment.

Sometimes all we need is that silent nod which says,  “I care”, “I am here”, “I got you”.

Energy Outlet

To gain new insight into the situation, I channeled my emotions into learning how the next cycle will be better, I asked myself these questions.

“What was was done now”, what could be different“?

Firstly, I nurtured myself to health. I researched how my existing illness could be a contributing factor and the more I read, the clearer it became that it was.

I researched clinics and the type of treatment on offer. I read stories of others who had failed cycles – and how they overcame it.

As a result I gained useful information on clinics and treatments options.

Positivity.

I surrounded my myself and mind with positive vibe, I realised that this is not my fault. It is an illness which needed treatment.

By learning more about the situation and my particular illnesses I was comforted that perhaps there is a treatment option tailored for me.

I prayed

This should be number 1, but it wasn’t, it was difficult at first. But as the days went by, prayer offered a consolation which was a far better relief,

I was able to get rid of negative emotions. Which afforded me the opportunity to speak to a higher power.  

I am a Christian and I know that God helped me through this process and the dark days which accompanied it. So whenever I felt lonely or deeply sad, I talked to him.

I found hope in his assurance as well as being amongst like minded people encouraged me to keep going.

So on this national infertility week, be encouraged to look above, ask for help.

You may not apply these steps exactly, but I do hope that you have gain some perspective on how to deal with a loss or painful situation.

It is very easy to throw in the towels and give up, but never ever lose hope. The rain may be falling now, but the sun will shine again..

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post:

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/10/23/a-painful-decision/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/14/speak-out/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/06/17/6-ways-to-deal-with-fathers-day/

A Painful Decision

I love doing this, bringing awareness and hope to those on this journey.

This post will feature the story of a dear friend and their painful infertility journey.

Infertility is a destroyer of relationships, love and happiness.

A once happy vibrant couple can become bitter resentful and sometimes split as a result of the intensity brought on by infertility. The inability to conceive or birth a child can take away one’s hopes and dreams.

Izzy was once a vibrant, happy go lucky woman, she loves life, her job and her faith. She was 26 when she met David a simple happy guy, they were perfect for each other. After dating for one year they decided to tie the knot.

Before their wedding they made a private vow to never ever allow anything to change who they are. They love their carefree happy life and vowed to do everything to make sure it stayed that way.

They even wrote a poem to emphasis the point.

Our love will grow and may slow,

We may sail down paths unknown and encounter scenes unseen

But we will keep in view the picture of love that keeps us bound and sane.

And should we tread the path of pain

May we anchor to you our source of strength and eternal hope.

this was printed and placed in their living room. Wedding was celebrate in the simplest way possible and a year later they decided to try for baby. Little did they know fate had other plans waiting for them.

This decision changed the course of their lives and relationships. After a year of trying without success they sought help. By now Izzy was 28 and David 30.

Low sperm count how is that possible? David mused, why me, how how can it be. Several options for conception were presented to them, donor sperm, IVF, ISCI, AI.

David was not an excessive drinker, never smoked, never used drugs, he lived a healthy life. How is that possible? turns out he may have been born that way.

They decided to explore other options. They embraced all treatments option wholeheartedly, still nothing. Izzy was very supportive and finally  David agreed they should go for IVF Using a donor sperm.

THE PROCESS

The process was successful and implantation took place, then pregnancy.. they remained hopeful but were cautious, this was their first conception. Please Lord they prayed, may nothing go wrong.

But 2 month in, disaster struck, suddenly all symptoms stopped and she immediately knew something was wrong.

A scan confirmed their worst fear, no heartbeat was detected. They had suffered a miscarriage.

This loss was very difficult  particularly given their situation, needless to say they were both heart broken. David more so as he felt helpless and guilty, how is he supposed to help his wife, he is the cause yet he can’t do anything about it.

It was an intense period of grief for them. How can they come so close only to be still so far.

It was too painful and this led them to take the painful decision not to go down the IVF rout again.

Their Decision?

If it happens so be it. But they will not put themselves, their happiness, well being and relationship on the line.

This was by no means an easy decision for the couple mainly because David  has a low spent count.

Sadly I have met quite a few couples who have decided not to pursue their dream of being parents via IVF as a result of the intense pain and heartbreak suffered from miscarriage or failure.

We came close to making that choice as each miscarriage and failed IVF becomes more lingual than the last.

I found the pain of another failure more intense than the last.

THE FUTURE

Well 3 years down the line Izzy and David  have somehow rebuilt their lives again and are well on their way to the coupe they were before IVF.

How did they do it? Find our in the next article. Ways to come back from a failed treatment.

Related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/09/22/exploring-other-options/

Speak Out

The struggles one goes through while battening infertility are numerous. I use to feel like the journey will never come to an end. I felt helpless by the lack of a diagnosis.

Amongst other issues I felt there was no one I can talk to. Everyone around me had a baby, no one struggled the same way I perceived , who will understand? I did not feel I could speak to those who walked the same road, but I was wrong.

I just needed to speak out. Find a medium and speak about it. I did do something I began to write and the moment I did, my journey of hope began. I no longer felt alone.

I found a support I never knew was there. Writing also helped me to open up and offer support to others.

When we bottle our feelings we close the doors to allowing ourselves to experience release from pain and fear. Our hopes remain bottled up.

Reading about the struggles of Gaberiella Union in her journey through infertility is encouraging.

As she said, “it’s either I am currently undergoing a cycle, coming out of a treatment or preparing for one”. Speaking out releases and helps her deal with the process.

Read the article here

https://www.purewow.com/news/gabrielle-union-fertility-struggles

She’d like to tell women going through the same thing, to overcome the fear of hiding it. “Just know if you are out there having fertility issues,” she said, “you are not alone.”

That’s my encouragement to you. You are not alone.speak out, and you will find renewed hope and support.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi