Cork Natural Fertility Clinic

Case History 4 - Fibroids

Of all the challenges I've faced in my life, dealing with infertility has been the hardest. Like most couples we started trying with the confident assumption that it was just a matter of applying ourselves to the task, but as the months went by, every cycle marked off in the diary, it wasn't long before the disillusionment and worry set in.

My GP was very quick off the mark in referring me for the basic tests, which showed up nothing abnormal. I knew I had a fibroid or two but nobody seemed to think this was a big issue - most women find out they have them when they are scanned during pregnancy! It was only when I had a laparoscopy (after a good deal more trying ) that I discovered that I had so many of them that my womb was in no fit state to accommodate any poor embryos which might be trying to implant there. An operation to remove most of them followed (painful, unpleasant, 6 weeks recovery) and was deemed a success.

Off we went again, but nothing was happening. It was at this stage that the whole issue really started taking over my life; it was constantly on my mind and it seeped into every aspect of my existence. All I wanted was to get pregnant and have a baby and when it began to look like it would never happen, everything else seemed pointless and it really felt as if I could never be happy again, because this great painful weight would never be lifted off me.

It was at this stage that I first went to see Deirdre and I will always remember my first visit! When she got me to write down all my feelings on a sheet of paper, the tears came and they kept coming - it was such a relief to let it all out to someone and to realise that all my feelings about it were valid, however irrational and unreasonable they might be. It was great to be treated as a whole person again. When you go through the gynaecological wringer, it can leave you feeling like a piece of faulty machinery (and about as valuable) and while doctors do a great and essential job, their focus is on the medical/physical side and they are neither equipped nor inclined to deal with the emotional side of things.

Several times I arrived to Deirdre for my appointment feeling like I was on the verge of losing it entirely and as though I really couldn't face the outside world any longer. After a session of Deirdre's unique listening therapy (it's probably got an official name but that's how I think of it!) and an hour drifting off on the acupuncture table, inhaling exotic moxa smoke (it felt a bit like getting legally stoned, how bad!), I would feel relaxed, positive and stronger. By the time I headed out the door I felt ready to do battle again and to deal with whatever came the way. On the physical side, my cycle became amazingly regular, like clockwork, and overall, I felt better in myself in that hard-to-describe way.

Almost a year later I had another laparoscopy and tube test and found out that my tubes were blocked - it was actually a relief to know that there was a straightforward physical reason why nothing was working. This meant IVF was our only option, and we were advised that the odds of it working for us were rather less than the average, because of the still rather quirky state of my uterus. However, we decided we had to try it, so that we could say we'd done everything we could and gone as far as we could go. After all the acupuncture and homeopathy, I felt I was in the best condition possible facing into IVF, and I felt really positive about doing it, just for its own sake. I didn't feel too bad, physically or mentally, during it, in contrast to the experiences of many people that I read in online messgeboards. We tried to keep our expectations low. I bought a single pregnancy test because I didn't want to be taunted by the second one left in the pack after the negative result which we felt must surely come. We stockpiled DVDs and tortilla chips and planned to plug out the phone and hibernate for the weekend. And then I did the test and it was positive. A great big blue cross!

Forget the Grand Canyon; this was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen! And then I was afraid to believe it. How could I put all my faith in this DIY, insubstantial little piece of plastic and chemistry? It took a lot of weeks before I could actually say the P-word out loud , but it really was true and it had really happened to me. My gynae actually called me the miracle mother. I'm quite chuffed by my achievement in beating the medical odds, but I'm happy to just be the best mother I can be to my gorgeous little girl. It can't be proven, but I have no doubt that dealing with my problems in a holistic way was hugely helpful in achieving that positive result (not to mention freeing up a bed in the psychiatric ward!). And I will always, always remember all the people who helped me to make it happen. Thank you!

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