Thursday, September 22, 2005

IVF on the NHS ?

Just back from the hospital. It was good to talk to the consultant and I was quite satisfied with his review of the events of June.

  • Mrs T was definitely pregnant.
  • Mrs T was bleeding and in pain.
  • The sonographer (a senior sonographer) couldn't see an embryo.

Given these facts, the only option was to assume an ectopic pregnancy and investigate accordingly. When you look at the records of women who have died following an ectopic pregnancy there's always been delays in treatment. He was satisfied that, given the circumstances, the laparoscopy was the only appropriate course of action.

And then he surprised us.

His main aim of our meeting was to consider the question, "where do we go from here?". We've demonstrated that we can get pregnant unassisted, and we could of course continue trying to conceive naturally - which was in our minds exactly what we'd planned. After all, if you've read the earlier entries in this blog you'll remember that we did have a couple of cycles of fertility treatment (Intra Uterine Insemination - IUI) and that we felt uncomfortable with the amount of medical intervention so withdrew from it. However, he recommended that we move on to IVF - "now that you can get funding for it on the NHS". You certainly couldn't in our area when we were first seeing him.

We'd not thought about IVF at all since withdrawing from IUI, but he persuaded us to let him write the letter of referral to our nearest NHS IVF clinic, which serves as an application for funding. It won't come through for a few months, and even then we could put on hold if we're still uncomfortable with it, but it does get us in the system, gives us time to talk, think and pray about it, and - if we go for it - will save us about £5,500. (Of course, we weren't actually planning to spend that anyway, so it's a slightly misleading factor.)

In the meantime, we'll still try to get pregnant. Then we won't have to decide about IVF.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Not pregnant - and relieved

Tonight Mrs T said she was relieved that she wasn't pregnant. I guess it still feels quite early after loosing the last one. And she's still recovering from the operation, too; despite being back at work and seeming in good health, she could always be stronger. Tomorrow we see our consultant. I do hope he's able to tell us something.

Day One again

I knew my hopes of a 'false negative' were rather ambitious: Mrs T started her period this morning. That means we'e back at Day One of her cycle and ready to start again.

"Am I or aren't I?" had been taking up too much of her mind for the last few days, so it was good to hear her say that she'd not thought about it much yesterday. Of course she'd taken the First Response test which had at least answered the question, but in a general sense we don't want this to be the one think which occupies all out thoughts. A baby would be great, and we would consider it a blessing from God, but we want to trust that His plan for us is the right one and if it doesn't involve children then we'll want to know what it does involve instead. For the time being, we'll continue to hope that it does.

A friend from church is popping round for a drink this evening, and will want to pray with us. We'll not be sharing this story with her. There are other things to pray about. As we're going to see the consultant tomorrow we might have a chat with one of the few friends who does now about this and ask them to pray.

As for me, I'm home sick today - my first day off sick for about four years. I started with a very upset stomach on Sunday and my system hasn't been right since. Today is a day for staying at home, resting, and eating nothing.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hoping for a "false negative"

Mrs T said last night that she really wants to be pregnant, but that the thought of it scares her. After last time, who can blame her?

Not knowing either way proved to be too much for her today and she went out and bought a First Response home testing kit. (These are supposed to be able to tell you up to four days before your period is due, unlike most of the kits which only work once you're late.) It was with disappointment that she told me the result was a negative. I find my emotion is more sadness than disappointment, but her fear means that the hope of pregnancy is, for now, tainted so she couldn't honestly say she was sad to get the result.

If the test is right (the chances are, of course, that it is, but the books tell us that although a false positive result is impossible, a false negative result can and does happen) then Mrs T's body gets another month to continue healing from the operation. As I said in my last entry, we're finally going to see our consultant on Thursday to get a post-operative review to see if we can work out just what happened back in June.

I find myself concerned that we may get drawn into a long cycle of hope, disappointment, hope, disappointment if we're not careful. Much healthier to simply trust God that his plan - and his timing - is right. I pray that we will be able to return to that state of trust and relaxation: to let the thought of actually becoming pregnant become a joy to look forward to rather than a goal to be achieved.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Progress! I rang the hospital myself and made a bit of a fuss. (On an answering machine, of course.) Our consultant's secretary has just rung me back and come up with an appointment for next Thursday. Perhaps we’ll finally get a clue as to what happened back in June...

(By next Thursday we might also know whether Mrs T is pregnant again.)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Starting again

It feels like an age since I posted here, and I see that it has been about six weeks.

Mrs T's recovery from her operation is pretty much complete. We've had a busy summer and she's now back at work and ready to receive her new class of children.

Needless to say, we didn't get pregnant over the summer. The doctors had advised that we wait a while before trying again, but we did make love a few times despite this. (Circumstances meant that our lovemaking never coincided with Mrs T's most fertile times, which was probably a good thing.)

We've seen the new babies in the family quite a few times and they are very special. We love them dearly and still maintain that it's much easier to do so with family not knowing we were pregnant back in June. But there have been a few emotional times. One of Mrs T's friends and colleagues - her closest friend on the staff - has just let us know that she's pregnant. Mrs T got quite upset at the thought that the two of them could so nearly have been sharing the experience.

On the medical front, we're quite upset that the promised appointment with the specialist has still not materialised. Mrs T has now phoned the clinic about sixteen times. It's quite possible that our consultant won't be able to tell us anything about what happened that day in hospital - but we must have the opportunity to find out. I suggested that she should phone every single day. She hasn't; perhaps I'll take it upon myself to do so.

As I type, we are in the middle of what should be Mrs T's most fertile period this month. (In which case you might wonder why I'm typing this rather than having sex right now. I think her being fast asleep is a good enough reason!) let me just assure you we'll not let the moment pass!