It’s not fair.

It’s a really hard time for us right now.

We were so grateful and excited to start our 2nd round of IVF last month. I was on a slightly lower dose of medications – the discomfort was lower, the process was easier, and we were blessed to get a good number of eggs again. As usual, we had our typical drop-off, but still had embryos to work with.

Then everything started to crack a little. Despite feeling confident we would be lucky this time, the pregnancies started to happen en masse again. In my infertility group, in my RL friend groups. 2nd children were planned and conceived.

Just like that.

Oh how I envy those with the luxury of being able to plan. Of choosing a time of year that will be convenient for them.

* * *

Almost everyone we know going through treatment is finding success. That magic fix of IVF that they needed? Bam, worked like a charm. First or second embryo transfers, there were the two lines. The positive blood tests. The excited announcements. IVF worked! Like it’s supposed to.

It felt like everyone else was finding it so much easier. And despite our usual: good embryos, awesome lining, responding to everything like a champ? No luck. Embryos just won’t stick. Four in so far, and none want to stay. My transfers are difficult, but the odds surely should eventually be in our favour. Everyone in our team is confused, and my brain is just:





This is all we want. We’re ready. We’re trying so hard.

It’s so emotionally exhausting and physically draining. I don’t want to be a negative statistic. Every day I wonder how many cycles we can do it without it just irreversibly changing me.

But then again, I can’t ever stop. I can’t bear the thought of giving up – something has to work sometime, right? We have these frozen transfers, then we try another stim cycle/egg collection, and whatever transfers come from that?

Then what?

Do we pay privately again? Bankrupt ourselves? Borrow money?

Go on the adoption waiting list for the next however many years? (NZ has a tiny number every year).

Try and adopt internationally, for thousands more?

Get an embryo donor? A surrogate?

None of these options feel good right now. None of them feel right, right now.

But the one thing I can’t see myself ever coping with is being childless. I don’t think I could just “get used to” being a couple without kids. Learning to enjoy life without our own family. It’s just not on the cards for me. I don’t want that to be my normal, because it probably will never feel normal.

It’s hard not to feel utterly defeated and that treatment won’t work for us. If we can’t figure out why, then what do we do? Try more transfers and hope it’s a numbers game? Feel like we’re running in circles without a result? It feels futile and heartbreaking and wrong. And so. damn. unfair.

So unfair.

I’m so tired of it.

I’m so scared that it’ll never be us.

We keep being told we’re so young, but we’re 3+ years in and I’ll soon be 34. Yes, we have time, but how much time? How many more years do I mess with my body to try and get just one baby?

* * *

And then the advertising began. I don’t know if it’s my age group or who I follow or what, but instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube… all they serve me are Clearblue test ads, baby lotion ads, nappy ads, and the worst? An ad for my own fertility clinic.

I want to throw my phone in a lake and go live in the woods.

My current plan is a social media hiatus, which I started yesterday. It’s actually kind of refreshing not to be checking and reading obsessively all day. I find myself opening my phone to look and then realising I’ve moved all the apps, and putting it down. Maybe I’ll start actually reading books again.

So for now, I don’t know.

What do I write about?

Everything sucks.

Everything hurts.

We are still failing.

I don’t know what else to do.

But hopefully soon I’ll not feel so broken, and be ready to try again. Right now, no thank you. I am off the hormones, I am off the restrictions, I am off thinking about it constantly.

I’m trying to enjoy life as it comes. I’m trying to focus on work, and losing some treatment weight, and thinking about everything except my empty uterus.

I’m trying to breathe.


Round 2

Here we go again.

Deep breath. In, out. Quiet your brain.

You’ve got some time yet.

Do some yoga.

Drink more water.

Less coffee.

No booze.

Fewer carbs.

More green things.

Try not to worry about the weight you’ve gained in the last few years.

Try not to worry about any other medical issues they may not have found yet.

Try not to worry about getting time off work, it’ll happen.

Try to think of how to write it down on paper. How to express this anxiety that seems to be coursing through everything.

Mute your watch’s heartrate warnings.

Do some more yoga.

Breathe in, out. Don’t forget to do that.

Focus on work during the day, and being calm at night.

Calm. You’re supposed to be calm.

Don’t try to rid yourself of the worrying thoughts. Just turn them down. Lower their volume. You can worry all you like – hell, you’re going to whether you try to or not. Just try and lower the noise.

Think positively. Or something.

Don’t be scared of the negative thoughts, too. It’s normal.

Think about better success rates for round 2. Think about going into it with experience.

Think about the injections being a breeze, the scans being old hat, the ovaries doing their thing.

You’ve done it all before.

You got this.

Just breathe.

Happy new year

2017 was a hard year for us, as it was for many.

There were happy times — friends had lots of positive news to share, we renovated and moved into our lovely home, we spent a lot of time with family, but it was hard. I never expected we’d start treatment in January and finish in September at a dead end.

And now 2018 is here, and we’re set to repeat it all again – but hopefully with better results.

After being back in New Zealand a year, I definitely feel more settled, especially now we have our own home. I’ve spent the last few months trying to put the heartbreak of infertility behind us and out of mind, which is always easier said than done.

In late October we had what some of us call the “WTF” appointment that you have after failure (hate that term though) and our doctor kindly had run further tests to see if there were any genetic/chromosomal abnormalities that he could identify (i.e. are we missing any parts of our chromosomal makeup?) and also ran an antibodies test on me which would highlight some common immune issues. Everything came back clear, and despite it being “unusual” that we would be unsuccessful after 3 embryo transfers, the only real advice he had was what we were expecting: try again.

He said he’d send an enquiry about our position on the funding waiting list, too, seeing as we can’t afford to do another round privately, and he’d let us know.

A few weeks later we received a letter from the ministry funding team. We weren’t up in April or May. We weren’t March. We could start in January.

And now it’s January.

So, my friends, I’ll update when I can, but we’re starting from the top. Stims, scans, egg retrieval, transfer. Hopefully more embryos. Hopefully more luck. Hopefully a baby!

I’m not 100% sure how I feel – why would it work this time when the treatment has done nothing but fail us? But we have to try. Everything we can.

Here’s to 2018. I hope it brings you everything you’re hoping for.

Forever hopeful series

I wrote a series for the lovely folks over at The Spinoff Parents and now all of the parts are up, I wanted to also share them here:

Part 1 – Forever hopeful: ‘Let’s get you pregnant this month, shall we?’

Part 2 – Forever Hopeful: Infertility is all about waiting

Part 3 – Forever Hopeful: Our final chance

I’m really proud of being a part of The Spinoff, and this series has meant a lot to me. You can find all of my writing for them here.

Thanks as always for all of the love and support.

Hitting pause


What keeps me going is this constant thought at the back of my mind that we’ll look back on this one day and remember it as pre-baby.

What keeps me going is excitement and hope for all those milestones and firsts; for all those special moments as a family.

But what happens if it’s something that never comes to be? I’m always trying to reconcile that and cushion myself for that blow in case it’s our reality. But right now I can’t accept that as a possibility. I have to keep hoping.

What is life without our family when it’s been a life goal for both of us for so long? What other plans do we make? We’re not big partiers, we barely drink, we’ve done so much travel and accomplished so many things in our lives. We’re so ready and so passionate.

Adoption in New Zealand is extremely difficult, near impossible. Surrogacy is a possibility but there’s no reason why I can’t carry our babies, that I know of. We just need one to stick. But time after time it’s just out of reach.

The conditions have been right but we still don’t make progress. We follow every rule but it still won’t happen. We hope and pray and support and love our friends and family and make good choices and yet we can’t get these stars to align.

It’s out of our hands and seems to be luck more than anything. And it’s hard knowing we’ve reached $20,000 spent and are still childless.

I’ve never felt such lack of control over anything in my life. It’s tougher all the time and some days I struggle to put a positive face on. But maybe you can help. Please keep hope for us. Maybe collectively hoping will send more positivity our way.

I am so hopeful for all of you, too.

I will keep trying to write here, but for now we’re focusing on our home and getting a pup, and maybe in 2018 we’ll have better luck. Because it seems to be mostly about luck. And for now we’re all out.


The ache

Pain doesn’t go away. It follows you. I didn’t think that moving home would fix things, but it certainly was going to be more positive, and it has been in many ways. But sometimes you have to sit with the pain, look it in the face, mention it (vaguely and without the right words) online, connect and share with people who get it and people who don’t, and stare it square in the face and carry on.

I’m so tired. I often think that I am done hoping and planning and that I am not strong enough for this. But somehow we face each new hurdle, ache, cry, and carry on. You have to carry on.

In some ways my faith has carried me. I struggle so much with it – why does my love and desire in every cell of my being not translate into this dream being fulfilled? Is it the timing, is it the season… it can’t be to make the end result sweeter because we are past that point. You know that pain and sadness have swallowed you whole when you find yourself sympathising and hurting for Serena Joy in The Handmaid’s Tale; rational thought goes out the window when something you so desperately want is denied you and yet you are surrounded by it, often by those who don’t realise that their disdain for parenting at times can feel like their hands are in your throat and stomach, squeezing, squeezing.

Sometimes the thoughts come that God has forgotten me and maybe I am a fool and all the atheists are right but then I come back. I always come back. It’s okay to be angry with God, to be sad that He isn’t here moving mountains and healing my pain but that’s not what (my) God is, that’s some idea of God that gets spread by those of different faith. God isn’t moving chess pieces and causing earthquakes and killing children with cancer. God is under the covers with me in each sob. God is hurting with me too.

It’s hard to see past the ache with a body full of hormones, too, and I always try to remember this. Sometimes the drugs are tough physically and other times I just want to throw things at the wall or sleep until Saturday comes. Sleep until the baby comes. Maybe it’ll never come.

We are focusing our efforts on our house just now, and progress is slowly being made. It feels like we’ll never get to move into it but 8 short months ago it felt like we’d never leave Scotland, so here we are. Time is moving so fast yet so slow. I am constantly reminded that good things take time and living in the future doesn’t make me happy. I need to find smiles today.

They say laughing is good for IVF/implantation rates. I find solace in yoga, meditation, crying, YouTube marathons, and my husband. And the fluffy dog here helps too.



And winter sunrises. 5 minutes a day I see the above and things feel peaceful and okay.

I hope you are okay. I will be.

More writing

2 other pieces of mine have been published in the last few months over at The Spinoff Parents.

If you’d like to read them, they are below:

How to support your friends and loved ones who are struggling with infertility

An IVF journey: A mother writes to the baby she hopes to have

If you’d like to keep up with all of my work, please visit my Facebook page, always linked at the top.

Thanks, as always, for supporting my writing. ❤