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This is what IVF means to me …

An airplane over a rainbowSomeone once said to me that they thought IVF was amazing in the same way that an aeroplane can fly. It used to be something so cool and mysterious, but now it’s just commonplace.

It struck a chord with me, and piqued my interest as I find it fascinating how we all give such different meaning to things in life.

To a person who loves planes or wants to be a pilot or build a plane, how an aeroplane can fly might always be amazing!

To me – who without IVF would never be able to have children – IVF is the most amazing thing there is!

The science of fertility has come so far – 30 years ago I would be officially infertile. I would have been lucky to survive my ectopic pregnancies and would have no hope whatsoever of growing and birthing a child of my own.

Does knowing more about how something works make it less interesting? Less amazing?

Or is it more reassuring, safer, boring? We seek out certainty in life – generally speaking we like to know what happens next. But we also liked to we wowed! Being in awe of something can bring both fear and fascination.

It got me thinking a lot about IVF and what meaning I give it …

IVF is a lot of things – not all of them great.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, and not something I would recommend to people to rush into.

Given the choice no woman or couple would experience fertility issues – IVF is not something you go into TTC asking for.

But it can be the lifeline to your dreams!

There are many things about it I am now doing that seem counter-intuitive. You are told – eat organic wholefoods, use organic skin products and so on. Then you inject yourself with all these hormones!!

IVF is big business these days. It’s expensive, time consuming and can be exhausting.

My experience has been it’s a well oiled machine – they wheel you in for egg retrievals in this time block, transfers in another, blood tests, scans for another.

I have one friend who described it as feeling like being herded like cattle. I can see what she means. I’ve certainly sat in the waiting room between 7am-10am with a room full of faces – either hopeful or scared – lining up take that all-important pregnancy blood test.

If you let it, IVF can feel very impersonal for something that is so personal to you.

I guess it comes back to what meaning we choose to give things.

For me I don’t so much mind the structure of it all. The routine helps me to know what to expect and when and I find something comforting in that.

What IVF is really all about for me is those beautiful embryos. That moment, after the hard yards of the stimulated cycle where you see that picture of your baby just before they transfer it back to you!

That makes it all real, all worthwhile. It makes it personal.

Now you cannot tell me that it’s not amazingly cool to have a picture of your baby when it is 3-5 days into its life!!!!!!!

Knowing how they do it for me makes IVF even more fascinating. A combination of what our amazing bodies can do and what amazing, life-giving, science can do.

I’m definitely still in awe of it, even after all this time. I’m thankful for the mementos, the photos, of the babies who weren’t able to stay with us for very long.

IVF for me means the possibility of one day holding my baby in my arms. And that would be the most amazing thing of all!

What does IVF mean to you?

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9 comments so far -

  1. IVF to me means hope. And whilst it is probably the most difficult emotional journey I have ever been on, regardless of the outcome I wouldn’t change a thing as the personal growth I have experienced has been amazing. Its tough to pick yourself up after failures time and time again…….yet I (and so many other women) just keep jumping back on the horse. This journey has allowed me to see a strength in myself that I didn’t know existed. Whatever the outcome is, I know I will be stronger and more compassionate because of it.

  2. IVF meant a lifeline.

    It was hideous in many ways, all three cycles, stabbing myself furtively in toilet cubicles, struggling with drug names, scans, scans, scans, telling no one, sobbing in disappointment, living for hope.

    This magic science delivered my son, though, so IVF and I are the best of friends.

  3. IVF means being able to fulfil my dreams of having a child. Holding my 4 week old baby boy in my arms shows how magical & amazing science can be.

  4. IVF means my 2 year old son.

    It also means knowing the incredible details of conception and pregnancy (those embryos are so beautiful) and a sheer disbelief of people who manage to have children just by having sex. No! It takes weeks of blood tests and ultrasounds and injections and a team of doctors and nurses and a lot of money!

    It also means a very personal reason to love science. We love you science! Thank-You!



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