The Quest for a Sibling

Before we realised that we were having trouble conceiving a child, I think that both Chris and I had imagined that we would have at least two, and possibly three children. Certainly, I was effectively an only child (my mother had two more children, but I barely knew them as children and don’t know them at all now), and I was very envious of all of my friends with siblings to play with and now, later in life, I would love to have a sibling to share the pressure of having aging parents etc.

Having Harri so late though meant that the idea of having more than one child was no longer quite so clear-cut. I am now 43 years old, and any new pregnancy would carry all the associated risks for older women, PLUS it meant getting back on the IVF road, which wasn’t the most pleasant of prospects.

Chris and I discussed the whole thing for the first time when Harri was about 6 months old. He was (and still is) adamant that he is perfectly happy with Harri, but that if I wanted to try for a sibling he would also be delighted to give it a go. I have made up and then changed my mind literally a hundred times.

We went to see our consultant in the middle of June to explain our dilemma and see what he thought about another final roll of the IVF dice. He was incredibly empathetic, and indicated that he would be happy to treat us. He also suggested that we ‘get on with it’ as at my age I shouldn’t ‘fanny around’ for much longer! Nice…

I finally decided in July that we should give it a go, so for the last few weeks I’ve been pumping myself with drugs and feeling fat, emotional and incredibly unsure of myself – what if it all goes wrong? Or it works and I find I can’t cope with two children?!

The list of possible outcomes from this treatment feels quite endless at the moment, and in reality only one, possibly two, could be deemed successful for me – a healthy pregnancy resulting in the birth of a single healthy baby, or possibly twins.

The other possible outcomes are pretty much awful. In order, and starting with the worst-case scenario:

-      a multiple pregnancy with something seriously wrong with one of the babies, resulting in us losing all of them

-      a singleton pregnancy with something seriously wrong with the baby

-      another miscarriage

-      failed treatment ending with a negative pregnancy test

-      triplets (yikes!)

I am trying so hard not to focus on all of the things that could go wrong, but you know what hormones can be like…I’m sure that staying positive will be much easier once I have stopped the hormone injections.

Anyway, today I had a blood test to check my oestrogen levels (which apparently are very good) so tomorrow I will have my last follicle scan before egg collection on Monday. To say I am nervous is a huge understatement!

An added stress is that I don’t think we have anyone who can look after Harri while we are at the clinic on Monday!! We may have to take her with us at this rate, and taking a baby (aside from the issues of sensitivity to the other patients at the fertility clinic) up to London while I have my eggs collected is going to be a real feat of juggling and organisation.

Oh well… I’ll let you know how we get on.

FOOTNOTE: Had my final scan this morning, and my follicles are VERY ripe and ready for collection, which will take place at 11 am on Monday morning. Fingers crossed!

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