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37 and TTC first baby

(20 Posts)
lulufruit Tue 25-Nov-14 10:29:40

Hello, I have been TTC for about 2 years. I'm 37 and my partner is 47. He has a daughter (16) from his previous marriage. We have been putting off IVF for a while as I have been completing my PhD (major stress) and he is a doctor with a very busy job. With the stress of everything he started to have second thoughts about having a child. I was devastated at first but then saw it as a sign to reflect on where we were both at. So, we have been concentrating on rebuilding our relationship and its going really well. He is definitely coming round to the idea again and we are much closer again.
I think i am just really scared about the whole process of IVF. We have unexplained fertility. The only thing I can really think of is that I had a wire loop biopsy a few years ago and have heard that this can reduce the amount of fertile mucus you produce as the procedure involves taking cells from the cervix, so the sperm is not reaching the destination. But I'm not even sure this is the problem.
We have family in Spain and visited a private clinic in Alicante a few weeks ago. We were very impressed by the made to measure service offered there and its not that much more expensive than the NHS.
I feel angry that we have to pay for IVF as he already has a child. I am really fond of his daughter, she's lovely, but lives several hundred miles away and I met her when she was already a teenager, so not really in anyway my child.
The whole process is daunting and lonely so I just wanted to share in case anyone else had similar experiences, I don't have any friends in a similar position so it feels good to try to connect with others who may be experiencing some of the same.

victoria401 Tue 25-Nov-14 17:27:57

Hi lulu yes it is a very lonely process going through infertility, friends and family who have not gone through it themselves can't really understand, plus usually say completely the wrong things without realising!

I'm coming up 35 and been ttc 2 years too. Dh is 36. We are also 'unexplained' but dh does have a borderline morphology, his first test 2% and his 2nd 5%. (The normal range is anything over 4%) We are however entitled to treatment on the nhs and hope to start with iui in the new year :-)

I hope you find some new friends on Mumsnet to chat to. I'm on a thread in the trying to conceive board called '10 months plus and staying positive, this will be the BFP one' or something like that! Come join us if you like :-)

lulufruit Tue 25-Nov-14 21:59:20

Dear Victoria

Thanks for getting in touch, it's nice to make contact. Very best of luck with your iui in the new year, that's exciting! I'm not familiar with borderline morphology, what's that? I will definitely come and join you on the other thread, thanks for the heads up smile

victoria401 Wed 26-Nov-14 13:19:04

hopingformiracle1 Thu 27-Nov-14 11:28:45

Hi there, I am new to mumsnet and I can identify with your story. My husband and I have been ttc for 13 years. Yes its an extremely long time isn't it? We went to the NHS for help in 2007 and both had all the fertility tests done and they all came back normal so it was classed as an unexplained infertility. We were refused NHS fertility treatment as I already have a son from a previous marriage. I am extremely grateful to already have one son yes but would love for my husband and I to have one of our own. Anyway because we were refused by the NHS, we could ot afford at that time to go private so we both left it. We both decided to try naturally and to just keep going but still in 2014 nothing happened. Finally a few months ago we decided to contact an IVF clinic and we had a consultation with an IVF specialist. He told us IVF was our best option and because I am now 42, I don't have much time left to conceive because I am running out of time. We manage to save up a little bit over the years for this treatment and I am now currently in the middle of my first cycle, it is both exciting and scary. I hope it works out because time is not on my side unfortunately. Anyway good luck with your journey and look forward to hearing from you.

lulufruit Thu 27-Nov-14 13:30:18

Victoria: thanks for the link to the other thread I will check it out smile
Hoping for a miracle: thanks for getting in touch. Its really frustrating that treatment is not allowed for couples when one already has child. Theres been quite a lot on the media about it recently so maybe it will change, slowly! Great that you are going through IVF now, what stage are you at? I really hope it is successful, that would be wonderful.
We are currently having a bit of time out from the planning our IVF, my partner is applying for a new job at the moment so we can move closer to my family, we are supposed to be planning our wedding for next year and I am just finishing my PhD and am looking for a job. There is a lot going on, but hopefully by the end of the year our work/living arrangements will be clearer so we can move on. I think the wedding's going to have to take a back seat. I have a very big family and he has a small family so the logistics of that are also complex!
How are you finding the IVF? I know it can effect different women in different ways? Hows it going?

hopingformiracle1 Thu 27-Nov-14 14:07:10

Hi Lulu, thanks for your reply. I am on day 6 of my IVF cycle right now, so I am still on the stimulation injections which are 450 gonal f and 75 luveris every evening. I was worried about injecting myself with this at first but my husband has been wonderful and very supportive with helping me do this. I had a follicle count scan 2 days ago and I have 3 follicles growing on my left ovary but they couldn't pick up any on my right ovary for some reason. I have another follicle scan tomorrow morning so hopefully they will find some more growing. I am trying to remain positive because we have already spend so much money on this and are hoping and praying it works. 3 follicles don't sound much at all but I am trying to remain hopeful about this. My body so far is reacting ok to the medications as that was another thing that worried me, having bad side effects. I agree with you when you say it is a lonely process. I haven't told my family and even though I know they would be wonderfully supportive, I know they would tell everyone else and I feel that this is more of an individual and private thing. I don't want to add on any extra worry or stress if you know what I mean. There is so much to IVF though, much more than I first realised it would be. First there is the cost which is very high indeed and you have to be so flexible with everything, for example, they can phone you up and you have to drop all other plans and arrangements to go to the clinic. I would strongly advise anyone having IVF to make sure they take a couple of months off from all their other commitments to fully focus on the IVF alone. That could also mean with work, study, social things. You also need to look after yourself well because you don't know how your body will react to the medication they give and you want to be able to rest whenever you need it. I would say overall I feel happy enough right now and still optimistic. It sounds like you have a lot of things going on right now and really busy with life so putting ivf on hold for now sounds the right choice to make smile. I have my scan in the morning and I am hoping and praying they find more follicles, that's another part of it with ivf, you are constantly worrying, over analysing and wondering whats going to happen next. It I both exciting and scary in a way and it is a lonely road, you feel in a way you are out there alone but its wonderful when you meet others like yourself who are going on a similar path with this and to know we are not alone on this journey smile

lulufruit Sat 29-Nov-14 13:48:43

Hello HFM1,
thanks for your reply. How did your scan go the other day? I hope the follicles are developing nicely smile I too have been apprehensive about the injections and side effects, so I'm glad to hear your experience isn't too bad and your husband is being really supportive.
I think you are absolutely right about putting things on hold. I'm such a do-er! always on the go and thinking about the next thing, but I think I will really have to slow down and clear the decks for a couple of months when we start the IVF. We are quite interested in going for the treatment in a clinic in Alicante, Spain. They claim a 60-70% success rate, so although its a bit more expensive, we thought we'd see it a 2 goes rather than one. We visited the clinic last month whilst on holiday visiting my mother-in-law and we liked the set up and the doctor. But, we haven't made any final arrangements and would have to think through the practicalities. I think I would probably go for 2 or 3 weeks with my mum, with my partner joining us for the key stages. But we will see. I have told a few friends and family about the process, but I think no one in my close circle has any experience of this, so its hard to discuss. I think some friends feel a bit awkward or sad for me especially if they have kids, which I don't want them too! but I've stopped sharing much about it now. Plus in my experience if you share on a day you're feeling good about things then it may get brought up again on a day you're not so great, so again I've pulled back from talking to people so much about it.
I hope your scans have been good this week, look forward to hearing more

hopingformiracle1 Sat 29-Nov-14 16:57:56

Hi Lulu, thanks for your reply. I went for another scan on Wednesday morning and my 3 follicles have all grown. The largest is 16 now and the others are 14 and 12. The nurse seems happy about this and she also said that the lining of my uterus is thickening up nicely now from 6 the first visit to 11.5 now, so it sounds ok. I have started taking cetrotide now to stop ovulation and have to inject this alongside the other 2 meds, gonal f and luveris every night, so that is 3 injections each night now. I was worried about injecting the cetrotide because I did not know how my body was going to react to it and was scared of side affects. I haven't had many side effects accept a bit of cramping in both ovaries and tiredness which is good. I have read so many things about women being in agony with the medications, so it is always a worry. This clinic in Alicante, Spain that you mention sounds really good and they seem to have a good success rate. It sounds like the one for you. You would be right to put things on hold for a while whilst you go for the ivf because the ivf does take all of your energy out of you, its on your mind constantly. Its nice that your mum would go with you for support as well. Another reason why I can't tell people about my ivf is the worry of it not working. I would hate for everyone to know and get excited and it fails. I feel that by not telling family and friends, if it does fail, I can deal with it alone in my own way and grief alone. There would be less pressure that way. I feel its personal choice really. Some people want the whole world to know their ivf journey and that's great if it works for them, but I am different and like you said, not everyone can understand your journey unless they are going through the same thing or are on the same wave length. Its great that you know how I feel and you are going through the same. I hope I can provide feedback and information to you that helps you for when you go for your ivf too. The doctor and nurses at the ivf clinic are all friendly and very supportive but I feel I don't want to get my hopes up too high incase it fails. Its difficult to know really what to do but I am trying to keep calm and remain positive. My next scan in on Monday now and if the 3 follicles are all grown to the right size, then I will get the trigger shot and go for egg retrieval next Wednesday. It is getting all a bit scary now. I will let you know what happens Monday.

anroga Wed 03-Dec-14 12:46:05

Hi Lulufruit

I have just seen your thread and thought I would join in as my situation is very similar to yours. We have been TTC for 3 years. I have just turned 38 my dh is going to be 44 in a couple of weeks.

After a year or so of TTC we saw our GP and were referred for all the relevant tests, unexplained infertility was the outcome and due to our ages IVF/ICSI was suggested but then swiftly followed up with the fact that we would have to pay for it as my dh has two kids from his previous marriage. This waqs quite a shock especially when we were told how much it would roughly cost.

They live in NI and due to is ex-wife being an absolute nightmare we only get to see them every so often and although I do get on with them (me and my husband have been together for 8 years) like you they are no way like my children and they never will be.

Anyway after a lot of consideration we re-mortgaged our home to raise the £6k for the IVF/ICSI and have started treatment last Thursday (I am doing long protocol so I am just on the pill at the moment, my next scan is on 16/12 when I should start the injections).

I went through exactly the same thoughts as you, thinking about how it would be ok just the two of us or instead of IVF/ICSI should we consider adoption etc but as soon as I thought like that my heart would remind me how much I want a child of my own and a child with my husband and how really I am just avoiding what needs to be done because I was scared/worried etc

So here we are paying to give IVF/ICSI a chance, if it doesn't work we will have to sit down and re-think our next move because we cannot keep paying for more treatments but at least I would know that I had tried everything possible to have a baby and would have no regrets in the future about not giving IVF/ICSI a go.

I am not saying that is what you should do Lulu at all I am just giving you my story.

Like many girls on the infertility threads that I have joined I have sat on the sofa in tears that it has come to this but have to stay strong and positive.

This threads/groups this girls have been a life saver!


lulufruit Fri 12-Dec-14 00:06:04

Thanks Anroga and HopingFAM both for your messages on the thread and apologies I have been out of the loop for a while. The last week has been quite momentous, I had my PhD exam last Wednesday (3rd), which I passed! And this week I have been putting a job application together, closing date tomorrow! So, hopefully I can breath a bit now these things are out of the way.
I mentioned earlier in the thread that we were considering going to Spain for our treatment, well an amazing thing happened this week. When were in Spain a few weeks ago the hospital advised us to get some tests done in preparation for us starting treatment. They said they would be useful to have whether we went with them or not, so we decided to go for it. Some of them were pretty standard, but one was a karyotype test. Amazing news is that they have found something called a balanced translocation in my chromosome 2 and 4. I have done a lot of research in the last day or so, but it basically means my eggs are not implanting. As I understanding it out of the 23 pairs of chromosomes that make up the genetics of each cell half the pair comes from the female and half from the male. Apparently half of my 2 has mixed with half of my 4. So its likely that if the 2 or the 4 that is mixed up meets the sperm chromosome then there will be genetic information missing! The good news is the embryos can be screened for abnormalities at day 3 - 5. The spanish doctor said it was almost 100% the reason why I haven't been conceiving. In many women it causes recurrent miscarriage, but in some failure to conceive. I actually feel really grateful to have this information. Had I not been screened I could have gone ahead and not realised they was a really low chance of conceiving a healthy foetus because with the PGC screening its impossible to tell. A healthy blastocyst could actually be totally inviable. It frustrates me that our NHS service was not offering this but were prepared to take nearly £5000 from us. So glad we now know. Even if I don't get pregnant, its good to have answers.
If wither the man or the woman is a balanced translocation carrier the effect o the pregnancy is exactly the same. Its a 1 in 500 chance, but i think its worth getting checked as it turns out a higher number of balanced translocation carriers end up seeking infertility treatment.
Anroga, thanks so much for sharing your story, I wish you all the best for your treatment. It sounds like we are in quite a similar situation. It feels really unfair, especially when the children are in no way like your own, however much you love them and want the best for them.
Good luck for the 16th, let us know how you are getting on.
Hoping for a miracle, how are you getting on? Sorry I didn't get back to your last message, I hope the egg retrieval went OK on the Wednesday, let us know how you are getting along, sending positive vibes your way x

lulufruit Fri 12-Dec-14 00:08:33

just read the message again, and I meant to say without the PGC screening its impossible to tell!

lulufruit Fri 12-Dec-14 00:16:55

I should have said there's not a direct correlation between balanced translocation and lack of egg implantation/miscarriage, but there is an increased risk of genetically abnormality in the foetus, so there is an increased chance of either no implantation or miscarriage. I guess adding in age and reduced fertility into the mix I have an even lower chance than I thought of conceiving naturally. The good think is the screening could help to iron out these difficulties.

Smidge001 Sun 21-Dec-14 16:04:45

Hi lulu, can I ask how much the test cost?
I am due to embark on my third IVF in January, with us being 'unexplained'. We managed to get a blastocyst in each of our previous attempts, but neither stuck. This time they are going to add in some immune treatments in case my body is fighting off the foreign body (embryo!) and this not allowing it to implant. However I've not had any genetic testing done. I think the cost was quite high at our clinic and in fact I thought they only did it on the embryos themselves, rather than any tests being available just as blood tests. Any info would be gratefully received!

lulufruit Sun 21-Dec-14 16:34:50

Hi Smidge

The test is called karyotyping and it tests to see if either of the parents have something called a balanced translocation ie. all the right genetic data, but in slightly the wrong order, meaning, higher likelihood of genetically unviable embryos. I'd never heard of this before we were offered it in Spain, so I was amazed I am one of the 1 in 500 people that has it.
My parents got pregnant with myself and my brother really easily, and my brother's wife also got pregnant really quickly, so it's unlikely my brother carries it, or my parents. It can be passed on, or it can be de novo (newly formed in me).
I just had a look at our paper work and it was €90 each, so £70 each. It took 3 weeks or so to get the result. We had it done at IVF Spain in Alicante which is a really nice clinic. If its a lot more expensive in the UK it may work out to fly to Alicante on a cheap flight to get the test?
Here is a link about screening, this is the stage after the karyotype testing, where you check the embryos before implanting, I found it a useful website: - i recommend some of the videos if you are interested in finding out more. Also, it effects pregnancy in the sam way whether the man or the woman is the carrier.

Good luck! hope this helps, let me know if you need any more info, lulu

victoria401 Sun 21-Dec-14 19:18:29

Goodness lulu it just shows how rubbish they treat infertility in this country. I'm so glad you have found this great clinic. Best of luck with treatment, sounds like you have a much better chance of conceiving now.

lulufruit Mon 22-Dec-14 21:28:49

Dear Victoria, thanks so much, fingers crossed...its a long road isn't it!

bluemoonday Mon 22-Dec-14 22:06:08

Hi Smidge, thought I'd jump in here regarding karotyping. We had the test done here in London and it cost £600 for both of us (results were negative). Lulu, sounds like you got a bargain there!

bluemoonday Mon 22-Dec-14 22:06:12

Hi Smidge, thought I'd jump in here regarding karotyping. We had the test done here in London and it cost £600 for both of us (results were negative). Lulu, sounds like you got a bargain there!

Smidge001 Tue 23-Dec-14 19:53:36

Thanks lulu and blue. Wow a big variation in price. My clinic is in Aus (what with my husband being Australian) and I can't recall the price they charged (or indeed if this test was a specific one they offered). But they are pretty good so far at allowing me anything if I'll pay for it hmm so I will def mention it when I get there. However, they might just say the best thing is simply to test the embryo itself. They did offer us the option to test for cystic fibrosis but we have both turned that down for the cost and because of the chance that even if we are both carriers you may still get an ok embryo. Again I think we felt we might as well just wait and see given we have so far only been able to get one blastocyst each time, so it's not as if we are able to pick the best from several ifkwim.

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