Two years ago Stacey and I decided to try for our second baby, unfortunately we were not as lucky to fall as quickly as we did with our first. After a year of ovulation tests, calendar watching and not so romantic evenings we admitted we needed help and approached our doctor about seeing if there was any issues. There followed months of tests and consultations mixed with stress, worry and disappointment. To take our mind of all the pressure, we decided to finally make plans for our wedding. I had proposed three years ago so it was about time we got a wiggle on.
We found our venue, a Manor House set in lovely grounds. We fell in love with it as soon as we approached the long gravel driveway with its manicured gardens and trees. A marquee in the gardens, with a peaceful river running through the centre of the grounds. A perfect place to marry my perfect woman.
While deciding on our venue, the doctors consultations were ongoing. Appointment after appointment to the hospital with specialists, it was unreal. The magnitude of time I had off work must have looked highly suspicious to my employer, so much so I felt I needed to tell them the reasons for the amount of time I was not at my desk. I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the subject. This isn’t because the bosses are unapproachable or unsympathetic. It’s that I almost felt embarrassed that I may not be able to have anymore children, I know that may sound silly, but to tell someone that the one thing you are made or programmed to do, may not be possible anymore. It’s almost like a sense of worthlessness.
I nee-dent have worried, they were very understanding and even tried to make light hearted joke of the situation. We joked about having to “perform” on a schedule and poked fun at how women will raise their bums in the air after the “deed”. I found the same reaction when I confided in my close friends. Men are often secretive with their issues and problems as they feel its a sign of weakness, it really isn’t. Don’t be afraid to open up, chances are you’ll feel so much better once you have.
So the venue is sorted which luckily enough included food! We’ve picked our entertainment and colour scheme. A good friend of mine ( Kelsie ) is a photographer, a bloody good one too, next on the list was cake! I have a substantial sweet tooth and for me there was no question that our wedding cake had to be chocolate. We went to a wedding fair and tried a few samples, which was heaven and decided on a style and design! I can’t wait to tuck into it!
Following on from the copious appointments came the tests. To begin with, my soon to be wife, had the awkward and not so pleasant examinations. Some of her immediate friends have had these tests performed and had enlighten her as to what to expect. I wasn’t to convinced that this helped her but I think she took comfort in knowing that a friend had had the same and now had a little girl of her own – It would all be worth it.
Like I was in the delivery room while our first was being born, when she was undergoing these test, I felt helpless. All I could do is hold her hand and tell her how great she was doing. The room was full of strangers, equipment and awkward silences. I could tell she was in discomfort and pain but she soldiered on.
My tests were rather less evasive but somewhat more embarrassing. I say tests but really there is only one test a male can do for fertility and it’s not really a test more of a pastime for some. I had a letter in the post summoning me to the nearest place to do the test, just a short 30 mile trip to provide a “specimen”.
“Ding dong” a random bell chimes near the reception area yet no-one goes to answer a door.. strange. I’ll come to that later.
NEVER have a felt more awkward than what I did whilst sitting in the waiting room. In this room was me and one other gentleman, there was a moment where our eyes met and we both realised why we were both there. We both knew what we were about to do in the rooms adjacent to the waiting area. A sense of competition started to build for me, if we went into our rooms at the same time, did I want to be in there longer than him. You know male pride, no guy wants people to know how long they last in the bedroom, although this is a slightly different experience.
“Ding dong” there it was again, and a short while after a man appeared from a room.
A nurse appears and ushers me into a brightly lit cubicle. To my left there’s a floor to ceiling curtain, I couldn’t see behind it at this point. The nurse hands me a cup for me to use and leaves me to it. I pull back the curtain and hiding behind was a chair, a TV and a remote control all covered in plastic as if I was going to miss the cup!. The TV was on and showed soft pornography, I found this strange this and slightly amusing that somewhere someone in the NHS spent tax payers money buying porn DVD’s! I’m not going to go into details, but what happened in that room was one of the most difficult and awkward thing I have ever had to do!
Anyway the deed was done and there was a sign on the door with instructions on where to leave the pot. It also suggested to ring the bell to advise the nurse that I had finished and leave the room. On my exit I hear the “ding dong” again- Now I know what it means, a guy has just gone through the same tedious task! In the hallway the gentleman I had seen in the waiting room appears, cup in hand, someone clearly didn’t read the instructions! All I had to do now was escape the ward without bumping into the nurse I had seen an await the results.
Back to the wedding planning and more specifically the guest list. Our wedding package includes 70 all day guests in the price, me being quite tight with money, it wasn’t going to be any more than 70 as you have to pay for anyone extra. Anyway 70 is more than adequate for our family and friends right? Wrong. When you start to work out how many people you want there for the ceremony, you quickly come to realise that 70 isn’t going to be enough. Somehow we made difficult decisions and had our all day and evening list completed. There may be some people that are disappointed that they didn’t make the 70, but as my Dad told me, only have who you want there – it’s your day not theirs.
Next on our list is seating plan, wedding dress and suits. Oh and just the small little detail about paying for it all. I’ll keep you posted!
A couple of weeks after our tests our consultant called us in to discuss our results. We were both filled with apprehension and nerves. The nurse opens our file filled with notes and paperwork and takes a moment of silence to read through the tests findings. It felt like an eternity. Yes I know you may be thinking that we have a child already and should be grateful but we we’re convinced that something was wrong and were destined to not have anymore children. A few moments later the consultant said what we were hoping to hear, all the tests were clear and she couldn’t see anything physically wrong with either of us.
The results were such a relief, but it begged the question why hadn’t we fallen yet? By the time we got to this point it had been almost 19 months of trying with no luck. The consultant said there wasn’t too much more they could do informs of treatment. As we already had a child, IVF on the NHS was not an option and going privately would have huge financial costs which I just didn’t think we could afford. Our last avenue was a drug, which the name escapes me at the moment, that we could have three dosages of. I’m not sure what exactly it did but we pinned all our hopes on it knowing this was final straw. If it didn’t work there was nothing more we could possibly do.
We had to jump through some huge hoops and it wasn’t the easiest experience to go through but we did it. We came through some tough months before we finally saw that red line on the pregnancy test. I’m now writing this blog with my one month old son, sleeping in his Moses basket next to me. I think I can safely say that Stacey and I thought we would never reach this point, however we got there. We’re now a family of four at last.