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Fiona ' Interview 23

Age at interview: 41
Age at diagnosis: 33
Brief Outline: After unsuccessful IVF treatment, Fiona went on to adopt three sibling girls.
Background: Fiona is a part-time teacher. She lives with her husband and three adopted daughters. Ethnic background' White British.

More about me...

Fiona and her husband waited two years after they got married before consulting the GP about their fertility. Tests showed that they had a male fertility problem and would need to have IVF treatment. They had to wait a long time before their treatment appointment came through at their local NHS hospital. Their first cycle of IVF treatment was abandoned. They then went through two full IVF cycles, neither of which worked. At this point, Fiona and her husband decided to stop treatment. They took a year off, and then started looking into adoption. They were soon approved and successfully adopted three sisters who had been living with them for six years at the time of the interview.

 

Fiona thought of the transferred embryos as “her triplets”. She was upset and angry when she...

Fiona thought of the transferred embryos as “her triplets”. She was upset and angry when she...

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But of course you recover from that, because then you have got the possibility of your eggs, you know, and I think we had, we didn’t have a major collection then. I think was about eight eggs, which by kind of, I guess standards, isn’t that many and then [husband] does his bit and they fertilise them.
 
We had three fertilised eggs that time and I can remember phoning my Mum and saying, “Oh we have got three eggs.” Every little stage you feel, like you, I suppose, on the journey to your pregnancy but you are very excited and again with hindsight I think you have to be very cautious about that, because you get yourself completely carried away. Three eggs fertilised does not mean three babies, but at the time that is what you think.
 
So I had those three eggs put back in and I remember lying, not here, we were in another house, but it was on this sofa, naming them, you know, imagining them. My little triplets, they were all in there. Thinking that was it.
 
I didn’t move. I took the time off work. I am a teacher and they were very, very good at school. “I can’t do anything.” You know. I had a massive high for those few days. Until two weeks later when we were due to have a pregnancy test, I think, on the Monday and on the Saturday I started bleeding. 
 
And then the other thing that I was very shocked and angry about, again was that they didn’t tell you. They say when you start to bleed obviously, you know, it is like a heavy period. Well it wasn’t. It was these massive clots, that I just, to you those are your babies and I found that horrendous. 
 
Poor old [husband], because I just cried and cried. And you can’t stop it can you. You know, it has got to come out. And brutally there are your babies going down the toilet and I just thought that that was horrific. And again I just think how can people keep going through that, horrible experience.
 
So we knew before we had the pregnancy test. And even when you have bled and you know it has all come out of you, you still go to the hospital thinking maybe I’m still pregnant. Because you are so desperate, and of course we weren’t. 
 
 

Fiona now realised she was not prepared for how hard it was going to be. Talking to other people...

Fiona now realised she was not prepared for how hard it was going to be. Talking to other people...

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I don’t think we realised how hard it was going to be. I mean they say to you, “It is hard.” And you know, you need to be… people don’t tell you, I think how emotionally strong you need to be, I think. You know, that it is going to take its toll physically. You know that you’re going to have lots of things done to you. And at the time you just think, well I’ll do whatever it takes. So you don’t really think about that. But I don’t think there was enough emphasis on the emotional side of things. You are offered counselling, and I was really fortunate, because the person that we went to for counselling, we had the two sessions together and then I had her as a counsellor actually for years afterwards. And we just kind of, I just found that I could really talk to her. So that was good.
 
Although I do feel that subsequently actually I did come to rely her on too much and I felt that that was stopping me from doing things myself. I was just going in and pouring it all out there. 
 
But yes, I just, I feel that we weren’t prepared and I think a good way to prepare people would be to talk to people who have been through it, rather than just go to evenings, because you put all your hopes into those doctor and those nurses. They’re the people that are going to work the miracle for you, they’re the people or you, they’re the people that are going to, you know, so whilst they do all say well is this might not work, this might not work. You just don’t see it. You just go in there and you think, right I am going to do, I am going to have my baby and of course you are sitting there.
 
The biggest thing, I think they need to do it to a certain extent, but I do not think they should have all the photos up on the wall. I really don’t, because that again, just re-enforces either what you have not got or what you are desperate for. And, you know, there are some people that have come in and are going through subsequent attempts, having had a baby. They are there with their blooming babies sitting there, and all you want to do is kill the baby. Or kill the people for having had the baby.
 
 

Fiona had waited a long time and was excited when she was called in to the clinic for a group...

Fiona had waited a long time and was excited when she was called in to the clinic for a group...

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And you are given, we were just told to go away and wait and that they would phone you when you had a place, what is called a group meeting, which is your first point of excitement, you have got a group meeting, but from the group meeting date, we then had another six months before we actually got an appointment to start the drugs.
 
And the group meeting is really funny, because you go along thinking right this is it. And you get there and there is hundreds of people there thinking the same thing. And I remember going and just looking round and there was a whole lecture theatre full of people. So then you think, oh actually, you know, because you imagine it is just going to be a few of you. Actually it is an information evening really to tell you what IVF is about, what the different processes are. How long your waiting is going to be. 
 
And I always remember one woman put her hand up and said, “And how much time will I get off work.” And I was so cross with her. I thought you are only here to find, you know, it was almost I will need the time off work so I can do IVF. That was the way I saw it at the time. I was just like, “Oh you want a baby.”
 
So that was our first kind of point. That was probably about a year after. And then we had another six months, because I remember the woman phoning us at home and saying, I don’t know, your date would be March and it was still about October then. And I was so angry. And we had this little pot teddy, that was a really, you know, I loved him. And I threw him on the phone and broke it. I put the phone down and had a complete tantrum. And [husband] was really shocked. He said, “What are you doing?” And I wanted to just wreck the place. 
 
Because it is that feeling of helplessness again that somebody says, “You have to wait and there is nothing you can do. You can’t change it, you can’t phone up and beg. You can’t say please, you know put me in now, and they will put you in now. You can’t do that. And I hate that feeling of not having that control, or that, you know, being able to change it. So then, you know…
 
 

Fiona described the unpleasant side effects of her IVF, in particular how agonising she found her...

Fiona described the unpleasant side effects of her IVF, in particular how agonising she found her...

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There are lots of things that happen along the way, that you think I wish they had told us as they were doing it. 
 
So I had my egg [ovary] stimulated, that was fine. It feels like you are walking round with sacks of potatoes in you, it is an absolutely horrible feeling, and I think throughout the stimulation, the nasal stimulation that is not so bad, but then you start to get like menopausal symptoms, you get night flushes, you get emotional, you cry. Well I did. Very up and down. [Husband] was very patient.
 
And then when you start the injections, that is when things start to kind of grow inside you, your ovaries go, so then you start to feel like you are really heavy, which I hated that feeling. Walking round carrying these things inside me.
 
But my ovaries did stimulate that time and we were ready for egg collection. So of course, you get really excited then, you get told that there is plenty going on in there, it is all very exciting. 
 
But the one thing I wish they had told me is how horrible egg collection is. Because nobody told us. So we were told to take a CD and I would have a sedative and you know, they would take the eggs. And it was just agony. I just…
 
I was really cross with them because I took one of my favourite CDs, and I can remember lying on the bed looking at the ceiling and there is this lovely, kind of, you know, music. I can’t remember what it was now. And now for me, the memory of that is ruined, because when I listen to that. I think it was like ‘Adie’ which is very kind of choral and I can’t listen to it now, without seeing myself back on that bed, having somebody like pull your insides out. To me that is what it felt like. I wasn’t asleep and I could feel them absolutely, just dragging these eggs out. And it is… I am quite cynical now. But it is really bizarre because every time they get an egg, they go, “Oh, an egg.” You know, like, and at the time you are really excited, you think ‘that’s my potential baby’, but actually it is just an egg.
 
And they show it you on the screen and you are like, ‘ooh’ and you have all got to go, ‘ooh how lovely’. I found that very, very painful and afterwards incredibly painful. I mean I came home and just, you know, I felt like they had just pulled all my insides out. 
 
But of course you recover from that, because then you have got the possibility of your eggs, you know, and I think we had, we didn’t have a major collection then. I think was about eight eggs, which by kind of, I guess standards, isn’t that many and then [husband] does his bit and they fertilise them.
 
 

Fiona described the massive toll her failed treatment had on her.

Fiona described the massive toll her failed treatment had on her.

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It took a massive toll on me. Absolutely massive. I stopped eating. I got very depressed. I thought I was doing really because I decided that I wanted to be in control of things. I have learnt this since, but at the time I didn’t really realise. I started to want to get fit, and go to the gym, and I think what I was doing was trying to get control of my body, because somebody else had been in control of it, and my body had been doing things I couldn’t control. 
 
And so, I went completely doolally and became very, very thin and stopped eating altogether and very obsessed with weight, very obsessed with, well what I thought was healthy, and ended up having to have treatment for anorexia. Which was awful. And somewhere I never, ever thought I would ever be. But I couldn’t help it at the time. I had loads and loads of counselling. I had cognitive behavioural therapy in the end at a specialist hospital in the City. 
 
And I have had another bout of that once since, three years after having the girls, and again I think that is the reaction to chaos [laughs]. But I am alright now.
 
But I think it had a massive effect. We always kind of say that before we went through the infertility, kind of, not just the IVF, but the whole prospect of never having your own children, I was perfectly happy go lucky, normal, you know, I never had depression, I never had anything. 
 
And then this came along and I seem to have suffered [laughs] ever since. Which is quite …It is quite a shock and I can talk about it now, but it took me years before I could, you know, face up to any of it really. And I can remember, I go to church. I can remember sitting in church thinking if I can’t have my own children, I don’t know what I will do. I remember just saying in the church. “What are you doing to me? This is …” 
 
And I have got five brothers and sisters who have all married and had children like that [clicks fingers]. I have got fifteen nieces and nephews, so I felt very isolated and very odd one out, and very why me? And that was awful. That was very painful. They were all having babies, and everybody else tiptoes around you doesn’t dare tell you they are pregnant, you know, and all that kind of thing you have to deal with, and you don’t realise, but it actually just chips away at you all the time.
 
 

Fiona came to the slow realisation that she could not go on with treatment. Her mother suggested...

Fiona came to the slow realisation that she could not go on with treatment. Her mother suggested...

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There was also my Mum who had planted the seed of adoption. She knew friends who had adopted through the same agency, and she, she couldn’t bear to see me going through what I was going through. She herself had a child who died very early on and, you know, she just said, “Just don’t put yourself through it. It is just too much.” So she was quite kind of instrumental in helping me come to that conclusion. 
 
And just at that time I think started to think, actually I do like just being back myself again and not constantly living my life waiting for something, you know, I think it was slow realisation. It didn’t come overnight. There were lots of talks, lots of sitting, wondering about it. But yes, it wasn’t a quick decision. It was a hard one. Because when you give that up, you really are giving up your birth child, and that takes a long time to come to terms with. I probably won’t ever come to terms with it actually. But, there you go.
 
 

Fiona described how she needed to wait a year after stopping treatment before she could start of...

Fiona described how she needed to wait a year after stopping treatment before she could start of...

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The adoption agencies themselves. My Mum had already told me that because she knew through these friends who had had a very similar experience. And then they put it out in their, if you, if you do phone them, they always ask you when your last fertility treatment was if you have had it, and if you are not within a year then they say come back when. Because I think there again they just know that you are not ready. You know, you could easily just be jumping from one thing into another, which you could be forgiven for doing at the time. But not be ready, that is one thing we look out for on the courses we do now, the preparation. I can spot somebody who isn’t ready. Because they cry very easy and they get very... you think actually they are still too immersed in, so it is quite interesting. So yes, I am glad they did, I mean with hindsight again, you don’t want to have to wait, but you do need that time. You really need to get your head sorted out, because then, adopting children is a whole new kind of board game and you are re-focussing, you are not going to get a baby, you’re not going to get, you know, your own child. You’re not going to get anything, you know, your own child, you’re going to get anything that you were originally intending. So you have to really think and re-focus on what you are going to get.

 

Fiona and her husband found that the adoption process did them the world of good, helping them...

Fiona and her husband found that the adoption process did them the world of good, helping them...

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It was, well the point when we really started to feel that we were focussed again was actually when we went for adoption and that is partly because the course makes you focus on you as a couple and then you have lots of what they call home study, the social worker comes to the house and makes you look at your relationship and takes you back through everything you have been through from childhood and everything. 
 
So it makes you start to re-evaluate what you have got and that did us a world of good. I mean even if we hadn’t gone on to adopt, I would have said that was a really useful experience. Because you had to then write about it, and me being a reader and a writer I loved doing that and it made us look at each other again really, and re kind of like say re-focus on where we were going and what we both wanted out of life, and we often, I mean with adoption what they are saying to you is once you have started on the home study it is not a clear and cut thing, but it is actually to make you look at and see whether you are suitable and whether you are right place for adopting. And often couples find that they are not when they starting go through the process which is why they put you through it.
 
And yes, we found that actually, that, I remember the social worker saying as a couple, he said, “The eye contact between you,” he said, “You constantly look at each other.” He said, “There is something very strong there”. Which we had probably forgotten about and he said, but so you know, so it is quite refreshing to see a couple who are so close. And we were like oh oh that is really nice, you know, and it kind of re-awakened a lot of things for us that I think also obviously, because one of our kind of like goals in life as a couple was to have a family, and we wouldn’t have felt complete if we hadn’t have managed that. So we were putting our energies into the new ways that we could have a family. Working together again. 
 
And I think [with] adoption you are working together, with IVF you are not, it is kind of the female having all the attention and the drugs and everything and the male just doing a bit. And adopting is much more balanced. You have to look at both of you, you’re both parents you’re both coming into it, much, much more level and so again you are given plenty of time to come to terms with things, to look at things. They make you go through your loss. They make you go through your experiences. They did have concerns about me because I was not the healthiest at the time. But also then they said, you know, you are working through it, you have got the support. We will support you as well. Which I am eternally grateful to them for, because they could have turned round and said, “We don’t think you are fit at the minute,” and you know. So that for me I was lucky really that they were willing to support us so well. 
 
So I think that is what brought us back together.
 
 

Fiona reflects on how different the adoption process is from IVF – you are no longer a number but...

Fiona reflects on how different the adoption process is from IVF – you are no longer a number but...

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Just think that you are much more, when you are going through IVF you are much more, almost like a number on the page, kind of right, so it is number one first this morning, then its number two, then its number three, whereas when you go for adoption, you are two people with a name. You are [name] and [husband] and, you know, whatever. And the relationship which you build with the person who is dealing with you is much more personal, therefore, I think I just felt so much more valued.
 
Whereas with IVF they are giving you a service and they are with adoption in a way but it is a much more personable service. And I think, I don’t know how this sounds, but again at the end of the adoption process there is a much more tangible outcome. So, you are aiming for something that is very different and that for most couples is going to be a definite outcome. It might take a long time and it might again be a bumpy ride but you are going to have children at the end of it. 
 
Whereas with your IVF the uncertainty. And the doctors and nurses, you know, I have to say, they were very pleasant, but it is a case of you sit there, your name is called, you go in a room, you lie on a sofa, you open your legs. It is all horrible stuff, you know, with people that you don’t particularly know. And it’s all very invasive in a physical sense. 
 
An adoption process is invasive obviously in a kind of you know, the emotional into your lives and everything, but you see again I don’t think. People say, oh is it incredibly invasive. They ask questions about your sex life and this that and the other, but that doesn’t bother me. I don’t think that is invasive. I just think, well that is what they need to know. I don’t find that overly intrusive. 
 
And yes, they are coming to your house, but, you know, so do lots of other people. It doesn’t really, it never bothered me like that. But I always felt that the whole process of IVF was very clinical and didn’t like the clinical, you know, side of things. And physically it really, really takes it out with you, whereas again adoption wise, it is nothing to do with your physical make up. 
 
So, it is like, IVF is people doing things to you. Whereas adoption is people doing things with you. That is how I always found.
 
And yes, the IVF people want you to have a baby and they want the best outcome, but it has to be a clinical procedure and you have to be dealt with as one of a long line.
 
 

Fiona rarely feels upset by her infertility now, her three adopted daughters are more than she...

Fiona rarely feels upset by her infertility now, her three adopted daughters are more than she...

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Has your previous experience with all your IVF affected your parenting?
 
That is an interesting question. I have no idea. Possibly. I have had to think about parenting and being a mother and everything, a lot more, perhaps than your average person. It has made me question how I was parented. Which is a really interesting issue as well. I don’t know actually.
 
I feel that I’ve become through having adopted children I feel like I’ve had to work extra hard at being a parent, but I feel I’ve had the chance to really try out lots of different things. I have had to do all kind of things to support them. I have had to go into school with them every day sometimes, and sit with them, you know, whereas another parent might just drop their child off. Because my children are so scared about who’s going to come and pick them up at the end of the day, that you know. 
 
All those kind of things you have to kind of work extra hard at. But I think perhaps then, this is occurring to me as I am saying it to you, you have wanted to be that mother so much that you will go to those lengths to do it, because you really want to be the absolute perfect… I wanted to a perfect mother. 
 
So I think it probably has actually. Because you are so grateful in the end that you got the chance to be a mother that you will do an awful lot.
 
I did beat myself up a lot about being a perfect mother, because I couldn’t handle the girls at first how I thought I would be handle them. And you realise that you are not as patient as you thought you were or that you want. And I used to think at school I can be infinitely patient in a classroom, but here with the children I can lose my temper really quickly and it comes as quite a shock to you, because you want to be, and especially to these children that have had a rough time of it, but I have learnt, you know, that is not what it is about. And I have learnt to say to the girls, you know, nobody is perfect. I make my mistakes I am sorry I did that wrong or whatever. 
 
So I am much more settled with that now, but again I think it. I suppose anybody has their ideas about being a parent don’t they, how they want to be, and the thing I kind of…I don’t know whether I comfort myself with it now, or whether it is a realistic thing, but I say basically, if I had had my own birth children, who knows what they might have turned out like. We may have had health issues, we may have emotional issues, just because they are not mine from birth doesn’t mean to say that I might not have had, you know, a bumpy ride. So it is true really isn’t it?
 
And have they allowed you to move on from the infertility?
 
Yes definitely. The only time the infertility upsets me now are well times like this when I have to talk about it. Not that I have to talk about it, but I think when you do start talking about it, you realise it is still in there, but for the most part I don’t give it a second thought and I can make a joke out of it now. I can laugh about it, I can, you know, I can deal with babies quite happily. All of that definitely, because I have got my own babies now. 
 
I have fulfilled that need I had. Which I was worried about when we adopted, because three for me was a bit old, I wanted younger, but actually they were such big babies that I didn’t miss out on any of their, and they still are, you know, everybody still needs the love and the mothering kind of thing, don’t they, whatever age they are. So I don’t, you know, I feel that they have more than kind of surpassed what I was hoping for. And they are just beautiful.
 

Fiona adopted three daughters after her IVF treatment failed. She felt as though she had to work...

Fiona adopted three daughters after her IVF treatment failed. She felt as though she had to work...

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Has your previous experience with all your IVF affected your parenting?
 
That is an interesting question. I have no idea. Possibly. I have had to think about parenting and being a mother and everything a lot more, perhaps, than your average person. It has made me question how I was parented. Which is a really interesting issue as well. I don’t know actually.
 
I feel that I’ve become through having adopted children I feel like I’ve had to work extra hard at being a parent, but I feel I’ve had the chance to really try out lots of different things. I have had to do all kind of things to support them. I have had to go into school with them every day sometimes, and sit with them, you know, whereas another parent might just drop their child off. Because my children are so scared about who’s going to come and pick them up at the end of the day, that you know. 
 
All those kind of things you have to kind of work extra hard at. But I think perhaps then, this is occurring to me as I am saying it to you, you have wanted to be that mother so much that you will go to those lengths to do it, because you really want to be the absolute perfect… I wanted to a perfect mother. 
 
So I think it probably has actually. Because you are so grateful in the end that you got the chance to be a mother that you will do an awful lot.
 
I did beat myself up a lot about being a perfect mother, because I couldn’t handle the girls at first how I thought I would be handle them. And you realise that you are not as patient as you thought you were or that you want. And I used to think at school I can be infinitely patient in a classroom, but here with the children I can lose my temper really quickly and it comes as quite a shock to you, because you want to be, and especially to these children that have had a rough time of it, but I have learnt, you know, that is not what it is about. And I have learnt to say to the girls, you know, nobody is perfect. I make my mistakes I am sorry I did that wrong or whatever. 
 
So I am much more settled with that now, but again I think it. I suppose anybody has their ideas about being a parent don’t they, how they want to be, and the thing I kind of…I don’t know whether I comfort myself with it now, or whether it is a realistic thing, but I say basically, if I had had my own birth children, who knows what they might have turned out like. We may have had health issues, we may have emotional issues, just because they are not mine from birth doesn’t mean to say that I might not have had, you know, a bumpy ride. So it is true really isn’t it.
 
 

Fiona decided to be open with her family about her IVF treatment, and she felt the support she...

Fiona decided to be open with her family about her IVF treatment, and she felt the support she...

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Did you talk to family about it or friends about it?
 
Yes. I was quite open. That is another issue [husband] and I had is that he was unwilling to tell his family, who actually lived quite close to us and who I felt needed to know what was going on. He didn’t want to tell them. So that took a while and in the end, I said to him, “Look if you don’t tell them. I am going to tell them, because I need their help through this.” 
 
So we did tell them in the end but he found that very difficult. And they were lovely, you know, they were very, very practical, his family, they are not very emotional, but they rallied round. 
 
And in my family, I’ve got two sisters, who I’m very close to, but I would say professional support, the only support I had was the counselling and I did use that, because I just didn’t know where to take what I was feeling. 
 
And even talking to my sisters or talking to friends, I am a firm believer that you cannot understand what anybody else has gone through unless you’ve been through that experience yourself. So whilst people might say, you know, ‘how awful’, or whatever, they have no idea what you are feeling.
 
So I even questioned the counsellor quite often, saying, “Well how do you know how I feel? Have you got, you know,” I used to get quite angry about it. And I used to think how can people sit and sympathise with you, they have no idea. But then I think that was me being angry rather than anything else.
 
So, yes, I mean friends are brilliant, family are brilliant. I’m really lucky. I have got lots of lovely friends and lots of lovely family. So, that’s I think, what got us through it, and I did go to them, and I did cry and I did rant and rave and do a lot of things that you do. And they were always there, especially my big sister. She used to phone me every day, she was really good. So… but she has got me through it.
 
 

Fiona, a teacher, knew that it was not easy for her colleagues to cover her time off, and...

Fiona, a teacher, knew that it was not easy for her colleagues to cover her time off, and...

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From where we were living then, it was about ten minutes. We lived very close and so that wasn’t a problem. It was a problem in terms of work. I was very at work, I had a very sympathetic personnel woman. I mean being a teacher it is quite hard, because you are missing lessons, you know, you are causing a lot of disruption and teaching is hard work. So when you are feeling really yucky, and they just said to me, “Take whatever time you need.” And they actually gave me, because our staff time tabling person was a man, this woman actually assigned another member of staff to me, who I could phone if things weren’t going right, and she would relay the message back so I didn’t have to deal directly with this bloke, he was the most sympathetic. So I would say my work were very supportive. I do know of other people where work haven’t been as supportive and people who have tried to go through it without telling anybody, whereas my work excellent, and really, really supportive when things didn’t work out. They were very good. Which was nice. Really nice. They just said to me if you need to go home at any point. If you need this, or you need that just say.
 
But I remember that deputy head, she was a very scary woman, she took me in her office one day and I was telling her that I was going through all of this and I think we had had one failed attempted. And she just looked at me and she said, “You will have your children.” She didn’t say where they would come from or whatever, she said, you will have your children and I often think about that, because I think she was right. I just didn’t have them the way that I originally thought I was going to have them. And I have never forgotten her saying that. I just thought wow you knew didn’t you. You know she was a very strong woman and she was right. 
 
 

Fiona's counselling helped her come to terms with the loss she felt at not being able to have her own children.

Fiona's counselling helped her come to terms with the loss she felt at not being able to have her own children.

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I did in some ways. I mean the counselling was really good, because it just it gave me a chance to let off steam, and, but again I think I only learnt a lot through my counselling once I’d come through those IVF attempts I think. I did have counselling as we were going through it, but again I just think I was just too wrapped up in making it work. So regardless of what might have been said in there, I think I was still, well this is going to be it for me. This is, I’m going to make it work. 
 
So I don’t know. I think the counselling at that time was just a place to go, and say I feel this, I feel shitty. I feel whatever. Have a cry. And then come out and, you know, and carry on [laughs]. It only really became useful after, when I was dealing with the major kind of prospect of never having my own children. The real loss. While you’re having IVF you are still dealing with the prospect of having children. So you’ve still got that hope there. 
 
 

Fiona felt that the closeness she had had with her husband was lost for a while and she feels...

Fiona felt that the closeness she had had with her husband was lost for a while and she feels...

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I mean the one thing [bangs table] IVF does is completely ruin your sex life and I would say even now, we have never recovered that the way it was. Not even, through all the settled kind of life that we have got now. It really does some serious damage to you. It does to your self esteem, and especially to [husband] and then to the fact that, you know, it all gets taken away from you anyway and it is a very difficult thing to recover from, and of course then the frantic trying to conceive in the first place, takes away from the kind spontaneity of all of that, so we didn’t, if I am honest, we didn’t have sex for a long, long time, after the IVF because it just felt all wrong. 
 
The whole purpose of it had change and the whole thing was wrong and I felt like I had been completely interfered with and didn’t want anybody touching me and all of that, and [husband], didn’t like what I was doing to my body anyway, so he didn’t like touching me, and it got very, again quite complex without anybody actually talking about it, so that parallel kind of lives. We were very lucky I think because we have managed to resolve it, but I can see how people could go off and not resolve it, and end up, you know, splitting up and going off and going their separate ways.
 
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