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James ' Interview 13

Age at interview: 47
Brief Outline: James and his wife (Interview 05) had one cycle of IVF to conceive their first daughter, and have had two further daughters without needing treatment.
Background: James works in banking. He is married to Lulu (Interview 05) and they have three children. Ethnic background' White British

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After being married for a couple of years, James and his wife started trying for a family. He did not feel there was much he could do, other than offer support, although he did give up smoking. They were given the diagnosis of unexplained infertility and started off with IUI at the local NHS hospital. But they both found it frustrating that there was not weekend or bank holiday cover. James’s wife did get pregnant but miscarried. Soon the consultant suggested they should consider IVF treatment. They were waiting to qualify for one of their NHS cycles, and in the meantime thought they would try a private option. James and his wife found a lovely local, friendly clinic and were successful and conceived with their first cycle of IVF with ICSI. They went on to have two more children, who were conceived naturally. 

 

James gave up smoking when he and his wife started fertility treatment.

James gave up smoking when he and his wife started fertility treatment.

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There were a number of things. I couldn’t, I felt there wasn’t a lot I could do apart from support her. And in that sense I felt to a certain degree helpless. I, she was giving up a lot, she was looking at her diet and things like that. One thing I hadn’t been able to do at that point in time, I hadn’t been able to give up smoking, so… that was what I felt was one of the key things that I could do. So obviously smoking, drinking, do affect fertility as far as I know. There was a lot of research on that. So finally, just before my fortieth birthday, 10th June I gave up and there were many, many things that helped me do that, but one of the key things was wanting to be able to help or do something towards the situation that we were in. 

 

James felt helpless watching his wife go through treatment but tried to support her as much as he...

James felt helpless watching his wife go through treatment but tried to support her as much as he...

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The helplessness I think is one of the key things, because you really don’t, you don’t feel the emotional side of it, in terms of what the hormonal side of it. You are not, your body is not changing 360 degrees in 30 days and going through, you know, a lot of rough patches and it is not having to cope with all the injections and that kind of stuff. And in that, you know, just, I think, I think I was fortunate because [wife] didn’t put a lot of pressure on me to, to understand, but she suffers quietly, and so sometimes one can never quite know. Like I don’t know quite, you know, fully what she was thinking and whether she felt I was fully supportive or not fully supportive. That sounds like we weren’t talking, but we were talking a lot. But I think, yes, however, much you talk there is always going to be that element of doubt. And I just felt that, it is purely really helpless, not knowing what one can do to help, except just be there really. And there is quite a lot of trips you can’t help, and I think those are probably the worst. You know, when you can’t take time off or you can’t go on every single trip down to the hospital. So there was a lot of those. The worst bit about the ICSI was where it was as well, you know, and listening to her when she came back and she had been sitting on her own with pregnant ladies all over the place, and as you know was depressing. But I think, what she appreciated most was just being, me being there and listening and talking. Yes, you know, and I suppose just doing the simple things in life, which is talking, eating together, eating together, you know, round a table, rather than without watching TV and things like that, you know, and that is one of the best places to talk, I think, if you have got something to talk about.

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