Marine ' Interview 38

Age at interview: 37
Age at diagnosis: 33
Brief Outline: After several cycles of IVF, Marine's treatment was successful and had a daughter.
Background: Marine is a researcher, married to Oliver (Interview 40) with one daughter. Ethnic background' Norwegian.

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Just before she was 30, Marine stopped the pill and she and her partner (Oliver Interview 40) started to try and get pregnant. They tried for a couple of years before getting married, but nothing happened. Shortly after the wedding Marine did conceive but it was an ectopic pregnancy. Doctors told her to try for another year after the surgery, but again nothing happened. They visited the GP who referred them to the local NHS hospital and they started to pursue treatment privately. Marine was referred for IUI while waiting for their IVF referral, but never did IUI after doctors found that she lacked a working fallopian tube. A scan showed she had polyps in the womb that needed to be removed before she could start treatment. During her first IVF cycle she hyperstimulated on the drugs, and was not able to continue with the cycle. Marine then had two cycles on the NHS and funded two privately. They finally had a frozen embryo cycle, with embryos that had been frozen after she hyperstimulated. That treatment was successful and Marine and Oliver have a daughter. In the space of two years they had four embryo transfers and started three other IVF cycles.


Marine thought her GP was really good because she warned her that there would be lots of choices...

She was really good, because we came after the year after the ectopic and said, “Okay we’ve tried ra ra ra.” And she said, “That’s fine. I’m going to refer you. This is what’s going to happen. You need a sperm test. You go to see the infertility nurses.” And then she said, “Remember this could be a long process and there’s a lot of choices coming up that you need to make and remember that at any point you can say no.” So she was really good actually, yes, she was brilliant. Hm. Hm.
So she kind of warned you about the sort of choices?
Yes, yes, she didn’t go through exactly what it was, but she just said, “Remember it’s easy to be just swiped into it. You don’t, you can stop at any point.” So yes, she’s great, yes, yes.

Marine’s GP was very good at referring her after her ectopic pregnancy.


And then a year afterwards, we went to a GP, she was great, she was like yes, okay no need to wait any longer now. She referred us and we went to the hospital for investigations. And that was, they were fantastic, the fertility nurses there were just great. So if anyone has a choice, definitely choose that. But it took so long to do that dye test on my tubes because the one person that could do it at the hospital was off sick. So that just, was dragged out.


Marine described how frightening it was to have an ectopic pregnancy which left her with only one...

Then, so that was a year, so two years then after that I suppose it is, I got pregnant eventually. That was after the wedding when we were starting to think, now, we really, really, really want to get pregnant. Timing and I was doing graphs with the temperature. I was peeing on the stick. I was doing all that and then we did get pregnant and it was ectopic. And it was quite traumatic, I don’t know, yes, it was. I they thought that I had aborted, what do you say, miscarried.
Yes, and so they had a scan. I was positive pregnancy test but the scan showed nothing. And then I went home and I still had terrible, terrible pains and bleeding and pure blood. So it was kind of clear pure blood. No clotting or anything like you do get with periods. And then they kept taking this blood test at a hospital and it didn’t go down, it just went up, up, up. So I think they were aware something probably, because the scan hadn’t showed anything they were like well, anyway I was admitted to A & E because of too much pain. In the end they said if you do get pain again, go straight in and it was just awful. Yes, so that was taken the next morning. So I was in hospital one night. I got an ear infection at the same time [laughs]. Oh it was horrible. But the longest night of my life I think.
And then I got the next morning they took it away and then they had to take the whole tube off, and then they said that the other tube looked fine, and the consultant said to try for another year, but if nothing had happened for that year, then to start investigations.
So we decided to have like fun that year and not think about it. But I did think about it and I think I didn’t acknowledge how traumatic it was. I mean I still get a bit tearful thinking about it now. I think I just felt I wasn’t allowed to be upset because so many people had harder times, blah blah blah. 
So in the mean time they put on waiting list for IUI I think it is. But I kind of in my heart knew that it was the tubes, because although he said it looked fine, he said it was in a funny place and he put it right or something. I just thought there is something wrong with my tubes.
So when I eventually got the dye test, I was taken off the waiting list, because there was no point, because there was nothing, not a chance, not a single thing going up. 
And then we were put on the waiting list for IVF and we decided to try some private attempts whilst we were waiting. So I mean we were very lucky, because we got two attempts on the NHS. 

Marine had started to come to terms with becoming a successful, childless career woman and was...

No it feels a long time ago and, it’s really strange how I now understand, like my perspective on the whole thing has changed a bit. So I try to hold on to how it felt before I got pregnant, just not to forget that, but suddenly the thing is, it was me and the others with babies before and suddenly I’m in that other group and that feels quite odd. Because after a while, because I mean we did try, what was it, five or six years really when you count it all up and so, I started, towards the end when we’d had that many attempts, and it wasn’t going. And we were just going to go through the frozen ones. In fact we said at that last frozen we said don’t try to save them. Just thaw as many as you think you need to get me pregnant. If this doesn’t work out we’ll find something else. So we were both starting to go towards the adoption idea. And during that time I was starting to re-do my identity in a way. So I thought I can be a childless, successful, career woman. I’ll spend a lot of money on my nephews and nieces and on my godchildren. I’ll, you know, be the fun aunt. You know, and I was really trying to change like my image of myself. Obviously who I was. And yes. So yes. 
And then suddenly I’m a Mother. So then I had to re-work that again [laughs]. Because I starting to quite like that image of me being a slim da di da women with perfect boobs at age 45. So now that’s all had to be reworked. And that’s fine, that wasn’t hard, but I am in that other group. I’m now one of those women who wants to talk about my baby all the time and blah blah and I’m really trying to keep that fresh memory of what it’s like being on the other side.

Marine describes how frightening she found her pregnancy.


Terrifying yes. Especially the first few weeks. I had a bit of bleeding and I was on quite, they continued the injections until twelve weeks because I was so, yes, because I tried so hard, and they were worried about losing it, and so I was on quite a lot of drugs and I was worried how those drugs would affect the baby and especially about hormones, because I think if there’s a lot of hormone problems in pregnancy, they think there’s a link to, to you know, gender related, but they don’t [Baby] know whether it’s a boy or girls, these kind of things and so yes, I was worried about that and I was worried about losing it. Yes. I counted every day until about week 29, 30 and then after that it started to go really quickly but it was up until then just every day I woke up, yes, it’s still there. So, terrifying.


Marine describes how she was always keen to go straight for adoption, but her husband had wanted...

I had always thought that if I couldn’t have babies, kids, I wouldn’t even try IVF I would just try straight to adoption. I had a lot of prejudices against IVF. I didn’t think it was right in a way. I don’t know, I didn’t know what it was and I just thought that it wasn’t for me to do that. Okay. I just thought it wasn’t for me basically. And I just always thought that there was enough children to kind of… you know, I suppose I was a bit naïve about the whole thing actually. Not realising how important it is, for many people, to have your own, as such, although obviously adopted children become your own once you have done that. 
And also for me there was a certainty in the adoption that I would get a child in the end, and for me I didn’t care what child, as long as there was a baby. And I think I still feel like that actually, although I’m really happy that I had her. I still think that if we hadn’t gone through the IVF I would have had another baby that would have been fantastic and lovely, that I would have loved, so, whereas for my husband it was more important to do the IVF thing. He wanted to try and exhaust that route completely and he would even consider donations, whereas that was, that was my line. I would not do that. Yes, I thought IVF was really hard work, really tough, and I know adoption processes are hard too, but at least there’s no way they would have rejected our application. I just know it, because we both have stable jobs and blah blah blah, so… yes. There was that certainty I think. 

Marine said her husband had been very positive and optimistic at the start of treatment. He found...


I suppose this was towards, like after about a year and a half of it I started to, because [husband] was getting. I found it really hard in the beginning and then I got better and better at it, because then I thought okay I’m seeing the end of it now. Whereas [husband] was very hopeful in the beginning so he found it harder and harder, the more attempts, so yes.


I remember the last failed attempt, it was like ringing up, oh it didn’t work out, oh okay, so we hugged and cried a bit and then I was like, “Okay now I’m going to sing and dance.” And I just felt a spurt of energy and this relief in a way that at least I wasn’t just waiting any more. And I was really high [laughs]. Which is so bizarre and [husband] was really down and he found it even harder, because I was so up about. I wasn’t up about it, I just could not be depressed any more. I just had to get on with things. And so I remember going out and buying loads of sweets and sort of treating him as though he had a flu on the sofa with nice films. Yes. Yes [laughs].

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