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Oliver ' Interview 40

Age at interview: 39
Brief Outline: After several cycles of IVF, Oliver's wife had a daughter.
Background: Jonathan is a freelance TV editor, married to Marine (Interview 38). They have a daughter. Ethnic background' White British.

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Oliver and his partner (Marine Interview 38) started to try for a family before they got married. They tried for a couple of years and nothing happened. Shortly after their wedding Marine did conceive but it was an ectopic pregnancy and she had to have surgery to remove a fallopian tube. They were advised by doctors to try for another year, but still nothing happened so they started to pursue treatment. They were referred to a NHS clinic but also tried through a private fertility clinic. They were referred for IUI but scans revealed that Marine did not have a working fallopian tube so she went on to IVF. After four full cycles of IVF and seven cycles started, in a two year period, they were successful with a frozen embryo cycle. Their daughter was 7 months old at the time of the interview.

 

Oliver said that he had pushed for them to try IVF before they went for adoption.

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[Wife] would possibly have stopped before me. I pushed it a bit more, and I mean she will say that she probably would have gone for adoption I pushed for IVF, I really did want to have our own child. And how that would have been had we not got a child I don’t know. It would have been difficult. But obviously now we’re very happy, but it would have been very interesting to see how we’d have coped. I think we would have been okay. Again, she would have been a bit cross with me about it, to say the least, she would have said, wasted years. But, I think you have to give it the opportunity.
 
Why is it important to do that?
 
I’d always wanted my own child. And I think that if we had the opportunity to do it we should give it a try. And now seven cycles is a lot. I think, as I say, we would have stopped when our eggs ran out, at that point. So we had probably one more attempt, so it would have been five attempts which is a lot. And if we’d have not had so many eggs, I don’t know if we’d have tried so much. I think we’d have probably stopped at three. Maybe four. She was, I think three was about [wife]’s limit. She was ready for it. She could do a fourth and she only kept going because we had the eggs. And after that I think we would have stopped. 
 
 

Oliver had a quiet word with some friends when they were “pushing it”, asking about how their...

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We’d talk about it to some friends, but it has to be on your terms, and people can’t ask you and say, “Oh,” because, you know, people are interested and I think people are trying to be helpful. There were a couple of people who would keep pushing it, even though I would have a quiet word and say, “Please don’t say anything. Please.” But they would keep pushing it, and that would be really upsetting. 
 
And I mean that’s a great thing for people to be aware of actually is to try and, it’s a great thing that the man can do in the relationship is to let people know that we don’t, or we do want to talk about it, some people are very open, but just to make it clear. Because people don’t understand, they want to be involved. And it’s like well, yes, this is really tough. So you’re not there all the time, you know, the friends aren’t there all the time, whereas you two are living in that relationship and its only you know how you’re feeling how you’re feeling at that time.
 
 

Oliver described how hard it was to manage the kind but curious intentions of their friends. He...

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And did you get support from talking to friends or family or ...?
 
Well yes, and no. This is tricky. You have to be, it depends how you want to play it. I’m quite open. So I don’t mind telling everyone about this, but it’s much harder I think for the woman to go through this, because all the pressure is on her. For the man it’s very simple, you just go off and do and your bit and then you don’t really, you know, you’re just there being supportive, but all the pressure is on her and so people, how’s it going? Is everything okay? And that, you know, as we say to people, “If there was anything to tell you, you’d know. So don’t ask. There’s no real point.” If they are very close friends then it, but even then, there’s no point in asking, “How’s it going then?” Because it’s bloody obvious. We are not pregnant, so yes, don’t talk about it. And there’s good days when you can talk about it, and there’s really bad days when the hormones are playing up and you’ve, you know, you’ve had a row yourselves and it’s all just getting on top of you, and the last thing you want to do is talk about it, so …
 
But did you want to talk about it at any point? Did you find…?
 
We’d talk about it to some friends, but it has to be on your terms, and people can’t ask you and say, “Oh,” because, you know, people are interested and I think people are trying to be helpful. There were a couple of people who would keep pushing it, even though I would have a quiet word and say, “Please don’t say anything. Please.” But they would keep pushing it, and that would be really upsetting. 
 
And I mean that’s a great thing for people to be aware of actually is to try and, it’s a great thing that the man can do in the relationship is to let people know that we don’t, or we do want to talk about it Some people are very open, but just to make it clear. Because people don’t understand, they want to be involved. And it’s like well, yes, this is really tough. So you’re not there all the time, you know, the friends aren’t there all the time, whereas you two are living in that relationship and its only you know how you’re feeling how you’re feeling at that time.
 
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