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What’s wrong with me?
I’ve always wanted to be a mum. It was always a question of “when” not “if” I would have children. It never occurred to me that it might not happen. So, when my husband (Mr Becca) and I had been trying to conceive for about a year and nothing had happened, I started to ask myself the questions that I’m sure anyone who has been through any kind of infertility issues has asked themselves a hundred times – what’s wrong with me? Why hasn’t it happened yet? Is this my fault?
For the first few months, I didn’t stress about it. I was a student midwife and I knew that these things could take time. I was convinced that it would happen next month… Or the month after that. Or the month after that. When we’d been trying for 6 months with no luck, I started to worry. As months turned into a year, I became convinced there was something wrong with me.
Getting pregnant filled my every thought and every negative pregnancy test and every period was harder to cope with than the last. I began searching for a reason – google became my best friend and I spent hours on fertility forums, comparing myself to other people, desperate to find a solution. I tried all the natural hormone balancers, despite having no indication that my hormones were imbalanced, read books about fertility diets and the right kind of exercise to do etc… And then I went to see my GP.
After I had all the usual blood tests and they all came back “normal” (a word I quickly grew to hate with a passion that bordered on insanity), I was referred to our local hospital for further fertility investigations. It was at this point that my GP suggested, almost as an afterthought, that Mr Becca should probably get himself checked out too.
Male Factor Infertility
The absolute last thing I expected was to be told that our problem was male factor infertility (MFI). In our case, that was a polite way of saying that Mr Becca’s sperm count was low. Very low. This came as a shock to us, because he’s one of the healthiest people I know. He eats healthily, exercises regularly, doesn’t smoke, rarely drinks… After months of being convinced that the problem was something to do with me, getting this news was a blow and felt like a step back.
I was certain that if there was something wrong with me, there would be something I could do to fix it. But being told that the problem was MFI meant that I had no control at all. And the worst part was that neither did MrBecca! There was no explanation (and still isn’t) for why this happened and nothing that he could do to fix it. Trust me, we tried. Mr Becca tried everything, from vitamins to having showers instead of baths, to giving up riding his bike and saunas at the gym! Nothing made any difference.
I think Mr Becca struggled with feelings of guilt during this time, just like I had during the months I spent convinced there was something wrong with me. But the truth is that it’s no one’s fault and there’s nothing either of us could do about it. It wasn’t my problem; it wasn’t Mr Becca’s problem; it was our problem. WE had male factor infertility and we had to work through it together.
It wasn’t all bad news…
Finally having a diagnosis meant that our Consultant didn’t waste time trying things that wouldn’t work with us – instead of trying clomid or IUI, we were referred for IVF with ICSI, which was our only viable option.
If you’re not bored yet and want to know what happened next, you can find out here. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to read as many blog posts about other people’s journey as you can, and one I’d recommend is Country Mumkin’s Our Journey To Pregnancy, for a different experience of fertility issues.