So, just a few months later and I’m having coffee with Wendy again as she shares the next part of her and her husband’s journey.
She began by bringing me up to speed on the heartache of further failed attempts at IVF. First in November and then starting the new year with discovering the transfer from Christmas Eve hadn’t worked either. Each with an agonising 10 day wait between the transfer and pregnancy test.
At this point they decided on a break for the whole thing – a new start for the new year. She wanted to focus on getting back to business and getting back to herself and booked a holiday. However, they found out that due to current guidelines they had to be treated in concurrent months so despite wanting a break, it was time start the process again at the end of the January. She was encouraged to try scratching and had that done. On the day of having the process done she came to a healing service at church. Her birthday was given as a ‘word of knowledge’ so she came up for prayer, specifically that the embryo inside her would attach properly. She had some more prayer on the Sunday night with her husband as well.
Psychologically she was really low. She spent the whole day that she had to go into London to get blood results mentally preparing for yet another negative result.
An hour later, she got a phone call to say she was pregnant.
And so began the psychological warfare. Such excitement and joy to receive a positive pregnancy test but hard not to fear the worst or wonder if it’s all just in your head. A six week scan made it real to them but waiting another six weeks was torture.
They went on a trip to the States, still struggling to accept or believe it. They flew back on the Sunday and thought they had a 12 week scan on the Tuesday. This turned out just to be the the booking in appointment, thankfully they had an understanding superintendent who saw how crucial it was for them to have a scan and managed to push it forward.
Now, at over five months pregnant, Wendy said it was only really in the last two or three weeks that she’s felt like should could fully enjoy it and embrace it. Once again, deciding that controlling your attitude is key she’s resolved to try and own and enjoy it more. She talked about some teaching from Joyce Meyer about finding peace and rest within the madness. That said. she was keen to reiterate that she doesn’t want to talk about babies all the time. Like many pregnant women, that’s often the subject people immediately jump. ‘I’m still me.’ she said. ‘I like to have normal conversation‘!
She talked about the battle with anxiety even at the 20 week scan and waiting for kicks when she didn’t know what she was looking for. She also had issues with her placenta being in the wrong position but again, miraculously this moved through prayer.
So, now a bit further on in her journey I asked her what not to say to someone who’s struggled with infertility and is now pregnant.
- Assume they only want to talk about babies.
- Ask whether it happened ‘miraculously’ of through ‘IVF’. Does it matter?
- Ask private details on social media – not the place people!
- ‘That is great, maybe with baby no. 2 it will happen naturally’. The issue of second child infertility is particularly delicate as you don’t have access to IVF on the NHS, this is often even harder than people’s struggles the first time round.
- Assume they’re feeling confident and together. They’re not immune to all the feelings normal expectant mums get. The overriding thought is often ‘Help, I’m having a baby!’
- It’s very common in our culture to place negative expectations and assumptions on expectant mums. Often well meant but everything from ‘Just make sure you enjoy yourself now while you still can’ to ‘get lots of sleep you won’t see much of that again’ can make entering into parenthood scarier and harder than it needs to be. There are so many positives about having a baby – perhaps there’s a way to focus on these… Loads more on this in Helen Goldenberg’s book ‘Jesus, Your Baby and You’.