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I was told I was infertile at 15...I was devastated
4:00pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Local News
The devastation of not being able to conceive can leave couples in a state of turmoil.
This week marks the first ever National Infertility Awareness Week, which aims to end the isolation and secrecy of infertility.
VICTORIA LENGTHORN, 25, of Basildon, breaks the silence.
I WAS 15 when I was told that I was infertile. The news was so upsetting, because ever sinceIwas a little girl, all I ever wanted was to be a mum.
The discovery was made when I started to have terrible stomach pains as a teenager.
I had a scan which revealed cysts and after an operation to remove them, I was told it was unlikely I would ever conceive naturally.
The reason was my eggs weren’t growing big enough in order to be fertilised.
It felt like I had lost a part of myself as a woman when I was told that I might not have a baby naturally.
It was something that always played onmymind growing up and so I wanted to start trying for a baby early with my then-boyfriend Jason.
I had spoken to people who had trouble conceiving and didn’t ask for help straight away. As a result theydidn’t receive IVF and have a baby until their mid-thirties. I didn’t want that to be me.
A lot of people who are going through infertility problems suffer behind closed doors.
For me, it was partly because I didn’t want to think, let alone talk about it, I just wanted to focus on the day I held my baby inmy arms.
However, I do think people should talk more. It can be a lonely time and you feel like you’re the only people going through it.
Jason and I knewwewanted kids early on and we began trying when I was 19.
I was already seeing a gynaecologist and he gave me tablets to boost my fertility.
I didn’t fall pregnant and so I was given injections which were stronger. However, I had an allergic reaction to them and my legs became covered in blotches, as though I had been stung by stinging nettles.
The nurse said maybe I should stop but I wanted to carry on, despite the pain.
I wanted a baby so much, I didn’t let myself think about the alternative.
I saw friends having babies naturally and I just thought ‘when will it be me?’ When I was 21, I was told the injections had not worked and I would not be eligible for IVF treatment until I was 23.
I was so upset. I could tell the people in the clinic knew I had been given bad news. I couldn’t stop crying.
I had no idea I would have to wait so long. I just assumed the tablets or the injections would work.
I argued all of the time with Jason and was a nightmare to live with.
I felt as though I could never have fun because all I could think about was whether I would be able to have a baby.
I got a ten-week-old shih tzu puppy, who I spoiled so much because I didn’t have a baby to look after.
We continued to try for a baby and the pressure to conceive put a strain on the relationship.
Only people who have been through the treatment understand the rollercoaster ride.
The hormones and the highs and lows of not knowing whether you will fall pregnant are very stressful.
I was asked whether I wanted to wait until after my marriage to Jason in May last year, but I said I wanted to start straight away in March.
They pump you full of drugs and I did not feel like myself at all. I was all over the place and really angry at times!
I hated everyone when I was going through it.Iwas like a different person.
The day after the wedding, we were out shopping and spotted a little baby snowsuit. I fell in love with it and Jason said if I took a pregnancy test, we could go back and buy it.
I took the test, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at it.
Jason looked and I have never seen a grown man cry like he did. He was over the moon.
I remember hiding the scan of my unborn baby under my handbag in the hospital waiting room.
I didn’t want the other couples who hadn’t fallen pregnant to see it, because I knew how devastated theymust be feeling.
The whole way through the pregnancy, I could not myself truly believe I was going to have a baby, in case it never happened.
It wasn’t until Leo was in my arms that it hit me. I was a mum!
He is eight months now and I couldn’t imagine life without him here.
I feel a connection with all women who have been told they are infertile and those whohave had IVF.
People need to be more open about their problems and realise there is hope.
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