In this video we discuss the topic if fertility, and two women tell their experiences on how they dealt with fertility problems.
Tags:fertility treatments,conception,dealing with fertility problems,fertility problems,parenting tips,simplymediatv
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Emma Howard: Hello and welcome to Baby Talk. I am Emma Howard, coming up on today’s show we will be talking about fertility problems with Relate Counselor Christine Northam and discussing a new book entitled How to Get Pregnant with its Author Harriet Griffin. But first, I am please to say that I am joined on the sofa by Chris Smith and Kim Richards. Now both these women have had different experiences of trying to conceive using IVF. Hello to you both!
Chris Smith: Hello!
Kim Richards: Hello!
Emma Howard: Thanks for coming. Now Kim, I have got to say sitting here with a gorgeous four year-old Joe hello! The happy result of IVF, but it took you a long time, what’s your story?
Kim Richards: Well I was about 18 and just always wanted to a mom but I was also probably very coward and didn’t like doctors or nurses or hospitals.
Emma Howard: Not many people do.
Kim Richards: But I was a really big coward and I just kept them off, I went a few times but then start off test, but then canceled it, because then I check them down.
Emma Howard: Now let me just say because people who are hearing will be wondering. You are 44 now and you had Joe, just 39 going into 40. So when you were not so young, how long did you try for it before you felt, something isn’t right here?
Kim Richards: Well from fist off we just tried and I just with hope, I have done so many pregnancy test thinking--I have always had irregular periods anyway so that was--
Emma Howard: That was the sign of something could be wrong. So after how many years, did you think, we need to get some more help?
Kim Richards: I went to see a doctor, a couple of years after I have been married, because of the fact I have had irregular periods when I was at school and I was told that because of my age and when I will get married it will sought itself and--
Emma Howard: Really.
Kim Richards: Could figure that one out but I was so far f**ked up if you know I mean. I just almost got used to it by then and then I was told I had a hormone imbalance but then that was it nothing else, and so then when I got married, we just so far tried to, first off we just about--we wanted to started a family and then nothing happened and I just--we just said you know one day--and so I have mentioned a couple of times--just after a couple of years and that was when they kept sending me for tests and referring me to the hospital and things and then I would go for the consultation and then when it’s over they wanted to do more invasive tests, that soon were taken out.
Emma Howard: And you have cancelled.
Kim Richards: Yeah. So which I would kick myself for now, but then after we have been married, about 14-15 years, we had parted, we had separation for nine months and then we got back together and after telling everybody else it happens, it happens, it doesn’t, it doesn’t, it didn’t bother me, and what did bother me was that we got parted.
Emma Howard: And of course when you have been into 18, everyone is then expecting you to have a little Joe. Would you like to do some coloring yes Joe, we are talking about how you came along, oh look at that! Will you color those in for a moment? Let’s do a picture for a moment. Did you find that hard, everyone thinking you would be made along [Voice Overlap]
Kim Richards: Well the thing is when we got together, we were going out since 6 months, then we just finally went out until we got married, because everyone said, you are into the baby Joe, quite a long time, but in and all, everybody just so the reason we got married so --
Emma Howard: Then you say that you kicked yourself and you are forcing forward now, when did the serious treatment start then for you?
Kim Richards: I was referred to in 1997, and to say that I have been referred there and that I couldn’t take anymore for that year, and funding was short and that they would say to me, the following year.
Emma Howard: Because this was something we should say for you, was never going to be a private option for you really, you have to do this on the NHS. So you had to go with their time too.
Kim Richards: That’s right and I think because of my age and because neither I have had any children before, I don’t think it was the forward year before where she got appointment, that was in 1997, it was all in 1997 because of first letter, but it was in 98 that she called us in, in the beginning we did the preliminary tests and everything, and so I got started.
Emma Howard: Now sitting next to you is Christine, you are going down the different, you are going down the private root here actually.
Chris Smith: I am yes.
Emma Howard: And we must say your age, because you are 38 and you have been through--you don’t look 38. you have been trying a long time as well. Haven’t you?
Chris Smith: I have been trying since I was 19, I got married at 19.
Emma Howard: So you both got married so young and trying for such a long time. Where are now in this?
Chris Smith: I am on my second marriage, we are starters, and I have just done and now we have cycle which I found IVF negative.
Emma Howard: Yeah which is really hard and I think it’s really brave of you to come in and talk about it, especially you are sitting next to Kim who has been lucky enough what--they haven’t all worked, because I know Kim. But when I look at Joe, is it easy to look at something as growing up. There you go Joe that was very enthusiastic.
Chris Smith: It’s certainly easier to look at somebody who has been through the process I was kind of out with the happening result.
Emma Howard: But it must be hard to sit next to people with young babies when especially really at a stage when you are hoping that will happen again. You look so hopeful there, you are sort of daunting it seems to me about this at all, you are incredibly positive.
Chris Smith: I am not going to fated I will become mother one way or the other one way or the other.
Emma Howard: And do you think that the private root is much more supportive because of your age in the NHSD thing while you are 38, so actually we are going to have to stop or we wouldn’t be able to carry on?
Chris Smith: At the moment you can’t get fund to nothing till you are 40 in most private patient care trusts, I know some people aren’t quite so lucky. For us, we had to move last year and we were on to guys and but we were back into sending them, we were told because we have moved, we got to go back to our patient care trust and ask for the funding and to find out where the funding was got to going through and because of that and because of my age, we decided to go down the private route in the mean time.
Emma Howard: Now you two ladies have something else in common and that is that you both have a fear of hospitals a very real fit, and you talked about how you kicked yourself that you canceled those appointments and didn’t start earlier.
Kim Richards: I got few injections to put my off.
Emma Howard: and your hospital phobia is also very real and the private route has been very supportive on this, haven’t they? How did they help you overcome that?
Chris Smith: They have been very, very supportive. I too write letter to my consultant explaining all my fears I had and had a fantastic letter back from him and very, very understanding, trying to explain how he could help me. What we did--and that to me, it gave me a lot of confidence in the clinic and so--
Emma Howard: Quite practically what did they do Chris, what are the list of things that make it, what pulled you to follow through with the procedure?
Chris Smith: What I actually did -- my collection came out at the time that my consultant had, she wasn’t in unfortunately. However the nurses for the weekend, caught the whole team in early to get me first on the list, including the top professor from the clinic, and he was also fantastic allowed to me to wear my own night shirt. I had to go out and buy brand new one obviously, because you can’t wear just anything in the theatre and my sofa.
Emma Howard: So no hospital gown?
Chris Smith: No hospital gowns and I have so pretalked to the consultants before the egg collection. He said to me, we can’t do it without sedation because he knew that that was one thing I had a real problem with and I thought, both myself and my husband thought he was adjusting and out mouth came yes, before even resisting my breathe, but it was fantastic because I could get through it, I was aware of everything that was going around me and which in me--
Emma Howard: And was that comforting?
Chris Smith: It was, I can actually cope with it.
Emma Howard: Right, so information.
Chris Smith: I love to know what’s going on, curious I suppose, but I didn’t find it painful, but I didn’t have any anesthesia, I didn’t have any pain killers, but it wasn’t really painful for me, I think because that relaxed me, because I knew I was in control.
Emma Howard: Now sadly, this last attempt that hasn’t worked, but you will keep going, why would you keep going? Why is this something that you just won't withdraw?
Chris Smith: I do really want to be a mom, and we have got the funds ourselves because we have done it through savings, to do another try and we are not going to give up yet.
Emma Howard: You can be a mom by adoption. Hw do you feel about adoption?
Chris Smith: I would love to adopt, my husband is actually not quite so sure about it at the moment, he would love a child of his own.
Emma Howard: Yes and of course, you really need to go forward together as a team. there are something he might come around but you are very hopeful and I am sure they told you about the positivity of it, it means that there is quite strong chance it will happen, there are lots of women who have tried many times and eventually that door opened for them.
Chris Smith: I think you have always got to be positive, the moment you become negative, it starts to really get you down.
Emma Howard: It has cost you doing that, I mean your first marriage suffered because of this try and you didn’t have a child.
Chris Smith: It did, my first marriage, unfortunately my first husband due to gambling as a result of not being able to have child and that eventually drove me to end my marriage.
Emma Howard: So the pressure has been huge, but you are in a second marriage and both of you want the same thing and--
Chris Smith: And of course we have gone into it, knowing that we have these --
Emma Howard: Yes, of course, that’s very true and it hasn’t been a surprise--
Chris Smith: in our relationship.
Emma Howard: It was a surprise in your relationship Kim, wasn’t it? I mean the way you specifically think that was for different reasons?
Kim Richards: We had to face a lot of other problems at that time as far as wanting a baby was deep rooted, it was just when we got back together and we said, if we could like -- I really do want to try for baby before it’s too late and that’s when we went to our doctor and he referred us again and we went ahead with the IVF and we already wanted to do IVF, I tried to get it, but you took me out of it.
Emma Howard: It was you two are sitting here on this sofa, but what's it being like for your husband and your partners, it’s an awful lot of pressure on them as well, isn’t it?
Chris Smith: It is.
Kim Richards: My husband is quite laid back really and he doesn’t say although he keeps a lot to himself.
Emma Howard: Not always great in this situation. Isn’t it?
Kim Richards: He has been really supportive, and he wanted a baby as much as I did. So I mean it has been really good, but he doesn’t really say a lot, he just--we are okay, okay.
Emma Howard: Now what has it been like--I mean has it been as great, as wonderful as you thought or has it been quite shocking in a way that you never were prepared for?
Kim Richards: I mean I knew what it was like, because I have been there, my sister has got four children.
Emma Howard: Yes, your sister has four.
Kim Richards: So I knew what it was to have children, I was -- when I had the last, I stayed in the house for two weeks and she is such beautiful and the mid one came in, so it was me just giving birth. And so I knew it was going to be whole lot of work, I am not saying that it’s not easy, but I mean he has been a good baby, and so I have been really lucky with him, I did not really have to put a lot of sense.
Emma Howard: But also when you are obsessed with having a child and obsessed with loving and lack and that one comes along for a lot of women. There isn’t that automatic loving bond, so it can be quite shocking, especially that you believe in something that you wanted all your life, and then it can take six months to fall in love with your child, did you have that experience or when he came did you just think I have waited to see you, was it like that?
Kim Richards: Well I had to -- so I wasn’t actually awake through the birth, but when I woke up, he came over to me and he said it’s our baby and I just couldn’t believe a small baby, but yeah I just took him straight away and I did worry that there might be a problem but no he has never really had problem.
Emma Howard: Although a bond can come after a few weeks, lots of people don’t realize this, not always--
Kim Richards: I didn’t sleep in hospital, but I just kept sitting and looking at him, because I was completely--
Emma Howard: Now Kim--I mean driven by this vision, Chris I should say, your friends have helped to support your IVF goal, haven’t they?
Chris Smith: Yes, they have. I mean we both belong to a fantastic website, called Fertility Friend and without it I think a lot of us would find it that much more difficult.
Emma Howard: what it has been like sharing with other people and what difference does that have?
Chris Smith: It’s wonderful, because there are people, they actually understand when you are going through it, it’s really you and your husband to understand what’s going on and yeah, anybody else who has done it, your friends and family and they were supportive, actually you don’t really understand what's going on.
Emma Howard: And would you say is an emotional event that you waited most of the times and [Voice Overlap] and what do you do--you feel actually you must look after yourself in order to especially in your case when you are trying to pregnant all the time, you look very fit and healthy, is that very important?
Chris Smith: It is quite important I mean it’s my last try I gave up alcohol and caffeine and took plenty of vitamins and digital things that was adjusted which --
Emma Howard: Which you look, the shining picture of it.
Chris Smith: Thank you.
Emma Howard: And you have got another try, you have said that you are going to make close to date to set up and have to go --
Chris Smith: That’s right and I have to make it for yesterday, I am going to be making close to the clinic so actually set up another guy, hopefully I would think for mid March.
Emma Howard: Well Christine, we wish you best of luck and I really feel very close to you, the way you had a gorgeous little Joe, [Voice Overlap]. Kim thank you very much for bringing him and you had to long train journey. I think he has to [Voice Overlap] obviously. Thank you very much ladies.
Chris Smith: Thank you.
Kim Richards: Thank you.
Emma Howard: Now coming up after the break I am joining by Christine Northam from Relate who is here to offer some advice and emotional support to families plagued by fertility worries but first here is a look at some of your baby photos in our photo gallery.