I’ve never made a secret of the fact Izzie was created by ICSI. I’m proud of her history, the fact we worked so hard for her and I’m still fascinated by the IVF process. I also hoped it may make people realise The Stork doesn’t just show up when we want it to and to think twice about asking others insenstive questions.
My openness about our treatment didn’t stop the nagging though. I used to love my husbands answer of ‘Well I’m shooting blanks and I’m not sure I want Michele going through IVF again.’ People were usually horrified yet blissfully quietened by this honest retort.
As it happened they were right about the clock ticking. We had 5 embryos in the freezer and as with all product containing eggs they had a Use By date. In our case 3 years from the date of freezing.
So when Izzie was just 5 months old, I found myself wondering about the possibility of another shot at IVF. I had it in my head that I’d probably need to be back in a proper cycle to start treatment and tried to dismiss the idea. I should carry on enjoying my young baby and this happy time together.
But the words proper cycle kept going through my mind. I hadn’t begun one but I’d still been feeding Izzie and I guessed it took a while to get back to normal. Then I thought back to when I’d recently evicted my husband from our bedroom because his cough was getting on my nerves. I’d thought he’d had Man flu, the Dr diagnosed him with Swine flu. When he came back from the Dr’s I felt more than a little guilty and went into the spare room to see if there was anything he needed. As it happened there was.
I took a pregnancy test for peace of mind. Plus it was the weekend and I fancied a glass of wine with a totally clear conscience. Happily I couldn’t have that glass of wine as the positive result was the most prominent I’d ever seen in the very many tests I’d done over the years. With our history though we kept the news to a close few.
It was a wise decision as at 8 weeks I started to bleed and was almost certain we were going down the miscarriage or ectopic road again. With a heavy heart I went for a scan, to be shown a tiny heart thumping (in the right place) and a small gap where I’d had a minor implantation bleed.
I allowed myself to tell people after 3 months and it turns out most nosey bods are also fertility experts. My news was met with remarks similar to ‘It happens a lot you know after that IVF’…’It’ll be the hormones still in your body after treatment’. Could they just not let me enjoy my moment of glory?
So exactly 14 months after Izzie, my IVF miracle was calmly induced into the world, I found myself staggering through the same labour ward, swearing like a sailor while thanking God I’d managed not to give birth on the way or in the car park. Jemima certainly did not have the same calm Izzie had at birth. She was angry, noisy and full of attitude but I definitely had that same all consuming, rush of love.
In fact Jemima’s arrival and appearance is so different to Izzie in every way. If it’d been the other way round and I’d had Jemima through ICSI it may have crossed my mind they’d made a mistake in the lab. Although there really is absolutely no doubt she’s our child. Beneath her soft prettiness, framed by her surprisingly fair hair, she has a strong resemblance to her father combined with his determination, crankiness and charm.
Usually I love someone for their strengths maybe even their weaknesses so it baffles me how I can love 2 children with such different personalities so equally and with such enormity. Especially as I’ve readily taken more aggravation and bad attitude from them, in their short lives than I have ever let anyone else get away with before.
So that was my life straight after ICSI, Mother Nature had a bit of a laugh and the stork finally showed up with our second delicious, 100% organic, baby girl.
Of course the only question left for the nosey crowd is ‘Do you want a boy” I am actually a little intrigued as to how they expect me to choose the sex of a baby. But the truth is I’m blissfully happy with what I’ve got. This time 4 years ago all I had was an appointment with a fertility specialist and a lot of hope.
In the last few years Mother Nature and Science have been good to me. They’ve given me 2 baby girls so different in creation, temperament and appearance yet whom I love equally, wholly and unconditionally with an intensity I never imagined was humanly possible.