My name’s Caroline. I’m a writer and editor, originally from Sheffield, but now in Windsor, UK, living with my long-suffering husband and two puddy cats.
In early 2018, we had our first IVF cycle. We didn’t qualify for NHS funding at all, as I was over 35 years-old (yes, I know – so old) even though I am ‘fine’ and our issues are down to male factor. So we went to the Czech Republic instead (up yours UK!) had a pretty disastrous attempt and limped back, battered and bruised.
IVF is such a rollercoaster of an experience, that I wanted to document the highs and lows of cycle two and beyond. A kinda therapy, if you will, but also in the hope that I’d connect with other folk going through the same process.
Our second round was in the UK, August 2018. Another soul-crushing fail. IVF cycle three led to a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks, which pretty much topped everything off. This was followed by a frozen embryo transfer – our fourth attempt at IVF. This round changed everything, and we welcomed our baby girl into the world in May 2020.
A wise person once told me (or was it a US fertility guru post on Instagram?) that you can’t put your life on hold for IVF. You have to make plans – you have to have dreams – in case things don’t work out as you’d hoped. And so we do.
Our 2022 master plan is to sell our property and move ooop north in three and a bit years’ time. We want to downsize so we can start to enjoy our lives a bit more. Be less consumed with consumerism and the rat race, and have a bit more time to do all the stuff we would love to do (learn new skills, read more, keep fit etc.)
That’s The Plan, anyway.
I also want to become a fertility therapist to help people who are going through this process. I’ve always been interested in counselling, and used to volunteer at University. But that was a long time ago now. In September 2019, I began a part-time evening course and I’m so excited to have finally passed in March 2020. Hopefully I’ll continue to the next stage and, by 2022, I’ll be qualified and I can start putting some of my experiences to good use.
Before I got sucked into the fertility hellhole, I used to love a good old drink. I’m doing less of that these days (yawn) but I still enjoy the odd tipple, as well as reading, keeping fit, travelling, discovering new music and watching (good) reality TV. I’m also partial to the odd motivational quote, a sucker for a sing-along and I love, LOVE, a secondhand shop.