It’s a great pleasure to announce that this week’s guest blogger is none other than Instagram influencer Chris (IG alias: @ittakes_three). Chris brings the male perspective to discussions around fertility on his platform and has been very vocal and active about breaking the societal stigmas surrounding the topic. This article is a raw, personal, and emotive account of Chris’s and his partner’s fertility journey. It’s so moving to see how the couple find support and inspiration in each other.
I remember the moment it happened, in London at our clinic having a follow-up appointment after previously hearing the heartbeats of our twin girls. We were ecstatic feeling full of confidence. This was it. Our pregnancy. The cycle that worked and better than that we were going to have twins meaning two children, unbeknownst to us at the time twin girls.
But the moment I’m talking about here isn’t joyous or a cause for celebration as we had now been told we were miscarrying. One heartbeat had stopped and the other soon would. It’s one of those moments that in my opinion doesn’t matter how prepared you could be, you would never be prepared enough. We of course were not. We left the clinic and were told to call the early pregnancy ward at our local hospital to start our miscarriage treatment.
This may be a sombre start to a blog around IVF but I felt it right to explore the reality of our infertility and highs and lows of our journey. Together, Becca and I are inseparable and a team willing to do anything for our miracle baby but mentally we both have individual struggles that we need to work through and strategise, sometimes on our own.
I struggle, and sometimes with great difficulty. I struggle selfishly because as a career minded individual, I feel my life has been put on hold for reasons others will never need to. But then I struggle with guilt for even thinking this. I feel guilt for the procedures my wife has to undertake while I can only stand and watch. I realise my feelings and emotions are just as important as Becca’s, but as a husband I often find myself feeling upset, useless and trying to understand not just the situation but how best to support my wife.
I come back to our story, leaving the clinic and making calls to all of our local hospitals to find the next available appointment. For me there’s an element of disconnect, I’m good at doing this, but I can see the tears in my wife’s eye as the reality starts to set in. This isn’t our first miscarriage.
I’ve been on this IVF journey for several years now. We’ve had one IUI and three fresh IVF cycles, we’re due to have a frozen cycle towards the end of the year. Even though we’ve had a great amount of pain and heartache, IVF is an amazing journey that for people such as us – suffering with infertility – provides a much-needed hope. The friends I’ve made along the way are invaluable to the life I now lead. I talked at the start about feeling stuck in my career due to our IVF, but because of feeling a need to stay mentally strong I’ve learnt to adapt. A new career has formed too, not only creating a new t-shirt company to raise money for IVF charities but an educational TV show that’s being released in August with two amazing IVF warriors I’ve met along the way.
Even as men, with a societal stigma to hide our feelings, infertility still has a tendency to break us. But through help, guidance, support and IVF we can be stronger than before. My journey isn’t over, there might even be more heartbreak to come, but with Becca and I working as a team and putting all aspects of our health, both physically and mentally, at the forefront of everything we do, we can get through this. I’ve had to learn to be in control of a situation that at times made me feel like a spectator, and my wife has been the biggest support of the changes I’ve made.
Visit Chris’s account here. You can learn more about the #nomanleftbehind campaign by following this link. If you want to join this campaign and share your story, drop us a line on our Facebook or Instagram.