Well, it’s been an interesting one for sure……
We started off the year full of hope, we had two remaining frozen embryo’s and were looking forward to my brothers wedding over in the US during the Summer. We watched our beautiful boy turn two in the spring and started the build up to our second frozen IVF cycle. At the end of April we had transferred one of our remaining embryo’s from our fresh cycle. I must admit I didn’t feel that confident but at 7dp5dt we had a positive test and we were thrilled! A January due date and I was very excited at the prospect of being “fat” over Christmas. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and by official test date the pregnancy tests were becoming more and more faint. A blood test a few days later confirmed our worst fears, another early loss. Miscarriage no.3.
Flying over to NYC in June was a welcome distraction and we had the most amazing time in the US. My brothers wedding in Vermont, time with the family in Boston and then back to NYC to finish off our US road trip. The memories we made as a family, the experiences and watching Austin in all the new surroundings were truly magical. I will be forever grateful for that trip.
When we came home we decided to give ourselves the summer off IVF and just try to enjoy time in our new home as a family of three. It was during the World Cup that Phil first started displaying symptoms of his tumour. A BBQ at the house on a warm sunny weekend left Phil in bed the following day with what we thought was sunstroke. The rest of the summer passed us by in a haze of warm weather and in September we transferred our last frozen embryo. I don’t know why but I just didn’t have a good feeling and this feeling proved correct when a pregnancy test at 7dpt5dt showed negative. The same on OTD and just like that we were left heartbroken once again.
We knew our only option was to do another fresh IVF cycle and we both agreed this would be our last attempt. So we looked forward to Christmas and the plan was to start IVF no.5 in the New Year. Before we even had a thought about planning our next IVF, Phil was diagnosed with Primary Brain Cancer. I have shared what happened with Phil’s diagnosis on a previous blog post here and as you can imagine it completely shook our world. Completely, utterly floored us. The surgery Phil faced was both scary and quick but thankfully he recovered so well and continues to amaze us with both his physical and mental strength.
So actually what awaits us in 2019 is going to be the biggest battle of our lives. Phil will start radiotherapy in the New Year, everyday (Mon-Fri) for 6 weeks. He will then have a 6 week break before embarking on Chemotherapy for most likely the remainder of the year. I will admit I have felt scared to start this journey. I am scared for what he will have to endure with the treatment and I am scared of the unknown. But amongst this we have the familiarity of IVF! After learning the chemotherapy will make Phil infertile, we decided to move forward with our original plans to start IVF in the New Year. Something we both feel very positive about. When I think about it all too much I feel very overwhelmed but I also feel happy to have a plan and we will try to take it day by day.
The MOST important thing for us next year is to make sure Phil is ok, that he gets through the treatment and responds well. We will take everything else in our stride, as the most important lesson I have learnt this year is to live. Because none of us know what the future holds. There are no New Year resolutions from us but we are supporting Emma (@mumologist) with her amazing #newyearscontribution campaign, by making sure others on similar journeys feel less alone. Both on our fertility and Phil’s treatment journey we hope to spread that kindness and sense of community by talking to those we meet or simply sharing a smile to those who need it. We both hope to become more involved with support groups and help build the communities we rely on.
I love my blog dearly and these wonderful little squares on Instagram. The support through our fertility journey and for Phil is completely overwhelming. I hope we can continue to help others and raise awareness by talking openly and honestly, sharing our experiences along the way. There are lots of plans going on behind the scenes too, hopefully I can talk more about that next year.
So THANKYOU, for all the support, all the messages of love and for most of all allowing me to be me. I’ve loved following so many inspiring and strong people and feel so proud to be part of this community.
2019 may be the hardest year yet, but we are ready and the gloves are on!