My Infertility Story

It all started at University when I started getting very bad stomach pains that were so painful I was crying walking to the doctors. This happened a couple of times, with them saying I had a water infection and sending me on my way. I was pretty sure that wasn’t what this was. It was far worse than any pain I had experienced before.

My Infertility Story

One evening I got the pains again and I threw up. It was so bad I went to hospital where I was kept in for a few days and had lots of tests and lots of painkillers. They gave me a scan and found that I had a couple of cysts on my ovaries and that one of them had burst and I had bled into it, and that was probably what was causing the pain. They said I would need an operation.

The operation was supposed to take about 20 mins and should have been very straightforward. It actually took about 6 hours and I think it was a pretty scary time for my family as they didn’t really know what was happening.

I ended up having a laparotomy which is a big incision, right across the bottom of my belly, rather than the couple of tiny holes I was supposed to have. When they had looked inside me they had found that I had a borderline ovarian tumour and they had to remove one of my ovaries, my tube and a small part of my other ovary.

A borderline tumour isn’t actually on the borderline of being something as it sounds, but is actually a type of cancer. It was very scary waking up to find all this out, but luckily once it was removed it was gone and I didn’t have to have any treatment. Also they thought my one ovary should still function properly and there was no reason I wouldn’t be able to have children.

I had to have checkups and a scan every 3 months at first (and I still have one a year now) and I discussed having children with my consultant at one of my earlier appointments. No wait, that sounds wrong, I didn’t want children with my consultant, although he was lovely, he was a bit old for me (about to retire!)…. I discussed with my consultant my chances of getting pregnant.

He said that although there was no reason for me to struggle to get pregnant at that time, that as I got older and headed towards my thirties (I was 23 at the time) that I could potentially have troubles. We therefore decided to start trying for a baby straight away (no, not quiiiite straight away you dirty so and so).

I remember going to all my subsequent appointments three, or later on six months later, and the lovely lovely nurse who always remembered my name would be so nice to me and I could tell that she was really genuinely sorry for me that I still wasn’t pregnant. Ooh, it’s quite hard going back to these feelings.

After about a year of trying with no luck we went to the doctor and I was referred to a fertility specialist who I later grew to love. Yes, love. I would have his babies. Just kidding. He’s had his hand inside my belly and up my hooha, and not in a good way. That would be weird.

I had some tests and they couldn’t find anything wrong so he wanted to do another laparoscopy to have a look inside. I was absolutely terrified even though it was a simple operation because of what had happened last time and I made him promise that he wouldn’t take my remaining ovary. I was so scared I would wake up not being able to have children.

Well the operation went fine but he had found that because my previous surgeon had such big hands (seriously they were massive!) my bowel and my ovary had got stuck together (bleurgh), so I had to have ANOTHER operation to separate them. This time I was even more sh*t scared because I was now also worried something bad would happen to my bowel. And then I wouldn’t be able to have children or go to the loo.

The operation went fine and I think we decided to then try naturally for another six months. Another six months of crushing disappointment and sadness every month when I discovered I still wasn’t pregnant. By this point I was really just waiting to actually start trying something else as I’d accepted I wasn’t going to get pregnant naturally, but you still can’t help having that little bit of silly hope.

After that six months or so had passed, we met with my fertility consultant and decided to try IVF. The place we chose was actually run by my amazing consultant which I was very happy about. What I wasn’t happy about was being told I had to inject myself in my belly every day. I’ve been funny about my belly ever since my operations and so I reaalllly didn’t want to stab myself with a needle there. Luckily it could also be done in my leg. That obviously wasn’t fun either, it usually stung, sometimes I got big bruises, the drugs gave me awful awful headaches and made me feel so tired, and I was super hormonal (obviously – I was being pumped full of hormones!). Egg collection involves being put to sleep, which you think I would be used to, but actually I get more and more scared every time, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve always woken up.

The emotional side of IVF is really tough too, doing all this to your body and not knowing if it is going to work. Waiting to see how many follicles your body has grown, then how many will fertilise, then waiting from day to day to see how many have survived overnight, and if you’ll actually have one left to implant on the final day. It’s SO hard. But we knew it would be worth it.

I got pregnant. We were so so happy. We didn’t tell anyone for a day or two even though I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. Telling my mum and sister was so emotional. I had dreamed about this day for so long. I had got a t-shirt that said “Expecting….. Love” on it and I wore that, but my mum didn’t notice until I pointed it out and oh my god I was so happy to tell them. We were all crying and hugging, it was wonderful. I’m crying now thinking about it. The next day I was seeing my Dad so I was going to tell him. And then I started bleeding. I had to tell him because other people knew now but I had to say, “I’m pregnant… but I think I’m losing it”. I just wanted to give him my happy news. Everyone was lovely and supportive and hopeful for me of course, but I was pretty sure it was all going wrong.

It was. I had my beta levels tested and then again a few days later. It was one of those horrendous, ‘just wait and see’ times. My body was telling me I was losing my baby, but my beta levels were still rising so I couldn’t help clinging on to that little bit of hope which I think made it a lot worse. We were absolutely devastated and couldn’t stop crying. But I was still hopeful even though I knew really.

Then I started getting some pains and because they were where I would feel pain in an ectopic pregnancy (where it grows in the tube and is very dangerous), they brought me in for a scan. The sonogropher thought she could see something on the scan so they decided to admit me. I knew that if it was an ectopic pregnancy that I would definitely lose my only tube and would therefore never be able to have children naturally.

I had a lovely young doctor but who was obviously very new and a bit clueless. I was really upset already about what was happening and what might happen (plus the fact we were supposed to be going on holiday a few days later, which I felt I really needed and would now probably miss it), and he put the cannula in my arm with the grace of an elephant and made me squirt blood all over everywhere (me, him, chair, floor), I then got a bit woozy and nearly passed out (even though blood doesn’t bother me), which turned out to be a good thing as I was given a bed instead of being made to wait in the waiting room for a few hours!

When I asked my lovely silly doctor a couple of questions about the operation, he told me it was ok (that losing my remaining tube would mean I couldn’t ever get pregnant naturally) because I probably wouldn’t have ever been able to anyway…. I know that’s probably true, but I still had that hope until now, and it certainly didn’t help to hear him say it as I was so upset about that small chance being taken away from me.

Thankfully I wasn’t having an ectopic pregnancy, which I am so grateful about. And after the operation my beta levels finally started to decrease, so at least we could start accepting that we had lost our much longed for baby. As much as you can accept that. I’m also grateful that it happened very early on in the pregnancy. And I got to go on my holiday.

After all that I wasn’t ready to go through IVF again and I had no idea when I would be. Then suddenly one month a few months later, I realised I was very ready to try again and I wanted to start immediately (which you can’t do – it’s all about timings). We started as soon as we could and I think this time it was even harder. I seemed to feel worse, we knew what could happen even if the IVF itself worked, and this time we had to pay for it (in England you can have one round of IVF on the NHS – which I’m very grateful for).

It was totally worth it though of course, I got pregnant and 9 months later this little wonderful bundle was born….


I would go through all of our difficult journey again to have my daughter. All I’ve ever really wanted is to be a mum and it was all totally worth it in the end.

To all the people who are desperately trying for a baby right now, you are in my thoughts. I know how hard it is to watch all the people around you getting pregnant so effortlessly (or worse, accidentally), but your time will come one way or another and I promise you it will all be worth it in the end. What you are going through right now is just the journey you have to go on to get your little one. Stay strong.

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  1. 18th June 2013 / 11:38 pm

    Wow. That is an incredible story. You tell it with such frankness and truthfulness, I almost feel like I’m right there with you in the room!

    This is an amazing example of maintaining perspective and hope – thanks for sharing.

    • 24th June 2013 / 3:44 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comments Emily. I’m glad my post comes across that way.

  2. Anna
    19th June 2013 / 10:12 pm

    wow, this story rings so many bells for me. i too had shocking pains, an ovarian cyst rupture + subsequent removal of ovary and tube. i came off BC at xmas time, so i could ‘clear’ my system, ready for baby-time. We’re into our second month TTC – fingers crossed things work! thanks for sharing your story. you’ve been through a lot. really pleased you have your little girl now :)

    • 24th June 2013 / 3:48 pm

      Wow, that is crazily similar Anna! So sorry you had to go through all that too. I think these things make us stronger though. Sending you HUGE good luck vibes with TTC, please let me know when you get pregnant, I can’t wait to hear your happy news when it happens x

  3. 20th June 2013 / 4:13 pm

    Wow…such a wonderful story! I feel like you going through all you went through to have your precious baby girl and the fact that you would do it all again just to have her just goes to show the love that you have for her. Your story is very inspiring and I think it is brave for you to share something so personal with us so thank you. :)

    • 24th June 2013 / 3:50 pm

      Oh yes, she is totally worth everything I went through and more! I’m glad you think it is inspiring, I hope it can give hope to people in a similar situation. Thanks so much.

  4. Melissa
    21st June 2013 / 4:42 pm

    Thank you so very much for sharing your story, it brought tears to my eyes. We are currently trying with one miscarriage and no other luck (going on a year and 7 months). Your story gives me hope and i’m grateful for it, thank you again for being wonderfully open and honest about that horrible time in your life.


    PS. your babe is absolutely precious beyond words!

    • 24th June 2013 / 3:55 pm

      Apparently I’ve made quite a few people cry with this post… sorry about that! I’m so sorry you have had to go through that. I really feel that what I went through was the journey to my daughter and this is your journey to your child. It’s so hard to go through but it will all be worth it in the end. Sending you so much hope and love and luck in getting your baby. Thinking of you. I can’t wait to hear your happy news when it finally happens x

  5. 1st July 2013 / 1:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. Such a beautiful baby.

  6. 29th July 2013 / 10:32 pm

    Ahh, thank you for sharing your story, your experience with the junior doctor and the blood taking is very similar to mine when I had my miscarriage, cover in blood and so was the doctor! It made me and my OH giggle though which we really needed at such a dreadful time… I’m suffering with secondary infertility and have been trying for another baby for almost 2and a half years now, we thought we had finally got lucky last Christmas when I fell pg naturally (I have a blocked right tube) but that ended in miscarriage at 11 weeks, I am really struggling to get my head round it all at the moment but reading your amazing story has really put a smile on my face, thank you for that and giving me some hope, you are a brave, amazing woman x
    Karen recently posted..Mondays Moment of Wisdom – Pearl Number 45My Profile

    • 24th February 2015 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you so much Karen. I really hope you have got your wish by now. I’m so glad my post helped you a little bit x

    • 24th February 2015 / 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much Elle. I agree; you just don’t expect it to happen to you do you? x

  7. 3rd August 2013 / 12:18 am

    Your bravery and optimism are inspiring. To have your life change on a dime and then constantly be in flux is enough to make the average person lose all hope and become cynical. We’ve experienced heartbreak in the fertility area as well, so we completely empathize with you. Secondary fertility is very difficult. But, like you said, it’s totally worth it in the end. We would experience the worst to have our babies. So happy to hear your patience was rewarded with your beautiful daughter.
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    • 24th February 2015 / 4:30 pm

      Thank you. I am sorry to hear you had to go through similar x

  8. Benenden Fertility Centre
    5th August 2013 / 1:06 pm

    Such a heartwarming story, congratulations on your beautiful baby girl.
    It is brilliant that you are able to share your experiences with others, it is important that people preparing to go through this treatment are able to understand as much as they can.

  9. 26th August 2013 / 3:07 pm

    Oh, I have so been there. So glad you had a happy ending to your story! She’s beautiful.

    • 24th September 2013 / 2:41 pm

      Thanks so much Cate! I’m sorry to hear you have been through some tough times too. By the way, I love the way your name is spelt! :)

  10. 11th November 2013 / 10:51 pm

    Wow what an amazing journey you have been on and you are so brave to share it.
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    • 12th November 2013 / 5:16 pm

      Thanks so much Kizzy! I am off to check out your blog now :) Thanks for commenting.

  11. Emily
    2nd May 2014 / 8:48 pm

    I hadn’t realised how much you’d struggled to have your beautiful daughter Louise. I’m so glad things came good. Great writing too, I enjoyed it. We’re still half heartedly trying for baby number 3 but after 6 miscarriages of various length I’m not counting my chickens x

    • 29th June 2014 / 9:00 pm

      Oh Emily I’m so sorry to hear that; that must be really difficult to go through. Thanks for the lovely comments. Wishing you so much strength and good thoughts. Take care xx

  12. Ryan
    29th June 2014 / 9:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. My wife and I are trying to get pregnant and are close to hitting the one year mark with no success. We are about to take the next step to see a fertility specialists, have tests done, and etc. It’s been an incredibly difficult journey for my wife who wants nothing more than to be a mom. The hardest part for her is like you mentioned in the last paragraph, seeing everyone else get pregnant without even trying. Thanks for your story and the inspiration.

    • 9th July 2014 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you for sharing Ryan. I hope you and your wife are successful with fertility treatment if that is what you decide to do. Sorry you are going through this and I hope this is just part of your journey to your baby. I was obviously the same as your wife; all I had ever wanted was to be a mother, so then to struggle so much with becoming one was really really hard. It was worth it though :) Wishing you and your wife so much strength, positivity and hopefulness. Take care xxx

  13. 11th July 2014 / 10:20 am

    I am so so glad this had a happy ending! How awful
    To go through all that so young. Thank goodness they found it early and that you could go on to have your own special baby. I have always feared not being able to have children and feel so thankful that I can. My cousin who is a year older than me is not so lucky and had cervical cancer that required removing her womb and ovaries, she has eggs frozen but lives with a cloud over her knowing that she will never carry her baby and that she may never have her own biological child. I’m so glad this was not the case for you and that you have your little miracle to love forever! Xxx
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  14. 11th July 2014 / 9:44 pm

    Such a touching, positive post that will encourage so many, I have friends who have had many round of IVF and now are due babies, so wonderful medicine has advanced so much to help so many be parents, what a gorgeous baby girl you’ve got (not sure how old she is now). Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  15. 18th January 2015 / 1:17 pm

    This is all too familiar to me — I went through a similar journey. Not exactly the same but close enough to understand exactly what you went through. It certainly makes you appreciate what you have doesn’t it? I had reached a point where I didn’t think we were ever going to have children so my boys are like a couple of little miracles. Such a powerful story — thanks for sharing xx
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    • 24th February 2015 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you. So glad you got your babies too x

  16. 18th January 2015 / 2:09 pm

    O bless you, that sounds so tough and so difficult for you all to deal with. I’m so happy that you were able to have your daughter xx #SundayStars
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  17. 19th January 2015 / 10:57 am

    What a lovely personal story, and I’m glad you didn’t give up hope and have a beautiful bundle now. IVF is so rarely spoken of, and until I had 2 friends go through this personally, I had never thought about it. Indeed until I had my son I rarely thought of babies. This is definitely something which needs speaking up about, especially as it is a lonely time xxx
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    • 24th February 2015 / 4:40 pm

      Thank you. I think IVF is one of those things that until you go through it yourself you don’t realise how many other people have gone through it too, just like miscarriage; but once I started talking about it I met so many others who had gone through similar things too x

  18. 21st January 2015 / 11:54 am

    such a touching story, made me teary to even imagine going through what you did, I’m so glad you have a happy ending and you beautiful little girl thank you so much for sharing with #sundaystars xx
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  20. 23rd February 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Louise thank you SO much for sharing this story – we don’t talk enough about infertility but it affects so many women, including me. I’ve written a lot about our fertility journey, our IUI journey (similar to IVF), our joy and our pain. As young women we often take our fertility for granted but we really mustn’t. Thank you for linking this wonderfully happy ending up at #sharethejoy this week x
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  21. 23rd February 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an emotional story – I haven’t suffered from fertility issues but I can imagine how much this story will help those who do.
    I lost my first child, he was stillborn at 41 weeks and I have countless friends who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth, fertility issues and ante natal problems – all of these things need to be talked about more openly so thank you.
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  22. 24th February 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Your post makes me so emotional! My heart aches for those that struggle with conceiving, I’m so happy you finally got your beautiful bundle of joy! #SharetheJoy
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  23. 24th February 2015 / 1:44 pm

    Just found you on Twinklytuesday. You have been through so much, and you sound so strong and amazing. Thank you for sharing your story I know it will inspire many women out there who are struggling right now. Bless you xx
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  24. 25th February 2015 / 11:42 am

    What an emotional time you have gone through. Not only what had happened to your own body but then to have to go through losing your much wanted baby. Looking at your beautiful baby girl I can see that it was all worth it and I am so glad that you have her in your life. This is such a great post for anyone who is trying and worrying about getting pregnant. I knew someone who took ten years to fall pregnant naturally and now they have a beautiful bouncing toddler! Thanks so much for sharing your story with #twinklytuesday
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  25. 23rd March 2015 / 9:48 pm

    Such an emotional, yet inspiring story – I was welling up by the end. This will be so inspirational to anyone in a similar position to you – thank you for sharing. So glad that at the end of your long, hard journey, your beautiful little one was waiting for you. x
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  26. Nichole Barnett
    20th October 2015 / 1:54 pm


    I know it has been years since we spoke through Sarah. But I just found your blog and I have to say it’s amazing. I just read this entry and it has really hit home with me as I have been trying for a baby for a year so you have given me hope that my time will come. Ava is beautiful and you should be so proud of her. Hope you are well, love nichole x

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