The loud music of Hi5 plays as I write this, as I recall the very bumpy road we have travelled to have 3 awesome children in our lives.
I knew at an early age that having children wouldn't be easy. Following my 6th surgery for endometriosis at age 16, my specialist jokingly said I better start looking for a husband now, and to have kids early as I would need a hysterectomy before I was 30. That's a really scary concept for a 16 year old I can assure you.
I remember feeling like I was interviewing a potential father-to-be rather than dating like my friends were. Sam and I met when I was 19 and he was 20. Luckily he was the most perfect man for me, we fell hard!
In the years that followed the rollercoaster began and kicked off with a devastating miscarriage just after my 21st birthday A healthy son born in the following year made everything feel like we were going to be OK and we absolutely love being his parents.
When Quinn was 5 months old we started trying to conceive a sibling, and we were very hopeful it would all work out. Everyone knows endo can be helped by pregnancy (or at least that's what you tell yourself).
During the next 5 years I don't think we could have ever predicted what would happen in our lives. There is a point in the dark journey of infertility when you hit rock-bottom. Mine was the day my best friend gave birth to her daughter. I was so happy for her but I died a little inside as I cuddled her baby. Again the 'let's get pregnant at the same time and have baby's together' had been a huge disappointment. That day I was broken.
I look back on my blog from the time and recall those exact feelings. At this point we had been trying to have a baby for almost 2 years which may not seem long, but for us it was torture.Something magical happened on that day but it's not what you expect.
One week after that dark day I met a wee baby. He was tiny and I was drawn to him in a way I can't explain. A beautiful boy who was in an emergency foster care placement with a lady I met at a coffee group. I didn't hold him that day but he grabbed me right around the heart strings. I came home wondering what to do next. Was I crazy for even thinking about being his mum? Could we care for a child with significant health problems? What would Sam say?
"I've found a baby that I really love!"
It was received better than I expected and all Sam wanted to do was meet him. Just a few weeks later our stork was on his delivery route with our magical boy. So magical in fact, he was born on the same day as my best friend’s daughter. If only I had known that on my darkest day, that somewhere our son was being born - I just hadn't met him yet. Sometimes you just have to open yourself up to a different kind of perfect!
As we enjoyed parenting our two boys, Sam and I were still desperate for a baby. Two years later, on Quinn's birthday, we had our first ICSI IVF embryo tucked safely away inside my body. Our ‘goddess of fertility and love’ Freya was born the following year. A free one, a borrowed one and a bought one!
We thought that was the end, hysterectomy was booked and the grieving had started. But we got a little bit more magic in the form of a new diagnosis. I have endometriosis, adenomyosis, PCOS and a blocked tube - all poorly managed and extremely painful. After getting a second opinion I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and this has changed my life. I have now taken control of my body and I'm please to say I'm pain free and full of a uterus!
Last year we collected our precious frozen embryos. I carried two and surrounded them in love during the short time they were with us. But that's not the end of our story. We are saving hard and hope to create magic again later in the year.