GUEST BLOG: Being a midwife with infertility
Infertility as a Midwife
Welcome to my first of many more guest blog posts. You hear enough from me with my podcast so I wanted to invite some of the amazing people I get to speak to on my podcast to write blogs as they’re all doing such amazing work. Katy Eaves is a midwife and was a former guest on my podcast and you can hear our chat here
Over to Katy
This is my very first blog and I’ve been inspired by #70midwifebloggers to blog about my struggles with infertility and how this affected me as a midwife.
It all started when my partner and I tried for several years but failed to get pregnant. What then followed was lots of tests and investigations to find a cause. It was whilst I was in my final year as a student midwife, we were told it was unlikely we would ever have children. When this news was delivered it felt like our lives had changed forever. It was a massive blow. We were the lucky ones though and not long after I had qualified as a midwife, become pregnant with our first I.C.S.I (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) treatment and had our beautiful daughter.
Starting a family
We decided early on we always wanted more children and wrongly assumed we had found a way (although different to the regular way) to get pregnant. We also had our 4 precious frozen embryos from the cycle that made our daughter and started treatment again. After several failed treatments we were emotionally and financially broken. I was now physically exhausted juggling work as a midwife, whilst being mum to a toddler and having fertility treatments.
Fertility treatments are often thought of as a routine procedure. They are not. The drugs can have awful side effects, and often I felt so ill, I struggled to work. I had frequent appointments at the fertility clinic for blood tests, transvaginal scans and other invasive procedures that caused discomfort and pain, with some procedures taking several days to recover from. I also suffered with hyperstimulation which caused swelling, abdominal pain and made me feel generally very anxious. We had to stop and being told we had a 5% chance with treatment, we realised the time had now come to stop and accept we would never have another child.
I was devastated, completely and utterly devastated. It also felt like the soul of my beloved small family had been destroyed. I left midwifery for a planned year which then became 2 and during this time had counselling and C.B.T. I thought I’d never go back to work as a midwife as I couldn’t cope caring for women and families having babies when I wanted it so badly myself. I loved my job but working as midwife brought with it the worst pain. I also felt unable to do my job as by then, I was just emotionally exhausted.
I did however eventually recover and found the courage to return. I’ll never forget my first day back being in theatre for an elective ceasarean section; passing the new-born to mum for skin to skin and supporting the new parents. I felt so proud of myself, to have finally dealt with all the heartbreak of failed fertility treatments. Gone were all the emotions that I had previously felt which had been crippling me. I’ll also never forget what I and my small family went through. We later tried unsuccessfully to adopt, and this brought with it more heartbreak in our attempts to become parents again. It’s been a struggle, but we survived as a family and I survived as a midwife. I now love my job with a passion and even more so when I think how close I came to lose it forever.
I really hope by sharing my personal story, I can offer some support to those working in maternity who may be experiencing infertility. There were times as a midwife struggling with infertility I felt alone, lost and didn’t know what to do. For anyone that may be experiencing something similar now, please talk to someone at work, surround yourself with love and support from your colleagues, friends and family. And please for others working in maternity, support those midwives within your teams and show them care, understanding and compassion to help them through the difficult times.
My next blog coming soon, will be more on supporting those midwives within your team and also tips for midwives with infertility or having treatments, on ways to cope working as a midwife. Follow Katy’s blog here
Source: The Fertility Podcast