Saturday, 26 September 2009

ST, IVF, the HFEA and other shitty acronyms...


I am so angry I am surprised this keyboard hasn't melted as I am seething with a violent and boiling rage. My blood pressure surely has to be the same as the tyre pressure of a formula one car and my brow is so furrowed you could plant trees in the wrinkles.

ST has, once again, cast his vile and destructive shadow over my life and has completely scuppered our chances of beginning IVF. He's managed to do this without even knowing.

It's a pretty complicated story but I'll try and explain it the best I can and then you can begin to send the voodoo weasel style magic his way.

Before I begin, I must explain a couple of acronyms... the "HFEA" which I will refer to a lot is the human fertilisation and embryology authority, and the "PCT" is the primary care trust which is basically referring to our area of the NHS.

So, let's rewind to last Sunday night....

I lost the bloody decree absolute.

I turned the house upside down for over four hours and couldn't find it anywhere. Tom searched his house too but it has disappeared. No idea where it could've gone because I've had it inside my passport since I switched my name at the bank but it wasn't there when I went to get it. This will now cost me £85 to replace. dammit.

However, that was a mere drop in the inconvenience ocean compared to what happened on Thursday.

I drove for over 2 hours, after a day of rock climbing and abseiling with 42 kids, to meet Tom. We walked down to the hospital and were over half an hour early so had to wait in the maternity reception for our IVf open evening. How ironic.

When we got in, we got the giggles and seemed to be the only couple who were smiling. Everyone else looked fraught with worry and nerves but we had a terrible case of barely suppressed laughter and couldn't actually look at each other for fear of looking "naughty" in front of the doctors and medical staff. Oh how little we knew at this point.

We had loads of lectures from the admin, nursing, counselling and embryology staff before the consultant gynaecologist began his presentation.

His first slide floored us.

We both stopped laughing immediately.

The giggles were most definitely gone.

His slide outlined guidance for our PCT and from the HFEA. It appears that our PCT insists on having been in a secure relationship for a minumum of 2 years before you can begin IVF.

Well, two years ago, I hadn't even married weasel boy yet.

They then went on to talk about all the identity checks that they had to do and we plunged even deeper into despair. There wasn't even any way of quickly turning my passport around at passport head office to change back to my maiden name instead of relying on my married passport and my decree absolute (which I still hadn't found). It appears they also require you to declare the length and dates of previous marriages so I'm totally screwed.

We enquired at the end if this applied to both NHS and private fertility treatment because our first solution was to pay and bypass the NHS. It'd mean a lot of saving and borrowing but we figured it'd be possible.

Apparently not.

We were therefore completely devastated.

I spoke to the head nurse at the end of the presentation if there was any way at all we could get round it but she said no.

We are now in a position where we have more questions that need answering than ever before and more choices than we know what to do with. They basically boil down to the following...

1. Do we just be completely honest at our appointment on the 15th October and hope we can still get through or do we try and lie and hope they don't check? My worry with this is though that I'd be so stressed about the lie that the IVF wouldn't work as a result.

2. How had we got this far when we had already told our consultant we had not been together for 2 years? She knows we haven't as it's in our notes that she wrote herself at our preliminary appointment. Why did we go this far down the path of IVF if we're not eligible? that's just cruel to do that to us!

3. Why does my hospital discharge letter say "recommend for IVF" and then we're not eligible?

4. Why did an article from NICE (national institute for clinical excellence, which is part of the NHS) outline that fact that some PCTs only request a stable relationship, some one, some two and some three year relationships before beginning IVF? Has ours changed all of a sudden?

5. If my condition is degenerative (which it is) surely it would be cruel to make us hang on for another 6 months, by which time the chances of it working would be much reduced? Again, that's just cruel and completely bonkers.

6. Would my consultant be able to bypass the ruling on the basis of clinical need?

7. What the hell do we do if we have to wait, knowing that every day we do there's less and less chance of it working. How the hell are we going to cope with that? Especially as we know it's because of ST that we have to wait.

8. Has my consultant, who actually said to me in hospital "your first round should be ready for you to start in October or definitely before Christmas" just made a massive oversight and basically cocked up?

9. Why does this shit keep on happening to me?

I am thoroughly sick to the back teeth now as one of my mates to eloquently put it, "You may have had to go through all of this if you were still with ST anyway, but at least the stress of the latest barrier would never have happened and you would've been attending IVF with your husband rather than having to try and explain stuff that makes you look like a Jeremy Kyle guest". I agree entirely.

Albeit unknowingly, ST has robbed me of my potential chances of a baby. If he'd have had the guts to not go through with the marriage (and I have recently decided he never did love me so I have no idea why he married me) then I could've just rocked up with Tom anyway and we could've just said we'd been together longer. However, because of the marriage and identity paper trail then ST has left an enormous roadblock on my rocky road and I just don't know how we're going to get round it.

To say I am devastated is the understatement of the century.

My hands are completely tied and there is absolutely nothing anyone can say or do to make it any better.

We're off to the appointment on 15th October and are just hoping and wishing that there's some reason why we've been referred without meeting the criteria. If not, the 15th will become a day when I'll feel like once again ST has made the bottom drop out of my world.

I hope he rots in hell.

Bizarrely though, on the way back from PGL, I had to drive past our wedding venue. I ran over something by accident which I didn't recognise. I described the little creature to my dad and he said it sounded exactly like a weasel.

Well I never....

Will update again soon but am off to the gym to pound away some of this anger on the treadmill.

Love to you all.



  1. oh, Emmy. I am so sorry you're going through all this stuff. xxx

  2. Hey Honey, I'm so sorry to hear this bad news. I hope you get the answers you want at your appointment. I'll keep everything crossed for you.

    Lots of love and hugs

    Lisa X

  3. OK - you're clearly upset so I'm going to try and be as delicate as I can be here.

    Firstly, this isn't your ex-husband's fault. Comments like "ST's back...and he's ruined our chances of IVF" and "I hope he rots in hell" do you no credit. Upsetting though it clearly is for you, you need to accept that you both entered into your abortive marriage freely; he didn't deliberatly set out to ruin your life or your chances of having a baby, whatever his faults.

    Secondly, do you not think it might be a good thing that they want people to be in a stable relationship before helping them have children? Frankly,in some of your postings on this blog and your previous one - not least your latest posting - you don't come across as a particularly calm or stable individual. I'd be worried about you adopting a puppy at the moment, let alone having a child.

    This isn't intended to be harsh, but I'm hoping you will come to see this as a positive step in your life and take some time to improve your emotional stability, before you take any drastic steps like starting a family with a guy you've been with for six months. I realise you have strong feelings for him, but it's not so long since you had equally strong feelings for your husband, and look how that ended up. I'm sure even you will admit that it's a good thing that there were no babies around while you were sleeping in a heap by the radiator, physically attacking your ex husband, and being taken to hospital on the verge of a total mental collapse.

  4. @Anonymous Wow I love how you made such a harsh comment but didnt have the balls to use a name!

  5. I don't know if anybody else has suggested this to you but if IVF is a no no here, have you thought about researching having it done abroad, it would be alot more hassle but I believe it is cheaper in some countries and would be so worth it to give yourself a chance.

  6. Hi Emmy,
    How awful - well just keep everything crossed that there is a reason you've been referred.
    As an aside if you contact the county court where you were divorced they should be able to provide a further Decree Absolute for a nominal fee (usually about £5).

  7. Go to you appt hun, PCT guidance is just that it is bypassable (new word) and privately funded you can usually get whatever if you're paying - if not at that hosp your consultant will know where, good luck and keep smiling xx