I’m on the cover of Woman’s Own magazine: “IVF Killed My Marriage”
Okay, so I'd rather I was on the cover of a magazine as the glamorous cover star rather than a sad caption alongside an image of me beaming away in my wedding dress, oblivious to the tough times ahead, but there it is. If someone had told me on that sunny day in Ibiza in August 2005 – 12 years ago today – that a dozen years later my wedding picture would be gracing the cover of a magazine, I'd never have believed them. It would have sounded like a dream. Had they then gone on to explain that I'd be on the cover of that magazine because my marriage had collapsed under the strain of my inability to have a family, I'd have been devastated. And rightly so. What happened next turned from a fairytale wedding into a nightmare…
IVF KILLED MY MARRIAGE
"When we began IVF in October 2009, my then husband Liam and I were confident it would work. We'd had to resort to fertility treatment as my fallopian tubes were blocked, and by August 2011, we were on our third attempt. I can recall the hope I felt knowing I was due to take a pregnancy test – followed by heartbreak when my period arrived. We were gutted, especially as we'd run out of NHS funding. That's when we made the decision to say enough was enough. I'd been taking the maximum dosage of hormones for each treatment, so my moods had been all over the place. Liam and I had always been a laid-back, party-loving couple, but by that point, we'd argue over everything.
After we decided not to carry on, we ended up retreating to our own floors of the house, dealing with our loss alone. I began to see friends on my own and Liam did the same. Then we began going on separate holidays. There were days when we tried to make amends, but the hope we once shared had been replaced with grief. While we did look into fostering and discussed adoption, we really wanted our own children. And besides, by the time adoption was the only option left, our relationship wasn't strong enough. It was too painful to be together, so in February 2013 we split. We sold the house and moved out a few days after our eighth wedding anniversary. I was 37, and I felt like a failure. It hurt so much, and I almost contemplated suicide.
Liam soon began dating a younger woman. I felt sick at the thought of him having a baby with someone else. I truly believed – and still do – that we would still be married if we hadn't put ourselves through IVF. Liam still hasn't had any kids, but I've come to terms with the fact he might one day, and I know he will make a great dad.
In August 2014, I met my current partner, Andy. He has two young daughters who live with their mother, but I see them regularly. I think I have now accepted that I'll never be a mother. I think we were lucky we had our treatment through the NHS, as we were given honest information about success rates. But I know that some clinics present results in such a way as to make them look better that they actually are."
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