Monday, 18 July 2011

Egg-citing Times Ahead – Hopefully...

WARNING: This blog will be different from my normal ramblings and is therefore suggested for mature readers only (by that I mean those who don't titter at the thought of the male and female reproductive system).


This is less of a blog and more of a plea. An asking of a favour. It's not an easy thing to ask and I do so with extreme trepidation but time and events move at an ever swifter pace and we - Steph and I – are tired of waiting for the former to run out and the latter to take over. Official channels are doing their best by us and we're extremely grateful for how gracious we've been treated but their wheels move painfully slowly and if we don't take the initiative while we can, it might be too late. So this is aimed directly at all of you ladies aged between 18 and 35, whether that be you or someone you know (or someone your someone might know etc).


What am I talking about? The problems with getting pregnant.


It's plain and it's simple. We're desperate to have a baby. We want to start our own family but we can't. After years of trying, copious amounts of tests on both of our bodies and failed IVF treatment, we have been told there is only one option left for us to have our own child: egg donation. You see, it turns out my soldiers are plentiful but lazy and, tragically, Steph has been told she isn't able to conceive. She can carry full term but her body just will not let her mature the eggs required.


Admittedly we didn't find this out until after the failed IVF treatment that almost killed Steph. Certain doctors tried to blame the failure on her lifestyle but it wasn't until further tests were carried out that it was discovered the daily hormone injections I was told to give her were actually poisoning her liver. The fact she has recovered from a 90% failed liver to a 90+% healed and she is strong enough to go through with this after a doctor told me I should start organizing her funeral is something I am completely in awe of – and hence I'm immensely proud of her. This was the point when we were told the IVF was never going to work because certain hormones that cannot be given artificially were too low and always had been. This has been the only time we felt we had been failed by those in charge but there's no point in using it as a stick to beat them with. We have to move on.


Right then. To avoid any confusion, I am not asking for all ladies to volunteer their eggs for us. That would be wrong for all parties on so many levels – especially emotionally and psychologically. But what I am asking is this: that you consider donating eggs to the Liverpool Women's Hospital (or any other fertility hospital I suppose), saying you're doing it to help us. This doesn't mean we would be given your eggs specifically. In basic terms, they would be put in a pot and we would be given an anonymous egg.


I feel I'm not explaining myself too well, so bare with me. As I said, this isn't an easy thing for us to do. And over editing might steal some of the emotion I need to get across.


The way the system has been explained to us is like this: We have been placed on an egg donation list. This was done 18 months ago. We were told we would move further up the list at a quicker rate if we were able to convince/ask/beg people to donate their eggs to the hospital on our behalf. It's a point system, you see, and the more points you have, the shorter the waiting time, which at the moment, in the UK, is up to 6 years! We were 53rd six months ago, and we're still 53rd today because there have been no donations of any kind in that time. Obviously the whole waiting scenario would be eradicated if the donor wished to give us the eggs directly but the emotional attachments and headfucks this could cause mean that we feel it's better for all concerned that this is a no-no. Apparently the waiting list's length isn't because of the numbers on it but because of the lack of UK-donated eggs. It turns out that if we were in mainland Europe we would get an egg sorted straight away because they pay to all those willing to donate, which isn't the case in the UK. We can go abroad for the procedure (we've been told by the hospital that they deal with Spain and Cypress and would act as the go-between on our behalf) and it would cost approximately £8000 whereas in the UK it's going to cost half that much – which would mean we can afford more goes should the first attempt fail. But we would rather not go abroad. It has taken a long time for us to build up trust levels with the hospital and these would not be there anywhere else.


So what we're asking is this: if you, or someone you know, or the friend of a friend of a friend, feel like you/they can help us with this, please contact us via reply or, if preferred, contact the hospital directly on our behalf. If you wish to do this, you need to speak to either Gill Hathaway or Maureen Richards at the Liverpool Women's Hospital on 0151 702 4212 and mention our name.


As I've said, this is a really difficult thing we are asking of people. We do not expect anything. If no one replies, then no one replies. We will persevere as we always have. My brother's wife and a friend of Steph's have both kindly agreed to contact the hospital to discuss things and for this we are and forever will be grateful. We appreciate how big a deal it is. So there will be no animosity from us if people say no or don't reply. Just understanding because it's difficult to know how we would feel if being asked ourselves.


Cheers for your time. If you wish to discuss things in more detail, then contact me by reply and we can go talk on a one-to-one basis. If not, then enjoy your day.


Shaun and Steph

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