I can’t remember ever not wanting to be a mother. I met Paddy at university and, as our twenties passed, I suggested we start trying for a baby. “Let’s wait until we’re 30,” he said. We got married at 30 and stopped using contraception. I knew it might take a while because I had PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). After a year when nothing had happened, we went to the doctor for tests.
We tried intrauterine insemination (essentially a medicalised version of the “turkey baster” method) and eventually – four and a half years after we started trying – we had our first round of IVF. The first two attempts, on the NHS, failed. From then on it was private. That’s when we started spending money, close to £25,000 by the end. I also tried different supplements: intralipids to suppress my immune system, steroids, blood thinners, using frozen rather than fresh embryos. You name it, I tried it. I needed to know I’d done everything I could.
On the fourth round they managed to retrieve and freeze five embryos – I didn’t have any put back immediately because I was having treatment for endometrial hyperplasia, which causes the cells to proliferate at an abnormal rate. When I was ready, they put back two embryos, and I conceived. Twins. But I miscarried them at around eight weeks. I was devastated – although my lowest point had been failing my first round of IVF, when I’d been convinced
By this point Paddy wanted it just as much as me. Our friends were all having families. We were in it together but I'm scared it will never work