My IVF has failed – pupils are the only children I have

Mar 5, 2016 by

As a childless teacher, I’m confronted by my own infertility every day. Can I really spend the rest of my life teaching?

At precisely the moment when my year 1s and I should have been eagerly discussing our upcoming trip to London, I was crumpled in a heap on the kitchen floor, listening to the voice at the end of the phone say that they were very sorry but, following my last round of IVF, my pregnancy test had come back negative.

This phone call was the culmination of six months of on-and-off treatment. It had been a long journey just to get started. I had a bone marrow transplant four years ago and was advised to postpone starting a family for a least a couple of years. Even after genetic testing to ensure we would not be passing on the same rare blood condition, opting for “unnecessary” medical treatment did not sit comfortably with me. But we were told that with my medical history the options were limited and rapidly decreasing, so we went for it.

IVF is an unbelievably stressful process. It strips you of every ounce of dignity and privacy. It is an emotional, mental and physical roller coaster ride with few highs and lots of interminable lows. I am guessing many teachers out there already know that: 50,000 women undertook it in 2013 alone so some of those must be in the teaching profession.

It is a tough time for anyone, but one of the hardest things I have found is that after each failed egg fertilisation, egg retrieval and now egg transfer, the following day I am confronted by my infertility as 30 cheerful children troop through my classroom door. One of those could have been mine.

Source: Secret Teacher: my IVF has failed – pupils are the only children I have | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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