Hi I'm Karen. Growing up with four brothers and no female relatives I always dreamt one day of having my own daughter to do all the pinks things with that got overuled by the majority in my childhood home.
I met my husband Clive when I was 27 and he was 28. I'd always had gynie issues with cancer of the cervix when I was 18 which luckily they caught early so was cured and then endometriosis when I was about 21 which was on the ureter so could not be removed but was treated with drugs.
Endometriosis can be helped by pregnancy so we were told to not to wait to try to just get on with it in case there was a fertiliy issue. How true that turned out to be but not in the way I imagined.
We got married in the June 1997 and started trying September that year.
I was overjoyed when I found out I was pregnant in January 1998.
However I lost that baby and five more over the course of the next eighteen months or so. We eventually got refered to St. Marys miscarriage clinic where it was discovered my husband had a balanced translocation which meant when TTC could result in a baby not compatible with life, but to complicate things further I found out that I had a subtle blood clotting disorder that would result in miscarriage if untreated. This could however be treated with baby Aspirin which I have to take the minute I see the BFP.
So you'd think by the time I realised DC no 1 was possibly with us for the long haul I wouldn't care what I had? Wrong I still wanted my baby girl ungrateful person that I was. I had an amnio because of DH dogey gene which gave me the good news that baby was healthy but also the news that baby was a boy.
I was upset as Id dreamed this might be my daughter but it was my first and maybe if I was lucky I might be able to have my daughter next time.
My son was born and all my disappointment went when I saw him for the first time - he was beautiful and he was MINE. After all the trouble I'd had I did feel truly grateful for the gift I'd be given at long last.
I got told by a consultant when I said that I would like another that I'd hit the jack pot once and with DH dogey gene I'd never have another one.
Anyway I cried and cried but it made me determined that someone else was not going to dictate my life.
I fell pregnant for the second time with a healthy baby. Baby never cooperated at scans and the operator used to say can't see any boy bits so my hopes were high.Eventually quite late into pregnancy at 30 + weeks DC 2 revealed that he was all boy.
I have to say that I was completely devastated but equally felt guilty for wanting a girl when I'd been lucky to have another healthy baby.
It did take me a few weeks to come to terms with it but maybe because I'd had time to get my hopes raised up. I had also tried shettles but circumstances meant that the attempt ended up being a perfect boy one I realise with hindsight knowing what I know now about swaying
Still he was born and same thing he was beautiful and he was MINE.
Anyway third time lucky well I wasn't going to leave it to chance I was going to sway this time to try to get my DD but properly this time thanks very much.
I decided to do lots of freq BD a c/o and lemon douche. With all my fertility issues from the past I thought it would take a while ( the other two had taken 7 - 9months)
On the third month of trying I got my BFP. Id had a two day c/o, lemon douche and a lots of BD!!
So I started obssessing over gender. However when I got to my nuchal scan there was a prob - I was told 1 in 26 chance of a chromosonal prob and with DH dogey gene it just freaked us out totally.
I had a CVS which told me the baby was fine chromosonally and again it was a boy.
This time however after sweating about whether I might have to terminate although there were pangs about not having a daughter I got over it very quickly and started to look forward to meeting my little baby boy.
However I had been told that sometimes a large fold if not a chromosome prob can sometimes be an issue with the heart and that was tucked away in the back of my mind so I just wanted to get that 21 week scan over so I could fully relax.
I will never forget that scan - it changed our lives forever that day. Our darling baby did have a very serious heart defect - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome ( Basically the left side of the heart has not developed). We were given three options - to terminate, to go to birth and let nature take it's course as without intervention he would die or opt for three high risk open heart surgeries.
There was never a doubt in my mind - I remember going to the fetal cardiologist for specialist confirmation of the condition and saying to Clive if there is any chance for this baby I want to take it.
I didn't give birth at my local hospital I gave birth in UCH London to be close to Great Ormond Street Hospital so my baby could be blue lighted by ambulance to intensive there so that he could have his first open heart surgery within hours of birth.
However when Joshua was born he was not as stable as they hoped he had caught strep b which is dangerous and life threatening for any newborn let alone one with such a serious cardiac condition.
He had to go straight to UCH intensive care to be ventilated - I barely had him in my arms before he was whisked away by doctors and nurses literally running down the corridor with him in the incubater with them bagging him up to maintain his stats.
Within an hour we were told that GOSH were picking him up immediately as UCH wanted them to take his care as they were the specialists.
Joshua did not have the first surgery for a week as he had to recover from the serious lung infection that he had unfortunately caught.
Unfortunately Joshua ended up being in hospital for most of six months with a brief period of just over a week being at home but I knew he was not right and sure enough he had to be admitted back to GOSH suffering from severe heart failure and bronchiolitis ( again a serious condition for any child let alone one with a heart condition ).
Joshua had many invasive proceedures and two further open heart surgeries, unfortunately complications set in after the last surgery and he died at the age of six months old March 8th 2007.
When Joshua was alive I can honestly say I was cured of gender disappointment - I just absolutely loved and adored him he was a very special baby and couldn't wait to get him out of hospital away from that environment to show him how a normal life could be. Allthough there were close calls once he got over them the doctors told us they thought he would make it so we had dreams of him being at home with us and his brothers and I didn't wish for anything more.
If he had lived I know we would not have had any more because he would have taken some looking after I don't know if the longing for a daughter would have come back I just know that when he was with us all I needed was him and my other two I felt complete.
However I have found that the longing for another baby after losing one is intense but this time I could not bear the thought of having a boy even more although noone knows more then me the value of a healthy baby - it would have felt like replacing him and he was my baby boy I could not risk that.
So just over a year ago amongst my intense grief I started looking into swaying in a big way again. I found BC USA, Tamara and TBM!!
My goodness have I given it a go I have tried every version of everything if I could have gotten hold of the things I needed here in the UK for high tech at home I would have done that instead!!
My DH sperm count is not great and I think all the lowering, Lime TBM and lime douches have just been clobbering the lot!!
Each month when I have gotten a BFN it has been like losing Joshua all over again.
I kinda got to the crunch a couple of months ago that I just could not bear the BFN every month but had got locked into the swaying.
I started taking an interest in high tech saying couldn't afford it, my dogey Dh gene, my age etc (40) but I knew if I gave up swaying then if we were lucky to have another baby it would defiantely be a boy and by the time we got to where we could do high tech next year I would be well onto my 41st year with even less chance of it working.
So I have decided to take the plunge and if all goes well will be cycling in Turkey early June.
The odds are stacked against us with all of the above because with my age, DH dogey gene at least a third will probably be affected but if we don't get any healthy girl embies we are prepared to put the healthy boys ones back instead.
It might sound mad but at least we would know they were free of DH dogey gene and the other common chromosome probs such as DS etc.
I don't know if I can have another baby naturally and I know after losing Joshua and not having gotten pregnant for a year I would rather have another boy baby now then no baby at all.
The fact is if we don't succeed then at least I can't regret not trying for my DD as if IVF fails completely we are back to normal TTC no swaying at all because I just can't do it any more and I am scared now that if I leave it much longer and continue swaying I would not have a baby at all.
However if we do succeed there is an advantage in that Joshua's condtion which we are at higher risk of happening again is almost 70% more common in males then females so it does reduce the chance of that happening again a bit which only can be a good thing.
So this is how I have reached this stage to have the courage to do IVF/PGD.
thanks for reading my story if you have got that far and I will start updating my journey to Turkey soon.
I wish everyone else success in pursuing their gender dream whatever road that takes.
Take care all love Karen xxxx