I am 39 and my husband, Swarn, is 42, and the path to parenthood has been a 12-year journey for us, but one that finally gave us a happy ending in 2010.
Right back at the start, around the time of the Millennium, we tried as couples do, each month hoping for the right result and expecting everything to click. A year or so passed, and with nothing happening, we realised it was time to visit our GP. Our inability to fall pregnant was unexplained, and the longer it went on the further away my dream of three children seemed to become. I had a couple of procedures, a laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy, but with nothing really prevailing.
We had to move on, so went private and took our first IVF cycle when I was 31. We were hopeful and positive that it would produce a good number of eggs. I had quite a large dropout rate but still had quite a few to transfer.
Nothing happened the first time, but on cycle number three I actually did fall pregnant, only to suffer a heartbreaking miscarriage at 11 weeks. I picked myself back up again and continued along the road taking different treatments and, after cycle eight, changed clinics from where I had been in Harley Street, visiting Cyprus and north India, yet continued to encounter negative results.
It was tough going. After so many disappointments, the idea of surrogacy came along, as did adoption. I had got to the point where I thought ‘I just cannot physically do any more’. Anyone who has been through this will know the emotions involved – the time off work, the trauma, the depression, each time believing and hoping. I was long past the point of my dream scenario of wanting three children; just one would be a blessing.
After attending meetings about adoption we didn’t think we were ready to jump onto that ladder. Given that my husband and I are Indian, the adoption agency made it clear that they would rather place babies with parents who have their similar cultural and religious background. We felt we were at a disadvantage because there are very few Indian babies in the UK who come up for adoption.
The idea of international adoption actually led us on to thinking about surrogacy. We’d ruled it out before but now weren’t so sure we should. We did a bit of soul-searching and answered a few honest questions. I think that has to be done, whoever you are.
You have to ask yourself what you are prepared to do, and what lengths you are willing to go to in order to achieve it. Of course, there are so many questions, and you can’t expect to have all of the answers all of the time, but with the support of our families we felt this was right for us.