How Covid messed with my fertility treatments

Covid has affected many people’s lives, including mine. While balancing our time between fertility treatments and building our home in Nepal, Covid came and shattered in one instance both of our dreams. 

A tear rolled down my face, while I looked confused out of the window of the plane we just got in. The craziness of Kathmandu, the highest peaks of the Himalaya, and the peaceful countryside of the Terrai, all were passing by underneath us. What had just happened?

Covid killed both of our dreams in Nepal

We all have a dream, something that keeps us awake at night. Something that you just don’t want to miss out on. My dream was to live in Nepal, and use my skills as an educator, motivator and coach, to support the local communities.

After many challenges along the way, moving back and forth, we had finally managed to live in Nepal. Everything was going perfectly. The community embraced us with open arms. We got involved in several humanitarian and educational projects. We were building our dream house on the top of a beautiful mountain in a rural village. And woke up every day with the magnificent view over the Annapurna.

We had continued our fertility treatment in a private clinic in Nepal and everything was going great. We found a supportive medical team and we were sure that the baby would follow soon – we were surrounded by so many positive vibes and experiences, that literally nothing could wipe the smile off of our face.

And then Covid came.

It took a while before the news had reached us. In the tiny village on top of the mountain where we were living, was barely electricity, let alone internet. Which was exactly the peace we had been looking for.

But not long after the first news arrived, the impact became clear. The fertility clinic closed it doors, the construction of our house stopped, and all the projects were postponed until further notice. The crops were dying in the fields across Nepal, due to strict lockdown measures and when India shut down the borders to Nepal, food became more and more scarce. After 5 months, with many worried friends and family back home, we decided to fly back to Europe for a couple of weeks.

Covid-19 smashed all both our dreams in Nepal and our baby
Covid Lockdown: closed IVF clinics

Our dream in Nepal was on hold, but that didn’t stop us from pursuing our other big dream: creating our little family. After some phone calls, we were able to get an appointment at the IVF clinic in Brussels, and we were already fantasizing about flying back to Nepal with our little human. 

But that dream got shattered quickly. Due to the huge amount of lockdowns, the IVF clinics got a waiting list for 6 months, for a first check. Even though we were already so far in the process, there was no chance that we would be able to take the next step in the near future.

We had invested all of our money in our house, the projects in Nepal, and in the college degree of our baby that isn’t even fertilized yet, so had no choice other than looking again for a job. I applied for a job as a teacher-director in a Dutch school in Bulgaria and got the job. A couple of weeks later we drove from Belgium to Bulgaria, where I worked while waiting for the IVF clinics to open their doors again.

Covid Restrictions: the lonely experience

We found a private clinic in Sofia, where we could continue our fertility treatment. Even though the clinic was open, it wasn’t for my husband. That was the start of a very lonely journey, with countless appointments, doctors who kept their distance and were barely understandable with broken English behind their mouth masks.

While a frustrated husband was waiting outside of the hospital at every appointment, I was put in high stake situations in which decisions had to be made very quickly. I never imagined having such an unnatural experience of ‘making a baby’, but doing it all alone – while my husband was standing frustrated outside of the hospital for every appointment, was even worse.

Covid test: never been so nervous for a result

And there we were going again, the twice-daily injections, the hormones, the bloating, the emotional rollercoaster, the horrifying amounts of money, and the endless hoping. With now on top of that, after 2 weeks of hormonal injections a PCR test before the egg retrieval. 

I have never been SO nervous for a test result! I knew that if it would be positive, I had gone through all of the medications and injections for nothing. Fortunately, it’s ‘only’ 24 hours of waiting, so I was ‘only’ refreshing the page on the hospital website every other minute. The only good out of all of that was that I was so focused on a negative PCR result, that I completely forgot about the surgery the next day.

YES – Covid test negative! Unfortunately 2 weeks later, the pregnancy test as well…

To be continued…

How are you coping with fertility and Covid?

How are you coping with your fertility treatment in these times of Covid, restrictions, and lockdowns? Leave your message below, or feel free to send me a private message. I see you,  I hear you. Nobody should go through this alone!

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