Updated: May 14, 2020

And why I feel like we owe them

It's been 3 weeks tomorrow since I was furloughed from my job and it's made me realise a few things. I'm a REALLY busy person! I don't like doing nothing and I need to have a bit of a list of things to do.

I know there's some memes going around hating on the motivators and reassuring people it's OK not to have done much whilst in isolation and I couldn't agree more when it comes to supporting mental health. HOWEVER, I just don't fall into that category. I NEED something to do when it comes to my own mental health. Too much time to think is and always has been my downfall. That's when I feel low and think unhelpful thoughts or overthink irrationally.

So that was the large part of motivation behind wanting to volunteer for the NHS initially. And since then I've sort of thought hard about it and glad I can and am lucky enough to be able to do something to support my local community at the moment.

I signed up online following the government call out for help and you get this app developed with Good Samaritans and The Royal Voluntary Service (who I've volunteered with in the past). A little siren goes off everytime someone needs help (I shit myself every time) and they share contact details with you for someone in need. So far, I've met Phillip a few streets away who is elderly and can't collect his own prescriptions, I've met Jeff who's taking care of his elderly mother and reluctant to go out himself for fear of putting her in danger if he brings Covid home. And I've met Valerie and Janice and Julie who all like to chat over the phone when I'm arranging a few chores they need they doing. All really lovely people who are a bit lonely, grateful and just trying to stay safe.

Besides my biggest motivation for doing it being my need to stay busy, I've thought about how much the NHS has done for me over the last 3-4 years. And you'll probably see some blog posts on here claiming dissatisfaction with the way certain protocols are handled when it comes to infertility and lack of research around endometriosis. And I still stand by that feedback. However, the NHS have funded a round of IVF with ICSI for Tom and I and that's something I feel hugely lucky and grateful for. What an amazing healthcare system we have that's generally free day-to-day but will allow an opportunity like this for a couple struggling on their own. I know not everyone has access to this sort of treatment for free and that's why we wanted to make the most of it when we got our funding.

To recap, just before lockdown, we had our eggs collected and we've got 3 good grade 5 day embryos (blastocysts) in the freezer waiting for us when it's safe again for a transfer. We're patients at BCRM (Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine) which is normally a private clinic but takes NHS patients when they're funded too. Our clinic have kept in touch with us and have treated us so kindly. Even at times we've felt frustrated or tired.

I can't wait for this to be over so we can have one of our embryos back and finally finish our first round of IVF. I had a little wobble last night with a few tears when I remembered how far we'd gotten before Covid. I'm sure there are also plenty more wobbles where that came from!

So every Thursday night at 8pm when everyone's outside banging spoons against saucepans, letting off fireworks and wolf whistling to celebrate how amazing our NHS and healthcare workers are for stepping up in this crisis. Tom and I are also in the back garden clapping extra hard for an extra reason. Thank you for helping us get 3 chances to be parents. We love you and are grateful for you, NHS 💙

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