Being told I had fertility issues wasn’t something I thought I’d ever hear – let alone in my early 20s.
Even after trying and trying to fall pregnant, I was adamant there was nothing wrong with me or my husband.
“We’re young – we are fine!” I said to him. “Let’s go to a fertility specialist and get the tests done so they can tell us everything is cool. We just need to stop stressing about it.”
So we did. And that’s how we learned we did indeed have something wrong. Even though I was in my twenties, in vitro fertilisation (IVF ) – would be our only option.
This is my IVF story.
Soon after seeing the fertility specialist, we embarked on our first IVF journey.
I was scared. largely because I hate needles and knew I’d need to have quite a few in a short period of time.
My husband gave me every single needle because I was too afraid to do it myself. We had a fairly successful egg retrieval; 13 eggs of which 9 fertilised. “Woohoo!” we thought. “We won’t have to do it ever again… Just freeze some of those embryos and life is good.”
But the next day we received a call from our doctor. All but 1 embryo had died off overnight. Our doctor wanted to do the embryo transfer ASAP to give us the best possible chance of success.
Lucky for us, it worked. We now have a beautiful child from that strong little embryo.
When we were ready to try for our second child, we knew our IVF story would continue.
We’d have to go through IVF again. So, back to the doctor we went, got all the needles, and started the journey again.
This time I did the needles myself. I was no longer afraid of needles after the last round and all the blood tests that were required.
Something was different this time though. My stomach felt like it was going to explode. I was nauseous and crampy and ridiculously uncomfortable. My doctor determined I was becoming overstimulated which can be dangerous.
On egg retrieval I had 22 eggs taken. My doctor told us it was too risky to do a fresh transfer given how sick I was becoming. We needed to freeze any embryos and do a frozen cycle in a couple months when my body started to settle down.
Out of 22 eggs, we got one embryo. It was disappointing, but at least we had one. The embryo went into the deep freeze while my body healed.
The frozen round was quite a different to experience after IVF.
The daily blood tests took their toll though and the veins in my arms started collapsing. Then when it was time for the egg transfer we received a call advising us the embryo hadn’t done too well during the thawing process. If we went ahead with the egg transfer, our odds for success were lower given the embryo quality.
Our desperation pushed us forward but the transfer was unsuccessful.
Going through IVF and then getting a negative pregnancy test result was heartbreaking. I take my hat off to people who endure multiple unsuccessful IVF rounds – the physical and emotional toll IVF can take is huge.
We waited a few months before trying IVF again.
We decided that this would be the last time we would go through IVF given the impact the previous round had had on my body. Armed with extra needles and some tablets to prevent hyper stimulation occurring again, we were determined to make this one count.
I started to become hyper-stimulated again despite the precautions taken.
After 18 eggs were retrieved, we made the decision to push ahead with a fresh transfer, monitoring my health closely to make sure everything would be okay. Out of the 18 eggs, we got 3 embryos. We transferred one and froze two.
The transfer was a success and we now have our second beautiful child.
We are extremely lucky and blessed to have had 2 successes with IVF when so many others don’t even get one.
My IVF journey is an easy one compared to some, and hard compared to others.
No matter your IVF journey, you are amazing for doing whatever it takes to become a mother.