This is my own personal story of fertility issues and IVF.
Back in 2007, my husband and i came to terms that we would never conceive a child together. It broke my heart to know that my husband, who is fabulous with children wouldn’t be a father to one and my depression sunk to new lows. It was one of the hardest things to admit to oneself. I was the reason we weren’t going to have a family and I gave up.
We had an amazing GP who started the process of Fertility treatments, and she had me do multiple blood tests to check if I was ovulating and where the problem could lie. The tests did say I was ovulating, and that there was probably something else wrong. Little did I know, that the something else was something very major. Both of us had to stop smoking, which we did. Cold turkey as the patches weren’t working and the gum was awful. We’re now “non smokes” since we stopped 6 years ago. I had to lose nearly 100 kilograms, and that was done via a Gastric Bypass since I couldn’t diet the weight off and exercise wasn’t helping either. I needed to be around 31 BM to be accepted as a candidate for IVF, and having tried for 12 years for a baby, put a few ticks in the right boxes for us. I lost the weight, and did everything I was told to. It was even thought, that with the weight loss, I’d fall pregnant naturally. That didn’t happen, so we began the process of trying to be accepted for IVF.
We were finally referred to Fertility Associates in Hamilton, and we began the long process. The wait list was almost 4 years, and as the months passed, we would get a letter every couple of months letting us know we’d been pushed forward and we finally had our very first appointment. I was so nervous, I don’t think I slept the night before and the meeting had me on edge, especially talks of hormone drugs and what could be the cause of the infertility. We were booked in for a scan of my womb/tubes and were put on a wait list for that. (I absolutely hate wait lists now)
I got an appointment to see a lovely Doctor at Waikato Hospital who scanned my womb.tubes etc and we discovered that I had a hydrosalpinx of the right tube and me left tube was scarred. Hearing all of this gave me heart palpitations, and my hopes of ever becoming a mother suddenly felt like zero. But, Fertility Associates were confident that a surgery to clean my tubes would help and off we went on yet ANOTHER wait list. The surgery came within 5 weeks of my date to have my first cycle of IVF start. They wouldn’t start if it was too close, so when the hospital rung for the appointment, I begged for them to find something sooner, and I was honestly looking to bribe someone and they knowing that I had an IVF cycle coming, they did their best to accommodate me. And off I went to have surgery, once more. By now, this would be my second major surgery, so that I could have a child.
My surgery went well, there was only a slight complication which had them keeping me over night, when I should have been able to go home an hour or so after. They removed my right tube completely, which left the right ovary floating around somewhere there. (This adds amusement to my life, somehow!) and my left tube was so badly scarred, but they didn’t remove it. Instead they cleaned it out and made sure that it wouldn’t become blocked or cause any issues.
Now I was ready for the next step in our IVF journey. The hormone injections, and boy they were some doozies! The thought of having to self medicate had me so freaked out that the first time I injected myself was such an ordeal, I was so surprised it didn’t hurt. For 4 weeks, I had to go onto birth control, then after that I began the cycle of having two daily injections for ovary stimulation. I had numerous blood tests taken until finally they said to come in for egg removal and my husband had to do his thing in a container. By now the romance of becoming pregnant had worn off and it became very clinical. 7am and 7pm were times I injected my stomach and I became bruised, emotional and the mood swings were awful, you can ask my husband. The removal of the eggs was a very painful experience for me. They also only got 3 reasonably good eggs. All we had to do was wait and see if they fertilized and then to go back to Hamilton to have the egg implanted. This was done with a Day 3 embryo and after a terrible 14 day wait, I got the phone call on my birthday last year (18th June 2015) to inform us that the egg didn’t take and I wasn’t pregnant.
My heart broke and I didn’t know if we could go for another cycle, or if I could do it mentally. It was the hardest phone call of my life and I was devastated. We were told we could do another cycle and that they would up the hormones and increase them to ensure they got better eggs this time, and after talking to my dearest husband, we decided to go once more. The second load of hormones did their number on me, we were now injecting more times daily, with different drugs than before and I was feeling awful. However, we finally got told they were going to take the eggs out, and that experience was even worse than before! With all the blood tests through both cycles, finding a vein was tricky and they even tried my feet! I was feeling unhappy, emotional and f9nally after 45 minutes they got a vein and they could begin the process! SIX eggs were harvested!
Out of those 6 eggs, 1 had mixed DNA (and no I don’t know what that means) 2 never got fertilized and the remaining three were fertilized. At 5 day blastocyst, they chose one of them to be implanted back in me and the waiting began once more. The other 2 were then frozen for us in case we needed to use them.
The phone call came and when I was told I was pregnant, I cried. There was never a happier moment in my life (Not until Logan was born) and nothing could have brought me off of cloud nine.
Fertility Associates gave use a gift that just keeps on giving. IVF is not an easy road and there’s more heartache then happiness for some. But for others, a miracle is born and I am thankful to them every day.
Colin and I go back on November 30th, 2016 to discuss when we begin the next cycle in hopes of having a sibling for our son.