When my husband and I first decided to try for a baby I never thought it was going to be as long of a process as it was. I had plenty of friends at the time who fell pregnant very quickly so I assumed I would be the same. We both saw our GP’s where they did all the regular health checks and after the all clear we were good to go.
I’m a regular 28 day-er so I didn’t do much research into all this ‘ovulation’ business either. Every couple of days during the middle of my cycle sounded good enough to me.
It didn’t work for the first few months but we were okay with that, particularly over the festive time of the year! Australia Day came around and I remember being out in the city doing a pub crawl. The cider wasn’t going down as good as it usually does, I really didn’t think twice. Low and behold…..pregnant! It was definitely a surprise but very exciting at the same time. We called our lovely obstetrician who is a friend of my husbands and wanted to see us at 6 weeks, he said they might not see anything on the scan then but to come in anyway.
Australia Day fun in the city
I hadn’t been feeling any different during this time, but I wasn’t sure what signs I was looking for anyway. We both went to the obstetrician appointment and the scan was not showing anything, I’d already had the blood test which confirmed I was pregnant so my doctor said that it was probably just too early to see and to get another scan in a week but with PRP imaging as their machines were better than his.
One week later and off I go to the scanning place one morning before work. The lovely girl scanning me said that she could see the sac but sadly there’s no heartbeat. She said however that the doctor will look over it to confirm and I’ll hear from them later.
Now being a school teacher when your expecting calls like that is quite the tricky job to have. I saw the call coming in from my obstetrician but I was teaching my class so I didn’t answer knowing he’d call my husband next. I finally got a chance to call my husband who confirmed that this was indeed what they call a ‘failed pregnancy’ and I need to have a D & C (Dilation & Curettage which involves scraping the womb lining) the following day to avoid natural miscarriage (which can be more of a toll on your body as well as emotionally draining).
I was fine that this didn’t work out for us. Everything happens for a reason and at least I could get pregnant naturally (think this was the part where I jinxed myself). The one thing that I was sad and scared about was the surgery. It’s a fairly simple surgery but to someone who has never been under a general anaesthetic, let alone a patient in a hospital, I was very uneasy.
The D&C went well, and turns out I loved going under a general! (Probably helps that I didn’t wake up in complete agony and in a rather relaxed and deluded state)
My obstetrician advised me to wait until I get my next period to ‘start trying’ again and then ‘get back on the horse’ as they say (my words….not his).
Over the next few months we continued to try and had the ‘Oh well, next month’ motto pretty down packed. We came up with a good coping mechanism (or so we thought). Each month when it didn’t work, we’d crack open a good bottle of red and go out for dinner. We were also lucky that we are pretty busy/social people so we had lots of events to entertain us during this time (I definitely took advantage of the fact I could still enjoy my bubbles or glass of vino).
My obstetrician reached out to me to see how everything was going and told us to come in for a chat. We went to see him and we all came up with a plan of attack. I remember him writing down 5 steps to having a baby and IVF being all the way down at number 5 (aka last resort). We were just about to walk out of his office when a thought crossed my mind. We had not mentioned that my husband has a benign tumour in his brain on his pituitary gland. This gland controls hormone levels and his prolactin levels were off the charts (yes that’s what females use to breastfeed). He is on medication and constant monitoring for it however we had been told that it could affect his fertility. My obstetrician immediately asked us to sit back down and we went through everything with him. He sent my husband for numerous sperm tests and we would find out the results next month.
When the results came through I think we were glad more than anything. It was good to know that there was a problem and a reason why we weren’t falling pregnant naturally. Christian’s sperm mobility levels were low and their stamina was poor. We were referred to an IVF doctor who specialises in male infertility.
The morning of our appointment at IVF Australia I was excited and of course very nervous. IVF was an unfamiliar word that really wasn’t spoken about very often. I also knew no one that had gone through it either. We met our IVF doctor who assessed our results and with that we decided on an action plan. Of course hubby had to get more tests done too. Our doctor recommended we start taking some various medications and implementing strategies at home which (in his experience) have proven to help male infertility. One of these things was for Christian to eat a lot of foods high in antioxidants.
He had to begin taking resveritrol (high in antioxidants) which would hopefully help boost the speed and help the stamina of the sperm. The doctor also recommended the male ejaculates every few days to clear our the old sperm.
We were told to try these above strategies for 3 months and if that shouldn’t work then we will come back in to set up IVF treatment. I like that my doctor was keen to try and fix the problem without going straight to IVF however at the same time I wanted to begin IVF as I was sceptical on the above strategies working (should have gone with my gut here).
Very happy to farewell this year goodbye!
Farewell 2014! You were pretty shit!
After 3 months of no luck we are already into another year and no baby! My husband and I decided to take 2 months off ‘trying’ and to relax and go on a holiday (just for a week). Hawaii was our destination of choice. After having been there only 2 years ago we loved it so much we had to go back. I was so relaxed and enjoyed eating and drinking whateverI wanted whilst not having to look at the calendar every day to see when I was ovulating or if my period was due.
Enjoying the stunning Hawaii sunsets
I figured this would be the last summer ever that I would have a tanned bikini ready body so why not document it!
Back at IVF to discuss starting treatment and left frustrated after being informed that we need more tests before we can begin. Most of the tests we had done weren’t current and needed to be updated. I was sent for blood tests and ultrasounds and my husband for more sperm tests. We were also told that looking at our previous results from last year our chances of falling pregnant naturally are almost NIL, it was basically a miracle that it happened once before (so why did we waste the last few months on stupid home remedies…good question! BUT we are thinking positive and will put the past behind us).
About a week or so before my period is due I go in for my IVF Orientation. This involves sitting down with the team and being informed about everything from the payment info to drugs used and the detailed information on my cycle. Everything sounded really good. I was placed on an antagonist cycle and given the drugs I would need.
When Day 1 of my period arrived I called the nurses who scheduled me in for a blood test on Day 2. Then it all begins! Over the next 10 days I had numerous blood tests and ultrasounds. I took Gonal F injections to stimulate hormones matched with Cetrotide Injections to prevent premature ovulation, 18 shots in 10 days.
Preparing my very first shot! (Wish it was the alcoholic kind!)
Before I knew it we were in May and my retrieval was booked in. This is the most important part of the whole cycle. Like I said earlier, I knew no one going through IVF and struggled to find blogs and chat rooms that were not too full on, because of this I had no idea what a good number of eggs collected even was. I was told I would wake up from surgery and the number be written on my hand. I woke up and ….nothing!!!! Seriously! Not even a scribble. I burst into tears (what I always do after waking up from a general) and the nurse quickly came over and after apologising wrote the number 13 on it. It’s the little things that matter.
Later that day I got the call from the scientists to say that 6 eggs had fertilised and they’ll keep me updated over the next 5 days. I assumed that those 6 would all turn into embryos and be good to use…. wishful thinking.
I had another call that evening from the nurse team. They had originally given me two different types of trigger injections to use prior to the retrieval and called me with which one to take. I had no idea what they were for or what the difference was. She had instructed me to use Ovidrel which at the time I didn’t realise is the one to use when your doing a frozen transfer the following month. I was so confused. As far as I knew I was getting an embryo transferred in 5 days time, now this chick is telling me I have to wait until next month (It didn’t help that she was a complete b*t*h about it too). One month may not seem like a lot but when you have been trying for so long (and already calculated due dates based on this month) this upset me more than anything else. There was no way that I could have the transfer this month because of the specific medication my doctor put me on. This all happened because of poor communication between my doctor and me, and probably a lot of it was my fault for not knowing more about the process and medications.
Definitely the most frustrating day of the last 2 years!
Transfer done! Time to relax…
The next 5 days I was updated with the progress of our embryos. By the time we got to Day 3 we only had 1 embryo that was progressing as it should, I was sure that we would lose that one too and have to do a whole new round next month however, that 1 embryo made it to Day 5! They will now freeze that 1 embryo until next month.
Those 4 weeks passed fairly quickly (quite a few delicious bottles of wine may have been consumed) and the transfer was a success. After many tears, jabs and visits to Liquorland we finally got the positive news we were waiting for. Baby McGill due February 2016!
The dog wasn’t too impressed with our announcement!
And just like that we went from 2 to 3.