We have been trying to have a baby since April 2014, nearly 3 years ago. A year and several months after no success we decided to go to a fertility doctor.
After a bunch of tests to see if there were issues, it turned out we needed to do IVF to have any chance of a baby (if there was a chance). This opened a Pandora’s Box of horrible thoughts – would it even be possible to have children? How can we afford it?
Instantly we had to push the idea of our investing to the back of our minds. We would have to turn all of our ‘frugal’ savings and our house deposit fund into an IVF fund. We asked ourselves difficult questions, what is the point of money of not to use as a tool for what you want in life? For us, that meant trying to create a child even if it cost all our saved money.
We prepared for our first IVF attempt by having a meeting with the IVF finance department and also a therapist. Both conversations were confronting for different reasons, we learned exactly how much the IVF would cost and some of the difficult emotional topics were raised again.
We excitedly went to the hospital a few weeks later in May and had our fingers crossed that it would work first time. But it didn’t work, the cycle was cancelled because we couldn’t get the baby ingredients.
It felt devastating. We would have to go to a central city (expensive, private) hospital. We couldn’t afford the hospital fees and the IVF fees so we’d have to wait until our private health insurance kicked in several months later.
So, several months passed and we weren’t sure if we would be able to have another go in 2016. We had a meeting in November with our fertility doctor to see what we could do.
He said that if we get on with it, we could have an attempt in December. So we quickly got our IVF drugs and started. In May it was around a month of drugs, this time it was just 2 weeks.
It was a bit of a whirlwind of a fortnight and suddenly we were on the edge of another attempt. Would we suffer the same fate as last time? All we could do was hope.
We got further than we did last time. We got some baby ingredients, 10 eggs in-fact, 10 eggs that could become fertilised and become embryos. The next step was to make the magic happen.
In the lab, only 1 turned into a fertilised egg. That is a scarily high attrition rate! We had to hope that over the next 48 hours our one chance would keep growing and become an embryo so that it could be implanted into the uterus.
We were told that if the embryo survived we wouldn’t get a call, no news is good news, but at any time we could get a call to say our fertilised egg hadn’t grown and we shouldn’t go in. We were really on edge. One chance was all we had. There was nothing we could do to help our little one grow.
We woke up on the day it was meant to happen. No call.
We had some breakfast and got ready. No call.
We got in the car and headed off. No call.
We were halfway there, we were looking at the clock every minute which felt like 10 minutes. Still no call.
We arrived at the hospital and the time had passed when they would have told us if it had failed at that point. We were nervous and excited.
We made our way to the right ward/room and waited for our IVF nurse. She told us that the fertilised egg had kept growing and was waiting as a 4-cell embryo (right on track). We were so relieved it had made it up to this point.
With our hearts beating in our throats we went into the ‘fertilisation room’ (it probably had a much more scientific and boring name).
A lady came in and introduced herself as our laboratory embryologist (or something like that). She’d be bringing our fertilised egg soon. She left. Our doctor and IVF nurse came in and explained a few things. The embryologist came back, with some medical equipment. Each person got into position ready for ‘the moment’. Time seemed to stand still, everything was very serious and tense.
We could see on the ultrasound screen our doctor guiding the embryo into position. We see our little fertilised dot of an egg go in. Just like that.
It was over so quickly, they all left. It was surreal what had just happened, we gathered our thoughts and took a picture of the ‘still’ image of our little dot in the uterus that was still on the ultrasound screen.
We went back home for 2 weeks of more waiting. Anything could go wrong at this point – it is quite common for the embryo to not ‘take’. More fingers crossed and hoping.
A couple of weeks later we did a blood test. This would show if things were progressing as they should be. The blood test showed that the hormone levels were rising as they should be. This is great.
We were up for another blood test a week later to check things were still growing as planned. Even better.
The ultimate sign to see if things worked would be an ultrasound, which we had last Monday (9th January).
In the ultrasound room we could see the very small outline of our tiny baby. It has a beating heart. After almost 3 years, we are officially pregnant.