It was no surprise that once we were married, people didn’t hesitate to ask:
“Are you pregnant yet?”
“When are you starting a family?”
“What are you waiting for? Clock’s ticking!”
“Why aren’t you drinking?”
I took it in my stride for a while, told people not to worry and that we’d let them know when I was pregnant. I’m generally a positive and open person but this is one thing that really annoys me and everyone else who is going through struggles with fertility. You never know the situation people are in – they could be grieving a miscarriage, they may be suffering in silence, in the process of fertility treatment or have faced numerous failed IVF cycles. You may not realise the effect this can have on someone but I can assure you they probably want to punch you in the face and tell you to f$*% off. If this can detract one person from asking this question then this post has achieved its purpose!
When you’re trying to conceive, everyone around you seems to be pregnant or having babies. It starts to get to you when you hear of all the teen pregnancies and people getting pregnant without trying, or hearing of parents who neglect their children or hearing people constantly complaining about their pregnancy and kids. It’s obvious they haven’t faced the challenges of infertility. I urge you to think before you speak. Your seemingly innocent questions and comments may be received with a fake smile that’s hiding a deep pain, frustration and stress beneath. The bottom line is whether you’re a family member, friend or just a nosy person in general, it’s really none of your business and if someone wants to let you in they will do so at their own time.
Medical conditions: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Thalassemia Minor (not related to my infertility). Sperm count on the lower end.
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder affecting 12-18 per cent of women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may not ovulate (release eggs). There are several symptoms that can be present and you don’t need to have all of them to be diagnosed. These symptoms include:
irregular menstruation or amenorrhea (no periods),
excess facial and/or body hair,
insulin resistance putting you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
I had my first period quite late at age 15. I always had irregular cycles that were initially 6 – 12 months long. My GP put me on the pill at the age of 17 which masked my PCOS symptoms while regulating my cycles. I was on a variety of different pills over the course of about seven years before deciding to take a break to see if I could have a natural period. Months and months passed with no sign of my cycle. I had heard it could take a little while for your cycle and hormones to return to normal after stopping the pill but to this day, it hasn’t come without medical intervention.
In the years that followed, I had a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis which thankfully came back all clear. I was referred to an Endocrinologist who put me on Metformin to improve insulin levels in the hope of regulating my cycle, but I had no luck. Four years passed and still no period. My Endo did a whole range of testing and came to the conclusion that when we were ready to start a family she would send me straight to a fertility specialist at Melbourne IVF (MIVF). Since our wedding on 25 April 2015, we decided that it would be worth giving it a shot for a few months to see if we could get pregnant naturally.
Approximately five months after our wedding we went to a MIVF seminar where we heard from a number of Fertility Specialists (FS), dietitians and doctors. This is where we first heard our FS speak. Both of us knew straight away that we wanted him to be my FS. The next day I called MIVF and booked an appointment to see him. He has been so amazing every step of the way from our very first appointment and we couldn’t be in better hands. I want to stress how important it is to feel comfortable with your FS and have that ‘good feeling’ about who you choose to share your journey with. It’s personal and invasive and you never know how long the road will be.
My husband Daniel and I have been together for 11.5 years in total and have been married for two of those years. We have been trying to conceive for approximately 18 months now. I always had a thought at the back of my mind that we might need assistance with fertility when the time came (you will read more detail about this in my posts). I naively thought that IVF was almost the easy way out – sure it would be a costly and emotional journey, but I had no idea about all the highs and lows faced by so many women going through fertility treatment and IVF. This blog is about our journey from the beginning and the fertility treatments we have endured since trying to conceive. I’ve found comfort in reading blogs and forums and know that I’m in no way alone in this journey. I hope that by sharing our story, I can give others information about what to expect at each stage of fertility treatment, whilst documenting each step in my Road To Mummy.
When undergoing fertility treatment and IVF, you’re juggling life, work, your partner, family and friends while spending hours going back and forth to appointments at the hospital and pathology, picking up medication, having tests, scans and completing endless paperwork. It seems like a never ending cycle. If you’re lucky enough to find some spare time, you generally don’t have the energy or mental and physical capacity to do much else other than watch Netflix and laze on the couch.
Fertility treatment and the anticipation of waiting for each step can totally consume your life. The road is long and tiring and there are so many unknowns. I hold onto hope that one day we will have our miracle.