Finally out bundle of joy!

After 2 and a half, long painstakingly slow years of trying for a baby, my daughter Cate was born in February! In my late 30’s, after a failed marriage, a family relocation,and a health breakdown, I met a wonderful man in his 40’s. By 2014 we married in a beautiful sunrise ceremony on a Sydney beach. Although we had children from previous relationships, we had decided to add to our little family with a child of our own. However as I had a tubal ligation in 2008, I was unable to fall pregnant naturally. Our GP referred us to Westmead Fertility Centre, as he did not feel I would benefit from a reversal.

Although our first appointments were put back due to my health again at the time, we finally commenced fertility treatment in mid 2015, and were very excited to fall pregnant off our first cycle. It seemed so simple, and easy, however this was very short lived, and by 12 weeks I had a miscarriage losing our beautiful Charlie. This event brought us very close together, it was a very devastating time. We all had our ways of dealing with the tragedy. My 10 year old daughter and I created a lovely box, with Charlie’s name on it, with all of my tests results, and scans, so we had something to reflect back on, for the short time we had. Charlie brought us so much joy to our lives, we were determined to ensure that the memory remained with us. It took us a long time, even while trying again, to move past it.

We had several more failed attempts, each with its issues. My BMI was slowly creeping up due to the emotional eating, ongoing irrational outbursts, caused by the IVF hormones, and disappointment in my body.

In one of our attempts the doctor was unable to access one of my ovaries, due to its placement and my increasing weight, which resulted in only 2 average quality eggs collected. In another attempt due to a poor response, we again only got 2 eggs, from the very few follicles that were stimulated. Admitting that I had declining fertility levels, we were about to call it a day. However we gave it one more shot, and with a revised regime from Dr Smith, in mid 2016 we managed to produce many A grade quality embryos, which we never believed at our age (now both 40+) was possible. We transferred 1 perfect A grade hatching embryo. Something about that fresh transfer just felt right. Thankfully I fell pregnant again and after 9 long months our beautiful daughter Cate was born in February 2017. My pregnancy was dogged with issues. It was not easy, and I spent 4 weeks hospitalised across the pregnancy. It’s quite true that a pregnancy in your 40’s is not as easy as in your 20’s. But in the end it was all worth it. I cannot express the joy she has brought to our lives, and encourage all those who struggle with infertility to take a break when necessary, but don’t give up your dreams.

Infertility is a very long, lonely journey. I wish all of those couples who embark on this journey to find solace in their love for one another. It is a journey which one does not have a lot of control over, we place our faith in the doctors and staff of the Westmead Fertility Centre, who do their best to work with us to achieve our end goal. I wish all couples on this journey the best of luck, and be kind to yourself, and embrace the support from others around you who are likely to be going through the same thing.

Lastly, thank you Westmead for our beautiful daughter. You have given us a gift that is worth every heart ache ever thrown at us through IVF.

Annette H

If you would like to share your story and help to break the silence on infertility please visit https://www.westmeadivf.com.au/breaking-the-silence/