MY IVF JOURNEY







“I think you’d benefit from fertility treatment”- not a phrase I ever thought I’d hear at 26 years old. We had been married a year and had been trying for just over that time to get pregnant, so going to the doctors for tests just seemed like the natural next step.


I almost felt guilty for taking up the doctor’s time, we were young and being impatient, everything should be fine, I thought. The day came to go to the fertility clinic to discuss our results. My husband went first, and basically got told that he had Super Sperm! He was pretty pleased with himself! Then came my turn and I was fully expecting them to say that everything was fine and we just needed to keep trying, but the consultant started using all these medical terms and talking about ovarian reserves and it hit me: there’s something wrong with me, I’m the reason we can’t have a baby.


What followed was weeks of precise doses of hormone injections, bruised skin, headaches and fatigue. And here’s the thing about a round of IVF: no one talks about it, so it’s a lonely, scary journey that could quite possibly end in tears. My husband, who can’t stand the sight of blood and needles, became a pretty impressive chemist, preparing the drugs and administering them to me daily. Meanwhile, everyone I spent time with seemed to ask “so, when are you guys going to have a baby?”. If I’ve learnt one thing from this journey, it’s never to ask this question out of the blue, it’s a question loaded with emotion and can be easily avoided.



‘Trigger Day’ as it’s called in the IVF community, or ‘Pulling the Trigger’ (when you injection a hormone which triggers ovulation) crept up on us and a precise 36 hours later I was taken into surgery for Egg Collection. I woke up, the room spinning, in agony but only wanted to know one thing from the nurse: Did they manage to get any eggs? “Yes”. After Egg Collection, you are sent home the same day and told to rest and take ibuprofen. It felt like my insides had been scraped with a knife and I was told to ‘expect some discomfort’. You then wait for a call about the progress of your egg(s). I received this call on the day of my Grandfather’s funeral, a couple of days later. And that’s another thing no one warns you about with IVF, life doesn’t stop just because you are having treatment and desperate for a baby, women all around the world are injecting themselves with these drugs in the morning and then going about their daily lives.






All of a sudden, it was Transfer Day and we went to the clinic to have our precious embryo placed back inside my womb. “How do you choose which one?” I asked the embryologist, curious as to how they decide which one makes the cut. “There’s a clear frontrunner” he informed us and I was whisked off to theatre where my legs were placed in stirrups and a microscopic ball of life was reinserted into my body. My husband held my hand and looked at the time “10:10” and grinned. It felt monumental and yet there was every chance this was not going to work for us.


The hardest part of the journey came the 11 days that followed. I had to trust my body, despite the fact I felt really let down by it. Test day came and I felt sick with nerves and worry. I peed on that little stick and saw nothing. Heartbreaking. Then I held it to the light and the faintest line could be seen. It felt like a cruel trick and I called the clinic. The brief conversation with the lady who answered is one I will cherish forever: “Hi, it’s my test day and there’s a faint line but it’s really faint so I don’t know if it’s positive not” I blubbered down the phone. “Sweetheart, is there a line? It does not matter how faint it is, is there a second line?" Yes, I replied.


“Darling, take a deep breath, you are pregnant. Congratulations.” I froze, said thank you and ran upstairs to my husband who was still asleep. I woke him and told him that we were having a baby and he cried tears of relief. In all honesty, this was not the moment it felt real for me. At 8 weeks pregnant, we had an early scan. I held my breath as the sonographer turned the screen towards her to check for the baby and she smiled, turned the screen to face me and said “that’s your baby”…


And there she was. The Little Embryo That Could. Her tiny heart beating away. Today, my little frontrunner turned 6 months old. She fought hard to be born. So if you’re fighting to become a mother, keep fighting, you are not alone in this.