Hi there! We are some of the lucky ones, who got pregnant soon after we married and had a gorgeous son, Zac, now 6. We now know just how blessed and lucky we are and my heart breaks for those of you still trying for a miracle baby.
Surely it would be easy for us to get pregnant again? Nope! I was 36 when I had my boy and it turns out that Zac was my last good egg!
We tried to get pregnant naturally after Zac for about 2 years, then started our IVF journey. Our first IVF we only had two embryos at day three but hoped for the best…each step of IVF is so terrifying and so unknown and it is so hard to concentrate on the everyday life stuff while going through it (let alone dealing with the extra crazy hormones). So many questions along the way….how many eggs will be retrieved? How many will fertilise? What is the embryo quality like? Will the embryo implant (and how will I survive the dreaded “two week wait”!?). We were stunned when our first embryo got us pregnant and believed that God had answered all our prayers. Unfortunately, the seven week scan showed a heart beat, but bubs was smaller than expected, which in the IVF world is a bad sign. We went back two more times but bubs never caught up, until finally, we had a “missed miscarriage”, lab results from our D+C showing chromosomal problems, likely due to my eggs.
Our next embryo didn’t implant and so I took every vitamin ever invented, then went back for another IVF try….another pregnancy, but at 7 weeks no heartbeat at all, again due to chromosomal problems. Then…a natural pregnancy, but a very early miscarriage. I was aged 40 by then and with my history of poor response to IVF (maximum drugs but hardly any eggs retrieved) and chromosomal issues in our embryos, we decided it was time to end the heartache and give up on having our own baby again.
We eventually moved on to applying for foster care, as this had always been in my heart. However, too many obstacles impeded our application and it was just the wrong time…my mum dying, my husband’s dad dying, looking after our widowed parents. Still, I couldn’t bear to give up and spent countless nights googling for options….adoption? Too lengthy and my age was against us. Egg donor? My husband didn’t feel right about this. Try IVF again with pregenetic testing? No, we would be unlikely to even have embryos to test. So many people told us to give up and asked why it was so important (since we already had our son ), but I just could not let go of the need to add to our family. We quickly learnt not to discuss our secondary infertility with too many people, as it really felt that no-one understood.
Eventually I read about embryo donation and was shocked when my husband was happy to pursue this possibility. He felt that giving left over embryos a chance at life could only be a good thing. I found two websites here in Australia where we could advertise, expressing our desire for donated embryos, so placed adds. I had heard that spare embryos are rare in Australia and never dreamed that people would start contacting us, but sure enough, they did! Our lovely donors emailed back and forth for a while and then offered us two embryos. There were hurdles along the way, but eventually (at age 42), the first embryo was implanted. We never expected either embryo to work, after all, I was getting older, we had already had many losses, and the embryos had been frozen for 7 years…still, we had to try. Sure enough, the first one got us pregnant! Again, I expected the worse…but here we are, holding our miracle baby! It turns out that God had us planned to be this little one’s parents all along!
My advice to you all is to listen to that small voice in your heart or mind and to follow your dreams, until you have exhausted the plausible options or until your heart tells you to stop.
I am proud that we persevered and that we found options that our fertility doctors didn’t know existed. I am proud we didn’t give up. Looking back, there were so many times over the past few years when having a newborn would have been extra hard (illnesses, deaths etc). It turns out that God’s timing and plan was right all along! I wish you all the best in each of your journeys xo