Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I qualified as a physiotherapist, who after a few years and a stint overseas, left the medical world for the corporate one. IFAASA gives me the opportunity to use my medical knowledge in an area that is very important to me. Infertility changed my life – it showed me that I was stronger and braver than I ever believed possible, it definitely ratified my stubborn streak, and proved that from the deepest trenches of grief, there can come infinite happiness.
Please tell us about your infertility journey
I’ll never forget the moment when my heavily pregnant gynaecologist diagnosed my infertility by saying ‘You’ll probably never fall pregnant’. Devastated, I trawled infertility online forums and learnt one fundamental lesson – go straight to a Fertility Specialist. I was lucky to get an appointment for a few weeks later, and so the rollercoaster ride of scans, needles, deranged hormones, tears and fears began. After 2 IUI’s, 4 IVF’s and 2 miscarriages, I managed to fall pregnant, stay pregnant and give birth to my amazing son. I’m currently trying for a second child. Despite all I knew about infertility, I naively thought that the 2nd time would be easier, that I’d managed to do it before. However, a year later, and 5 IVF’s and 4 miscarriages later, I’m beginning to realise; there is no ‘easy, quick fix’ in infertility.
When did you decide to speak out about your infertility?
A work colleague mentioned the name of a Doctor he and his wife were going to see. I immediately recognised the name – it was my Fertility Specialist. I promptly asked him how long they’d been struggling to fall pregnant and simply stated ‘he’s my Doctor too’. With that, a flood gate of emotions opened up. I realised then, that there are many small, simple actions you can make to profoundly impact your family, your community, and the world, and decided to no longer be ashamed of my infertile label.
What coping mechanisms do you use?
I have a very close family, and they have always supported me during our struggle. I’m also lucky to have 3 close friends in various stages of infertility treatment. While trying for our first child, my dogs were my saviours. They never offered platitudes or advice, but just comfort and love. Now in the midst of trying for a second child, my 3 year old son’s simplistic reasoning brings life back into perspective and a smile to my lips.
What has Infertility taught you?
Looking back, I’m grateful for my past, for the circuitous path that my life took in trying to get pregnant. It helped shape me into the mother that I am today. I look at my son, and realise that through adversity I have learnt to be wiser, more patient and more content as a person, and to appreciate every moment with my son, even when in the throes of a tantrum
Why did you join IFAASA?
After yet another miscarriage, stalking the online forums for some form of consolation, some glimmer of hope in my devastation, I saw a post on IFAASA. I decided that I needed to do, to be part of something great that could change lives. Angel Chernoff once said ‘Knowledge without action accomplishes nothing’. With my medical background and Infertility history, I had acquired a wealth of knowledge on Infertility procedures, diets, supplements, medical advances and breakthroughs. I firmly believe that the more knowledge you acquire the more control you have over your life. Together with IFAASA, I see us empowering others who suffer from infertility, with the hope that perhaps their journey will be a little bit easier, a little bit less closeted than ours was.