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dont give up on your dreams

We started trying for a baby just after I turned 29. 8 months later nothing had happened, and I always suspected that something was wrong due to many years or very painful periods. I went to see our GP, who put me on vitamins (Staminogro, etc) and referred me to Medfem. Three months of rigorous testing followed, including failed cycles using Ovadril, as it was discovered that I do not ovulate (follicles turn into cysts). Husband tested fine so we knew the problem lay with me. I then had a laparoscopy and my fertility doc diagnosed severe stage 4 endometriosis that had virtually eaten away my tubes and distorted my anatomy.

Our only hope was IVF. By this stage, we were an emotional mess and starting to panic. The first IVF is always the scariest. And you expect it to work the first time! Of course, it didn’t. We were totally devastated. But we decided to give it another go straight away. And at last, 18 months from when we first started trying, we got the positive pregnancy result. 8 months later we were blessed with beautiful fraternal twin boys and it was hard to believe that we had come such a long way and everything we had to go to to get there now seemed totally fine. My twin boys are almost 4 years old now and they bring us absolute joy and happiness. But we didn’t stop there. We always wanted 3 kids, and since IVF worked for us, we thought it would definitely work again.

So, when the boys were 18 months, we started the journey again. We didn’t bother to try naturally (total waste of time for us). I went straight for another laparoscopy. The results were not pretty – things had actually gotten worse. My anatomy was so distorted that my ovaries were no where near (what was left of) my tube. So, definitely IVF again. The first IVF (3rd in total) failed. It was also a worry that I seemed to be getting fewer eggs and even fewer embryos than before. We did another IVF – also failed. Now we really started to worry and spoke about giving up. But we were determined and we desperately wanted another baby. Our friends and family kept telling us “but you already have your twins – just be happy with them”. But why should I not be able to have more kids just because I suffer from infertility?

So, we did the 3rd IVF (5th in total). This time was only had 3 embryos and I started bleeding heavily a few days before test day. I was a mess – angry, devastated and felt a huge loss. The my fertility doctor said that if we try again, he would recommend PGD (genetic) testing on the embryos since we have had 3 failed IVFs in a row – maybe there is some underlying genetic problem. So – gathering the last bit of strength I had – we decided to give it one last try. We had only 3 embryos again and we did the PGD. This eliminated 2 of the embryos, which left us with only one. We were not very confident it would work and we started to feel really sad again. I found out the embryo was a boy when it was transferred. Within a few days, I knew it had worked! After so many failed cycles, you get to know the difference between positive and negative very well. And I was right – we were pregnant!! At 6 weeks, the scan showed twins (the roller coaster ride never ends)!

The embryo had split into identical twins. We were flabbergasted. But, we were fine with it – we had twins before, we can do it again! And how amazing to have 2 sets of twins! But sadly at the 10 week scan, we had lost one twin. So needless to say, we totally panicked about the remaining baby. But, after a few hiccups along the way (at 21 weeks pregnant I fell and broke my elbow and wrist really badly requiring a 5 hour operation – very scary as I had contractions for days afterwards. Not to mention the 2 months of agonising pain as I could not take any painkillers), our beautiful baby boy was born. He is an absolute blessing and he makes my heart sing. Our family is now complete. I thank the miracle of IVF every day.

Bronwyn Stromsoe