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Meggan – IFAASA Director

We waited for 7 years before we decided to have a family, it wasn’t a decision we came to lightly. I had never known anyone that struggled to conceive and who spoke openly about it so it came as quite a shock that it was not happening as fast as it should have. And at the same time I was of the age that all my friends were building families and it was common topic of discussion ‘how quickly I conceived’. To this day I still don’t understand why this needs to be compared and discussed.

My first appointment with a gynaecologist landed up like so many stories we hear at IFAASA. I was quickly whipped into surgery for a laparoscopy with no blood work or investigations on me or my partner. I wish I knew then what I know now about infertility and what I should have done is pick up my uterus and my money and run out of that office as quickly as possible. We did eventually conceive only to lose our baby at 11 weeks. What followed was another life lesson about the silence around miscarriage. It was a difficult time in my life here emotionally, I hit rock bottom. I had never known grief like this before – the loss of a baby is so terribly difficult. By this stage I had heard of fertility clinics but I still was not brave enough to make an appointment. My story would not be complete without me talking about my spiritual experience during this time. I turned away from the God I know but He waited patiently.

After 2 more losses and many timed cycles I decided it was time to at least go and listen to what a Fertility Specialist had to say. Our first appointment was at 7 in the morning in the middle of winter and we sat in the parking lot in the pitch dark mustering up the courage to walk in. But it was the best decision we ever made. During that consultation I felt a lot of peace that this was our answer and that even if we didn’t have a baby I would be able to walk away from here knowing I had tried everything possible. Interestingly it was the first time my husband also felt acknowledged, he said that before this appointment he didn’t think it mattered who came with me because the doctor never acknowledged his presence anyway. Infertility really is a couples not an individuals disease.

We went through 5 IUI’s and 3 IVF’s before we were able to conceive and give birth to our daughter. We decided not to go back to fertility treatment for a sibling but rather find our peace and enjoy life with our daughter. We had already given up many years to infertility.

I don’t think I will ever say I was grateful we went through infertility but it will always be an experience that remains part of me. 6 years later and there are still many moments my husband and I call infertile moments. It is not the big milestones one would expect but the little things. When I feel that little hand creep into mine while walking, opening my bag to find a collection of acorns that have been deposited in there, plaiting hair or hearing sweet little prayers. The infertility experience gave me depth of emotion that I didn’t understand at the time but recognise now.