Let me introduce myself. I am a 32 year old woman; I have a wonderful husband and a cute, but crazy dog. I am the latest addition to the Essential Mums website, only there won't be any talk of babies on my watch. Why you ask? That's because we have just started our second cycle of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment.
It all began three years ago while on an idyllic Pacific Island holiday. After much humming and harring we decided the time was right for me to stop taking the contraceptive pill and start actively trying for a baby. At the time I thought it although it might not happen first time, it might only take a few months and voila! But I couldn't have been more wrong. Fast forward several months and we decided it might be time for a frank chat with our GP.
Our GP referred us to Fertility Associates Wellington right away. Within a couple of months we were sitting opposite a specialist talking about the ins and outs of fertility treatment. The first thing we had to do following our initial appointment was to undergo a few tests. I had to have a couple of blood tests and my husband, given his medical history had a sperm count and motility test and a test to check his sperm for DNA fragmentation (Google it!).
We got our test results back and although having been diagnosed with endometriosis as teenager, my results were within the normal range. My husband's results weren't so good. While his sperm count showed lower than average numbers and motility, the level of DNA fragmentation was greater than 70 per cent. Our age, combined with my endometriosis and hubby's test results meant we qualified for public funding and were promptly put on the waiting list to start IVF with ICSI (sperm microinjection where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg) in nine months.
I was due to start treatment in September 2012 and boy did that time come around quickly. I told myself not to expect too much throughout the process. Because of this I felt like I dealt with things better than I expected. There were definitely lows though. Having to follow such a full-on treatment schedule was tough. I had to give myself injections daily, cope with drug side effects, mood swings, emotions and much, much more, all while still working full time and carrying on with my usual routines.
It's been about a week since I started my second cycle, which obviously meant that the outcome wasn't a good one the first time round. I'm hoping my blog will help to demystify IVF a little bit, particularly for people who haven't been on that journey, including those who may have family, friends or colleagues undergoing treatment. One thing I do want to put out there is that I am not here to pass judgment on other people's experiences with IVF; I am just going to tell you how it is for me.
An IVF Journey will be a regular blog, giving a first-hand account of what it's like to undergo treatment. It's an anonymous blog, due to the intensely personal issues being discussed.
- Essential Mums