Part 1: Fertility
By Leah Taylor
For most, it’s a natural capability to be able to produce children. It means a few fun nights between loved ones which results in a baby… sounds simple, right?
For those of us struggling with fertility it’s anything but simple – it’s life changing, it’s guilt, it’s emotional, it’s stressful, it’s heartbreaking and it’s painful to say the least.
Growing up, I dreamt of having children. I was the cousin who took care of the younger cousins, mothering them like they were my own. Little did I know then that my journey to have my own children was going to be a long, painful one.
I met my now-husband at 21 when he was 26. We had the same dreams, dreams of having children early. We never wanted to be ‘old’ parents – we wanted to have children as soon as we could.
It wasn’t too long till we knew we would have to seek help in making our dreams a reality. Hearing the doctor say, ‘you will have to have some kind of fertility treatment’ wasn’t too daunting to hear and we thought, ‘gosh we can do that, it sounds simple’. I then went on to see a gynaecologist who could refer me to an IVF clinic. He gave me a piece of paper with headshots of all the doctors at the local clinic, and I scanned over it trying to make my choice based on first impressions because really, I had no idea what all the letters under their names meant… it was all just a bunch of jumbles to me! I picked an older doctor thinking he would be caring and kinder with his older wisdom. My theory was, being an older doctor, he would know more and get the job done quicker.
My first appointment came around and we were in great spirits thinking that now, after all the formalities were done, I could finally start the treatment and have the baby we dreamt of having.
Within the first few appointments I was told I had PCOS. Driving home that day I thought to myself, ‘what’s a pee-cos?’
I did what we all do and turned to Dr Google (everyone does that, right?). I soon learnt that I had some kind of hormonal disorder which caused cysts on my ovaries. I thought, ‘ok, if the doctor didn’t seem concerned, why should I?’, so I left it in the back of my mind and moved on to having the numerous blood tests we were given.
At the next appointment, we were told everything was normal with our blood tests and we could move onto the treatment side of things.
The Ovulation Induction Program was chosen for me, which basically meant they were going to take over my cycle with drugs, build up my eggs, and when ripe and ready they would inseminate with my husband’s ‘contribution’. It was less invasive than IVF, so we would try this a few times before, well, not sure if you would call it being demoted or promoted to the IVF program… anyway…
I was put on Puregon, a hormone to stimulate my cyst-y ovaries to create follicles that would contain my ever-so-precious eggs. Normally women would be put on a much higher dose of such a medication, but the doctors thought they would start me on a low dose as they felt it would be enough for a person with relatively ‘normal’ reproductive parts.
Two weeks on and I was harbouring a few plump follicles without even feeling any different. I went on to have my insemination and felt on top of the world – this fertility stuff was a breeze! All I had to do now was wait two weeks to get the news I wanted to hear, easy! I could have done this 1000 times…
Leah is the mummy to a beautiful little miracle and second baby-mama to be. Keep your eyes peeled on our blog and newsletter for the next installment of Leah’s journey!
Part 1: Fertility
Part 2: Unexpected Surprises
Part 3: Making A Sibling
Part 4: Not Giving Up