24-30 September 2018

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Jennah and Marc's story

Marc and I meet 8 years ago and in that time travelled the world, got married, brought a house and adopted 3 fur babies. Pretty great really.

It was only 3 years ago that we started thinking about children and if I knew then what I know now we would have been trying for a lot longer. If only crystal balls were given out at xmas!

So, we actually started trying to get pregnant one month after we were married. I was 32 at the time. I started trying with one of my best friends who had also recently got married and we were both very excited about who would be first, how fun it would be if we were pregnant at the same time, how we could be ladies that lunch and eat all the junk food we wanted and blame it on the pregnancy... so a few months went by and my friend rang to tell me the happy news that they were expecting and I thought I better get a move on if we wanted to be pregnant together.

So, this is when I really started trying.

I brought a thermometer to test when my base temperature was elevated which indicated ovulation, read too many to mention blogs on what to eat, do and become in order to get pregnant, downloaded an online app that tracks when you ovulate, have your period, secondary signs and I’m pretty sure would bring up the baby if I eventually had one.

Another thing that changed was our sex life, which was once spontaneous, fun and diverse was now dependant on ovulation times, mechanical, even orderly and definitely not fun. I was fixated on getting pregnant and was just so annoyed and helpless things weren't working.  As the months passed and my friends tummy grew. More friends were getting pregnant with their first and even thirds. It was 8 months on and I started getting worried something was wrong.

This is when we went to fertility associates and both of us were tested for various things. It was a gut punch when the doctor gave us our results. They found little to no sperm in my husband’s specimen and I had tested below average for my AMH levels and it was recommend we start fertility treatment straight away.

When we found out that we couldn't get pregnant after the initial shock and a little cry it was almost like a weight was lifted and I felt better that now we knew what we had to do we could make steps towards it. All stations were go!

So, for reasons I won’t go into we don't qualify for public funding which adds an immense financial pressure to an already stressful time. Never in my life have I put down or would I think to put down $15k for a 30% chance of success. In fact, when you think about the math it’s like throwing cash down the gurgler. I guess the desire to have a child outweighs the fact that you will have to eat baked beans for the next year.

The trips into fertility associates were always interesting it would be me in the passenger seat stressing, crying, and argumentative whilst Marc was calm and reassuring as soon as we had parked the car our roles flipped. I changed into this smiling not worried, a stalk will deliver me a baby woman whilst Marc retreated into himself, crossed his arms and hardly said boo!

Our first round of IVF was the short cycle with ICSI. The first meeting with the nurse I remember smiling through it and being sweaty palmed and fully overwhelmed with all the instructions, on what my drugs were, times for blood tests and how to inject myself.

Looking back, we started this round of IVF very highly strung. Every day was a slog. I was very emotional, sore, bloated and tired. One point in that cycle maybe my 2nd to last night of injections I cried like a baby writhing round on the couch not wanting to have any more jabs and just wanting it to stop.  We pulled through the treatment to on egg collection day get 5 eggs. Not great but not terrible either. I remember being upset at the time thinking is that it? all that pain and weeks of angst for just 5 eggs!?! It didn't seem fair.

Anyway, we hoped for the best with insemination and let those little embabies percolate in the oven. On day 5 all but 2 eggs had died for various reasons and I had one alright eggy put back in. I was officially PUPO (Pregnant until proven otherwise). Sadly, the second embryo that was destined for the fridge died over night.

So, some people will tell you it’s the waiting that’s the worst and they are correct! Every day after insemination is hell. I don’t know how people don’t do at home pregnancy tests. Well I did every day after my embryo was put back.

I watched my tests turn positive from my trigger injection to negative as the hormones left my body and every day I took a test just waiting for it to tell me I was pregnant. Sadly, it never did. It was confirmed by the official blood test that I was not pregnant. Even though I was prepared for it from my at home testing when the nurse rang and I found out I was officially not pregnant I went into the staff bathrooms at work and just sat on the toilet absolutely shattered. Even thinking about it now makes me well up.

My friend whom I started this journey with has had her baby and she is so happy. This little bundle of joy is 8 months old now and it makes me think how times flies.

After a well-deserved holiday, and a bit of time for my body to get back to normal, Marc and I decided to have another crack. This time round I was way less stressed, I knew what to expect and had asked for time off work to focus on my treatment.  My second round of treatment was off to a good start the hormones didn't seem to make me so bloated, I was calm and could sleep all day thanks to having no work to worry about.

When egg collection came around and I got 8 eggs we were thrilled! Better than last time and things were looking up.  The nurse called me early the day after egg collection to say that unfortunately 6 of my eggs died. I couldn’t believe it. My stomach just dropped. To go from such a high to such a low was devastating. I just hoped that the other two were going to last the distance.  On day 3 they transferred both embryos back. They were not amazing but they had a good chance of sticking. I was officially PUPO again and the dreaded two-week wait had begun.

This time I managed to hold out testing at home.

Every day I would get out the tests go to the bathroom to secretly test and at the last minute stop myself... until the day before my official test. Curiosity killed the cat. I got up super early just positive I was pregnant, drank a glass of water waited for 15 mins then peed to my heart’s content on my little stick. As I stared at the test results I was in shock, I took another test to make sure... Not Pregnant. Devastation, tears, drama, glum, depression and a lot of peanut m&m's. I was not pregnant for a second time. How could this be? I really felt like this was the time but I guess it wasn't. That was 5 days ago today that I got that result. I’m better now and am already planning my next round pending the doctors consent.

I am super thankful and glad for a lot of things. My amazing husband, supportive family and friends and the hope that maybe next time is the time for Marc and I.

Fingers crossed for round 3!  Third times a charm.