1. How long before you turned to IVF to try and
start a family?
It was pretty fast. We tried naturally for about four
months but when we decided to start trying IVF we
never imagined this road. We were thinking that I
might fall pregnant even before our wedding date so
when it didn’t happen naturally we sought advice and
then started down IVF.
2. It can be an emotional and financial toll, did
you find this?
We just had no idea and really just rolled with the
punches because once you start IVF it’s really hard
to stop. We had the attitude of ‘whatever it takes’ but
trying to make a baby is different and no matter what
you do, the results are out of your hands. We also tried
every trick in the book beside IVF. Every modern
theory or old wives tale was tried - I think I’ve taken
every lotion and potion possible. We endured a lot of
hurdles and heartache but after every failed attempt
and negative blow that was dealt to us we asked
ourselves what we can do differently next time.
3. How long did it take before you were
So many people doing IVF can tell you every nitty
gritty i.e. how many egg collections, how many
embryos they had, how many needles. For us we
focused on the positives and kept that definition of
insanity which is doing the same thing over and over
and expecting a different result. We aligned ourselves
with experts that also believed in trying new things
each attempt. Eventually little Bronte was conceived
after more than three years of nonstop trying.
4. Any helpful advice you could pass on to a couple about to begin IVF?
No one starts IVF as their first choice to make a baby but I would say two things.
Firstly, try and do all appointments as a couple. IVF is of course a fine tuned
science with so much to take in so if there is two of you there to share the load
it helps take the pressure off the ‘Mum to be’. We both attended every single
appointment together and there were literally hundreds.
Secondly, really do your homework on the specialists in this field. Make sure
the doctor is purely a fertility specialist. Keep a positive attitude, be prepared for
disappointments and never give up.
5. When you gave birth to Bronte – what were some of the things you can
remember about your experience with medical and nursing staff?
The joy of falling pregnant was short lived. You would think after the long road
we were on that the pregnancy would be the easy part. I was put on bed rest from
week six and then was in and out of Pindara for nearly five months before Bronte
arrived seven weeks early.
We had been referred to Dr Suhad Hassan as our obstetrician. We will be forever
grateful to Dr Hussan for her care and attention to my needs and conditions and so
thankful that we were referred to her. The nurses and midwives are all fantastic but
all the staff including assistants, caterers and cleaners help make the maternity ward
great. The special care nurses based in the nursery are like angels sent from heaven.
6. Describe the emotions you both experienced when you found out that
you were pregnant?
A mixture of disbelief, nervous excitement and relief. The best reaction was
from Paddy, Michael’s 10 year old son from his first marriage. We gave him the
scans to look at and he was analysing them and then turned to us and spelt out
B-A-B-Y with the biggest smile on his face. It was a really magical moment.
7. What is the most surprising thing you have discovered about yourself
as a new mother after your IVF journey?
It’s not surprising but the instant unconditional love for Bronte and the
amazement that I nurtured something so perfect inside me for all those months. I
was still so nervous at time of delivery that the anaesthesiologist kept reminding
me to smile. Michael is already an awesome dad but to watch his love for Bronte
just melts my heart. He has been getting her nursery ready - painting walls,
ordering art work, and of course already buying her the best of everything. Paddy
is in love with his little sister and it’s like they are connected by some sixth sense.
Bronte has completed us as a family.
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