My pregnancy journey has been quite long and pretty hard. After all that we have been through, we can hardly believe we’re 24 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby. We were the first in New Zealand to use new genetic screening technology at Repromed - Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).For me, trying to get pregnant started a long time ago when I was married to my now ex-husband. We got pregnant straight way, but miscarried after 6 weeks. We thought that was pretty normal, so we tried again and the second time the pregnancy seemed to be going well and we started to feel a little bit excited. But at 10 weeks I started spotting so went to see the obstetrician who said we were having another miscarriage. Tests showed that this had been a partial molar pregnancy, which meant the baby had too many chromosomes, and it can actually lead to cervical cancer for myself. That was pretty intense. Losing my baby with the added chance of now developing cancer. I had to have blood tests each month before I was given the all clear 6 months later. My marriage broke up during this time which added to the stress and it was all pretty full on. Words cannot really describe it.
But things improved. I met my partner and a few years later we tried to start a family and became pregnant immediately. We were so excited about growing our family and put the other attempts down to bad luck. Things were going well with the pregnancy but at 13 weeks a scan revealed our baby had severe ventriculomegaly, a brain development problem. We had to go back for more conclusive testing at 18 weeks - that period of waiting to find out for sure was just a horrendous time for us. We tried to be positive and kept ourselves busy while we waited out the time.
Finally I had reached the 18 week pregnancy mark. The additional scan and amnio test showed that our baby was not doing well and sadly, we lost our baby at 20 weeks. We were lucky during this painful time to have such great support from friends and family as well as medical staff who were so caring and kind in our grief.
We didn't let go of our dream to have kids so tried again but sadly we lost our 4th and 5th babies in their first trimester.
At that point, I had had enough. I didn't want to go through anymore heartache and we didn't understand why we couldn't have a baby. The post-mortem on our baby didn't show that there was anything genetically wrong and we saw a genetic specialist who couldn't find any problems either. We were at a loss.
At that point we decided to try IVF as we just wanted to have some reassurance. We went to Repromed and were offered EmbryoSelect testing (PGS with NGS technology), which adds an extra process of screening the embryo for chromosomal defects during the IVF cycle to ensure there are no abnormalities. It’s a more expensive procedure but we knew this was the right thing for us. The IVF process resulted in three embryos, with the test results showing that two of the embryos were healthy and one had abnormal chromosomes, so we were relieved we had the testing done.
IVF isn’t as hard as I had thought it would be, but that’s not to say it’s a walk in the park! The egg removal stage involves daily injections that you learn to do yourself into your abdomen and you figure out the little tricks along the way to make it more bearable. You need weekly blood tests done in the initial months and also regular scans. When I had the first embryo implanted it was a very quick and easy process, and within weeks I was successfully pregnant! We have the other embryo frozen and ready to go for baby number two at a later date, fingers crossed!
We were blown away by the support we received by Repromed in every area from our first meeting with Guy to the last day we were there for a checkup. They really care about their clients. We have been especially thankful for the support from Lyn, one of the nurses at Repromed. She has just been amazing every step of the way. Lyn has been with us through our whole journey and is so genuinely passionate about us and our dream for a family. We get along really well and still pop in to visit her, even though we have been handed over to an obstetrician for our prenatal care. And the Repromed laboratory staff were very informative, keeping us in the loop with results through each step of the process.
I am now 24 weeks pregnant, and really can’t believe it. To be honest, it was hard to let ourselves be completely excited during the first 19 weeks of the pregnancy because of our previous experience. We were waiting on the anatomy scan to confirm everything was ok. It’s so exciting we are at the point now that we can talk about baby names. It’s really nice to be able to talk about our baby and our future plans. We have decided not to know what the sex is, so that’s going to be a really nice surprise as well.
Going through this whole experience has really brought us together as a couple. It’s been tough, but we have found ways to support each other emotionally through each stage and it’s drawn us together in really beautiful deep way. We are just really excited about the next phase in growing our family.
Repromed NZ offer private and public funded IVF treatment and are the first in NZ to use the latest technology in genetic screening locally – Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). You can book a free 15 minute phone consultation with a fertility doctor. Click here to make the first step.
With thanks to our generous clients for sharing their personal story.
To learn more about PGS click here.
Individual results may vary dependant on your personal circumstances.