My partner and I met while living in different cities in New Zealand. We actually met on an online dating app, while living 400km apart! When we met up for the first time we instantly hit it off. We hung out every weekend for nine months before he made the move up to Auckland.
We hadn’t really talked about starting a family, we were early 30s and just enjoying each other and working really hard in our careers, but having kids was in the background of our minds. We weren’t using any contraception but after three years together I hadn’t fallen pregnant. When my GP got wind of it during a checkup, she immediately said that something wasn’t right with that situation and referred me to Repromed. I guess underneath it all, I had thought that something was a bit off.
A few months later we went into see Dr Emily Liu at Repromed who ran a range of tests and found that I had endometriosis, polycystic ovaries (PCOS), as well as partially blocked tubes on both sides. We were a bit surprised! As well as that, my partner’s tests showed he had low sperm motility so on both sides this certainly explained a few things!
I had thought I would have kids in my late 30s, as I really loved my career. But realising we might not have the chance to have a family made us reassess what we wanted. When we had those test results and were faced with the seriousness of our situation, we realised our careers were less important than our future family life, and we knew we needed to get the ball rolling to make sure we didn’t miss out. It was a big head shift for me, to move my focus from corporate life to wanting to be a Mum.
I went and spoke to my boss straight away to explain our situation, and was extremely lucky with how supportive he was. I was told to take all the time I wanted with fertility treatment and was reassured that once I became pregnant and have a child, I could come back as soon or late as I want and could even work from home if I chose. It was pretty amazing to have that support in the early stages.
May 2016 I was booked in with Repromed to have the laparoscopy to see what was happening inside, and based on the result of the findings, was approved for public funding for two rounds of IVF. It was going to take 9-12 months to get our treatment underway. While waiting for treatment, I was working full time but focused on trying alternative therapies in my spare time. We tried it all. I had acupuncture three times a week for 6 months leading up to the pregnancy which was very pricey!
I also saw a holistic therapist, had decompression chamber treatments, we cut out alcohol and ate as healthily as possible. In fact, we cut out gluten and tried anything possible to achieve optimal health so we went into IVF in the best position. My partner starting exercising more, decreased his alcohol and stopped using our hot tub to protect sperm health. After six months the testing showed his sperm was healthier, which was exciting to see our actions did help.
Our turn for IVF came around a lot earlier that we thought, six months of waiting instead of up to 12. We were both weirdly very relaxed about the whole process which I think helped our head space. The treatment happens through a series of different steps and stages, including hormone injections, tablets and blood tests so you have time to process it – it all felt pretty straight forward.
I was really busy at work, and it was busy and stressful. My partner was launching his own company at the same time, so ironically that was a good thing as it kept us busy and our mind off obsessing over the success of our IVF.
When it came time for egg collection, we knew we had to freeze an embryo, because of my polycystic ovaries. There is the risk of hyper-stimulation which can be dangerous if you don’t wait for one menstrual cycle.
After egg collection, I had approximately 14 eggs collected which gave us five embryos, but only one embryo made it to day five after fertilisation and was good enough to freeze.
I remember being so disappointed when the Repromed nurse told us we had only one embryo (one chance, I was thinking) that made it to day five. The nurse reassured me and said “But, you only need one” and she was right. We were very lucky that one was all we needed – and this embryo implanted successfully!
Our baby girl is now 14 weeks and we just feel so lucky to have her. It’s taken a few years to get her but it’s been worth the wait. And she is such a good baby, so chilled out and happy….
For me transitioning from career woman to Mum has been massive. I find it hard not knowing what’s going on at work and probably the biggest challenge has been letting go and trusting other people to take over the work.
It’s such a big head shift and we are also wondering about trying for our second child straight away as we know how long it took the first time around! I was an only child and always wanted a sibling, and my partner comes from a big family.
It turns out we have to wait another couple of months before undertaking IVF so that decision has been decided for us I guess! For now, we are just enjoying the slower pace and time with our girl.
At Repromed we provide highly personalised care for all. We are based in Auckland with both public and private treatment available. If you’re a new client, we offer a free 15 minute phone consultation with a fertility doctor. Take the first step today.
Individual results may vary depending on your personal circumstances. With thanks to our client for generously sharing their story.