Hooray! I am so happy that this little one is now in my belly (almost halfway along now) after all this time of trying. My four year old is already super excited and talks to my belly, giving it kisses each day.
I just want to clarify that this baby ended up being conceived naturally. Some of you may have found my blog via my last post about my worries of undergoing IVF. In the end we did decide to go ahead with it but discovered we were already pregnant after signing all the paperwork and purchasing the medication (it had been too early to test at the appointment). A happy surprise indeed!
Of course I want to share our happy news with you but I also wanted to provide some information on what may happen after you reach that 12 month mark of trying to fall pregnant with no luck. Here is what we did:
First we booked an appointment with a local GP, who ordered a blood test for me to check I was ovulating and had my husband’s sperm tested/analysed. I had to wait until a specific day in my cycle to have this test (approx. day 21 but it was ok to have it either side if it fell on a Sunday).
We then had a follow up appointment with the GP. She then referred us to a fertility clinic (living regionally this meant we had to travel to the city) and gave us copies of documents to be forwarded.
I rang the fertility clinic to book our first appointment with them. Thankfully, the initial appointment here was covered by Medicare. At this appointment we both went over our personal health history, some family history where relevant and the history of trying to conceive our first child (plus details of the pregnancy and birth). The doctor ordered a full range of various blood tests for each of us, another sperm sample to see if there had been any changes in the past two months and ordered an internal ultrasound for myself. Her interpretation of the results our GP had sent her was a lot more positive than what the GP had originally made us feel. The options of IVF were briefly discussed but we needed to get all the information first.
I then had to wait until the start of my cycle to get the internal ultrasound. It can often be difficult to get an appointment in my local area but they do hold a couple of spaces free for these types of appointments. It had to take place within a certain time frame so that they could measure the size of any forming eggs and how many were starting to form. This was to provide a baseline of how likely I was to conceive and if we needed to rush or not. Emotionally this ultrasound was a bit confronting, seeing an empty uterus and wondering how often I would have to go through this if we needed IVF. I was lucky to have a very kind woman performing the ultrasound for me.
Due to Christmas we had our second appointment in early January to discuss all the results and options and we were given the paperwork in case we decided to go ahead with it. The general outcome was that there was no real reason why we had not fallen pregnant yet and that it could still happen naturally. The doctor did say that based on my results we could wait another 6 – 12 months but not to leave it for too much longer after that due to my age and possible decline of egg quality (which can’t be measured in the ultrasound). We did have the option to have this appointment via phone but there would be no Medicare rebate if we chose that option. We got a partial rebate back by attending in person but it wouldn’t have covered the cost of petrol for the trip there and back. We only went in person to this appointment as we already had plans to be in the city the day before.
Between the second and third appointment there were a few phone calls to further clarify some things like costs, time needed off work and side effects to factor in and they were always very helpful and willing to take your call.
We finally decided to go ahead with it and had a third appointment in February to get it all happening. This appointment had to be attended by both of us in person as it involved signing all the paperwork and discussing the finer details of the procedure and process. We also had an appointment with one of their nurses who instructed us on what we would have to do and demonstrated how and where to use the needles. We also chose to purchase the medication then as there had been concerns over couriers not sending the medication under the right conditions. It takes three hours to get there each way so we weren’t keen to make an extra trip.
My period never arrived after that, as we were already pregnant! What are the odds? I am so relieved that we didn’t have to go through the IVF process in the end as the whole lead up was already emotional. I now have even more admiration for those who have used IVF as it’s not easy.
This is of course a very brief outline of the process leading into IVF and is based on our personal experience here in South Australia.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
In the meantime, we are happily looking forward to October when we will meet this little one.