I never thought that leaving having babies until I was older would be a problem, I also didn’t meet my partner until later in life.
Our first baby was conceived after trying for only six months at 37, perfect pregnancy, and birth of our first baby girl Georgia.
We then decided to try for a sibling. After nothing happening for just over a year, we made an appointment to see a fertility specialist at Westmead Fertility Centre. After having some tests done and deciding to try Clomid, we were lucky to have success first go. The naive joy you feel when you have never experienced a loss in pregnancy was short-lived, and at our 12-week scan we were devastated to find out our baby had passed a few weeks earlier.
After a short break, we made another appointment with our fertility specialist, we were not giving up on another baby. After some blood tests, we were told the results were pretty poor, we had an AMH <1 and that IVF would be our best shot at having another baby.
Being 39 time was running out, so we started our first round in January 2013. We surprisingly had a good result, five embryos, all frozen due to high progesterone levels. This was at the time a disappointment having to wait another couple of months to transfer.
Transfer happened in April of that year, we thawed out 3 embryos and transferred the 2 remaining, these were only average quality, but these two little embryos made it, the test was positive, we were pregnant. I was still terrified of losing one or two of these after our previous loss at 12 weeks. We did have a scare at just over six weeks, some bleeding. We went into the clinic where the nurses did a quick scan to check, even though if we had lost them there was nothing that could be done. The nurse was surprised and then showed us the screen which showed two little babies, both with heartbeats. We couldn’t believe it, we were so happy!
After this, it was a pretty uneventful pregnancy, even for twins. I was 40 that year and at 38 weeks by elective c/s two beautiful baby girls were born, Olivia and Ashleigh, weighing 2.4kg each, so small compared to our first daughter, but very healthy and we all went home the next day.
In 2015 we decided to transfer the remaining embryos, as we couldn’t discard them, we had two but only one made it. Sadly this little one didn’t make it either, our seven week scan showed a slow heartbeat of just over 100, and was a week behind in growth, another devastating loss as we had to repeat scan the next week and heartbeat slower, then another scan at nine weeks which showed our baby had passed.
Even though with three little girls, and the two miscarriages we wanted another, a fourth baby, so decided to start another fresh round at the age of 42, and now time was really running out, I had six months until I turned 43.
Our first round using the same drugs as our first successful round didn’t work, was a crappy round and resulted in four eggs, but no embryos.
Second round with a change of protocol and drugs we had four embryos, but fresh transfer of the two didn’t take.
Third round, four embryos, transferred two again, but on test day the hCG was very low. We watched the levels rise very slowly, and at about six weeks with some discomfort, a scan showed a mass in my ovary. No one wanted to say it was an ectopic pregnancy, they just wanted to wait and watch, that weekend I had excruciating pain for about an hour, I was lucky that it resolved itself and levels decreased.
Fourth round we had another good amount of embryos. This time we had eight frozen on day one due to high progesterone. In any case, we had already decided at the start of this round that we would freeze and transfer later as that’s what gave us our twins. Then on Father’s Day 2016 we thawed four embryos and transferred the remaining two. I didn’t wait and tested four days after transfer and it was positive, we were so happy.
At seven weeks we had our scan which showed one little baby with a good strong heartbeat. Another scan at nine weeks and spot on growth, actually three days ahead, 12 weeks scan, scared of another loss, but our baby was growing fine. Due to my age we did the 10 week blood test, which was all clear for any issues, and we were having another baby girl. We started to relax, and at 39 weeks by elective c/s our little girl, Charlotte was born, a healthy 3.46kg, so much bigger than the twins, her older sisters were besotted with their new little sister.
Now at almost 45 we still have four embryos frozen.
Infertility and secondary infertility just takes away the joy of falling pregnant easily and miscarriage takes away the enjoyment you should have being pregnant, terrified of something going wrong and losing that precious baby.
But, I write this to show it can happen later in life and to not give up on your dream of having a baby. They are the most precious things in the world.
I cannot thank my doctor and all the fantastic nurses and staff at WFC for helping us get our beautiful girls.
At the time of writing, our 4 beautiful girls are Georgia 7, Olivia and Ashleigh 4, and Charlotte nine months.