A woman who navigated the emotional and physical maze of IVF has candidly shared the harsh reality that goes on behind closed doors.
Sydney mother Lauren McGill was one of the lucky ones – after her first round of In Vitro Fertilisation following two-and-a-half years of trying for a second child, she fell pregnant with her son right away.
However the road to baby joy for Lauren was paved with tears, pain and anxiety.
‘At the time I do remember wishing I had someone to experience this with. To ask questions, share stories and compare who has the best looking doctor (jokes!),’ Lauren wrote on her blog.
‘In a nutshell my husband had tests which showed that his sperm had below average mobility and stamina, basically giving us a very slim chance of conceiving naturally. Thank goodness for IVF!’.
Lauren explained the glamour and excitement of falling pregnant can be numbed by the constant blood tests and injections.
It pumped the mum-to-be full of hormones and left her prone to random mood swings and migraines.
‘I always did mine in my lower abdomen area. The quicker you go the easier it is! Oh and always do it around the same time each night. 9pm (after my 2 glasses of vino) worked for me,’ she said.
‘Now if you’re like me and you’re a hormone related migraine sufferer then stock up on your pills! This is when they kicked in for me. Three in two days!
‘I also began to be quite sore around my lower back and side area (aka muffin top), the nurse said it was all normal. Cramps were also very prominent and I was quite moody.’
One of the harder steps for Lauren was to wake up in the middle of the night – 2.50am to be exact – to inject herself with a ‘trigger’ injection which stimulates ovulation.
Alongside the gruelling routine she must follow at home, Lauren also described how her constant doctor visits, fasting and the trepidation of waiting for good news definitely took a toll.
And doing it all over again for the second time with her 10-month-old son is no easy feat.
‘I woke the dog on the way down to the fridge, woke my husband getting back into bed and then woke the toddler knocking my phone off the side table. Bravo to me!’ Lauren joked.
Despite the frustration of playing the IVF waiting game, Lauren’s bundle of joy was worth every tear and needle jab.
Her desire to have a family outweighed the pain and now the brave mother is completing her second round of IVF with hopes for a second child on the way.
Lauren also shared her sage advice to other mothers petrified by the unknown and fear of disappointment.
‘Stay positive. This can be really hard particularly when you’re getting bad news or feeling sh*t but I kept a positive mantra through this whole journey and I really do think it helped. Just keep your mind on the prize!’