At the time my journey into fertility began, I was in my late 30s. I had realised that if I wanted to have a child, it was going to have to be “now or never”. I was busy relocating to the Netherlands from South Africa and my husband and I had decided that we would start trying for a baby as soon as possible after having moved.
Unlike most couples with fertility issues, we hadn’t yet even tried to fall pregnant. Because of my age, I went to a renowned fertility clinic, for fertility tests, to see exactly what was going on with my body. I had always had the regular gynaecological check-ups, but I wanted to have more thorough tests, to be sure that everything was in order.
I never expected the bad news – the worst possible news, delivered early in the morning on Christmas Eve 2008 – “I’m sorry, but your test results confirm that you have NO eggs left, you are in premature menopause and the only options left to you of having a baby are either using a donor egg or adoption…”
I fainted from the shock and when I came round, I found a nurse standing there, stroking my cheek and with a cup of tea in the other hand. She said: “…you will go through a mourning period and when you are ready, you can chat to the doctor about our donor egg program…”
I said: “I’m sorry, I refuse to believe it, that’s ridiculous, I WILL have a baby and I have to get out of here right now!”; I drove to my parents; home in tears, feeling as if my world had come to an end. The first thing my mother said to me was: “Don’t listen to the bad news! Don’t believe it.”; In my heart, I actually didn’t.
I also didn’t really understand the meaning of my diagnosis, printed out on the doctor’s letterhead in medical terminology, so I began to do research and take action immediately. Taking action makes you feel much better. It takes you out of the victim role , puts you into survival mode and helps you to regain your personal power and strength.
After doing an extensive amount of research and putting everything that I uncovered into action, I was sure that my fertility situation had changed. I made an appointment with a new fertility specialist, this time in the Netherlands.
This specialist seemed a lot more positive initially, especially after seeing that my FSH levels had gone down substantially. I proceeded to go through a whole new batch of fertility tests, a repeat of what I had already gone through in South Africa, as well as a number of new, more advanced tests.
Feeling a lot more positive, I was not expecting the news that I received next : “I’m very sorry to tell you that your test results indicate that you are not a candidate for IVF, as we are not sure how many eggs you still have and the ones you may have are most likely of a very poor quality. We don’t think you will respond to hormone treatment either. There is, however a very slim chance that you could fall pregnant naturally, as your FSH levels have dropped, but it is highly unlikely. We won’t take you on as a patient as we feel it will be a waste of time and money”;.
I was of course devastated once again. I had really believed that after everything I had been doing I would at least be able to start an IVF program. I started looking at other fertility clinics as options and was more determined than ever to have my baby. I followed my holistic regime religiously and continued doing research as it was the only way I was able to feel hope.
Not long after this, I started to feel different. My instinct told me I was pregnant. I did two pregnancy tests, which were both negative. Very disappointing, but since I was still feeling a bit strange and had noticed some changes in my body, I decided to do one last test, on the morning of my 40th birthday…
POSITIVE!!!! I was pregnant!!
What an incredible birthday gift!