Friday, October 31, 2014

How do you make a baby?

This is a sponsored post for Queensland Fertility Group and Digital Parents Collective



Easy question, right?  (Well unless you're trying to explain it to a small child)

Everyone knows you just need to get jiggy with it and boom you'll get pregnant. Easy

At least that's what those sex ed teachers told us in highschool. Well technically they were trying to scare us into making sure we didn't get pregnant. "If you have unprotected sex even once you will get pregnant!" Although not many of us paid attention during those classes, I totally believed them that I'd get pregnant the moment I had unprotected sex. All the teenage pregnancy warnings thoroughly scared the crap out of me. Which was probably a good thing because I definitely didn't want a baby back then.

A few years later when I was 23, I was ready to have a baby, and I naturally thought it would be as easy as stopping the pill and I'd get pregnant. I didn't think I'd be lucky enough to fall pregnant straight away, but I didn't think it'd be that hard either. Wrong. After 12 months of trying with no luck I started thinking those sex ed teachers had seriously lied to me. I mean hello - I was purposefully having unprotected sex and not getting pregnant and they told me even if I did it accidentally I'd get pregnant. Way to give a girl false expectations. After 12 months of nothing happening we got referred to the fertility clinic at our local hospital.

I never knew trying for a baby was such a complex process. I guess it doesn't feel that way for those who are lucky enough to fall pregnant without knowing all the science behind it all. When you go through a fertility specialist you soon learn just how many factors can actually affect your fertility.

The most important factor affecting a woman's ability to conceive is her age. Once women are over 36 they have half as much chance of conceiving as they would have when they were 20. Age is probably the only fertility factor I was remotely aware of before trying to conceive. Of course at 23, I didn't think my age would be a factor. What I wasn't aware of was just how much cycles, ovulation, egg quality, timing, health and general lifestyle factors also play a part in conception. There's also a number of reproductive conditions that can affect fertility and you might not even know you suffer from them, I didn't.

The infertility rollercoaster was a very unpredictable and daunting process for us at the time. There were lots of emotional highs and lows. To cut a long story short, my ex-husband and I actively tried to conceive for almost 3 years. We exhausted all of the free fertility testing options at the local hospital over the course of a year and still never once got pregnant. Our next step was to be referred onto Queensland Fertility Group (QFG) to look into other options, but our relationship broke down before we went ahead with an appointment. Looking back now I'm actually glad I never conceived with him given how toxic our relationship was. Perhaps destiny somehow had a hand in that, because I then went on to meet T and our journey has had a much better result.



T and I decided to try for a baby, knowing full well that I'd probably have trouble conceiving. Still we decided to go au natural again just to see what would happen. I had this misconstrued theory that maybe I'd magically get pregnant because I was now trying with another man (even though it was me who had the fertility issues). Surprise, surprise that didn't work. After six months of trying and nothing happening we went straight to QFG to check on everything and start fertility treatment. I didn't want to dilly dally around this time. I knew time was ticking away and I didn't want to get past 30 and think gee I really wish I had've done that sooner. 

Before I began fertility treatment I was quite apprehensive. The emotional lows of not conceiving made me start thinking it would never work. I was still optimistic, but I let my negative thoughts take over at times. I was petrified of my first visit to QFG, mainly because of the unknown. Our dr made us feel so comfortable and reassured of the process that any apprehension I had before was quickly gone. I came away from that appointment with a whole new attitude - I had a renewed sense of determination and a very positive outlook.

After initial testing I was quickly diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The short explanation of PCOS is that it means I don't ovulate each month, instead my eggs turn into cysts. At the time I was diagnosed I think I had 13 cysts on one ovary and 9 on the other. Being diagnosed with PCOS was actually a good thing because I finally had an answer as to why I hadn't been conceiving. Knowing what the issue was meant we had a plan of action to tackle it. In our case that meant ovulation induction, which lead to this...




For some of us the journey to conception can be hard, but there is always hope. I'm so grateful that I experienced fertility issues in a time when there are so many medical options available to help. If you're planning on conceiving soon or have been having trouble falling pregnant QFG now offer a free fertility insights program to help you get started on the path to conception. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for Dr Ben Kroon and QFG. They have given us the greatest gift ever and I simply cannot thank them enough. We're currently discussing when to try for another baby and although we haven't come to a decision yet, we have definitely agreed we will be going back to see the team at QFG when we're ready.


Toni x


* I understand its an unwritten law for sex ed teachers to scare teenagers out of having sex by any means necessary. I hereby forgive my teachers for inexplicably creating my false expectations regarding pregnancy.

Disclosure - this is a sponsored post for Queensland Fertility Group in conjunction with Digital Parents Collective as per my disclosure policy


43 comments:

  1. So true - they say teens fall pregnant just by getting near a penis...and some do, but then when you want to it can be so, so hard, or impossible...

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    1. Exactly Lydia, I don't think people are ever prepared for just how hard it can actually be sometimes.

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  2. I'm so glad you got the baby you wanted - have a wonderful day !
    Me

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  3. So glad you finally got your lovely little one. My problem is that in trying for bub number two is that I can fall pregnant no worries but can't maintain the pregnancy and have a huge fear of going in to have a third miscarriage or more..I wonder if QFG help in those areas?

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    1. They would most likely be able to do all the testing to find out what the issue is causing the miscarriages and would be able to monitor further pregnancies to try and ensure everything is done possible to make the pregnancy viable. It would definitely be worth going in for a consultation to discuss it. I know lots of ladies who've had to take certain medications or hormones during pregnancy to help maintain it. I had to have my thyroid monitored and take medication during mine because it went all funny with the pregnancy hormones and they picked that up for me.

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  4. Look at you with that beautiful baby belly :) I have a good friend with PCOS who is undergoing treatment and trying to fall pregnant. I will share this post with her Toni.

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    1. I loved being pregnant so much, I used to walk past mirrors and shop windows on purpose just so I could see my reflection because I never thought it would happen. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I went to QFG as well.... Though I was 41 and still single. Sadly my efforts were unsuccessful.

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    1. So sorry it didn't work for you Deb x

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  6. What a beautiful, heartfelt story with a happy ending. And yes, the sex educators scared the crap out of me too, thankfully!

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    1. I swear they're told to use any means necessary to do it. I remember they made us watch a video of a woman giving birth where you could see the baby coming out - after that I dont think anyone was interested in sex at all (at least not for a while).

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  7. Yeah, we ended up going the IVF route as well. I remember LOLing at all that wasted contraception over the years.

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    1. It's kind of funny now isn't it. Wish I saved the money, could've put it towards the fertility treatment.

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  8. Oh those sex ed days....!!! And thanks for sharing your journey. What a gorgeous baby you have there!

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  9. I remember the sex talks and one educator even said that falling pregnant was the best out of the worst outcomes of getting an STD. It frustrates me that women who really want to get pregnant can't but 16 year olds that play around can. I'm so glad you got your little girl and with Mr T who sounds like a great man. I hope you are able to add a sibling to your family. :) xx

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    1. Hopefully we'll be able to and hopefully that one won't chuck an epic tantrum like she did in the parents room the other day! Felt so bad that Phoebe was trying to sleep and Hayley was being the devil.

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  10. It does seem one of life's cruel ironies that we spend so much time trying NOT to get pregnant and then we can't when we are ready! I'm glad you found a way and I love your feet picture with those beautiful words. x

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    1. Thanks Bron. If you look really closely at the feet pic you can see Trent still had some of her poo on his finger lol. The joys of newborns :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing your story and those gorgeous pictures.
    Love a happy ending of one chapter and can't wait for the next!! In other words hurry up with number 2!!

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    1. Haha I'm currently writing a post about how everyone keeps telling me the same thing right now!

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  12. People don't realise how difficult conceiving a child can actually be. Thank you for sharing your journey (and yes! Thank goodness you didn't conceive with your ex!)
    So happy that it all worked out for you in the end x

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  13. So glad that your story had such a beautiful ending. I think infertility is one of those things we seldom talk about but is so very very heartbreaking.

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    1. Yea unfortunately society still keeps it relatively hush hush so most of us have to suffer somewhat in silence. I don't think people really understand how heartbreaking it is unless they've experienced it themselves. Hopefully if more people are aware of it they can avoid having to go through as much heartbreak by leaving things too late.

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  14. Congratulations on your gorgeous baby, and thank you for sharing your journey to parenthood with us, which is not an easy one for many.

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    1. Thankyou :)
      Unfortunately its becoming all too common these days.

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  15. You know what, I don't think I ever got the sex-ed speech as a teen. I remember getting the how babies are made speil in primary school, but sex, or rather no sex, wasn't a big part of that talk. Congrats on your beautiful baby.

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    1. Wow. We got the how babies are made lesson in primary school too, but high school they were very much on about no sex. It could've been a little more over the top for us though because I was at a religious school (so it probably would've looked super bad for them if any of us had teenage pregnancies).

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  16. I have walked alongside of a number of women who struggled to have a child. I know how hard it is. I am so glad that you were able to get help and successfully conceive. What a precious gift. Thanks for Linking up with Mummy Mondays. #TeamMM

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  17. I'm so glad that your story has a happy outcome. I didn't personally struggle with fertility issues however I have had my fair share of pregnancy heartbreak and stress, my first son was stillborn at 41 weeks. Those sex Ed teachers really did make it all sound straightforward didn't they. Those of us who have struggled in one way or another feel especially blessed when we finally hold our babies. Enjoy your very beautiful little girl. Xx

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    1. Oh hun so sorry about your son. I've had two friends who lost babies soon after they were born and its just so heartbreaking. Is it such a blessing when we get to hold and take home a healthy baby. Took me a while to realise she was actually mine and I was actually a mum. It was such a dream come true.

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  18. Oh hun I am so happy you were finally blessed with your little cherub. Its ironic isnt it that we spend so many years trying to avoid falling pregnant and then... when we want to... it can be so damn hard. Great post lovely xx

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  19. So happy for you that your story had a happy ending. Fertility problems are so so tough. This gives hope to women out there that it can happen. x

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    1. Yep its really tough and its so hard to stay positive and believe it'll happen, especially when its taken years, but it can happen. I have so many friends I have made over the years who started trying at a similar time to me (all with different fertility problems) and all but one has had a baby now, some have even had more than one.

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  20. So great you got your baby in the end, with the right man! I hope you are as successful with the next one xx Sad that so many who desperately want kids just can't.

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    1. I so hope we are able to have more. If not she will certainly be one very spoilt and much loved little girl.

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  21. After you started ur first appointment how long did it take to concieve? Im about to start treatment and would love to no as it has been a long 2.5 years

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    1. Our first appointment with QFG was at the start of October and I found out mid November I was pregnant. I spent a year with my ex husband undergoing fertility treatment and didn't get pregnant though. All up it took me nearly 4 years in total (trying naturally + with fertility treatment) to conceive. Good luck. I know how devastating the journey can be x

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