Author: Lauren Smith
Diagnosed with unexplained infertility at the age of 27
Unexplained infertility is not something you are prepared to hear when you’re 27 years old, and have been trying to conceive for over a year. It’s not a commonly used term around friends your age. And it’s certainly not something you’ve thought you may suffer from, particularly at what is seen to be a young age to conceive. But the reality is, 1 in 6 couples will struggle with infertility and it’s a lot more common than people realise.
I was 26 years old when my husband and I starting trying for a baby. No one tells you just how stressful it actually is. At 27 I had surgery for what was thought to be endometriosis. Turns out, there was nothing wrong. This was both the best and worst thing to hear at the same time. I went from relief that I didn’t have endometriosis, to complete sadness knowing there was no reason I couldn’t conceive. And so began our fertility treatments.
The IVF process
IVF is a very straight forward, yet complicated process. Every scan, every blood test, every injection is monitored closely based on your cycle. But the dose of each medication is based on a range of factors that only a fertility doctor will decide. You make and receive phone calls almost daily to nurses to tell them what’s going on with your body and to be told what to do to your body. And throughout this whole process, you are an emotional wreck, hormones are all over the place, all whilst desperately wanting a baby.
The whole IVF process really messes with your head!
I’m not afraid to admit that throughout my fertility journey I sought psychological help. I visited a psychologist to assist me with stress and anxiety, and to talk to someone who would listen and not reply with “try not to stress, it will happen when you least expect it”. Yes, because that ‘s easier said than done. Deep down I believe I’m a better mum because I got professional help. I wasn’t afraid to admit it and I did something about it.
IVF identical Twins
My twins were the result of a single embryo transferred after multiple failed IUI’s (intrauterine insemination). Just as I wasn’t prepared to hear “you have unexplained infertility”, I also wasn’t prepared to hear “Congratulations, it’s twins! The embryo split”. I went from desperately wanting to hear a heartbeat, to complete shock within a matter of seconds. I never truly celebrated my pregnancy out of fear of a miscarriage. Who would be lucky enough to have their first round of IVF be successful, and with TWINS??
Being pregnant with IVF identical twins
Every day from then on, I was filled with fear and worry for the 2 children I was carrying. When you’re pregnant, you feel helpless. And add another baby in there, and my anxiety went through the roof. Fear of carrying these babies until 36 weeks scared me, the thought of financial stresses and needing two of most things overcame me multiple times throughout my pregnancy to the point I would sit down and cry.
The fact I was pregnant with IVF identical twins meant they were in their own category of high risk. I had to cancel holidays because I wasn’t insured due to having an IVF pregnancy. And every scan I had I had to inform them they were IVF. It’s not like my twins now are any different to any other set of twins, but in the womb, apparently they were.
Our IVF identical twins today
My IVF twins are now 14 months old, and the happiest little girls I know. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when they fight constantly, they’re crying, I’m crying. But I’ll always stop, look at them say tell them I love them. Because I know just how lucky I am to have twins. From the minute I found out I was pregnant I was twins, although I was overcome with a lot of fear, my attitude became “I would not have been given twins if I couldn’t handle them”. And that is my attitude every day I wake up. During the tantrums, the fighting or the biting, I tell myself how grateful I am to have my daughters and how lucky they are to have each other.
I wouldn’t change my journey for the world. Every injection, every blood test, every tear shed was completely worth it for that moment you hold two babies for the first time, knowing they’re yours to love and hold forever. Everything I went through, was worth it.