This post is sponsored by Private Healthcare Australia
After nearly 8 years of blogging about my recent events and how-tos I’m so excited to finally share this post with you. It’s my personal story about fertility and my twin’s birth. I have taken my time to post this as I wanted to share the whole story with my kids first. We wanted them to be at an age where they can comprehend and understand, plus wanted their permission to publish it too as we are very conscious of their privacy.
I am sharing my story in partnership with Private Healthcare Australia because I am so grateful we took the step to budget for private health insurance, as you will read in my story we didn’t expect some of the troubles we had.
After my story you will find the chance to win a weekly Eftpos voucher worth $200 and be in the running to win a major $2,000 Eftpos voucher by telling your private health insurance story.
My hubby, Scott, and I have a beautiful love story, but that’s a post for another day. We married at an early age of 20 and 21; the same week Scotty graduated from uni. A few months after we married we purchased our first home and started making our life plans, we didn’t spend big on the wedding or honeymoon as we wanted to buy a house, and within a few years start a family.
I wanted a big family, lots of kids; my Nan had 7 kids and I was eager to have just as many too as I love the atmosphere of having family around. We talked about the type of parents we wanted to be and the care we wanted to give them. Even though we were each on a low income we took into consideration some of Scotty’s ailments he had with his back (frequent chiro and physio appointments) and knowing we wanted to start a family in the next few years we looked into private health insurance to help protect us for possible unforeseen higher costs we may have in our future. We chose a family package which included, optical, chiropractic, physio, dental, pregnancy, postnatal services and loads more that we didn’t think we’d need like fertility or speech therapy but they just happened to be included.
A few years later we started to try for a bub, after 6 months of no luck I drew up a chart (perhaps this is when my chart obsession started) and placed it on the bedroom wall, noting down all the important things to ensure I was getting my fertile dates right. After a year of trying and documenting every detail down, we worried something was wrong so we went to the doctors together to seek advice. The doctor sent us both away for tests; which resulted in answers with Scotty having a low sperm count. The GP referred us to a fertility specialist. It was at this point we thanked our lucky stars for the private health cover we joined as it included fertility treatment that we didn’t think we would need.
I must admit between seeing the GP and getting into the specialist there was so much running through my head; I was still young and found it really hard to comprehend our infertility. Was it possible for us to have a baby? IVF was rarely talked about in the open around this time. Should we look into adoption?
The fertility specialist was very lovely and helped us understand about our fertility troubles and told us we had a one in a million chance of falling pregnant naturally. My heart sunk, I remember Scotty and I locking eyes and grasping our hands together so tightly. However, we did leave the specialists appointment with hope, options and another appointment. As my eggs were healthy but Scotty’s sperm count low it was recommended we do an IVF cycle, which included Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). ICSI is performed as an additional part of an IVF treatment cycle where a single sperm is injected into each egg to assist fertilisation using very fine micro-manipulation equipment. At this point the specialist told us they always transfer two embryos as there is a better chance of a success rate, he wanted to embrace us with the possibility of having twins. At that point it didn’t trigger about the magnitude of having two babies at once, we were eager to just fall pregnant.
I was open with my employer at the time and told them I was going to be starting fertility treatments and may need a few late mornings and days off work, they were very supportive.
We started the treatment. Scotty who has a HUGE phobia of needles managed to inject me each day with the follicle stimulating hormones. These hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs giving us a higher chance of fertilisation. Egg collection is undertaken in day surgery under general anaesthetic; the specialist was happy with the number of eggs they retrieved. They took my eggs and a fresh sperm sample to the lab for the scientists to wave their magic and help develop some embryos. We received a phone call from our specialist saying the embryos hadn’t grown as he had hoped and he suggested we stop this cycle and try again in a few months time with some stronger embryos. Scotty and I were so emotionally invested in this we didn’t want to stop so we asked if it was possible to transfer two strongest embryos and take our chances. They carried through with our request.
After the transfer I took some time off work; just to make sure I wasn’t under any stress and hoping that if I just rested at home for a week or so my uterus would have a higher chance of accepting our precious cargo. I returned back to work eagerly waiting for the days to pass to go back to the clinic to do a pregnancy blood test. It is with so much joy that this cycle worked, we were pregnant!!!! We then waited a little longer before doing an ultrasound to see that we were doubly blessed with twins!!!!! I can’t tell you the feeling of joy that rushed through us. It’s here that I want to acknowledge how lucky we were to have our little embryo’s find the strength to grow and to have success on our first cycle; I know someone close to me that is currently on her 12th cycle, which is so hard on the mind, body and spirit.
I had a relatively good pregnancy, apart from being constantly tired I didn’t have any morning sickness or indigestion but I did suffer from a lot of pelvis, hip and back problems…..but it was worth every bit of pain.
Just after 30 weeks I was told I had pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition of pregnancy, usually characterised by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe fluid retention. I was admitted to hospital for a few days as one to two percent of cases are severe enough to threaten the lives of both the mother and her unborn child*. It was from this point on I was on bed rest.
At 34 weeks and not expecting the twins to arrive any time soon, I awoke at 6am on a Sunday morning with the urge to go to the loo. So off I went. After getting back into bed I felt a little trickle on my leg, I thought I wet myself. At that exact same time Scotty woke up, sat straight up in bed and felt the lower part of his side of the bed then laid back down. I said ‘Scotty’ he jumped because he didn’t realise I was awake. I said ‘I think I just wet myself’, he said ‘really…..I just dreamt that I wet myself’ then at that moment I had the big gush of waters breaking. I find that so uncanny and such a profound experience to share together – soulmates!
The twins were born under emergency caesarean a few short hours later. We had a boy and a girl. They both had high jaundice so had to have phototherapy treatment for a few days and both required feeding tubes. As the twins were premmie they had to spend their first two weeks in special care.
It was a hard experience to leave the hospital after 5 days and go home without them, but they were in good hands and getting the care and attention they needed. I returned back to the hospital each morning to spend the day with them.
After the twins were born I was in a lot of pain and required quite a few visits to the physio as I had inflamed discs in my back and my hips were out (carrying 2 babies in my small frame is what did it). Thankfully our private health helped to cover these costs, as well as all the unforeseen costs throughout the pre, during and post pregnancy.
Our fertility journey didn’t stop there.
And a very long story short and before the twins 2nd birthday we had our 3rd baby (2nd pregnancy)… our one in a million miracle. We were blessed to naturally conceive her. No idea how as we continued to try for baby number 4 which didn’t happen naturally so we went back to the fertility clinic and underwent another IVF cycle. It was unsuccessful; after much consideration, we decided not to try again and leave our little family at 3. This was actually really hard for me to comprehend at the time because my dream was for a big family, but looking back right now today, I am 100% content with 3 kids.
I am so grateful for how science has advanced over the years that helped make our family achievable. And that through our private health insurance and the cover we chose helped us to afford it (it’s important to note, you should always check with specialists about any out-of-pocket costs you might incur). We have continued to keep our family private health insurance cover, however, now that my hubby has had the snip we have removed the pregnancy cover. Over the years we have continued to use it for:
- surgery for an internal tear I had after the twins were born
- emergency gallbladder removed shortly after bub #3 was born
- weightloss surgery
- eye surgery
- broken bones
- and many other appointments
WIN a weekly Eftpos voucher worth $200 and be in the running to win a major $2000 Eftpos voucher by telling your private health insurance story. Simply visit the Private Healthcare Australia website and explain WHY you have private health insurance – this may be a story of when you have used it or you’ve been lucky enough not to, but enjoy the peace of mind it provides. ENTER HERE.
This post is run in accordance with my disclosure policy.