How the journey began
How the IVF journey began with Dinah and Ben.
Dinah and Ben's IVF treatment lasted four years until Dinah finally gave birth to their daughter Tallulah in 2010. In listening to this podcast series please bear in mind that Dinah and Ben's experience is not universal, it is their story. This podcast series is not intended to replace or replicate medical advice.
How the journey began
My husband and I started trying for a baby in July 2005 and I just felt straightaway that something was wrong. I felt like my cycle was sort of unreliable and I didn’t really know when I was ovulating and I also had the expectation that many people have I guess and that is a reality for many people that they fall pregnant the first time that they have unprotected sex and we’d been doing what most couples do which is use contraception for how many years we’d been together and then suddenly throw away the contraception and just expect it to happen straightaway and that wasn’t the case for us and the more we sort of went on and we kept trying naturally I just felt that something was wrong.
So I investigated and made the appointment to see a specialist and that’s sort of the beginning of our journey I guess. We only lasted six months because I couldn’t last any longer so we tried for six months. You know other people had sort of said you know “maybe try for a year and see how you go” and that wasn’t what I wanted to do and I felt like I was getting older and I felt like everyone around me was getting pregnant and I wasn’t and I really wanted to act on that and you know I’m glad that we did because the process of actually being involved in IVF takes a lot longer than sort of what you’d expect from the outset as well I think.
So you know from when we started in July 2005 to when we actually conceived in April 2009 that’s a long time and you know I would have expected it would have been quicker than that. So we started trying when both of us were 32. I think it’s different for everybody and whenever I talk about my IVF journey I always preface it by saying that everybody’s journey is different and this is just – you know, I can only talk about my own journey and I mean I know plenty of people who have been involved in IVF. I guess through the IVF process I’ve met people and it seems to me when you open up about IVF you find that there are a lot more people involved than perhaps what you thought.
So I have talked to other people but this is my journey and this is my story and for me six months was the maximum amount of time that I could allow it to go by without any intervention and my specialist supported that. It was a whole new world to me and the very first question that we were asked when we went into the specialist’s rooms was – we sat down and did the normal pleasantries, introduced ourselves and the first question he asked was “does the penis go into the vagina and sperm come out” and both Ben and I went “yes”, I think so and we sort of reflected on it later, like it was such a confronting, embarrassing question to be talking about so early in the piece and I think for me and for my husband that sums up the whole journey, like it is a very confronting, personal thing and you are revealing intimate personal details about yourself and about your relationship and about your life and your physical body as well and everybody knows everything. All the specialists and the nurses and everyone, the team that you are working with, the medical team, know everything about you in that intimate way and it’s quite confronting.
Did you know anyone else who had been through IVF?
Yes I did. I have a very close friend, friends who are twins and one of the twins has four children and the other one has none and had started IVF before I did. So I knew a bit about the process from her but I really don’t think you know much about IVF until you actually start it yourself but it is helpful to hear other people’s stories and to hear what they’ve been through and you know, when she started going through IVF I was very much of the opinion that that was never going to happen to me. I didn’t know anything about the physical process apart from the fact that she tended to be – when we would meet and talk, if we would talk about anything to do with having children or pregnancy she would get quite upset. So I didn’t know much about the physical process of what she was going through but I definitely knew that it was emotionally affecting her. Throughout the process of IVF we had five stimulated cycles. We produced 12 embryos that were viable for transfer and we had nine transfers and in 2009 I finally conceived my daughter who is now two years old so she was born in January 2010 and conceiving her and carrying her and birthing her