'We knew something was definitely wrong'

By KIMBERLEY HIBBERT

Monday, July 30, 2018

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Infertility is characterised as the inability or failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse or due to an impairment of a person's capacity to reproduce, either as an individual or with their partner.

Many women face this nightmare and often feel like they are alone in the struggle to conceive, maintain a healthy pregnancy, and take home a baby after nine months.

Unfortunately, this is a pretty common issue affecting women who all share the same heartache.

However, they say that part of overcoming is by the word of your testimony, and below, one woman shares candidly with All Woman what her experience has been like.

My husband and I were trying actively for about four years. We started intervention from that time but before that I wasn't on any method of birth control. We were having unprotected sex and it was neither here nor there as we weren't thinking about children. After four years we started actively trying, and then realised nothing was happening. I went first to do some tests and the results showed nothing was wrong with me in terms of my fertility. I suggested to my husband that he get a sperm count done and he went and did it about three times. The results showed his sperm count was low, but not significantly low whereby he couldn't conceive.

We kept on trying and in 2016 we really saw that something was definitely wrong. I know my cycle and when I ovulate. I tried to have intercourse during that time and nothing happened. Working in the health sector, I am colleagues with a number of gynaecologists and I approached one — Dr Michelle Bailey from Gynae 360 Fertility and Laparoscopy Centre — and she told me to give her a visit. Initially, I never went as I was trying by myself. But then I went and did the blood tests. They were normal and again my husband did some tests and his sperm count was a little low. The doctor said she was going to put me on some medication to help boost our fertility. Then she said she was going to try me on Clomid. I started and then did ultrasounds which showed that I didn't do well with the Clomid.

Following that she discussed IVF with us and we agreed to it. I was to start another medication and got discouraged and gave up. I didn't go back to her. She was concerned and called. I told her I wanted to start for the new year — 2018. She said she would try something stronger but it would be more expensive, but I was willing to try. I took my folic acid and tried to eat healthy. We started the process which involved receiving an injection every day at the same time for five days. After that I did an ultrasound to check on the growth of my eggs. It showed that in both ovaries the eggs were enlarging. I received another injection and 48 hours after receiving it I went in for the IVF procedure. The doctor informed me there was a risk for multiples.

After I went in my husband had to produce some sperm then the doctor took it, started the process, then inserted it in my uterus. We waited two to three weeks to see if I had conceived. I had no symptoms of pregnancy and I remembered the doctor saying there was a 70 per cent chance it may or may not work. I decided to take a pregnancy test and it showed nothing, and a week later I did another and realised the lines were very bright. I told my doctor and she did an ultrasound and confirmed I was pregnant with twins. But she explained that there were dichorionic diamniotic, meaning they were in different sacs and had different placentas. I was also told of the possibility of complications of cysts.

As fate would have it one ruptured and was bleeding. I began having severe abdominal pains which felt like gas pain. In March I was going out and the pain was on and off. When I got home the pain got intense. I was saying this can't be gas pain and I bore it until morning when my husband came and I asked him to take me to the hospital. When I got there I told them I was eight weeks pregnant and they thought I was having a miscarriage, but there was no bleeding. After a number of examinations the doctor came and said I had an ectopic pregnancy. I told him that wasn't possible as I did an ultrasound earlier and it didn't show that. He asked me for the report, which I didn't have, and told me that based on his years of experience he knew it was an ectopic pregnancy and he had to take me to theatre right away. He went for the papers for me to sign and I demanded an ultrasound, but the ultrasound area was closed. My husband and I asked for somewhere external and they told us of a lab in Portmore. We went there and the radiologist said he saw the twin gestation and he saw the cyst in my Fallopian tube and it was bleeding. I started panicking and knew I had to do an operation and chances are I would lose the twins.

During this ordeal I decided to call my doctor who told me to head straight to her. She spoke to the radiologist on the phone and when I arrived I went into emergency surgery. Thankfully, everything went OK. When I woke up she explained that the cyst was outside the uterus which was a good thing as she never had to disrupt the uterus and the twins were safe. I had to buy medication to prevent my uterus from contracting.

I am now 26 weeks with no complications. I am expected to give birth in October, but by late September to early October my doctor may take the babies. I want to tell other women who may have similar ordeals to not be too anxious. Be patient because when you have anxiety things don't happen as they should. Try having a good time and take your folic acid. Both you and your partner should stay away from alcohol, be relaxed, happy, and not too anxious.

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