Conceiving our first child was by no means a simple task. My polycystic ovaries meant it was always going to be an uphill battle. Not that I knew this at the time. The long and short of it was I was never going to just fall pregnant without specialist help, whether I was gay or straight.
I had done my research and I sought a referral to Dr Doug Keeping from Queensland Fertility Group (QFG).
Much as I enjoyed my visits to see Dr Doug, with his dry sense of humour and laid back approach, I was impatient and desperate for a baby. After a couple of months of failed attempts, I asked Doug outright if he thought I would ever be able to have a baby. His reply I’ve never forgotten:
‘You’re young, you definitely will, it’s just how long you can hang in there’.
I was relieved and confused at the same time. As I went along I came to understand exactly what he meant.
It’s a complete and utter head game. The synthetic hormones turn your life literally upside down. It becomes an emotional roller coaster where tears, mood swings and meltdowns feature heavily. And you feel so desperately out of control.
It took seven months to fall pregnant the first time. Seven months of mapping cycles, counting days, taking hormone tablets, administering Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) injections, making early morning trips to the city for blood tests, then racing to get to work on time.
The term ‘ordeal’ was an understatement.
Ordeal that it was, I’ll never forget the joyous feeling of seeing the second faint line appear on the test.
It was a work day. About mid morning, I went to the bathroom and saw the all too familiar signs that indicated the cycle had not been successful.
I was a catatonic mess, sobbing on the phone to my partner T, who didn’t know what to say. She too, was devastated.
The drive home from work was deathly quiet; we were both so flat and discouraged. I think it was desperation more than anything, but upon arriving home, the ever eternal optimist in me wanted to do one last ‘just in case’ test.
I did. The finality of another negative was too much to bear. I couldn’t look.
I hated myself and my body for ‘betraying’ me: I felt useless and inferior. Most women I knew had to TRY not to fall pregnant. My mother was one of them, so I figured I would be like her and it would come easily to me. She used to joke about how my three siblings and I were all ‘accidents’ and that even different forms of contraception just didn’t seem to work for her. What was wrong with me?
A few minutes later, T came out to find me, test in hand. She looked stunned and showed it to me. There was an unmistakable second faint line: it was positive.
Hardly game to speak, we raced down to our local medical centre and sat and waited for the next appointment. A lovely British doctor, sensing our apprehension, confirmed it for us – we were pregnant. We rang our families, unable to contain our excitement. I felt delirious with happiness.
We were going to have our own little one! All the effort, money and heartache month after month had been worth it.
It was finally happening, we were going to be parents.