Not long after our wedding in 2014, my husband Aaron and I started trying for a baby. We were both in our mid 20s and had been together for five years, so the timing felt right.
When a year passed without success, we decided to get some tests done. Aaron was cleared of any problems but I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
We kept trying naturally but after another year and even more tests, we moved on to IVF. We were so hopeful when the first embryo was transferred, but seven weeks later we were heartbroken to see it hadn’t worked.
Over the next two years, we went through another seven failed cycles and started to lose hope. At times I felt like everybody was falling pregnant around me and yet we had gone years without any luck.
Neither of us smoked and I hadn’t been drinking alcohol since we started trying, so we started to look for other changes we could make. Aaron decided to give up drinking. On average, he drank one whiskey a night and maybe two to three on weekends.
One day he said to me: “You’re doing all these things, so I need to lift my game”. It was great. It made me feel supported and like he really did want a baby.
We also chose to eat better and exercise more. My doctor and a naturopath had suggested that losing a bit of weight might help, so I made some simple changes.
We already ate pretty well, so we shifted to a low-carbohydrate diet with lots of vegies or salad for dinner, along with some kind of protein like chicken, for example. We also dropped our sugar intake.
Just after Christmas last year, we both hit the gym together almost every night, and if we weren’t at the gym, we’d walk the dog. Over about a month I lost 5kg.
A few months later, after a holiday and some dedicated relaxation time, something unexpected happened. I realised I hadn’t had my period since our last IVF cycle.
I wanted to be sure I was clear to start our next IVF cycle, so I took a pregnancy test at home. I honestly thought I was dreaming when I saw two lines showing a positive result.
It was such a nerve wracking time, but eventually an ultrasound confirmed the result. There was a heart beat. I was finally pregnant. And so in November 2018, after five years of trying and hoping for a baby, our precious girl, Zaylee, was born.
My advice to people trying for a baby is:
- Be as healthy as you can. Eat well and exercise.
- Even though it’s hard, try not to let it consume your mind 24/7.
Thanks to Aaron and Ashlee for sharing their story.