Hi my name is Skye, and I'm a 32 year old Aussie. I started dating my now husband Grant in February 2012. In June that year I started having issues with my cycle so my doctor recommended I stop taking the contraceptive pill. Once my hormones stabilized my cycle became irregular which was frustrating but not something I was worried about.
Grant and I married in March 2014 and began trying for a baby immediately. 6 months later my period was later than usual, so I did a test and we were pregnant! We were incredibly excited. We immediately saw ourselves with a baby and started talking about names and other plans that we had for when our baby arrived. A few days later I started bleeding heavily and just like that it was all over. To have that excitement and expectation taken away in an instant and not being able to do anything about it was gut wrenching. I was 5w4d and it was physical and emotional pain unlike anything I had ever felt. I blamed myself and it took me many months to truly believe that it was not my fault, to accept that I couldn't have changed it. It was really hard telling our family that we were pregnant but had lost the baby. All I wanted was to be pregnant again but the months just kept ticking by. I think this is why it took me so long to recover emotionally and I had a very negative mindset for a long time. But I put on an outwardly happy face, and threw myself into triathlon training, work and study and got on with life because that's just what I felt I had to do. I awkwardly dodged questions on when we were starting a family at most gatherings and would just say we weren't ready yet. Behind closed doors I cried so many tears, there were times when I just felt completely broken and spent so many hours wondering what was wrong with me, why couldn't I fall pregnant again?
2015 was a long year. I had a laparoscopy and dye studies, and a small amount of endometriosis was removed and my tubes flushed. We also had genetic testing completed which came back normal, as was Grant's sperm analysis, and over the course of 6 months I had blood tests to confirm I was ovulating. We were told that everything looked great, and there was nothing medically wrong with either of us so we were firmly in the unexplained category. That was hard to hear because we had no answer or reason for why it was taking so long. We just had to keep on trying and hoping.
At 12 months post miscarriage, talk of IVF crept into discussions. I was completely against IVF at the start because I just felt like IVF meant admitting defeat. But we decided that if I wasn't pregnant by the end of the year we would discuss fertility treatment with our specialist and we made the appointment for the New Year.
I also looked into natural remedies after hearing of a renowned local herbalist who had helped women with irregular cycles and unexplained infertility to fall pregnant. Under the advice of my doctor and the herbalist I commenced a 4 month stint on a herbal treatment (which was a disgusting tonic I had to drink twice a day), and to my shock, my cycle regulated for the first time in almost 4 years. In January 2016 (15 months after my miscarriage) my period was again late, I tested and I was pregnant! But the excitement this time was mixed with fear and caution. I tried to remain positive and hopeful that this pregnancy was different and this baby would be our rainbow. We made it past the point of the first pregnancy and I felt a weight lift. But then a few days later I started spotting and I was brought in for blood tests to check my beta hcg. I had 3 blood tests, one every 2 days. My specialist called after the 3rd blood test, my levels were not rising and my progesterone levels were very low, so he told me that I was unfortunately going to suffer another miscarriage. The following day it started and this time I just felt numb - I couldn't believe it was happening again. February was a blur, I lost the entire month while I was recovering physically and emotionally from the loss, but had my head squarely set on IVF so didn't allow myself to be upset beyond that month as we had a plan moving forward, finally no more waiting.
In March 2016 we went to our first consult at the IVF clinic. I commenced an agonist (long down reg) IVF cycle the following month. We received good news at every test and scan which gave us hope. We retrieved 15 eggs, of which 13 were mature and fertilized and we were very lucky to have 2 blastocysts at day 5 and another 2 made it to blastocysts at day 6. We did a fresh transfer on day 5 with one embryo and the other 3 were frozen. On May 31 2016 we found out that I was pregnant! I didn't do a home test but I had all the same symptoms as my previous pregnancies so I was pretty certain. We were relieved, but took the news very cautiously and just took it day by day. At 7 weeks 6 days we had our first OB appointment for a dating scan to check for a heartbeat and confirm a viable pregnancy. We had never made it this far in either of our pregnancies so although I was happy, I was absolutely terrified. Seeing that little heart flickering away and hearing that sound for the first time was the most beautiful experience. The news was good at every scan, however, I could not shake the uneasy feeling I had, that something would go wrong. I felt anxious and scared and didn't allow myself to believe that our baby would make it until he or she was in my arms. Finally, on 8 February 2017, our son Zachary was born and he was perfect. He is the light of our life and I am very lucky to be a stay at home Mum and spend my days with him.
In January this year, when Zachary was 11 months old, we transferred one of our frozen embryos on a natural FET cycle. We decided we wouldn't wait too long in case our 3 remaining embryos weren't viable. All the old feelings and fears flooded back - just because we had been successful before didn't guarantee it again and the nerves were high. This time around I had zero symptoms, and I was convinced we were out. When I received the call from the clinic with my beta hcg results I was shocked to find out that I was in fact pregnant! I asked the nurse to please go double check because I was certain I wasn't. She laughed and told me to go take a home test - I did and it was positive. I was in a state of shock for a couple of weeks until all the symptoms flooded in. We are expecting our second son in a couple of weeks. I have been much calmer this pregnancy, however some of the fears are still there and I think that's just how it is for those of us who have suffered with infertility and loss.
We have been incredibly lucky that IVF has been kind to us. We aren't sure what we will do with our remaining 2 embryos yet but we are just so thankful for modern science, our clinic and of course our specialist Matt - he's my gynecologist, our fertility specialist and obstetrician and we trust him completely. Although it was a very tough journey at times, we would never trade our boys for it to have been easy. Our marriage is also stronger for our struggle - if we can make it through infertility we can make it through anything, together.
If you are still in the fight, please know you are not alone and you don't have to do it alone. I found the Instagram community at the start of my IVF journey and it has been an amazing way to connect and receive support from other women who understand. Having support during those times really got me through when I couldn't talk to anyone else. I count many of them as friends even though some are halfway around the world and we have never met in person.
Skye can be found on Instagram at makingbubbawelbs