"I just wanted to be pregnant" – one mum shares the ups and downs of her fertility journey
“IVF is such a hard process with so many ups and downs but we now have a beautiful little girl!"
When Andriana Grant finally went to see her doctor a couple of years ago after having been suffering from pains in her stomach for a while, he sent her straight for a scan.
Devastatingly, the scans showed that both of Grant's fallopian tubes were really swollen and the doctor ordered surgery to find out why. Upon investigation, the doctors found lots of scarring and adhesions on both fallopian tubes, which, according to her medical team, had most likely happened when Andriana had her appendix taken out years earlier.
"The swelling was causing fluid to build up, so I initially had one tube removed and the surgeon tried to repair the other to give me a chance of having children naturally," Andriana explains.
Time to seek help
But after trying for a while to get pregnant and nothing happening, Andriana and her partner Leigh decided it was time to seek help. They really wanted a baby, and not being able to fall pregnant by themselves was starting to take a toll.
"We went to ReproMed, but one of my scans showed fluid on the remaining fallopian tube, which the doctors explained could be toxic to any embryo implanted," Andriana says.
"So before we could proceed any further, I had to have my second fallopian tube removed."
This, of course, meant that falling pregnant naturally was no longer an option, and the couple was left with no other option than to try for a baby through assisted fertility.
"When the time came, they did the egg retrieval at the clinic and, in the end, we had six embryos that made it to day five," Andriana reveals.
"They transferred the first embryo, but the day before we were due into the clinic for the blood test, we took a pregnancy test at home, which turned out to be negative."
Andriana explains she was heartbroken, but the couple decided to try again straight away with the next embryo transfer.
"We tried again next month, but failed again."
And then the unthinkable happened – the pandemic hit, and Andriana and Leigh found themselves unable to do anything as the clinic closed its doors in order to try to slow the spread of Covid-19.
"I was devastated, I just wanted to be pregnant," Andriana says.
Once the ReproMed clinic opened its doors again, Andriana says they made an appointment straight away to come in for their third transfer – hoping so desperately that this would be it – they would finally be pregnant with their baby.
"This time was so much harder," she reveals.
"Due to Covid, Leigh was not able to come in with me, he had to wait outside."
Devastatingly, the third transfer was not successful either, and at this point, Andriana says, the whole process was starting to take its toll, both mentally and emotionally.
She explains that by now, Leigh suggested they take a break from IVF for a while.
"He saw how sad I was, he knew we needed to step away for a bit."
So the couple went on holiday, ended up getting engaged while away, and arrived home and decided they were ready to try again. They desperately wanted a family, and they still had three more embryos ready at the clinic.
"The day of the transfer, Leigh waited in the car again, but the embryologist told me that the 4th embryo didn't survive the thawing, so I found out we were now using our 5th – and second last – one."
Finally – baby time
The next two weeks dragged on for the couple.
"The day before we were due to go back to the clinic, I did a pregnancy test – and it turns out I was finally pregnant," Andriana says – and reveals that tests at ReproMed the following day confirmed the pregnancy.
"I cried – I have never been so happy. Finally, we were getting out baby."
Today, little Ryleigh is already eight months old and their 'entire world' Andriana beans.
"IVF is such a hard process with so many ups and downs but we now have a beautiful little girl. She is the happiest baby I have ever come across, and I always say to my partner "can you imagine if one of the other embryos worked, we wouldn't have this perfect girl we have today!"
Don't give up – but be prepared for it to take time
Speaking about her journey to motherhood, Andriana says that while obviously worth it, she did wish she had known more about long it could end up taking – as it might have prepared her a little bit more for what lay ahead.
"I wish I knew is that it takes longer than you think, not just to get pregnant but from starting your consultation, waiting for your cycle to start so you can start your medication, retrieval of the eggs and then the embryo transfer and then waiting the two weeks to see if it worked – and if not, having to start all over again."
The cost is also something to be aware of, mostly even so you can plan ahead.
"It ended up costing more than I thought," the mum-of-one reveals.
"There are always more tests you may need, and then if it doesn't work the first time, the costs of going again and again until you get the result you want, it is something to be aware of, I think."
But don't give up, Andriana is keen to tell others who dream of becoming parents.
" I think it is important to try to be patient as it does take time – and if it doesn't work the first time – or even the 2nd time - it doesn't mean it won't work at all. It took us four rounds to finally get pregnant."
"Also, try not to compare your own journey to the couple next to you, as their reasons for fertility treatment could be completely different from yours. They might be on different medications, or they might get pregnant the first time. Try to just focus on yourself and your own journey."