Infertility: our happy ending

It has been really hard writing this as I normally hide my emotions with self-deprecating humour, but being an Infertile is just not funny, so here goes...

We started trying to conceive in 2002 and after 6 months I went to see a gynaecologist and had a laparoscopy.  The news was terrible, my fallopian tubes were irreparably damaged and our only option to conceive would be IVF. We were devastated.  I will never forget the doctor’s face when he came to talk to us after the operation.

Enter the denial phase, where I ended up for 3 years. But a wonderful 3 years as I had an opportunity to sort out a lot of emotional issues I had managed to accumulate in the 30 odd years of my existence. I was convinced that the Universe was trying to get a message to me, so I tried really hard to listen.

Off to a specialist

In April 2005 we finally decided to go and see a specialist and ended up with Dr Paul le Roux at the Cape Fertility Clinic. What a great choice. He immediately put me at ease and didn’t make me feel like I was a freak and a failure as a woman.

In June 2005 we finally took the plunge and had just enough money in our bond to finance a single IVF. We committed to that one IVF and decided to deal with the outcome whichever way it went.

We literally took it one day at a time and ended up with a positive result, we were so happy!

In May 2006 our little boy, Daniel was born and he really is our very special little man. (Mostly because he takes after his Dad.)

Just after he turned 1 we thought we would give it another bash as we could afford to pay for one more IVF.  We thought that we would do one and were prepared for the fact that it probably wouldn’t work a second time. (The success rate was about 36% at the time.)

Imagine our joy when we found out that we were expecting twins!  So, 2 IVFs, 3 children, with a 22-month gap. Our girls, Mignon and Isabel arrived in March 2008. We love telling people that we had 3 kids under the age of 2 and am truly blessed!

What worked for us?

  1. Find a doctor that you are comfortable with and that has a great reputation. He is after all going to be spending a lot of time with your intimates and your money.
  2. Make sure that the lab they use is the best.
  3. If you choose to supplement with alternative medicine, make sure that you discuss this with your doctor.  But do what feels right and will help you manage your stress levels during the treatment.
  4. Be ready for the hormonal rollercoaster. 
  5. Tell as many or as few people as you want. There are loads of people that are going through the same, so talk if you need to.
  6. Try to avoid additional stress during the process. I took 2 weeks leave both times, but was back at work 2 days after egg transfer, I couldn’t deal with all that time to think.
  7. Being really good at denial is a definite plus. That way, you spend less time wondering about the outcome. 
  8. There is such a thing as too much information. The Internet is not always your friend.
  9. Lastly: be at peace with whatever the outcome might be before you start. You have to be in the right ‘place’ before you embark on IVF.
Good luck!

What is your experience of fertility treatment? Comment below or mail your story to
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