P1 is a miracle of modern science. She’s an IVF baby conceived on the first round. Anyone who’s danced with infertility will know how extremely fortuitous this is. Thousands of couples endure cycle after cycle of this physically and emotionally exhausting procedure only to be met with soul crushing disappointment. A healthy pregnancy on the first go is like a lottery win. However it very nearly didn’t turn out that way.
I recall a Saturday evening almost six years ago. I had been injecting myself with hormones each evening for two weeks before hand forcing my ovaries to give up as many eggs as possible. The oestrogen overdose had made my ovaries swell to the size of tennis balls and my skin break out in pimples of a similar size. Worse still the hormones made me tired beyond belief. It was like a hung over haze but without the fun drinking bit. On this particular Saturday evening I was scheduled to take my “trigger injection” – cocktail of hormones prompting the ovaries to release their cargo for harvest. It also happened to coincide with a girlfriend’s wedding on a boat on Sydney Harbor.
I attended the wedding feeling and looking like shite, toting my IVF equipment in a conspicuous bright orange cooler bag. It completely co-ordinated with my cocktail dress – NOT. Timing is all important with the IVF procedure. I was due to take my injection at 10pm which basically meant shooting myself up in the ladies toilets on board. I was given three glass vials of hormone for good measure, which as it turned out was very wise of the good people at Sydney IVF. Despite having only consumed one glass of champagne, the first vial snapped in my fingers. The second met with a similar fate. At this point I did what any overwrought and hormonal woman would do – I panicked. I raced out and pleaded with Dadabulous to help me. He was reluctant as slipping into the ladies loos at a wedding is not a good look. However he finally yielded to my pathetic whining.
Back in the ladies bathroom he didn’t know what to do either. I was about to open up my third and last precious vial when serendipity struck. An attractive dark skinned girl entered the room. I had only briefly made her acquaintance at the Hens night but my friend the bride had spoken of her often. I knew she just happened to be a doctor. “Excuse me. You’re a doctor aren’t you?” I implored. She very generously helped me, slipping the vial onto the needle with zen like ease. I was competent enough to take it from there and my trigger injection was administered right on time.
Within the month I was pregnant and Dadabulous finally proposed. Of course nine months after that the bundle of chubby cheeked cuteness that is P1 arrived. We named her Grace. I’m not a religious person but to me she represents the Grace of God.
Fast forward eighteen months and we all got the shock of our lives when I feel pregnant naturally with P2. Its a much simpler way of doing things!
I never saw the doctor again but I’m told she’s a Mum herself now balancing parenthood with a strenuous career. Her help that evening was a small gesture. It only took a moment of her time but that moment meant everything for our family. I will forever be indebted.