Our names are Ryan and Rebecca Tuckwell and we are the very proud parents of our beautiful daughter Isla Jade. Our IVF story starts similarly to almost everyone else undergoing IVF treatment to help them start a family; by going to our GP and asking why we weren’t able to fall pregnant. The beginning of the long walk to success involved an endoscopy to investigate suspected endometriosis. As it happened this was extensive and necessitated a laparoscopy to clean things up and improve our chances of success with IVF. It also came to light that ovulation was not regular with Bec’s cycles.
Our Genea Fertility Specialist formulated a plan and we began IVF treatment. At first we experienced some trouble achieving a dose of Puregon® that worked for us. After the second cycle we went in for scans to see how the follicle development was progressing when we received the news that the uterus lining was concerningly thick and required investigation. After a biopsy, we found out that Bec’s cells were on the march towards turning cancerous. We were so lost and devastated. It was so hard to collect ourselves and we didn’t even know what to say to each other, and we questioned why it was so hard for us when we knew we would make good parents.
We both had a lot of time to think and reflect over what to do. In the end though, we had to do something to combat the cancer threat so the logical conclusion was to get up and get on with it. It involved Bec having a mirena device inserted for three months. This would produce a hormone which would trick the body into believing it was pregnant, and this in turn would combat the change within the cells. Or that’s how we understood it anyway. Once the three months passed by, another biopsy confirmed that we were all systems go to start IVF treatment again. This time we got as far as egg collection but were heartbroken when we received the news that none of the eggs had fertilised, apparently the eggs had a thick outer layer. We were truly back down in the mud and we were so ready to give up. The financial burden and the emotional
roller coaster had really taken a toll on us both.
Our last hope was ICSI, where the sperm is injected directly into the egg. Off we went again and this time we collected four eggs. Two fertilised through the ICSI Process and by the time the five day observation period was over we only had one strong embryo, our last hope. Watching the embryo transfer on the screen was amazing. When the embryo was introduced into the uterus it appeared like a bright star on the monitor. A bright shining star, which is quite fitting because this time we were so fortunate to have carried full term and were blessed with the birth of Isla, our little shining star.
Life as parents has been the most amazing thing and really taught us a lot about not giving up. Even when all seems lost and you’re not sure if you can go on, keeping your chin up and talking about it together will give you the strength you will need to endure something like this. It is hard and tumultuous but it is absolutely worth it. If things hadn’t worked out for us, at least we could say we gave it everything we had.
It wouldn’t have been possible without dedicated professionals like our Genea Fertility Specialist, and the wonderful, compassionate and flexible staff at Genea. We really can’t speak highly enough of these people, they made this ride as smooth as it could have possibly been made for us. Isla is seventeen months now and powering along ahead of the curve. She amazes us every day with the little things she learns and
has been doing so from very early on in her life. She likes books yet, with the exception of Peppa Pig, doesn’t really seem all that interested in sitting in front of a television which is great! She loves being outside on the swings and picking leaves off trees with Pop. Once a week she goes for lunch with Pop where she is doted upon by the staff and she is like a little social butterfly!
Unfortunately, for us both, she worked out months ago how to unlock our iPhones, access the photos and delete them! We are working hard to give her a little brother or sister to grow up with and complete our family.
This time has been no picnic either but we are better equipped this time around and are stronger. To anyone undergoing IVF treatment we wish you the best of luck on your journey, rest assured that you are in the best of hands!
An IVF technique for overcoming infertility due to oligospermia or azoospermia. It involves...
Ovulation is the phase of a female's menstrual cycle in which a partially mature ovum that...
The term sperm refers to the male reproductive cells and is derived from the Greek word...