We are honoured to be sharing our second MY STORY. The following is the personal journey of Lydia Bergantino who has bravely shared her IVF journey with us. Let’s make 2018 the year of #letsstarttheconversation. You can follow the journey of these incredible women on our blog and instagram #letsstartheconversation
Our IVF Journey
This story starts 10yrs ago when I was 37. I sat down and told my then boyfriend that I wanted to have a baby and was prepared to do that alone if it didn’t fit into he’s lifestyle. He had two children already and didn’t want to pressure him into anything he wasn’t ready for. Our discussion ended with a ‘let’s think about it for a while’. I was happy for him to think about this as we were both in love and didn’t want to lose the relationship. Finally, he said the words I wanted to hear: ‘yes’, so off we went to our clinic to check to see if we were able to have a baby.
I arrived at the Melbourne IVF clinic and after an hour of doing every test they had and a brief chat about my history we left. We came back a couple weeks later for the test results and was told that everything was fine and to start trying to have a baby ‘naturally’ for the next six months. So we tried and nothing happened! The Dr recommended we try for another 6 months, so we did and nothing; it just didn’t seem to be working. Our next stop was IVF and a new Dr.
This new Dr was very enthusiastic about getting us pregnant, we were elated and started our first rounds of IVF. We were told they were able to harvest around about 10 eggs but only six were healthy. We waited for three days to see which egg would fertilize and on the day of transfer we went in and were told there was only two. After the transfer stage, we entered the dreaded two weeks wait to find out if we had our baby.
This is the time your mind plays tricks on you, it tells you all sorts of not so nice things. You’re forever trying to stop yourself from thinking bad thoughts, I’m not pregnant, I can’t get pregnant, this is not working, I’m so unhealthy. Thankfully I found meditation to keep me aligned and focused, and for quite a while meditation worked for me. Unfortunately, this time the eggs did not take and I decided to take a couple months off.
We decided to try another IVF clinic. This time we only got one healthy egg and after the transfer we started the two week wait again. After the two weeks was up I had a blood test and again we were not pregnant. This ended up being a repeated pattern in our lives. Things were starting to get really hard for me at this stage but still I kept up my treatment. One time I went we had three but only one could be fertilized. We started the two weeks wait once again but before the two weeks was up, I got my period and knew that I wasn’t pregnant. We decided to return back to our first IVF Dr and between the two neither could explain why these eggs weren’t holding.
That is when I was tested for Endometriosis, the results came back and I had stage III Endometriosis completely covering ovaries and organs. Next stop was surgery. Once the surgery was completed I had to wait six weeks till I had completely healed to start another round of IVF.
By this stage we were five years into our fertility journey and this journey was beginning to become tiresome. I started to research other things I could do in order to help me go through this journey. I researched acupuncture and was told it was amazing when going through IVF. Helping the body relax, getting your system in order and raising your energy level. The IVF meditation that I was taking was no longer doing its job and my body was feeling the toll. After googling a few acupuncture practitioners in Melbourne, I found a lady in the CBD. After a few treatments, I realised it just wasn’t working and started to look around for someone who actually specialized in women’s health, pregnancy and IVF.
This is when I found Amanda at Angea and made the phone call that changed it all. After speaking to her on the phone I knew this was the right clinic for me. She was so warm, welcoming and understood my journey because she had seen other women going through the same thing. At our first appointment Amanda greeted me with a fertility pack; I now had a list of food that would help my body conceive,. I just kept thinking, why had I never had this list before. Amanda eased me into this process and it just felt good. At Amanda’s suggestion, I joined her prenatal yoga class and here I found some really beautiful, like minded women, who had been going through this same IVF journey. These women helped me change my focus, from feeling like my body was failing me to a mindset of ‘this is going to happen’.
Once Amanda started treating me, the quality of eggs started to improve. I started taking Chinese herbs and eating the recommended food. Amanda educated me on natural killer cells and recommended I go see Dr Nick at Monash IVF clinic, so off I went again to another Dr. Dr Nick told me to toss all those old tests in the trash and started running what seemed like 500 tests.
After 10 years on the fertility train and now supported by the right people I went in for yet another transfer and after two of the longest weeks of my life I found out I was finally pregnant. Nine months later I gave birth to the most amazing baby boy Noah.