Naomi Prescott (pictured) faced a heart-breaking struggle to fall pregnant. Her journey included four costly and unsuccessful fertility treatments including ovulation induction and IVF. One day she picked up the phone, expecting to hear more bad news. She had recently started bleeding and assumed this meant her most recent IVF attempt had failed.
My stomach was sick with dread as I paced the house waiting for the call.
I had started fertility treatment 18 months ago, before Matt and I got married, because I had always had problems ovulating and knew falling pregnant may take a while.
We tried unaided for a few months with no luck so we started ovulation induction treatment at FertilitySA in Adelaide, where you take drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce an egg. It usually takes three cycles to succeed, but after my fourth unsuccessful attempt the clinic suggested it ‘may be time to try something else’.
Heading towards my 31st birthday, I agreed, not wanting to waste any precious time.
In January 2012 we tried a round of IVF, harvesting 19 eggs, a fantastic maiden result! But the next day I picked up the phone and it was my nurse, telling me none of the eggs had fertilised. Overwrought I told Matt ‘I can’t do this anymore’. We had now spent thousands of dollars, and I was physically exhausted and emotionally raw.
But after a month’s break we agreed to try another treatment called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ISCI). It is in vitro fertilisation treatment where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg and of the 13 eggs we got, nine fertilised but you have to wait five long days before they can be injected. Early on the fifth day I rang the clinic and was told five had survived including one of ‘A-grade quality’. We were thrilled and it was promptly injected. But I tried not to get my hopes up too much, so scared of feeling devastated again if this didn’t work out.
Ten days later my heart sank. I was bleeding. I must have got my period. I rang the clinic thinking the ISCI hadn’t worked. “Look, it is still too early to test so come for a blood test in four days,” the nurse said. I went home and began another excruciating wait.
I got to the clinic early on March 9, 2012 for the test and was sent home to wait for the results. I checked my phone every five minutes, wondering why they hadn’t called and stayed laying down, afraid I would ‘knock the egg out’!
The call came about 1pm. It was my nurse, Paula: ‘Naomi, we have the results. You are pregnant. The bleeding is what is called implantation bleeding.’ I burst into tears. Paula, who I had got to know well, was saying ‘don’t cry, this is great news’ but I couldn’t stop.
I called Matt, who came home early and we went for a drive, over-the-moon about hearing the news we had waited so long to hear. He pulled up at a six-bedroom three-bathroom house with a tennis court and told me he had bought it for us that afternoon because from this day forward we now needed a family-size home!”
On November 12, 2012, Naomi’s son Samuel was born after a pretty straight-forward” 11-hour labour.