A colleague with whom I work a lot with lately is very pregnant right now. What I didn’t know until today is that she’s actually expecting an IVF-baby. A friend of mine found out she went through fertility treatments and suggested I should have a chat with her. Despite my worries on revealing my infertility identity to someone more senior at work, I decided to give it a try. I don’t regret it; it was great to talk to her! I’d like to tell you her story.
She is Japanese and her husband is Italian. They started trying when she was 35, but it didn’t work. After tons of tests, the conclusion was unexplained infertility. When she was 37 she went through 6 IUIs and then started with IVF. Since then she’s gone through 6 IVFs, several transfers, various miscarriages and many ovarian hyper stimulations, one of which got her into hospital for a full week as she had water in her lungs and belly, another one of which got her a massive bubble on the neck due to a blood clog. As they were ready to give up last year, having accepted life simply as a couple, their gynaecologist suggested to give it one more try, the last one since she was 42 (that’s when insurance stops covering for costs ). It worked and she’s now due in early April this year.
In all this, she’s also filed for adoption, gone through all the required meetings, managed to obtain the certificate of being fit-for adoption, and gone through various steps of international adoption. She went several times to Laos but then every time she had a proposal for a baby she was in the middle of a 2-week wait and refused. So adoption didn’t work out for her.
During these 7 years of trying she’s also managed to grow in the organisation where we work and she’s now one of the most important people. I’ve worked with her for over 3 years now and I have never even suspected about this. She’s always smiling and nice.
I know you’ve all heard millions of success stories. So have I. And I know hearing success stories is tiring because often they make you feel like you should have more hope than what you do and they make you feel further from accepting that you may never get pregnant. I’ve also felt like that. But today I really liked talking to her. It was great to hear how she went through it, to get advice from someone who has my exact same difficulties at work, in matching work with IVF, in finding the right clinic, doctor, finding places that do not require changing metro lines several times etc.
I really admire this woman for her energy, her determination, for being able to carry on having a life despite infertility and for smiling when people ask her with a grin: “Oh, is this your first one? I am now expecting my 4th” (I was there when this happened). There you go, one good example of the few times I’ve been simply happy for a pregnant lady!