Kayla grew up always knowing that she wanted to have a family of her own. Here, she shares how she overcame tragedy and how with the use of an South African egg donor, she was able to make her dreams finally come true. A beautiful egg donation story.
Two years later I fell pregnant and I gave birth to a beautiful boy. Parenthood really suited us and we were really happy, but not long after my son was born the doctors found an obstruction in his intestines. He had to be operated on to have it removed, but the operation didn’t go according to plan. His health deteriorated and at just 3 years old he passed away. Naturally, my husband and I were left devastated, clinging to each other trying to make sense of it all. Time crept by and we slowly came to terms with our loss, but we had not given up hope on trying for children, but I never fell pregnant. In February 2001, while I was at work, I started to feel an excruciating pain in the left side of my abdomen and I was quickly rushed to the hospital where they ran some tests. After the results came back it was established that I was suffering from an ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilised egg had attached itself to the outside of my womb. Worse news was to come when I was told that I would also have to have my left fallopian tube removed due to cysts that had developed. It went from bad to worse as I had to have my right fallopian tube in 2002 for the same reasons. Up until that point I kept thinking that I could, and would, fall pregnant, after all I had already conceived naturally with my son. But there I was, 36, both my fallopian tubes removed and I was still childless. What hope was there for me? The dream I had of having a big family seemed exactly that – a dream that would never come true.
Learning all about IVF
My husband and I spoke at length with our Doctor who told us that even though I had no fallopian tubes, I could still conceive with the help of IVF. At that time, we had only read about the ´test tube baby’ phenomenon and we knew nothing about IVF or its success rates. Neither of us had ever thought that this would be the way we could possibly have our children and it took a couple of years before we decided to go for our first round of IVF. In 2005 we went to a clinic here in South Africa and started the procedure, but unfortunately it didn’t work. I remember talking to the doctor who told me that the reason why IVF didn’t work was because of my age. I am fully aware that as women get older their chances of conceiving naturally gets harder but I was friends with women who were around my age that had fallen pregnant naturally. The conversation really upset me and thought that if my Doctor was thinking this way, what chance did I have of walking away from all of this with a little baby. Finding a donor is no easy task and we spent a lot of time looking for the right one.
It was then that we were told if we wanted to add another baby to our family the best option would be to find an egg donor. Once again, we were thrown into a world we knew nothing about, but this time we started to thoroughly research the internet and it wasn’t long before we found baby2mom. We called to make an appointment and spoke with Jenny Currie whom we immediately got on with. She took her time with us and really understood what we had been through already but I remember that initially my husband was not sure about the process, so Jenny found us some great counselling where we were able to talk about our concerns and what we were to expect from the process. Finding a donor is no easy task and we spent a lot of time looking for the right one. We were lucky and found a wonderful lady, but the laws in South Africa do not allow you to meet your donor but working so closely with Jenny we really felt like she knew what we looking for.
Three’s a charm
It wasn’t long before I was back in the clinic, having four embryos implanted and to our amazement we were told that they all had fertilised and it was looking like I would have a quad pregnancy, but by the 12th week one of the eggs disappeared which left three. Luckily I had a stress free pregnancy and in June 2012 I gave birth two boys and a girl. Throughout all the ups and down, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband. The African culture can be very cruel on a married couple if they don’t have children, automatically blaming the wife, which obviously does not help, but together we stayed strong and here we are and life couldn’t be better. It wasn’t an easy path to parenthood for us, but we got there in the end, with the help of the fantastic Doctors and of course Jenny who ultimately made it all possible for us. Now, when other couples struggling with their fertility come to the clinic, the Doctors often call on me to speak to them. It seems to work well when they hear our story of what we had to overcome to get where we are now and how we were able to have the family we always wanted.