Lynda, a makeup artist is well known to you all with her makeup range ‘Love Lynda’ in conjunction with Irish County singer Susan McCann ‘String of Diamonds’ which they launched in 2016. I have known Lynda for a few years now, she has her beauty salon in Donegal where she now lives.
She has decided to share her fertility journey here. I met up with her this week and here is what her journey has been like so far.
‘I began my fertility journey over a year and a half ago. It firstly started with IVF treatment from GCRM Clinic in Belfast.
On day 21 of my cycle I had to be injected with a Prostap injection to suppress my hormones which is known as downregulating. Followed by Menopur injections, 1200IU and then 600IU, which I administered to myself, into my abdomen. These injections contain follicle stimulating hormones known as luteinising hormones to help stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. During this time, I had to get blood and ultrasound testing every few days to track follicle development. When the fertility team decided that my follicles were at the right maturity level, I had to give myself another injection called Ovatrelle. It is known as the trigger injection, its aim is to help the eggs to the final stage of maturation, so that they are ready for retrieval and fertilisation.
After retrieval, the eggs are fertilised the same day and put into incubation for 5 days. We had twelve eggs in total, eleven that fertilised and by day five we only had two left. They decided that they would implant the two remaining eggs and told me to come back in one week for a blood test.
I received a phone call the day after that blood test to say that I was not pregnant. So, after all that my body had been put through, I had nothing to show for it. I was devastated to say the least.
Moving on a month later I had discovered that I was pregnant and initially I thought that the clinic had got it wrong and the IVF had worked. I did a pregnancy test which said I was 2-3 weeks, so I booked an early scan when I was 5 weeks pregnant. That scan revealed that I was pregnant with twins. I was over the moon. I could not believe that after all the heartache with the IVF that I was finally going to be a mummy not to one but two babies.
I went for my eight-week scan, I was so excited. My sister who was 7 months pregnant was also booked in for her scan that morning too. We had planned that we would go for lunch and celebrate afterwards. Two sisters pregnant, three grandchildren on the way, the same age for my mum and dad. Exciting times ahead.
My scan was first, and I knew by the doctor’s face that something was wrong. He told me that one sac was empty and the other was not looking good. I was to come back in 6 days and he would assess things then. He also told me to prepare myself for a miscarriage. I was numb beyond belief. It is cruel what some women must endure in their quest to become mums. The following evening, I began having severe cramps, abdominal pain and began bleeding. I was taken to the out of hour’s clinic. I was told by the doctor that I was indeed starting to miscarry, but he advised us to go and be together in the comfort of our own home and let nature take its course. The following morning, I lost my second wee baby and apart of myself also. In memory of both babies we planted a rose bush in our garden.
One Year On
I have started a new treatment with Neo-Fertility in Dublin. It is under the care of Dr Phil Boyle. The basis of the treatment is to find out why couples are struggling to conceive and hopefully fix it. The main treatment is using Low-Dose Naltrexone, which has numerous benefits on the body such as helping to boost your immune system and also helps reduce inflammation in your body and Inflammation related problems such as endometriosis can affect women having a baby.
Dr Boyle also uses the ideology of getting the woman’s body and mind healthy so that she may become pregnant and have a full-term baby.
I am on the treatment one month and already I can feel the benefits for both my body and mind. I had gained a lot of weight after IVF and my pregnancy which I could not shift, with the correct thyroid medication I have lost 9lbs naturally in three weeks. But most importantly I am feeling better mentally, my body is healthier, and I have hope that I may become a mummy. Though saying that I am also realistic that it might not happen.
I am on a combination of five medications Low-Dose Naltrexone, Omega 3, Thybon, Vit D3, and Folate. There is support throughout and also monthly blood tests to assess the level of oestradiol in your body which can determine your how your fertility may be affected.
I have decided to start a new blog called wannabmamma on Instagram. It is to let people know about my journey and my new treatment. My aim is to help create awareness for couples dealing with fertility issues and that we can help support and encourage each other to have hope in becoming parents someday, even if it is not the way we visualise it. I also want to give support and encouragement to the couples that have been dealt the bitter blow that they will never become parents naturally as there are other ways to become parents. Also, the financial impact from fertility issues can leave couples feeling hopeless which is heart-breaking. I feel that there needs to be more done to help in this area’.
If anyone would like to follow her blog or get in touch you can message her on her Instagram page wannabmamma