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Ashleigh and Zoe from Sydney

Zoe and Ashleigh's Story     

*** (Update - the cat's out of the bag and Zoe and Ashleigh's families are thrilled to know they will be welcoming a baby soon!)

“My wife and I got married in late 2019, and we always talked about having kids. At first, we thought we'd enjoy being married for a bit before trying for a baby. We planned a honeymoon for the next year, but COVID-19 changed our plans. It made us rethink our timeline and we decided not to wait any longer. Once things cleared up with COVID, we started looking into IVF. Initially, we had a known donor lined up, but that fell through early on, which was disappointing. However, it led us to have more serious conversations about our options.

We switched fertility doctors while waiting for a new sperm donor. The first doctor we saw was okay, but we wanted someone who felt like the right fit for us. So, we took a recommendation from a friend and made the switch and that's when things really started to progress. We had more information, the big picture, and it helped us understand what was ahead of us which made us feel confident and informed about the journey ahead.

Once we made it to the top of the sperm bank list and picked a donor, we started trying mid-last year. We began with a few IUI cycles, but when they weren't successful, we switched to IVF late last year. We were fortunate to have a good number of embryos from that cycle and we were thrilled that our first IVF attempt earlier this year was successful.

Today, we're 12 weeks pregnant!

The journey has had its challenges, but overall, it has been a positive experience. We've always felt supported by the information and guidance we received from our fertility clinic, Genea. Even though IUI didn't work out for us, we knew the likelihood of success was lower, which is why we eventually chose to move to IVF. We were fortunate to have the financial means to make that transition and were looking for the best option going forward.

It was something we were prepared for, but it's still a significant cost. However, the Medicare rebates offered by Genea for each treatment really helped alleviate some of the financial burden. We were automatically put forward for these rebates, which made a big difference for us.

Read our article here to find out about Genea's progressive Medicare Rebates.

Our families have been incredibly supportive throughout this process, even though they don’t know all the details yet. We've been cautious about sharing too much too soon, but we know they'll be thrilled when they find out. For both of us, this will be the first grandchild in our families, so it's a special time for everyone.

Overall, our journey to parenthood has been a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions, but that’s ok. We've learned the importance of being proactive and informed throughout the process.

For us, it was a series of starts and stops. Once we began trying, we were very focused. If something didn't work, the decision of when to start again was ours. Whenever we were ready to begin the next cycle, everything would kick off seamlessly. Genea was fantastic in keeping everything on track for us. Looking back, we realised that despite the stop-start nature of our journey, we just kept taking the next step forward.

What would we have done differently? In hindsight, we might have considered Zoe carrying first, as I am actually a bit younger. However, we are just grateful to be on our way to parenthood and now I’m pregnant.

I’d also reiterate that it's important to be proactive and informed from the start and if you have a known donor really get into the details about it all early on and make sure everyone is committed to the plan. It's a serious thing you should have a conversation about. If you’re thinking about getting an anonymous donor, do it sooner rather than later, get yourself on the list. Other people we've spoken to have struggled because there's just not a huge number of donors available once you get to the top of the list, it was surprising, it depends on what you’re looking for too.

If you encounter delays or obstacles, don't hesitate to reassess or pivot if you need to. It's never too late to make changes, whether it's your approach or even your healthcare provider. Flexibility and perseverance are key.

We're looking forward to the next chapter of our lives and all the joys that come with it, including seeing our child experience all those firsts and this experience bringing our families closer together.”

- Ashleigh.

Looking to create a family of your own?

If you're looking to explore IVF and IUI options to create a family of your own, reach out to our fertility partners, Genea who boast some of the highest success rates in Australia.



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