Turner Syndrome Association of New Zealand Incorporated

Providing support to people affected by Turner Syndrome and their families in New Zealand

Journey to Motherhood

Diagnosed with Turner Syndrome at the age of 16 I still remember the words of my GP “It just means you can’t have children normally”. I was devastated and shocked but there was no way I was going to give up my dream of a husband and family!

Hi, my name is Emma and this is the story of my journey to motherhood.

Jumping forward 4 years now to when I met my future husband Lee. About this time I also started to get involved in the Turners Group in NZ. I learnt a bit more about IVF and what was involved and Lee came along to seminars put on by the group and also heard what IVF was all about.

Lee and I were married in 2002 and a year later decided we had better make ourselves known to Fertility Associates as we didn’t know how long things might take. It wasn’t until 2007 that we really started to get serious and started looking for a donor. We put out a number of newspaper ads and also put flyers up around the place. We were looking for an anonymous donor, I don’t have any sisters and my female cousins don’t quite fit the criteria of being under 35 and having finished having children. Our newspaper ads and flyers didn’t get much of a response but we were however matched with a lady who had approached the clinic wanting to donate. It was very exciting and nerve wracking when things started to move, this date, that date, wow I could actually end up pregnant! It’s extremely hard not to get your hopes up too high and be crushed when things don’t work out.

Finally things rolled into action. The whole process was pretty straight forward for me a little bit of estrogen and progesterone, few blood tests and scans to make sure my body was ready. It was our donor who had all the injections to grow the eggs etc.

We went through our first cycle end 2007 early 2008 we got 5 eggs from the donor only 1 of which was suitable to be used and it failed to take. I was so shocked and gutted, after all this we were back to square one! It seemed to over all too quickly.

It was indeed back to square one, finding our advert and again sending it off to some of our local papers. Life goes on however and Lee and I went about our business as usual, until a couple of months later we got a phone call from the clinic. It was the councillor saying they may have a donor for us. . .someone from our group of friends had approached the clinic wanting to donate! Yay!!! We met up with this friend of ours (and her husband) at the clinic and talked about some of the ethical/relationship issues that needed hashing out. We then had to decide when would be the best time to go through with this. As the donor was still breastfeeding we had to wait until mid 2009 to get things started.

Collection day came and it was kind of like “here we go again!” we got 7 eggs this time and 5 of them were good! June, July and August was a roller coaster ride! Three put backs and 3 negative pregnancy tests, it is a real challenge to pick yourself up again and put on a brave face. Support of close family and friends is a must just don’t tell too many people when you are going for the tests unless you want to be flooded with text messages and phone calls!

And then came September, our fourth put back from this cycle. I remember thinking it hasn’t worked, I don’t feel any different. I was psyching myself up for more disappointment. Three days before I was due to have my blood test I had had enough, I went and bought a home pregnancy test. It was positive! I was shocked! It had finally worked! The blood test three days later confirmed that I was 4 weeks pregnant! When you’ve been through so much hurt and disappointment it’s hard not to wrap yourself in cotton wool and go overboard trying to look after yourself. . . .so that’s just what I did for the next 8 months!

The whole pregnancy went pretty well, I had regular check-ups with my endocrinologist and a couple of echocardiograms to make sure my heart was holding up. I also developed gestational diabetes later on which meant I had a number of scans to keeps tabs on the baby’s growth, it also meant I was induced two days before my due date which is another story in itself!!!

Our beautiful little Katelyn was born in June 2010 and I am the proudest Mum EVER!!!