Mama and Baby Penguin. “I let myself cry, shout and get my anger out, but not stop fighting”
Today we want to share with you a lovely testimony full of emotions. And, it is especially full of messages of support and encouragement for those individuals who are thinking of throwing in the towel on the world of assisted reproduction.
A few days ago we launched this section with Paloma and Lucía’s beautiful testimony. From URE Centro Gutenberg we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to share a new, real story with you.
We’d like to introduce you to Andrea or, as she’s better known on the blogosphere, as “Mama Penguin”, who brings us a message of determination, strength and perseverance.
Tell us how you heard about URE Centro Gutenberg
I discovered the clinic through several friends of mine from Malaga. I’m from Almería and, after a bad experience with the Public Healthcare System in which I underwent four artificial insemination cycles with negative results, and having to wait over a year to try a cycle of in vitro fertilisation, I decided I didn’t want to wait any longer and that I preferred to try my luck with a private clinic.
I visited clinics in my province but I wasn’t convinced. So, persuaded by my friends and their positive experiences and recommendations, I decided to make an initial appointment to visit your centre.
After your first appointment with us, what made you choose URE Centro Gutenberg to become a mother?
As soon as I walked through your doors I could already tell that this was a different kind of place. I really liked the atmosphere of the clinic and the warmth and kind faces of everyone who assisted me.
Then, my appointment with the doctor was remarkable. For a first appointment, it could not have been more comprehensive. I could tell that the doctor was committed to and concerned about my case, and he made me feel that I was going to be in good hands.
Also of importance was how the whole process was explained to me, the options that were offered to me which I maybe hadn’t considered, and the empathy and kindness I received from all the staff.
Explain to other mothers what doubts you first had regarding assisted reproduction treatment.
I’m a person that likes to be informed about everything, and when I made the decision to become a single mother I became well-informed about all of the procedures.
My greatest fear was not being able to get pregnant, and the uncertainty of my body in terms of reproductive health.
I was also frightened, as are other women, of having to self-administer hormones on a daily basis as I had a fear of needles. But after the first injection I discovered that it wasn’t that bad, and it ended up becoming part of my routine. Ultimately, once you’ve undergone several cycles you realise that having to administer injections is the least of your worries!
What fertility treatment was recommended to you by the doctors? Artificial Insemination? In Vitro Fertilisation? Egg Donation?
I started off by undergoing several cycles of artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID), but when I went to your clinic my idea was to move on to IVF.
After doing the preliminary tests and reviewing my history and other factors, my doctor suggested I undergo two more cycles of artificial insemination with donor sperm. If I wasn’t successful with these two cycles, then I’d move on to IVF. I decided to trust in him.
What fears did you have? How did you overcome them? How did you feel during treatment …?
My greatest fear was not being able to get pregnant. Even though I was young (I was 26 years old when I started), and only had a few issues that weren’t too serious, it took seven treatments for me to get pregnant, including a biochemical pregnancy. I was always afraid it wouldn’t happen for me.
When I started the process I was really enthusiastic, and I knew it would be really difficult to get pregnant the very first time. But after several negative pregnancy tests I started to lose hope, and you start to ask yourself why you aren’t able to get pregnant even with help.
Then with time you start to realise that the process is much more complicated than what we’ve been made to believe, and that there are many factors we can’t always control which come into play.
Luckily I’m a pretty positive person, and after each defeat I always picked myself back up again. I gave myself a day, two at the most, to cry, shout and get all the anger out, but I didn’t let myself stop fighting.
I always had my sights set on my goal: my baby. And that’s what kept me on my feet.
What advice would you give to other mothers and couples who are considering fertility treatment?
I can be a tiresome and repetitive person, but I always stress patience. It’s inevitable to not have patience, but journeys in assisted reproduction are sometimes very long and difficult, and it’s important to know how to make it through wait times, as difficult as it may seem.
I also think it’s important to have support, whether you’re in treatment as a single female or with a partner. Someone you can talk to or vent to during the process, and not keep everything to yourself, because it’s exhausting.
And, although it may sound strange, enjoy the process. It’s hard, I know, but it’s also very rewarding and each step brings you closer to your dream. In the end, the process, though difficult, will be a thing of the past and will simply be the means by which you became parents.
I definitely remember it as a special and wonderful time in my life in spite of how difficult it was.
Did you enjoy Andrea’s story? Remember that in our Real Testimonies section you can read other real stories from patients who have come to URE Centro Gutenberg. We encourage you to read them!