So here’s what happened. Hubby’s always had a pretty serious heart condition. He was diagnosed when he was a teenager and the condition has been very carefully managed since through surgery and medication. When we got married, his cardiologist did mention genetic testing in relation to having children, but it’s like our brains didn’t process it and so the suggestion was promptly forgotten. We got pregnant pretty soon after we started trying when it happened. At around 4 months in the pregnancy, Hubby had heart attack in the middle of the night. It was a very scary time, involving staying in the hospital for a full month, had two rounds of surgery, and spent another month resting at home. It took much longer for Hubby to fully get over the psychological effects though – I’d say nearly 3 years!
Anyway, it was only at this time that we fully considered the risk that our unborn child was at – a 1 in 2 chance of inheriting the lifelong and life threatening condition. It was also only after Hubby left hospital that he did some genetic testing to confirm he had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition involving messed up electrical circuits. We had doctors speak to us about options with unborn bubsy (there were only really two – keep it or abort it), about IVF, how children with the condition are treated… We decided that we’d wait until bubsy was born before testing for the condition (we didn’t need to consider the keep/abort option). We ended up waiting for another two years. In that time bubsy had a couple of heart testing and screening sessions, and after the second one we decided we’d get him tested and start the IVF process.
After 2.5 years of mentally preparing myself for the possibility of bubsy having inherited the condition, I was speechless when we got the all clear! I had tears ready to spill, but I was in such shock that I just sat there with my mouth open. We went and celebrated with very fancy cake and bubsy got a new Mack from the shops (parents of Cars obsessed children will know who I’m talking about!). I hadn’t realised what a burden the unknown had been on me, but I felt as if I could stand taller and straighter and everything in the world seemed ok.
So we started the IVF process. It involved a lot of interviews, a lot of paperwork, a lot of confusion, Working with Children and police checks (!!!), a lot of money and a lot of waiting. We had to wait nearly 6 months (after the 2-3 months of interviews and confusion) before the lab had worked out how to test for the defective gene. Only then could we actually start the IVF treatment. Thinking that we’d get pregnant straight away, it was an exciting time. However, 13 eggs, 6 embryos and 2 unaffected but poor quality embryos transferred later, we had a miscarriage.
We were sure that we’d fall pregnant the second time. Another round of an extremely trying treatment cycle (they changed up the drugs and it changed up my mental state!), 17 eggs and 2 embryos later, our doctor advised against testing the 2 embryos and suggested that we collect more before forking out the thousands of dollars to test them. So here we are now, round 3 of treatment, we’re putting no expectations on it and just trying to keep calm, relaxed and to enjoy everyday.