Lane and Cliff Poland are both 35. They have a four year old son, Paxton and a two year old daughter, Paisley. Both were conceived via IVF.
Cliff and I were 19 when we met in 2001. Cliff was ‘clucky’ from the beginning and wanted me to have a baby at 21. I wanted to go to university and secure a good job before then.
After my degree, we moved out to Cobar for my first job. Shortly after, we decided to start trying for a family. We tried for two and a half years before we sought help.
We were referred to a fertility specialist in Dubbo (three hours away!) where we underwent tests. We found out that Cliff’s sperm had a very low mortality and mobility rate, but that falling pregnant with IVF would be pretty straightforward.
We did our first cycle of IVF in 2010. After the egg harvesting and the maturing period, we had four healthy embryos. We implanted one and froze three. Over the next one and a half years we implanted those embryos, with no success.
During the next cycle, I took stronger dosages of the drugs and they also tested each sperm before they put them into the eggs, so we only got the best ones.
This time, after the maturation period, we had two healthy eggs. Our first one was implanted and the other frozen. Paxton was that first embryo. He was born in July 2013 – three years after we started.
The day I found out I was pregnant was one of the best days of my life. I was driving back from Dubbo when I got the call. I screamed with emotion and even though the other travellers in the rest stop stared at me, I didn’t give a shit.
When I called Cliff and heard his voice I knew he felt the same. The lifting of expectations and adrenaline was amazing. I kept screaming and joyful crying the entire two and a half hours home!
When I set eyes on Paxton I felt deliriously happy, but it took weeks for me to stop feeling like he was about to disappear. I didn’t sleep the first four nights in the hospital because I worried I’d wake up to find it all a dream.
When those feelings wore off, I guess I was just like most other mothers. I fell more and more in love with this perfect little human we’d created…with a little help from some doctors and scientists.
At the beginning of 2015, we implanted the frozen viable embryo and were gifted with Paisley, a healthy girl.
Now that we have a boy and a girl, I feel complete. Cliff and I always said we’d have lots of kids (before IVF), but my heart and head says that what we have right now is all we need. I feel complete and grateful to be a success story.
When I found out that we had to do IVF I was quite shocked. We were (relatively) healthy, fit and young and the thought of IVF was nerve-wracking and scary.
The injections Lane had to have needed to be administered by either her or me. Initially, she couldn’t do it, so I had to. It was hard knowing that she had to go through this process by herself.
I was there to support her, but the physical things weren’t happening to me. The injections, the bruising, the bloating, the ultrasounds, the blood tests, they were all happening to her. All I could do was hold her hand and be strong.
I was working away a lot during the IVF and so there were times I could only be supportive over the phone, listening when Lane needed to talk or cry or scream.
I didn’t really have time to think about the emotions I was having, and even when I did they were small and fleeting. I felt a bit of guilt (that this was all happening to Lane), and anger (that we were in this situation when I had friends who had no problems).
When I was able to, I’d drive Lane the six hour round trip to have blood tests, ultra sounds or pick up medication. I’d always be there when we had an embryo implanted.
I was at work when Lane called to tell me we were pregnant. I don’t remember much of the day after that because I felt euphoric and hazy.
After all the negative outcomes and the phone calls from Lane I’d received, this one felt surreal. Later when it had sunk in I was beyond happy and couldn’t stop smiling.
When I got my first glimpse of Paxton I thought I’d won the lottery. After the years of thinking we may never have a child, finally having him in my arms was a dream come true.
For months, I couldn’t stop showing him off to everyone (even strangers down the street).
I think doing IVF strengthened our relationship. We always said we were in it together as a team, and we never laid blame.
Lane always talked to me, and when I needed to talk, she’d be there for me. We told our family, bosses, colleagues and friends so they could all support us.
Being open with everyone meant we never had to hide our joy or pain, and we’re told by everyone now that they were all glad they knew and could experience this journey with us.
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