Customer testimonials – IVF & donor.

Read about the experiences and stories of some of our fertility patients here.

Proud mother with baby on her back

Birgitte & Yael.

Note: Birgitte & Yael's IVF story
Cute mother with child on her back

We had never thought we wanted children. We had already been married for seven years when we moved from Vancouver, Canada to Norway and established ourselves in Norway’s second-largest city. After a few years, I (Yael) started feeling the itch for children; I was 39 and it felt like now or never. Birgitte and I had long discussions and went to counselling to be sure we were on the same page – and decided to go ahead, with no idea how long the road ahead would be. Because we had a two-uterus «problem», conceiving a child required fertility treatment even though I had no known fertility issues.

I started tracking her cycle in great detail, preparing for monthly trips to Copenhagen for insemination with donor sperm in my natural cycle (with no hormone stimulation); at the time there was no local private clinic and we had lesbian friends who had conceived in Denmark. I had been keeping fit and felt strong and confident that this would be easy, despite my age. After the third trip, we got the hoped-for positive pregnancy test and started dreaming of a new future. I had no pregnancy symptoms, which made it feel a little unreal. On their first confirmatory ultrasound, we learned the worst: no heartbeat, and the foetus had stopped growing around seven weeks. I was sent home with pills to induce my body to complete the miscarriage. We were devastated, and especially so because we experienced poor follow-up and confusing communication with the gynaecologist.

Mother and toddler in the park

By the time I was ready to try again, a few months later, Klinikk Hausken had opened in our city. After a Skype consult with Dr. Jon Hausken, we met with Dr. Arne Schwennicke to make a plan, and we took his advice to try insemination with hormonal stimulation to increase the chances of success. We felt cared for and listened to, and appreciated the doctors’ explanations grounded in their up-to-date knowledge of their medical field.

I started injecting myself in the belly every night, which was strange at first, but surprisingly easy and not particularly uncomfortable. Something about the SCIENCE of it all was charming, and exciting – watching the follicles growing with every ultrasound visit, ending with a donor sperm insemination with three ripe follicles.

This time there was a positive pregnancy test on the first try, and we felt unbelievably lucky, and also very tentative, walking on emotional eggshells the whole first trimester, not fully believing it would last. Again, I had no symptoms to speak of, which was a double-edged sword; it made the pregnancy easy going, but kept me anxiously wondering if the little creature in there was actually alive. He was, and Rowan was born strong and healthy after a long and arduous labor. He was the dreamiest baby: so alert and social, and he almost never cried.

Baby on a cozy blanket

Fast forward some months, and we started talking about number two. We wanted Rowan to have a sibling, and since I was now 40 we felt we didn’t have time to lose. Also, I dreamed of having children close in age. We went back to Klinikk Hausken when Rowan was 10 months old, excited about the next step of our fertility journey. I tried insemination again twice, but no pregnancy resulted. Despite the up-front cost, we decided to try IVF, thinking it would up the chances. But my fertility luck had run out; despite multiple attempts, my ovaries never produced very many follicles, at most two or three follicles made it to transfer, and none of these became a successful pregnancy.

Sticking myself in the belly with a syringe – and early morning pregnancy tests – became routine. I became pregnant three times in one year; two of these were lost to very early miscarriages, and the third measured slightly behind at the confirmatory ultrasound and two weeks later the ultrasound showed no heartbeat. The fertility journey became a slow, unending grind. Finally, we threw in the towel. It didn’t seem like I was going to be able to conceive another baby.

The two-uterus problem became a two-uterus advantage, though, as Birgitte decided to try to get pregnant next. Although Birgitte had never dreamed of being pregnant – never wanted to feel her body changing or a baby growing inside her – she was willing to try. She was 39 years old, the same age I was when Rowan was conceived. We decided to jump straight into IVF treatment, because the cost of donor sperm had increased so dramatically that it seemed more cost-effective than starting with inseminations.

Now it was Birgitte’s turn for nightly injections (I did most of them for her!). We hoped for lots of eggs and a stash of frozen embryos, and were disappointed to have only two not-so-fabulous-looking embryos on transfer day. Birgitte was not optimistic – but first-time luck had struck: she was pregnant, and the pregnancy stuck. There was a strong heartbeat at week 7, and baby looked healthy – and female – at week 20. In March this year, Ilana Simone was born after a fast and (relatively) easy labor – very unlike my 36-hour marathon labor with Rowan!

Young child with newborn sibling

We feel very fortunate – and privileged to have had the emotional and financial resources – to keep trying for the family we wanted. When my fertility journey became a secondary infertility journey, we had another alternative. Now both of us have had the experience of trying to conceive, of pregnancy and birth, of breastfeeding, and also of figuring out the role of non-gestational parent. We were taken care of by all the clinic staff – over five years, we worked with all four doctors and feel a special bond with the kindest nurse in the world, Synnøve Flotve. The process would have been sweeter had it been quicker and less heart-breaking along the way – Rowan was already four and a half when Ilana was born! – but now, with our fertility journey complete, we just need to figure out how to get enough sleep and how to juggle bedtime and morning routines with two lively kids.

- Birgitte and Yael

Portrait of female employee at fertility clinic

Infertility Awareness Week 2019.

Involuntary infertility is something that affects many, regardless of background. Involuntary infertility is also, unfortunately, a topic many consider taboo and something you should not talk about. Many also feel alone and would love to have someone to share their thoughts and feelings with. Share it with someone who has thought the thoughts, who has felt all the emotions and felt the hopelessness and the strong hope of having the child they so desperately want one day.

We are so lucky that we have a bunch of wonderful couples who want to stand up and tell their story and share their thoughts and feelings. And hopefully, help break down some of the barriers that many couples are aware of and that society otherwise does not quite know how to deal with. But most of all, to support those who have no one to share or talk to about their infertility so that they can see they are not alone and that the desired child can become a reality.

Klinikk Hausken chooses this week as this is the week for Infertility Awareness worldwide. Every day this week, we will focus on one couple and their story. Together we can help make a difference. Enlighten and support. Together we are strengthened.

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