Northern Star

IVF mums out to help others start a family

WHEN Lee Kearne and Alison Kaihau recall their time trying to make a family, their eyes well up with tears.

Both mothers are veterans of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and together they have bonded through their common knowledge that the pathway to family, for some, is a tortuous one.

Now they are on their way to forming the area's first IVF support network for mothers and partners and their families who are thinking about or undertaking IVF treatment.

Of course, the reward for their persistence is the bundle of joy in their arms, and all the pain and hormonal anxiety has mellowed with the joy of bringing a newborn into the world.

Lee, 36, from Evans Head, had tried to get pregnant for seven years before venturing down the IVF path. Alison, 27, from Casino, tried in vain to get pregnant for five years before doing the same.

“For anyone who has trouble with fertility it is an extremely lonely journey,” Lee said. “Your family and friends who have no trouble falling pregnant don't seem to understand that when you see something as simple as a TV commercial with a baby, it is heartbreaking.”

Along with the trauma of failing to fall pregnant naturally, IVF treatment comes with its own special hardships.

The ovulation-inducing drugs dump a massive level of hormones into the body, with the effect that Lee's husband Kim, and Alison's husband Sonny, had to put up with constant PMT for many months at a time.

“Our partners felt helpless when we were undergoing treatment,” Lee said.

The IVF support group will meet for the first time on Thursday, January 15, from 6pm-8pm, at the Lismore Workers Club.It is open to all women and their partners, those contemplating IVF or undergoing treatment. The group will meet every fortnight thereafter.

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