WHEN Kyogle woman Alison Kaihau gave birth to her first child conceived through IVF she was anxious throughout most of her pregnancy, concerned there would be some last-minute complication.
Once again using Sydney IVF, Mrs Kaihau is now hoping to give her 18-month-old son Tane a sibling, but this time she hopes to sit back and enjoy her pregnancy.
“We are doing it one more time. I would just like to go through the experience again,” she said.
“For the first one I was so desperate for it everything was rushed. I wanted to find out the sex. When it got to 35 weeks I just wanted to give birth. This time I want a totally different experience.
“Everybody has a right to have more than one baby and I guess it’s the same with IVF. It’s just a matter of coming up with the money.”
Mrs Kaihau, who is the Northern Rivers IVF Support Group co-ordinator, said there were no publicly-funded IVF facilities on the North Coast, which made it more expensive for families trying to have children.
“I think it would be great if public facilities were opened up here. It would be a lot easier for a lot of couples if there was something that was public,” she said.
“There are a lot of younger couples going through it now and with mortgages the way they are I just hope it doesn’t stop people from being able to do it.”
Sydney IVF charges couples $7910 for the first cycle, which is reduced after the Medicare rebate to an out-of-pocket expense of $2970, and $2460 for subsequent cycles.
Mrs Kaihau yesterday praised her doctor at Sydney IVF, but said it was also important for families undergoing treatment to come together to provide each other with emotional support.
“It’s a lonely journey, very, very lonely, and it’s hard for your family and friends to know what you’re going through,” she said.
“Apart from counselling there isn’t really much out there and it’s always good to relate with people who are going through it as well to talk more about the emotions.”
Since the group was established in January last year about 15 couples have used its services, Mrs Kaihau said.
The group meets once a month at the Lismore Workers Club.