By Jo Bambagiotti

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. Unfortunately, the path to get there was not an easy one.

At 33 I surprisingly found out I had a low level of fertility. Suddenly, having children was not such a certainty. Single and 34, I decided to try and freeze my eggs. Unfortunately, I had two failed attempts to extract eggs for freezing and my third and last attempt yielded only one egg.

With my one frozen egg, as well as my fresh eggs, I decided to get sperm from an anonymous donor. I had two failed Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) attempts.

Deciding to take a break from this, the unexpected happened. I met John, my partner. I told him about my baby plans expecting him to run a mile, but he didn’t and he stuck by my side.

After a few more IVF attempts, he did have mixed feelings about using the sperm donor, and so, we decided to try conceiving naturally.

But in a devastating setback, John’s fertility tests showed he had a rare genetic condition leaving him infertile. I was also then diagnosed with endometriosis.

After surgery, and discussion with our specialist, we decided to try conceiving using the last vials of donor sperm remaining. Sadly, four more attempts did not result in pregnancy.

Jo and her partner, John had a long road to parenthood but they got there in the end.

At this point we started to look at options such as embryo donors and we came across an Australian couple who wanted to donate their six remaining IVF embryos.

They already had two children and wanted to help someone else become parents. After a lot of discussion, we pressed on with the long process of getting the embryos, and with the second embryo transfer, I fell pregnant.

On December 9, 2019, our baby boy Luke entered the world via caesarean after a healthy and happy pregnancy.

After nearly five years of trying, I was finally a mum.

With our top hospital and extras cover, we had the ability to attend pre-natal courses at no cost and the peace of mind of choosing our own obstetrician. Given everything we had been through, this was extremely important to us. We had a wonderful experience with our obstetrician and the private hospital at which Luke was delivered at.

After nearly five years of trying, Jo finally became a mum late last year.

While I know that Luke is not genetically linked to either John or I, it’s not something that concerns me as I once worried it might.

Luke is our baby. Our bond and connection is no less than it would be if he was our biological child.

Motherhood is an amazingly wonderful, exhausting 24/7 experience. It’s tiring but it has given me an energising purpose.

It was a long and hard road to get here but I’m so glad I persevered as it is all worth it. I can’t imagine life now without him. John & I have a great support network, which included the New Families Program offered by our private health insurer, Teachers Health.

We are now excited to go through another embryo transfer to try for baby number two.