Monday 16 September 2019

'You should be resting but you're worried about IVF costs'

Fiona Gibson and Eoghan O’Toole. Photo: TV3
Fiona Gibson and Eoghan O’Toole. Photo: TV3
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Fiona Gibson, who is now due twin babies in December, and her husband Eoghan O'Toole have spent €47,000 on fertility treatments since 2013.

The music teacher, who has been writing to Health Minister Simon Harris's office to fight for financial help for those going through fertility treatments, said couples do not need extra worries at a time when they are trying to conceive.

"It's one of the most emotional journeys in your life, and that's made worse by thinking about where you're going to get more money.

"You should be resting, doing less, giving the embryo time to settle in, but you can't, because you're thinking 'if this cycle fails then we need to find the money for another one'. It's a vicious cycle.

"It's the most worrying thing you'll ever do and you don't need the financial stress on top [of that]."

Fiona has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but the couple discovered other reasons why they were having trouble conceiving when they began IVF. "When we got into the IVF, we learned that my eggs and Eoghan's sperm aren't compatible; they don't mix."

She said: "This is a medical condition the same as anything else, and it should be treated as a medical condition."

The music teacher from Kilcullen, Co Kildare, added:"There are a lot of extras. I did three rounds of intralipids, a scratch, assisted hatching, and then when I got pregnant I was doing reflexology... It's all the little extras. But you'd pay anything to have a baby."

But an overjoyed Fiona, who featured in a recent TV3 documentary 'Babymakers', can now look forward to the arrival of twins in December at Dublin's Coombe hospital.

"We had good news and we have twin girls on the way in December. After a horrific, long journey we finally got there in the end.

"To this day I still can't believe it's going to happen because there are so many knocks... There's still that element of 'is everything going to be OK?' because you've been knocked so many times."

Irish Independent

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