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Making IVF work - one couple's story

CAROLINE and Ed Smyth, from Athy, underwent two rounds of IVF. After one cycle in 2009, they gave birth to their first son.

A cycle in December 2010 was also successful, resulting in twin boys (now seven months).

"We had been trying to get pregnant for a year, after which time we started investigating.

"We did three rounds of (fertility-boosting drug) Clomid, and I was under-responsive to IUI (intrauterine or artificial insemination).

"I was 34 at the time and I knew age was starting to go against us.

"The cost was a huge factor, and we were so lucky that we were successful on our first go.

"We hadn't even discussed what might happen beyond one cycle. We were just so upbeat and positive about it.

"When you're trying for a child, sex becomes all about timing, which is horrible.

"You lose intimacy and something that's supposed to be fun becomes something that you're just doing so often.


"For me the procedure itself wasn't too bad. It was uncomfortable and I felt bloated and low, but nothing too extreme. It can be very invasive.

"I was knocked out for the egg collection but the (embryo) transfer feels pretty invasive. But I just kept telling myself that it was a means to an end.

"Even though I was successful, I sometimes felt like a fraud on various fertility support forums.

"I'd heard of women who go through so many cycles and still have a negative pregnancy test at the end of it all.

"I encountered one woman who went through 10 cycles and still didn't have a biological baby (though luckily the story had a happy ending, as she adopted).

"Me, I felt too lucky, although it was great to talk to people on these forums as everyone is so supportive.

"Now, I have three gorgeous boys and they're the most adorable creatures. It's so hilarious to watch them, and having them has made Ed and I closer.

"If I were in that position again I'd do whatever it took to make the money to pay for it.

"I think if you didn't try everything you could to raise those funds, you'd regret it in the long run.