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Meet Our Village - Antelope's Story

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Ann Reddy Children's Author - IVF Explained

"I didn’t know if I wanted kids or not…

When I was 31, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was being made to think about kids… something I had not given much thought to yet. I was never that maternal and it wasn’t a life mission of mine to be a mum, so I guess I wasn't too phased about not being able to have children or having that decision taken away from me then.

My first instinct was to treat the cancer, get rid of the cancer and get back on track with living my life. My partner, now husband, was 100% behind this decision.

I declined freezing my eggs as it would potentially delay my treatment and this was something I didn’t want to do. I decided that if I was meant to be a mum, then it would happen and if I couldn’t end up being a mum, then I was ok with that. Saving my life was my priority.

So double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy started and ended. I was placed on long term medication (tamoxifen) and it was explained that I could not get pregnant while taking the medication as it would be extremely harmful to the developing foetus. If I did want to try and have a baby, it was recommended that I remain on the medication for at least five years and then try.

So, we waited the 5years...

Five years was up and my oncologist gave us a twelve month window to fall pregnant. If I didn’t fall pregnant I would need to go back on medication and being a mum was pretty much off the table. So we met with our obstetrician who gave us a three month window to try naturally and if that didn’t work, we would explore IVF options.

Three months came and went, no success.

We decided we were going to give IVF a go ASAP, time was ticking! Deciding to try IVF was not a hard choice, I was pretty much given a time frame and we needed to make the most of our short window of opportunity.

Then the injections, ultrasounds, retrievals and transfers began.

After the second round of IVF we were successful with five fertilised embryos. The first two embryos did not progress, I started to prepare myself that none of the five were going to be successful and that I may run out of time to give the remaining ones a go anyway. I had decided that if they didn’t work or I ran out of time, I would go back on my medication and we would just be the best aunty and uncle to all of our family and friends' kids.

For me, especially after being given a cancer diagnosis, I don’t live in a dream land. I’m 100% a realist, I live for self-preservation; prepare for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised when you are wrong.

So after the first two embryos not being successful we bought a puppy to keep our minds on other things than the all-consuming nature of trying to conceive.

And of course, now that we had a puppy, I fell pregnant - the third transfer was a success!!! We couldn’t believe it. Coming from not really being fussed about having children, all I wanted was this baby and we were lucky enough to be given that privilege. She is my gift to this world.

The phone call to tell my mum (red panda from Our Village) that I was pregnant was the single best phone call of my life. She had been by my side for my whole cancer diagnosis and treatment. It was also amazing that she was in the room when our little baby girl made her entrance into the world.

Thanks to Our Village, we now have our baby, Bunny."

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