Brihony and Shae’s fertility journey in Brihony’s own words

Part 1: Brihony and Shae’s ‘Eggcellent’ fertility journey

Singer, songwriter and entertainer Brihony Dawson and wife Shae Dawson initially spoke about starting a family together in the first few moments they fell in love! Now, three years on, they have done just that and started their pregnancy journey with Rainbow Fertility and we couldn’t be more proud to support them through this special time.

Having babies was not something Brihony had seriously thought about before meeting Shae.

“Well, not never ever thought about, but never seriously. It was always a thing I was eventually going to do once I had achieved certain things in my career. Then Shae and I fell in love and it felt so natural to plan our life and start a family together,” Brihony said.

Brihony was 34 at the time and said there were definitely thoughts of “we’d better get going on the family before my eggs disintegrate!”

Then last year, Brihony and Shae started their fertility journey together – they had not actually planned to start so soon, but when COVID-19 took over they felt so many things in their lives were up in the air.

“With huge amounts of uncertainty in our living arrangements and work we decided to take control of our lives, as much as we could, and instead of planning the family around work life, we decided to plan our life around starting a family!,” Brihony said.

Once they had made the decision, it just felt so right, Brihony said.

Below is the start of their journey to become parents and we’ll be back with more insights and updates on their progress soon. As you will read, it is not all smooth sailing but with love and determination there is hope everywhere. We’ve got everything crossed for them.

 

Part 2: In Brihony’s own words

(13 October 2020): First Injections

Deep breaths…as of today, Shae checked and loaded our first dose of Follicule Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and tentatively administered the injection into my (Brihony’s) belly!  FSH stimulates your ovaries to produce more than one egg at a time. It was pretty scary stuff for the first injection… Mainly because Shae was holding the injection like a dagger and was about to heave it into my stomach. We got better at them over the next two weeks, that’s for sure. Like most people, I was afraid the injection would hurt, but it’s really not that bad. One of the pharmacists assured me it was the size of an infant needle, so, yeah, I thought it best not to be a big baby 😉 Moving forward, Shae and I shared the duties of preparation and who was going to inject. We did one FSH shot per day for around 12 days. It seems like a lot, but honestly, I looked forward to those shots every day. I liked that we could both be involved in preparing them and injecting. It was a nice ritual and a special time of day we would set aside to be together with no distractions. This was how we were making a baby! I also liked watching what it did to my body. Definitely very bloated by the end of things! Full of eggs! I didn’t experience any mood swings, which I was VERY concerned about. I work in entertainment, so a constant ‘good mood’ is always expected. In fact, I even felt full of energy.

 

(20 October 2020): Day 10 Scan

Feeling eggcellent today as we visited the clinic for our first scan to check how many follicles I have. “I was feeling good and hoping for lots.” It was amazing news when they told me I had 11 follicles on the left and 7 on the right! Happy Days!

 

(23 October 2020): Egg Retrieval

We got 12 eggs, 12 GOOD eggs…the best! So many strong women working at the surgery today, everyone was soooo good. Now the eggs are being inseminated with our known donor sperm. Then we will get a call in the morning from the clinic to let us know how many of our eggs have made it to embryo stage. So many things have to go right for this to occur. So there can be a huge drop in numbers. But…we’ve got this! Go little eggies! Be the best of friends with that sperm!

 

(2 November 2020): Scan for Shae

Today we went in for Shae’s scan to see if her endometrium lining was ready. (This is important so the womb can recognise and accept an embryo). We openly hoped for a nice thick lining and the doctor reported it was healthy and ready. Tonight’s a trigger shot to induce the final maturation process of the eggs just prior to ovulation and our first embryo transfer on Saturday. We were really excited! Shae is ready to play her part in the whole process now… the biggest and best part!

 

(7 November 2020 9:50am): Embryo Transfer

It’s amazing how quickly this part goes. Shae did so well. She was a little bit nervous and very excited but she did so well to stay calm and we both enjoyed the experience together. We treated ourselves to a delicious breakfast afterwards and fantasised about what it would be like if this one transfer resulted in us having a baby.

 

(20 November 2020) The News: Pregnancy Results

We received a negative test result today. Geez it’s a lot rougher than you expect. You think you prepare yourself for anything, but when they call to tell you, it definitely hits you like a tonne of bricks. Shae and I had talked during the day that no matter what happens we are already so so blessed and our life is actually perfect just the way it is. Having a baby is just adding to something that is already amazing… But you still REALLY want it. It was hard news to swallow and we cried a lot that day and took ourselves out for dinner. Food is our comfort apparently. 😉

 

(14 December 2020): Embryo Transfer #2

I wasn’t able to attend the embryo transfer with Shae this time so her Mum went with her, which was a really nice experience for them both I think. We felt a little less pressure this time and a little more relaxed which was nice.

 

(28 December 2020): The News: Pregnancy Results

Another negative pregnancy result today. It still hits pretty hard, but the massive shock wasn’t there as much for me this time. I wouldn’t ever say it was easier but there was less mind-numbing shock involved the second time around. Also, with this negative result we had to deal with the reality of having to go through another cycle as we were all out of embryos. Chatting with Shae, we sort of brought ourselves back down to Earth and talked about how IVF would just be one of those things that was a part of our life now. It’s a journey and we’re on it. We don’t know how long it’s going to take and what will happen in the end. I will say, every time we get the phone call to deliver the pregnancy results I really feel for the person on the other end of the line. It must be really tough to call people with that kind of heartbreaking news.

 

(February 2021): New IVF cycle (injections, scan, egg retrieval)

We’re back on the cycle train! It feels so much better this time around. We’re a lot more relaxed and we’re not doing everything for the first time. Most of the injections I just do on my own compared to last time when they were all a big event! Haha. My FSH dose was increased to try and stimulate a few more follicles. I have been more relaxed with my diet this time too. First time around I felt a lot of pressure to eat right, do this, do that, have acupuncture, no perfume sprays, literally RUNNING away from smokers on the street. I found it really stressful. This time around I’m just living my life how I live it and the IVF becomes a part of it. Instead of everything revolving around the IVF. Shae finds it A LOT easier to eat really healthy and not have a drink ever so she does her things and I do mine, it’s a lot less stressful this way. I feel like when you first start, there are a lot of unknowns and it’s very overwhelming so you try to control the things you can control. Like, diet, coffee, alcohol consumption, stress, sleep and all the things we know so much about already. That doesn’t work for me. There are so many variables in my job, it just doesn’t fit into a regimented lifestyle. I can do my shots at the same time each day, but the rest of it now has to work to me.

 

Where are you now?

From my second retrieval we got 19 eggs. We froze two blastocysts (embryos) on day five and another one on day six. We’re SUPER happy with that result! 3 little embryos that could. We’re scheduled to do a transfer to Shae in April. Watch this womb!

 

 

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