The challenges in growing our family

Baby making is supposed to be one of the most joyous times in a couple’s life, however sometimes there is a lot of pressure associated with the desire to conceive. Often we hear about the stress that couples feel when they experience difficulties in falling pregnant, yet it’s important for us to know we are not alone. I want to share my story with other dads who may be going through something similar.

Kate and I decided to try for another baby who would become a wonderful brother or sister to our two gorgeous girls. After a seven year break bringing up our two girls Madeline (nine) and Emily (seven), we really wanted another addition to our family. Kate and I knew it may be harder for us to conceive, but we hadn’t really given it much thought. We also knew there was a likelihood of us experiencing difficulties, as our first daughter Madeline was conceived via Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI). Although it was an anxious time for us, we remained hopeful and determined.

We were both reasonably fit and we took on all the tips and tricks to stay healthy which we had done during our previous pregnancies. We minimised our caffeine consumption, I ditched briefs for looser fitting underwear, we kept our sex life enjoyable, and Kate was stocking up on vitamins and folate minerals. Kate and I tried to be really careful with our diet and cut out alcohol and fatty foods in preparation. We also used an ovulation calendar to work out when Kate was most fertile.

We tried and tried for a baby for 6 months with no luck before deciding to see a fertility specialist at our IVF clinic. He was very helpful and completed numerous tests on both Kate and myself; however our doctor was as surprised as we were when he found no particular reason as to why we were not conceiving. We were happy with this news as we could continue to try to fall pregnant knowing that there was no particular problem holding us back. Yet we also felt disheartened to know that all our attempts at baby making were simply not producing a baby. We had good days and bad days and through it all we tried to remain hopeful, but one question kept repeating itself in our heads - “Are we not meant to be parents again?”

Our attempts at baby making were proving more and more challenging and the stress started to show, so we began discussing our situation in our friendship circles. We looked for advice on the internet, through our friends, doctor, pharmacist and anyone who would listen - then one night at a social barbeque a friend told us about Menevit.

He explained how he began taking Menevit so he could assist the chances of he and his wife falling pregnant - and it worked. He believed the product had helped them conceive their twin baby girls. He explained how Menevit was an antioxidant supplement which supported sperm health and considering Kate had been taking a folate supplement for months, it seemed the least I could do if it was going to increase our chances of falling pregnant.

Strangely, I felt empowered to do something extra and it was so easy to do - one tablet every day. Why not! This gave me the chance to take an active role in making my swimmers stronger! Kate and I talked about Menevit all the way home that evening and made a decision to give it a go. The next day we went to our pharmacist and asked him about Menevit. Although unaware of the product he made some calls on our behalf and within three days, the supplement had arrived at our pharmacy. We tried not to get excited but felt hopeful that it might work for us, giving us the baby we so desperately wanted.

I began taking Menevit in October and in March Kate and I commenced our first IVF cycle. Kate had four healthy eggs taken from her ovaries and put into storage. Around June, a frozen embryo was transferred into Kate’s uterus and it transferred successfully. We were pregnant! We were so happy that the transfer had worked the first time, which means we still have three healthy embryos in storage, just in case we decide we want number four!

We know that Menevit played a role in assisting our chances of falling pregnant. I was thrilled to be able to participate and it was just so easy for me to increase the opportunity for Kate and I to conceive.

Many people say that the birth of your child and the first year is the hardest. However, from our experience actually falling pregnant takes top rank. It had been particularly challenging and such a tumultuous time for both Kate and myself. We will definitely use Menevit again if we decide to have another baby and I will start taking it a few months before we start trying to conceive to increase our chances of falling pregnant naturally.

Falling pregnant can be both a demanding and exciting time for parents-to-be. I definitely encourage other men to try some of these tips and who knows – they too could experience the same joy that we have with our growing family.

These are my top tips for other dads:
  1. Be healthy and active – exercise is great for the body and mind and releases endorphins which make you happy
  2. Cut out smoking, alcohol, fatty foods and caffeine – these are not only bad for you but they make you feel bad as well
  3. Wear loose fitting underwear and avoid hot baths – this can increase testicle temperature and may reduce sperm health
  4. Take a supplement such as Menevit for men
  5. Get enough sleep to encourage alertness and general health
  6. Remember to stay positive!
  7. Visit for other hints and tips.

Our baby girl Hannah Grace was born in February 2009. She and Kate are happy and healthy. Our family is growing and we couldn’t be more thankful than we are right now!

Our experience has taught us that growing your family is sometimes a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Madeline was born via assisted pregnancy and with Emily we had a natural surprise. Seven years later, with Hannah we were not sure what to expect!

To other parents-to-be, the one thing Kate and I would recommend is to stay positive and remind each other every day about the importance of your love and the current relationships you have. It’s so easy to get caught up in the baby making experience and sometimes it’s essential to take a step back, relax and appreciate the wonderful things around you.