Brittany Hockley opens up about emotional IVF journey

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Brittany Hockley has spoken at length for the first time about her gruelling fertility journey.

In the latest episode of Stellar’s podcast Something To Talk About, out today, the radio and Life Uncut co-host opened up about the unsuccessful IVF process she underwent last year with her partner, Swiss footballer Benjamin Siegrist. The couple were left with three embryos – two of which were not viable, and the final one of which was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal abnormality, which meant it could not be implanted.

“I’ll never forget the moment when they said, ‘I’m sorry, you don’t have any,’” Hockley recalled to host Sarrah Le Marquand.

“I’ll never forget it, because I was so shocked, because I was so convinced that science would be on my side, and then I walked away from that with nothing. It was a real, ‘Maybe this isn’t going to work out for me’ (moment).

“As a woman, you don’t ever think you’re going to be in a position like that; (you think) that stuff (only) happens to other people. It was really hard, because my partner wants kids. I want kids. And to realise that that choice might be taken from you is the big thing.”

In the aftermath, Hockley said she “battled” with whether or not to talk about it because she perceived her own experience to be “lucky” compared to those of other women who have struggled with infertility.

“The reason I didn’t ever speak about it is because of my podcast, how many people we’ve interviewed … I know people that have been trying to fall pregnant for 15 years, people who have done 15 cycles (of IVF), people who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she said.

“So I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be upset or feel pain when someone is feeling more pain. And I know that that is silly. I know that that is ridiculous. Every woman is entitled to go through their journey.”

For six months, Hockley said, “I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to have a child” – prompting her to take a break from IVF “until I mentally felt like I could go through it again”.

When she decided she was ready for another round, it wasn’t any easier.

“My doctor said, ‘Let’s just go and put you in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), just on the cusp’. She’s like, ‘I’m going to pump you so full of hormones,’” Hockley recalled.

“And it was the worst three weeks of my life. It was so horrific.

“My partner flew over for three days for the creation of the embryos. I’m so lucky he was there to look after me because this is my fourth time. The other times, I was always on my own and it was always fine.

“This time, I couldn’t even sit down. I couldn’t stand up. I was in that much pain because the hormone dose was so high.”

The process was ultimately successful for Hockley and Siegrist, who, after genetic testing, now have three embryos, “little babies, little minis that are waiting for us”.

“But we do know (having) three doesn’t mean anything, either,” she acknowledged.

“Three (embryos) could be one child. Three could be none. Three could be two. But it’s better than not having any.”

Read the full interview with Brittany Hockley inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Sunday Mail (QLD) and Sunday Mail (SA)

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