ARMIDALE mother Jessica Dixon wants more families to talk freely about IVF, after a six-year struggle to conceive never produced some happy news.
Little Jack Dixon, now 17-months, was born through IVF, and Mrs Dixon and her husband, Leonard, are very grateful.
She has had a child naturally in a previous relationship, but after a long time of trying, herself and Leonard thought "this is a joke".
After having tests done, and seeing Genea fertility specialist Dr Mark Livingstone, it was simply a matter of "unexplained infertility".
"There was nothing that was pointed at either one of us. It was very disappointing, it was like 'hopefully this time' but being unexplained you can't fix it," Mrs Dixon said.
Luckily, she was able to conceive Jack through IVF, but she finds that many people don't like to talk about the process, especially those in regional and rural towns.
"People don't talk about it. I think they could be ashamed or there's some stigma about 'you can't have kids naturally', but we've been brutally honest about Jack from the start," Mrs Dixon said.
"It's just one of the things that's not discussed. I have a family member who went through it and I was happy to discuss it but they wouldn't.
"I'm a very open person so I'm not sure why it shouldn't be discussed."
Living in Armidale didn't hinder her seeing Jack's process, either.
Thanks to the Grow by Genea app, the couple was able to see Jack (or embryo one) all the way through the process.
"I absolutely love [the app], I only found out yesterday which embryo Jack was. It's good to see the process," Mrs Dixon said.
"The first day I had eight [embryos] and then a few days later I had seven, then four, and by the time the transplant came, I only had embryo one, Jack.
"It was good seeing the different stages."
For anyone thinking of taking on IVF, Mrs Dixon said not to be scared.
"The initial needle I had to give myself I procrastinated a bit but I didn't mind the process at all," she told the Leader.
"If you've got a comfy relationship with your GP, they'll run all the necessary tests prior to IVF and it's not a scary process.
"It is an emotional journey but it's worth it."
Miraculously, the Dixons are now 29 weeks pregnant, through natural conception.
Both Mrs and Mr Dixon are confused as to how this is the case, but are excited for their next family member to arrive.
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