Guest Contributor, Lynn Colliar

My IVF Journey – by Lynn Colliar

Image: Jillian Kirby

Image: Jillian Kirby

Most people know my daughter Teagan is an IVF baby. That’s because we (my husband Glenn and I) made a decision to talk about it. Because when we were on the infertility “journey” no one was talking. We were heartbroken. Frustrated. For the first time in each of our lives there was something unattainable no matter how hard we worked to get it.

We couldn’t achieve one of the most basic human life stages – we couldn’t conceive a child.

Quick flash back. I had never really “really” thought “what if I can’t get pregnant?”. I had (full disclosure) a couple of panicky days in my twenties when my period was late and I thought “what if what if what if” and spent a day or two alternating between freaking out about the possibility of being pregnant and wondering what this wonder child would look like. Of course I was never pregnant, but it never occurred to me there was a problem, just that “it wasn’t meant to be” or “I got lucky”. Little did I know that twenty years later, when I really, REALLY, wanted to get pregnant… I wouldn’t be able to.

One of the most frustrating things was no one could tell me why. I was poked, prodded, examined… inside and out. Cycle days were counted and recounted. Linings were measured. Medications to “super” ovulate were taken. Nothing. I was deemed to have “unexplained infertility”. For a journalist always looking for answers – this was the ultimate in frustration. Everything seemed fine – yet nothing was working.

We had an amazing cheerleader in our fertility doctor. Dr. Beth Taylor (yes, her name is Elizabeth Taylor… to this day I have a prescription bottle with “Dr. Elizabeth Taylor” on it and it still makes me smile) is the reason we have Teagan. She was real and honest – and she was there. Every step of the way. When we finally (and I’ll spare you the details about the more than a year it took) got pregnant, I think she was just as happy and excited as we were. Seriously. I thought about calling our kid “Elizabeth” whether it was a boy or a girl. We had ten embryos – and she put one of them in my uterus… and it stuck!!!

We ignored all the precautions that said “don’t tell anyone until you’re at least 12 weeks”… and shared with immediate family, immediately. Everyone was ecstatic, as were we. Lots of jokes about how I would deal with not drinking chardonnay for nine months, lots of cheers-ing with ginger ale, lots of love and hugs….then at 8 weeks I miscarried. Suddenly, once again, we were alone. Immediate family was there, of course. But it’s that awkward time… no one knows what to say. I felt like crap. Our hearts were broken. We were done. That’s when you know who your friends are.

Elizabeth Taylor was there. She knew what we needed – and we needed to be pregnant. So, instead of dwelling on the loss, she had us focus on the future. We looked at my schedule… I was anchoring the morning news and getting up at 345am five days a week. The needles to prep for IVF have to be at specific times, so I was scooting into the bathroom with vials and needles in a 2 minute commercial break and injecting myself like a secretive junkie. Oh, and stress had to be kept to a minimum. Good luck on that schedule.

So, I left the morning show. I left what was my work baby… in order to give us a better chance at having a real baby. It was the best thing that ever happened. We retraced our steps – injections to get ready for IVF. Transfer day. Fingers crossed. Lots of deep breathing. Regular sleep and lower stress. The hope was there every minute of every day.

Three months later we were pregnant again.

This time we told no one. Only Elizabeth Taylor, Glenn and I knew.
This time we hit 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks.
This time we held our collective breaths. We had many vaginal ultrasounds. It became a joke that Dr. Beth was inside me more than Glenn.
This time we hit 12 weeks. Then 13… then 40.
This time she stuck.

About Lynn:

Lynn is a great friend, and former co-worker, of Sarah’s — she’s been a friend and colleague of Claire and Jody’s — for decades.  We adore Lynn.  We’ve grown up with Lynn. Currently, Lynn hosts the Weekend Morning News on Global BC.  Tune in and have your weekend coffee with our great friend.

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  • Reply Cecelia Hart Hucul October 12, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for sharing this amazing personal story!!!! Now when I see pictures of your miracle baby, I will look at her through a different lens. Thank you for the conversation…..

  • Reply Wendy Beckett October 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

    We missed you lot when you took that leave and were so happy when you produced your daughter and finally returned to Global screens. Thank you for sharing your story Lynn.

  • Reply Denise Caryula October 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Lynn, thank you for sharing your story! It is so very true that infertility was not spoken about much at all. It is more common now for sure. I don’t know what I would have done without having support from others that have gone through fertility struggles. It is such an emotional time to want something so bad and not be able to achieve it. I too had no idea I would have issues getting pregnant and I waited till later in life to start trying as our
    careers took precedence for many years.
    After 5 treatments ( 3 miscarriages) at the fertility clinic I was blessed with my son. Having a baby at 40 has been wonderful but I wish someone gave me advice when I was in my early 30’s to just get things checked out as there were signs that I may have a struggle with fertility. I guess this was my journey that was set for me to take, I hope I can be support just as others were for me for someone that needs it when struggling with their fertility.

  • Reply Karen Keumenacker October 12, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    So amazing to hear your story. My daughter and husband also had help from Elizabeth Taylor and I have a beautiful grandson, Greyson!!! More people need to share and the loneliness of this situation would be minimal. Thank you Lynn for sharing your story

  • Reply Shirley Montague October 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Congratulations Lynn! What a wonderful story with a fabulous end result. So good of you to share it.

  • Reply Nelson - One Old Sage October 12, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    This is a wonderful story. I am so glad you are sharing it. Sometimes things that mean the most, are the most difficult to share.

  • Reply Cathy Cena October 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Fabulous story thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Darlene October 12, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Awesome story Lynn and Im so glad you fullfilled such an awesome need & dream, your baby is one of the luckest babies around, she is truly loved and you will are an inspiration for many women who may be considering IVF.

  • Reply Linda Hughes October 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

    As a mother of three grown children and grandmother to 10 grandchildren, your story touches my heart. I love that you share Teagan with us on facebook. Thank you <3

  • Reply BETTY-JUNE GAIR October 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and loving story. I am sure you have brought answers to many young ladies who now know that this can be done even if it takes time after time. You have brightened many families hope which I thank you. All the best and keep smiling with your little jewel , Teagan . Your story is inspirational. Blessings to you all .

  • Reply Valerie Callaghan October 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks Lynn. Your story brought tears to my eyes-tears if sadness and finally, tears of joy!-Just a viewer-Valerie

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