Our fertility journey, by Faith and Yanga

by Faith and Yanga

When you plan your life out and line up your hopes, dreams and heart’s desires , you don’t ever really factor in walking into a fertility clinic for a consultation about infertility

This is our story . . .

We got married, and to us, the next exciting step was to start our family. We fell pregnant by surprise only a month after we stopped using contraceptives. Everything was going well with my pregnancy until at 23weeks, I started having contractions, and 6 hours later, I gave birth to our stillborn son, who passed away shortly after my water broke. We were devastated. The hospital had no answers for us, and our baby’s placenta was frozen, so they could not send it to the lab for testing. As a result, we left the hospital in limbo, completely dumbfounded by how a seemingly healthy pregnancy ended in just a matter of hours.

When we were emotionally ready, we started trying again and presumed we would conceive quickly

However, after 8 months of no luck, we decided to consult a fertility clinic.

We researched the best clinics in Cape Town and came across HART Fertility Clinic, and met with Dr. Marcus Faesen.

Dr Faesen was very thorough in our initial Fertility Assessment, but, when tests came back, they came back as “normal.” Yet based on our history, Dr Faesen immediately diagnosed that there were potentially two issues that would have to be investigated further, that could explain why we lost the first pregnancy:

An incompetent cervix, or, progesterone issues 

We were now experiencing secondary infertility

Neither option was welcome news to a newly-wed couple, let alone young and healthy 28 and 23-year-olds.

What we sincerely appreciated most about our consultations with Dr. Faesen was his honesty and compassion from start to finish. He didn’t string us along, or prolong the diagnosis, as he knew that financially we were apprehensive about the costs of the fertility treatments that were to come.

Changing our lifestyle to aid our fertility

Alongside advising us as a Fertility Specialist, he also gave us expert advice on how to start working on lifestyle changes such as diet and fitness to aid our fertility journey. With his guidance, we started making healthy changes to our lives, and miraculously we fell pregnant again. At six weeks, Dr. Faesen confirmed that we were pregnant and referred us to our nearest maternity clinic with a referral letter, which noted what interventions needed to be done, to preserve our pregnancy till viability and beyond.

Although we had a hospital managing our journey, we decided to stick with Dr. Faesen for our scans as we were comfortable with him and trusted him wholeheartedly. Sadly the hospital did not adhere to his recommendations, and as a result, we lost our baby at 21 weeks.

Dr. Faesen was deeply upset and empathetic, given that he advised our hospital of recommended next steps.

Cycle tracking

Exhausted, drained, and heartbroken, we decided had to return to HART. Dr. Faesen recommended cycle tracking. He attempted a trigger shot with one of the cycles; however, we missed this. At that point, we were ready to throw in the towel, and just like that, BOOM! We fell pregnant again!

We were delighted when Dr. Faesen confirmed that we were pregnant. However, this time, we decided that from then one, surely, no-one would dodge his recommendations, based on our history.

Once again, the hospital didn’t take into account Dr. Faesen’s recommendations because for any emergency contingencies to be put in place in case of miscarriage or “preterm labour” one needs have three consecutive miscarriages. How disheartening it was to learn that if this was the case, that the only hope for happiness was a 4th intervention to preserve our pregnancy.

Miscarriage scare

At 12 weeks, we had a miscarriage scare as my cervix was shortening. The recommendation given to us was that between 13-14 weeks, I should have a cervical cerclage and begin with progesterone boosters based on the lab results. I was given a progesterone prescription at eight weeks; however, the cerclage was only to be administered at 13-14weeks. At 18 weeks, I almost miscarried again. My contractions were so intense, and my cervix had become much shorter. I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery; to insert the cervical cerclage.

The birth of my son

At 27 weeks, the contractions returned, but luckily, my baby managed to stick it out till 35 weeks and six days. My gorgeous son was born, weighing 2.5kgs; however he spent 6 Days in ICU for respiratory distress and suspected sepsis, which our little miracle child overcame.

We will forever be grateful to Dr. Faesen and his team at HART. Their collective caring and passion for the well-being of their patients, is honestly, what carried us through this roller-coaster journey. 

Working with Dr. Faesen and the HART team, we were educated and empowered enough to be able to have the courage to try again. This journey taught us that trusting your medical team is an essential key to this journey; communication, care, and compassion is vital”.

Thank you so much to Faith & Yanga for sharing their incredible story with us. If you would like to ask Dr. Faesen a question, drop him a line by clicking here.

To understand the medical terminology and suggestions that Dr Faesen put forward, you must take a read of this article.


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