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The road to falling pregnant is different for every parent. Some of us accidentally fall pregnant, some try for a month and fall pregnant, some try for months or years and have success, and sadly some are broken hearted time and time again.

PakMag interviewed three families about their journey to conceiving their bundles of joy and becoming parents.

Monique, Adam, Kai and Evie McLoughlin

In the midst of dealing with ovarian cysts, Monique and Adam weren’t sure they’d ever be able to have a child. However, life’s bumpy road eventually led them to fantastic surprises…

“In 2004, I had surgery to remove a low malignant potential cyst from my right ovary, meaning it had the potential to become cancerous if not removed,” Monique told PakMag. “I was 21 and had just started my career with the Queensland Police Service. At this time in my life I had not even begun to think of the repercussions that this diagnosis would have.”

In 2008, Monique suffered another cyst, resulting in the removal of her right ovary. “I was advised to start IVF sooner rather than later, because if too much time went by, I could end up having my last ovary removed.

I was 25 and having discussions with my boyfriend (now husband) about how he felt about having a baby with me! It was seriously crazy!”

“After much discussion, we were prepared to go through IVF – however, at the last moment I backed out. All of it was too overwhelming. Adam and I decided we would try naturally.”

By the end of 2009, the couple welcomed baby Kai into the world. “Feeling very blessed that my husband and I conceived naturally,” Monique shared. The couple experienced a miscarriage in 2012, but fell pregnant again in 2013 and welcomed baby Evie on Adam’s birthday which made the moment even more special.

In 2015, Monique had yet another cyst on her ovary, this time leading to having her remaining ovary removed. “This was to eliminate the risk of ovarian cancer. It can be easy, it can be tough but in the end we have to do what works for ourselves.”

Belinda, Chris, Courtney, Bailey, Chloe, Khataya, Krystal and Poppy Wilson

The more, the merrier! Belinda tells the story of her family’s journey, including Poppy’s surprise arrival.

Belinda and Chris have fostered numerous children, but also embarked on quite the conception journey. “Our first child was natural and only took four months to conceive. Our second child took 12 months, which got us a bit worried,” Belinda told PakMag. “After 12 months of trying, I went to the doctor who sent me for blood tests, and that must have shocked my womb because I was pregnant the next month.”

“We thought were done and dusted at that point, and embarked on a 10-day cruise. After a few drinks one night we ended up taking five kids on a cruise and brought six home!” Belinda recalls. “When I first found out I was pregnant with Poppy, shock was an understatement. I never thought we would be going through this all over again at 36 years old. My husband went and got another test just in case the first one was dodgy.”

Belinda laughs as she recalls her grandparents and kids’ reactions. “Grandparents were very excited, the older kids were in shock. They were wondering how at our age we could still have kids!”

Belinda’s advice for other families wanting to conceive is to “just have fun while trying, still live life until you fall pregnant. Life is always interesting in my home with six children, there is never a dull moment.”

Sheree, Brian, Flyn, Louis and Parker Bryant

The conception journey of Sheree and Brian proves that life can surprise us in all kinds of ways, even when you’re close to giving up hope.

“We tried for seven years, and over that we tried naturally and did numerous IVF PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) cycles. We lost one baby naturally between cycles,” Sheree told PakMag. “For our last cycle, we travelled to Sydney to one of the top IVF clinics in Australia as one last try before we stopped our journey. Our one normal egg split and we conceived Mono Di identical twins, Flyn and Louis.”

Sheree recalls the incredible moment when she found out they’d be having twins. “I cried out of disbelief.
It was a long rough journey and to get two babies at the end of it was amazing.”

The family was in just as much disbelief as the couple themselves. “No one believed us when we let immediate family know. It was an even bigger shock when we showed family the two babies in the ultrasound pic.”

When the twins were one year old, Sheree and Brian conceived naturally after deciding not to go down the IVF route again. “To my surprise, we conceived natural twins,” Sheree shared. “Unfortunatley, we lost one of the twins early in the pregnancy. Our surviving twin Parker is now two, and we feel so grateful to have our three boys.”

Sheree’s advice for other families wanting to conceive is to “Never give up – we are a testament of that. It’s a hard and emotional journey if it doesn’t happen straight away, but it can happen. I still pinch myself that I have these boys.”