Before Gabriela - 3 years of TTC, 2 miscarriages, 1 failed IVF implantation.

We started our TTC journey when we returned from living overseas and fell pregnant naturally after 6 months. We were so excited it happened relatively quickly, and we already saw our child’s future ahead of us. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and I miscarried naturally at around 6/7 weeks. 

We were devastated. While we knew the statistics and the chance that it could happen, a miscarriage hadn’t seriously crossed our minds as a possibility. When you can see your entire future and that of your unborn child unfold in your mind, you have a permanent smile on your face 24/7. And when it’s taken away from you, just like that, without any fault of your own, you feel helpless, angry, depressed, out of control – why us? Why did this have to happen to us? Did I do something wrong? 

All these questions flood your mind, and wrestle with each other every minute of the day. I felt completely blindsided. Seeing those drops of blood on your underwear, when they are so unexpected, is worse than any physical pain I had ever endured. We mourned what could have been. 

The only reassurance was knowing we could get pregnant naturally and relatively quickly. We dove straight in to try again. However, after 6 months, nothing. We were so confused. Why wasn’t it working? 

Everyone kept telling me you are more fertile immediately after a miscarriage, so I thought it would happen soon. But it didn’t. I was anxious all the time. And worried about feeling anxious. Relax, they all said. The more you relax and forget about it, the faster it will happen. Each month, another negative test. Another period. 

I literally could hear the biological clock ticking so loudly in my head. I was 36 – worried that my expiration date was looming. 

As I was over 35, I knew that if I hadn’t conceived after 6 months, the next step was to see a specialist.  We got a referral for some tests, and it seemed that sperm was the issue – low numbers, low motility. We put two and two together and realized that this resulted from a medical issue he was going through that needed him to use warm sitz baths regularly – something we weren’t aware was probably causing poor sperm quality and quantity! 

How did our general practitioner not tell us this?? We felt like idiots and stopped the baths immediately, thinking this would be our answer.

Another 6 months passed, and still nothing. Then we were mid-move to Sydney from Brisbane, with a new job for Hubs, probably one of the most stressful jobs he’d ever had. Trying for a baby fell off our priority list for 3 months. We said we’d try again once he’d settled in.

Before we knew it, almost 2 years had flown by since TTC, with just one pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage. We needed help. We saw a new general practitioner in Sydney (referred to us by our specialist in Brisbane) who requested further tests. By this stage, I was 37, and my AMH levels had declined. That damn clock was getting louder. Nothing significant came out of our test results, so we were then referred to “one of the best IVF doctors in Sydney.” 

Immediately, I didn’t talk to her well – she felt cold, clinical, disinterested, and didn’t ask many questions. But I shrugged off my gut reaction and reminded myself she was one of the best. Of course, she knew what she was doing, I told myself. 

She recommended we launch straight into an IVF/ICSI cycle without doing any further testing. According to her, my age was against me. Hub’s sperm was a permanent issue that couldn’t be fixed despite us explaining his past medical issues, the sitz baths, and his stress levels throughout the past 4 months. They had nothing to do with it, and we couldn’t change anything. 

Even when we requested 3-monthly sperm analyses that started to show an upward trend, she insisted it wasn’t a trend line and that numbers would probably go down again in a few months. 

On our first cycle, we had 5 eggs collected, 3 fertilized, 2 frozen, and 1 fresh transfer. As a prolific “researcher” who needs to dive deep into everything, I knew our IVF chances were only around 30-35%, but we were hopeful. It was the closest we had been in a full 2 years. 

The waiting period between the transfer and the first blood test is prolonged. I threw myself into work, thinking it would distract me. But as any woman going through infertility knows, you never stop thinking about what could be, what will be, what might be. We had the blood test and then the call – I was pregnant! As I had been consciously pessimistic in an attempt to protect myself, I didn’t realize how badly I needed to hear that news until I felt the hot tears pour down my face. We were pregnant!

Alas, it wasn’t to last. Our doctor didn’t pick up anything when you are meant to hear the first heartbeat at the dating scan. It seemed our little embryo hadn’t made it past 7 weeks, and I had had a silent miscarriage. 

It was another devastating blow. We just couldn’t believe it. And yet, a part of me had prepared myself for the worst already – we’d experienced a miscarriage before and learned our lesson. It wasn’t as soul-destroying as the first one. Overall, I just felt numb. We had already told ourselves, don’t get too excited. Don’t start thinking too far ahead. Don’t count your chickens, blah blah blah. 

It also helped to know we had a second embryo in the freezer. Nonetheless, it still hurt in the deepest parts of myself that I can’t control, as despite what the brain tells you, the heart doesn’t ever listen. 

I decided to pass the miscarriage naturally as I was worried that a D&C was too invasive. It took my body 4-5 weeks to realize it was no longer pregnant to pass the miscarriage naturally. I had assumed it would feel like the first time – like a heavy period. No one had ever mentioned anything about contractions! I was not prepared at all for that. 

When the bleeding started, it escalated pretty quickly to contractions every few minutes. I was in so much shock and pain – not only was I in the emotional pain of losing this pregnancy, but had to live with the physical pain. 

The following day, we went to the emergency room as I was still experiencing contractions, and it seemed my body hadn’t passed everything yet. I decided to wait another 24 hours for everything to be expelled. I cried from the physical pain of it all and the emotional toll – it dawned on me that my body wasn’t ready to give up that little embryo easily, which devastated me more than when we first heard the news.  

After a couple of months, we decided to transfer another embryo (this time, frozen) upon the advice of our IVF doctor. Upon reflection, it was a silly decision as we were going through a personal tragedy where David’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and it was a heartbreaking and stressful time in our lives, plus the fact that we had to fly to Europe and back a couple of times during this period. 

But we were reassured by our doctor that stress and flying wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I think, secretly, we were praying for a miracle to tell David’s family some good news despite all the sadness. The second embryo didn’t take. 

I decided to rest my body while we strategized our next step. Our doctor recommended another transfer with our third and last frozen embryo. I wasn’t so sure. Deep down, I knew we hadn’t tackled the core issue, and there was more to be done than just repeating the same steps and hoping for a different result.

But I also knew time wasn’t on my side, and my anxiety and fear grew. Social media significantly compounded it, where friends and strangers left, right, and center proudly shared their pregnancy news and big, round bellies. And there we were, on the sidelines, waiting for our turn.  It was hard, and I cried often. 

I swung between feeling sorry/terrified for myself/ourselves, thinking we would never be pregnant, to trying to pick myself up mentally and saying that I just needed to keep trying and think positively. 

Around this time as well, after losing David’s father, I lost my father about 4 months later. As you can imagine, it was our saddest, most challenging time. But I continued to read voraciously online, in books, on forums. Eventually, I stumbled on a blog post where the author talked about “throwing out her microwave” on the advice of her naturopath when she was going through secondary infertility. That piqued my curiosity – what did a microwave do with fertility?

After more digging, I landed on The Fertility Breakthrough Program™’s website. A part of me was skeptical, but the other part was excited. This didn’t feel like your cliché naturopathic advice, where you took some herbal tea and acupuncture, and everything would be sorted. Instead, Gabriela Rosa’s credentials, research papers, educational blog posts, and testimonials on her site made me feel hopeful again. This was scientifically backed research. This felt different. This felt holistic – a marriage of medicine and naturopathy. I wanted to learn more.


Everything I had read on The Fertility Breakthrough Program™’s website so far resonated greatly. It just made sense, and I felt myself nodding with every word. There is no such thing as “unexplained infertility” – doctors just hadn’t dug deep enough. 

Of course, my environment and everyday choices affected my body – endocrinology made so much sense to me. It was scary and fascinating that minor factors had such a massive impact – something that medical professionals had never mentioned. 

Terms like “act pregnant now to get pregnant later” became my mantra. Other people’s success stories became my lifeline and obsession – I couldn’t get enough of them. And finally, I didn’t want to live with the regret of leaving things too late and not making any real changes to create a different result. This was especially true in my mind with our frozen embryo – how could I go through that again if I hadn’t made any changes to create a different result? 

I signed up for one of the online programs being offered straight away. I thought it was worth learning from it; if it didn’t work, I could progress to the whole Fertility Breakthrough Program™. Finally, I felt hopeful. I’m a natural control freak, and I felt calm again, in control and back in the driver’s seat of my fate. 

The program was enlightening. I had asked my husband to have an open mind, and I chewed his ear off about everything I had read on the website – why it made sense, how logical it was. I’m unsure if he just wanted me to shut up, but he was in – if only to support me. We did everything we were asked to do. We removed the microwave, started the lemon drink, cleaned our home of toxins, and did the homework. 

It felt liberating, and we felt we were finally in charge of our fertility journey rather than victims. 

I’d also just read the Marie Kondo book around the same time, and it felt amazing to clean out our home – cupboards, makeup, and personal care – and replace it all with toxin-free alternatives that made perfect sense to me. I was enjoying the entire process. We over-committed and leaned in hard!

At the end of the introductory online program, there was an opportunity to “apply” for the full Fertility Breakthrough Program™. Having both been so committed to the former program, I just felt like it made complete sense to take the next step – how could we not when we knew whatever result it gave us, we could at least know that we’d tried everything in our power and could live without regrets, even if it meant no baby. 

As soon as we were asked to fill in the HUGE questionnaire, getting to the bottom of our experiences, test results, and emotions, I knew we’d made the right decision. 

I felt like I had the best, most qualified people on my team, who would not stop looking under every rock, for every clue, and every test possible until we found out why we could not fall pregnant or carry a baby to term. That questionnaire contrasted so strongly with the LACK of questions our IVF doctor had asked. I knew I could never return to her, wherever the road led us. 

After our first consultation with our practitioner, I was in love, and my husband was relieved. Here was someone I could bother with my endless list of “annoying” questions on everything I’d read/seen/heard without feeling like I was being judged (doctors), eye-rolled at (thanks, Hubs), and who had the answers that made sense, rooted in science! I felt so supported every step of the way. I looked forward to every consultation. 

I felt practically excited over the 7 months we were in the program. That sounds ridiculous, but it just felt like. Finally, I was being listened to, receiving the best advice, treating our bodies right with the correct food and supplements, and “leaving no stone unturned.” Every step we took felt like we were closer to the baby of our dreams. It felt natural and tangible, and we were moving in the right direction. 

While some days it felt hard to make and drink another lemon drink, swallow 15+ pills a day, or even turn down a coffee or glass of wine, we just reminded ourselves what we wanted more – and the answer was always the same: a baby. 

Towards the end of 7 months, our tests revealed several minor factors that would take more time to rectify. So, we talked through options with our practitioner. With time not being on my side and our natural attempts not resulting in pregnancy, we decided to go the IVF route again and do a fresh cycle. 

While I still had the frozen embryo tucked away from my last round, it made sense to try anew now that we’d had 7 months of the program and could undoubtedly create healthier embryos. By this time, I was also seeing a different IVF doctor whom I adored and who was genuinely impressed with all the changes we had implemented in our lives thanks to the FBP. 

We embarked on a second IVF cycle with him, with a different protocol, which resulted in 10 eggs collected (double the first time), 7 fertilized, 4 were Day 5 solid blastocysts, 3 were graded A and chromosomally tested (PGT) due to my history of past miscarriages. Ultimately, 2 were determined normal, and we froze both. Upon the advice of both our practitioner and our new IVF doctor, we decided to give my body a month’s break from the IVF cycle before transferring a frozen embryo.

And it worked. We fell pregnant with the frozen embryo, thanks to many changes in the IVF protocol. I was now on thyroid medication, taking Viagra to thicken my lining, and undergoing the Bondi Protocol with nightly injections to minimize the risk of my body rejecting the embryo due to my NK cell count. And, of course, not to mention the 7 months of the program that resulted in Grade A chromosomally sound embryos. We were cautiously excited. Could this be the one? 

We were so scared when it was time for our dating scan. We had never heard a heartbeat before (OUR hearts were beating through our chests), so we tried to control our expectations and not get ahead of ourselves. But our IVF doctor didn’t mess around, knowing our history. Within a second of the ultrasound, he said he could see a strong heartbeat, and the fetus was growing beautifully. 

We were in tears when we could hear it ourselves. There were hugs and high-fives all around. I called our practitioner when we left the clinic – even before I called my mother!

While it took me a long time to accept the pregnancy (I didn’t breathe easy until about 20 weeks) as I was terrified of losing another one, I knew I had done everything I could to create this child. And no one could take that away from me, from us. 

I am so thankful for everything Gabriela does and how knowledge is delivered. We felt like we had the A-team on our side every step of the way, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Gabriela and the entire team. 

As a natural skeptic and pragmatist, this program spoke loudest to me – more than anything I had seen, heard, or read. Not only is the science sound and reassuring, but the way it’s packaged and phrased makes complete sense. David and I are so grateful from the bottom of our hearts for helping us bring our little Evie into the world!