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Mettisse Campbell: My pregnancy journey

"I never thought IVF would be the path I would have to go down"

Author Mettisse Campbell
Categories   Family  Third Trimester

The Edit

After finally accepting IVF would be part of her journey to motherhood, Mettisse Campbell was ecstatic to see her dream come true this year – she was pregnant! The Edit chats to Mettisse about her journey so far.

Firstly, a big congratulations on your pregnancy! How are you feeling right now?

I feel absolutely incredible, apart from obviously the expected things - back ache, heartburn etc. But honestly, I love every minute of it.

I’m trying to soak up every second of being pregnant and enjoying all of it, it’s something I’ve wanted for so long and fingers crossed I get to experience it again, but if I don’t I want to make sure that I soaked up every single moment of it - the good and the bad!

You’ve been honest and open about your struggles to conceive. Tell us about your journey.

It’s been really really tough to be honest. I knew since the age of 19 that I would have trouble conceiving. I never thought IVF would be the path that I would have to go down, but here we are. I think when I first started the journey I was a little naive about just how long things would take. You have to work off your body’s timing, which can sometimes be really frustrating because you have no control over it. It’s taken around 3 years to get to where we are now.

Initially, IVF was just not an option for me. I believed that as a woman I had the ability to do it naturally and believed if I ate the best I could, took the best vitamins and did everything the doctors told me it would work. When we first started, I was having help ovulating so I would take tablets and have an injection to increase my egg count and then an injection to release the egg. I did get pregnant, but sadly lost the baby. I think your first miscarriage really hits home. I’d heard of people having them, but always thought not me, and when I did it broke me to be honest.

We attempted this another few times – I think around a year and a half we were trying through the ‘ovulation induction period’ – until it came to a point where we sat down with the consultant and asked what the next steps were.

The clinic advised IVF, which was a lot to get my head around. I remember researching it for hours and hours thinking I was a failure, but I’m actually really lucky that I got to do it and could also afford to do it so quickly. We prepared everything just before November 2022 and by January 2023 I was going in for my egg retrieval operation.

How did you find the IVF process?

In terms of the experience, overall it was fine. It’s a bit daunting at first because you don’t know what to expect, but the process is pretty straightforward. The hardest part would probably be the injections. At one point I was doing around 5 injections a day in the lower part of my stomach and my back (I’d alternate areas as they would get sore and bruised) and then alongside that taking hormone tablets. It’s mentally and physically draining on your body, so that was probably the hardest part of it for me, but you keep going because you know it’s all going to be worth it.

The ups of downs of the journey were difficult, even more so whilst doing the injections and taking the tablets, but the process itself is beautiful – the things you get to see that you wouldn’t see during a normal pregnancy. It’s special. I have a photo of our baby girl, at 5 days old and it’s just so special to me.

What’s been your favourite part of pregnancy to date?

The being pregnant part of course, but to be honest the whole thing. I’ve loved watching my belly grow, and feeling her move and kick has to be up there with my favourite ever thing. Then preparing for her arrival has been so fun. I just love it!

Any “can’t live without” pregnancy essentials?

My pregnancy pillow for the backache and Rennie for the heartburn! I couldn’t live without them – it would have would be horrendous!

How are you feeling about the birth?

I am so excited to experience the birth, I’m quite a spiritual person so I feel as though I’m really just looking forward to the whole experience of creating life. I think it is so magical that as a woman we are able to do that. A couple of my friends that have given birth said it’s the most euphoric experience they have ever experienced. One friend described it as you have to ride the contraction waves with your breathing – pain is all in the mind. I truly believe as long as you have control over your mind, your body will do all of the work for you.

What are you looking forward to most about parenthood?

Being the best mum I can possibly be, watching her grow up. I keep thinking what is she going to be like? What’s she going to be interested in? What is she going to do as a job? Just the fact she’s going to be her own human with her own mind. I’m creating a forever friend.

I just can’t wait. I know a lot of people say to not hold their babies all the time but I can’t wait to just not put her down. I have waited so long for her that I am not going to miss even a second of her being a baby. I still can’t believe I am finally a mother.

What advice would you give to others who may be struggling to conceive?

I think it’s really important to communicate and listen at all times. Fertility struggles are up there with one of the most difficult things to go through as a couple. There are so many ups and downs and emotions and hormonal drugs that sometimes resentment can build. So just make sure to communicate and feel everything, feel every emotion there possibly is. Anger, jealousy, upset, happiness, just everything.

I think I bottled it up for a long time and would just try and tell myself I was being stupid or to stop feeling sorry for myself and you can’t do that. You need to feel every bit of pain – it’s grief at the end of the day. I went through a couple miscarriages, and they are grief, so however you need to deal with that then so be it.

There will be people that will leave your life when you are going through something like this and that’s OK. Just make sure you have a good two or three people you can lean on that just try and understand, not give advice, but just understand and validate how you feel.

Author Mettisse Campbell

Mettisse Cambell is a former model who starred on TV’s Survival of the Fittest. After a three-year journey, which resulted in her undergoing IVF, Mettisse is now pregnant with her first child. Mettisse has been open about her struggles to conceive in the hope that her story will inspire others undergoing a similar journey.

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