A side no one knows much about

Sometimes on this horrible journey we forget it’s not just us involved but there is also a second person involved in this journey also. For me Max has been a huge support through this whole process. He holds me when I’m crying uncontrollably, he tells me I’m still beautiful despite putting on so much weight, he is there for me every single appointment, scan, transfer, staying with me before I go in for operations and always there as soon as I wake up, he has been there through my sad operations and he has never ever left my side.

While I know physically it’s hard on me because I’m the one going through it, we often forget that emotionally our partners suffer as well, just as much as us. To see a loved one so sad and crying and feeling so desperately helpless is a horrible feeling. Knowing you are a huge part of what you have created together and knowing it isn’t going to plan also hurts.this journey just aches both of our hearts so bad.

Max has been there sitting with me for hours on end while I’m in hospital passing a foetus after my miscarriages, he just sits and holds my hand telling me it will all be ok and we will get through this and keep going, he sits and holds me when I feel like I can no longer go on and want to hide away from the world.

I’ve often asked Max what does it feel like for him? To see me go through this. To see my heart hurting, my mind scrambling for answers and my determination to not give up the fight. Max always says he admires my resilience and determination. In all honesty I’m so lucky to have Max. His resilience is the reason I can write these blogs. He is the reason I can hold myself together to get through another day. His strength and outlook on life is admirable. I have seen many dark days that I’ve been able to get through because of the man beside me.

3 years ago when we embarked on this journey we honestly believed we would have a child now. In the whole 3 years I have only seen Max cry once. That was the day I was wheeled into hospital to have an emergency suction curette after the loss of our twins.

I often forget to sit and ask Max how he really is feeling. I’m so self absorbed in my own issues I forget. I forget that he also hurts. I forget that this is his child just as much as it is mine. This is his journey just like it is mine.

So I sat with Max and asked him to write a blog… A blog of his thoughts….

Where do I start? I hope you have a coffee ready.

There are three significant times in my life when I know I was complete.

1- The birth of my two sons.

2- In 2008 when Manly won the Grandfinal 40-Nil and I was owner and major sponsor.

3- In 2015 on the 18th September when I married Samantha.

Since then I still have a piece of my heart which isn’t quite complete.

I have 2 beautiful sons that I am absolutely blessed to have. When I met Samantha I knew this was something that she would want. I knew it would be something we both wanted. I had a feeling it may be tough but I never ever imagined this tough. Samantha and my sons have a beautiful relationship. I want Samantha to feel this same love. This love I’ve been lucky enough to have twice over.

In life I have always had to work hard for everything I’ve achieved. Weather it be in business or my personal life. Nothing has ever come easy. This journey over the past 3years is by far one of the toughest journeys I have faced. To think it would all be smooth sailing and to be told we would have a baby by now, you believe that. To have our hopes dashed and our hearts shattered is not a journey I ever imagined but have experienced similar disappointments in the past.

To be there to support my wife who has been through the absolute ringer and has had some really down days has been heartbreaking. Holding your wife while they are told there is no longer a heart beat of not only one but two of your babies while she cried and hyperventilated was a hard day and a day I will never forget. Thinking I have to be the strong one and hold it all together was tough. Hearing those words “I’m sorry” there is no longer a heart beat will never ever leave me. Trying to be strong and hold my wife so she didn’t pass out, trying to tell her everything would be ok, when really I knew it wasn’t, trying to tell her we will go on, when I really didn’t know if we could and just holding her and listening to the crying, feeling floods of tears run down me…. It was so gut wrenchingly hard.

I will never forget that night as she was being wheeled into theatre and saying “please don’t take my babies”. I sat in the recovery area bawling my eyes hoping and praying that it was all a bad dream. That this was not really happening. Not again. That operation felt like a lifetime. Waiting to see Samantha’s obstetrician the wonderful Dr Suhad Hassan was what felt like the longest wait of my life. I was sitting in a room with another couple crying sheepishly to myself hoping they wouldn’t notice. In all my life there have not been many times at all that I have cried. I did this day and I think it was the whole journey build up that I cried. In that one moment all I wanted was to hold my wife and I couldn’t. The lovely nurses at Pindara Hospital allowed me to sit with my wife while she woke up from her Anaesthetic and in that moment we were grieving together, crying. It was a special moment but a sad moment.

Together we got through this. Some days are hard. Samantha finds it a little harder than I do. But together we get through it. We have too. Samantha has struggled with the fact she has gained weight, and at times has had terrible skin but to me she will always be beautiful. She has the most caring nature and no matter how she thinks she looks to me she is and always will be beautiful. This is just another struggle we face each day and over come.

In the journey at times I feel so helpless. While I am also enduring this pain and suffering I can only imagine it is not quite like what my wife feels. She has made some lovely friends on this journey that I know she cherishes and I know together they all help each other. When we all get together it’s hard for us men to really understand what they go through. For men or I should say for myself I struggle at times to show my emotions. I struggle to grasp with understanding why this is happening. Why it keeps happening.

Prior to this journey Samantha and I had a wonderful life. We still do. But prior to trying for a baby which really has been 5 years all up we were care free. We had no real significant issues. Samantha loved life, she was always happy, she was always smiling. These days Samantha’s magnificent smile is hidden by a deep pain. A pain I wish I could take away. I know we both want that life back, a life though including one or more precious babies.

This journey for me personally has been a hard pill to swallow. I feel I am to blame a little. To start with we started IVF due to male factor infertility. Now we are trying to figure out how Sam can stop her body from rejecting the embryos and carrying a baby to full term.

We are both lucky to have an amazing network around us but this journey makes you feel isolated at times. A few of my friends have undertaken IVF to conceive children but they are now blessed with beautiful children. I know Samantha feels very isolated at times. But this is just another step we overcome, another bump in the endless road.

Together as a couple our love has strengthened. We both realise nothing can bring us down. This journey has tried but not succeeded. I’ve seen my wife vulnerable many times despite the strong person she is. I’ve seen her be poked, prodded, scanned, go in for several operations, I’ve been there after egg pick ups when she ends up in hospital with badly swollen ovaries, the list is endless. No one can ever be prepared for this. No one can ever prepare you for what this journey is all about. I know Samantha tries with her blogs but really it’s a journey not for the faint hearted and a journey only the toughest survive.

There isn’t much available for men. While I don’t feel like I’m forgotten I just know there isn’t much available. Samantha and I work through our problems together and along with Kee who has been a huge support for us but in particular Samantha.

I’ll openly admit that Kee who is Samantha’s specialist has been such a blessing. He is always there for Samantha whenever she needs, no matter what time or day, he supports her through so much and provides her with knowledge about this journey so she can help others. Dr Ong in my opinion is the best specialist I have ever come across and I have met a few in my day. Having a great specialist during this time is paramount. It has been for us.

So together samantha and I along with Dr Kee will keep on this journey supporting each other. For us personally, we have no other choice. I wish I could take this pain away from Samantha, I wish I could ease her heartache and anxiety. I wish and pray that 2018 blesses us with a baby, I wish and pray in 2018 we have no more heartache. We have both endured enough. My attitude is always that there is someone who is worse off but I honestly believe that while that is true it really is Samantha’s turn to become a Mum. For her 34 years she has so much strength, determination, resilience and a heart that is yearning to hold a baby of her own, she has so much love to give.

So tonight together we both say that no matter how hard your life is, if you have someone beside you on your journey make sure you hug them. Tell them you love them and hold them so they know that they are not alone. Your both on this journey together.

I have always been an optimist and I know that together we will get through this. I know this is a small bump in a very steep road. I know that Kee will give us our one wish and help us create a beautiful baby. I know that while this is taking a lot longer than we ever anticipated it won’t be forever. This journey has taught me a lot about myself, a lot about my life values and what really is important. This journey has brought about a new found strength that I didn’t realise I had. It has made me have a deeper understanding of how wonderful my wife really is. Any woman who endures IVF is a star. Those who continue on despite the battles is an absolute hero.

Never give up. We won’t.


10 thoughts on “A side no one knows much about

  1. Dear Sam and Max,
    My heart breaks for you both. The love and commitment to each other is what makes your relationship so wonderful. Max my hubby is old school like yourself and not one for opening up, or expressing his thoughts on what he calls womens business, but when I lost our little fella at 20 weeks he was my rock. Sam is extremely lucky to have a wonderful support network and I sincerely hope that you will both be blessed with a bundle of joy.
    My thoughts are with you both.
    Love Sue


  2. Max so elequently said. You both are beautiful people who are just so inspiring. We love you guys to the moon and bavk and wish all the health strength and hapiness this year. Love the Burns’ x


  3. Dear Samantha and Max,
    Your story has touched me as I have been through my own IVF struggles and I can relate.
    When me and my partner went through our IVF journey I was obsessed with googling success stories. All I wanted to know was there hope for us to have a baby. It was hope that kept us fighting on cycle after cycle and finally after 5 enduring years, 2 laparoscopic surgery’s, 13 fresh cycles, 1 miscarriage, 1 ectopic pregnancy and many many tears we now have 2 beautiful sons (4yr old and 13mth old).
    There is always hope so hang onto that and you will conquer your dreams.
    Best wishes to you both!


  4. We are very sad for you both however happy that you have the love, bond and strength between you. Sharing your story with the world takes guts and people who read will be inspired.Sam, you are such a caring loving wife to Max, he is fortunate to have you in his life and you he. We love you both and proud to have you and Max as friends. Love Pete & Donna 💖


  5. So much support and love for you after no children ivf and all tbe others we were blessed to adopt two amazing kids and then at 43 i found myself pregnant your struggle is so real.and raw and fingers crossed you both get what you so deserve xx


  6. Hi Sam
    Don’t fret Sam I had 4 miscarriages and then all of a sudden I carried one to 38 weeks!! Second one in hospital for 11 weeks but born at 36 weeks healthy, third one born the day she was due no problems then my 4th child born nearly 12 weeks early 1 pound 15 ozs!!! They were all girls I never gave up I always but always stayed positive I just know you will get what your heart desires if you believe at the time it’s all you can think about but once I stopped letting it consume my life and just thought what will be will be everything was different I’m not saying it was easy it wasn’t but it was worth it!!! Good luck to you and your lovely husband I will say a special prayer for you tonight. God Bless you both
    Deanne Bawden


  7. Dear Sam &Max,
    I know the heart break you are both going thru, we had 8 cycles in total. Our first son came on cycle 2 and our second son came on cycle 8. We also were older parents. Please do not give up hope it is really worth every injection and every blood test. I was 36 and 43 when I had our boys and my hubby is 7 years older than I. I must say the process really make you both a stronger couple and work together. Enjoy ur journey and look after each other xxx


  8. Just watched “ACA”, good on you guys, I truly wish you both, love, success (with the birth) and happiness. I have no children of my own and I wish that in my life, I had been as lucky to have a partner like Sam. Well done Max. Oh, by the way, since I was 6.. and I am now 67, I’ve loved the Manly SeaEagles! Haave a happy life. Alan


  9. Never give up. That is definitely the attitude that got my husband and I through the nightmare of infertility. After 13 ivf cycles over 3 years, numerous procedures, 2 miscarriages, we now have 2 beautiful boys. It is a painful journey but you will get through it with determination and love, I honestly believe that.
    R x


  10. Hi Sam and Max,

    First and most of all we wish you all the best and really really hope this is the cycle that brings your dream alive!!!
    We seen your story on current affairs last night and it bought us flash backs. We know exactly what you guys are going through.
    We are an older couple both in our late late late 40’s now, we started our journey 8 years ago.
    Being both career people and meeting later in life we both desperately wanted a family.
    We first started our journey when we were at age 41. We went to a number of the best clinics with the highest success rates. We did a number of cycles at the various clinics with no success. Not here to bag these doctors but before the cycles they were all willing and enthusiastic but as the cycles failed they lost interest and told us sorry you are to old can’t help you. We continues going from clinic to clinic with doctors giving us false hopes. The amount of money we were spending on cycles and drugs, I think I could of just about bought a football team? During a cycle my wife complained to me she was having heart palpitation, this is when I said that’s it time to stop. It was sad as we had to come to terms we will never achieve our dream of a family. But at least we had each other still and we worked through it.

    At the end 2015 i was chatting with a colleague of mine and she was going through IVF, This colleague of mine suffers from MS. These doctors did the similar with her, basically said we can get you over the line but when the cycles failed they said sorry can’t help or next cycle we will TRY another technique .This colleague calls me one afternoon and says Hey I have been to see this doctor and he says that he is quiet confident he can get me pregnant? My reaction was yeah sure I have heard this so many times. I said to her good luck let me know how you go. 6 months later I receive a call again from this colleague and she says Hey? Guess what ? I am pregnant with twins!!!!! I fell off my chair!!!! I said how what??? I instantly got this doctors number and organised a consultation with him. He was a nice guy but very firm. We went over a plan and we started our first cycle feb 2017. Cycle 1 (fresh cycle) chemical pregnancy Cycle 2 (frozen cycle) BANG pregnant TWINS!!!!! Twins born earlier this year!
    This was exactly the same for my colleague, cycle 1 Fresh (chemical pregnancy ) Cycle 2 (frozen cycle) fell pregnant .
    The reason I am writing to you is that I truly believe everyone on the planet should have the opportunity to be a mother or a father, no matter what age. After this roller coast ride we have been on and all the emotion we have experienced and to now have achieved our dream I will be happy to put you in contact with this doctor if all else fails as I know the exact emotions you are feeling. If it wasn’t for my colleague reaching out, our dream would of never come true. If I can do the same for some else this journey will be complete.

    I have included an email address in the event you would like to make contact regarding my above offer.

    Again good luck with your current cycle, stay positive and strong.

    Mr and Mrs Anonymous


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