‘Every day is a gift’: Fashion label founder's baby miracle
Thessy Batsinilas had promised herself, no matter what happened, that she would keep trying for a baby until she completed six rounds of IVF.
It was the limit the Brisbane fashion designer needed to set for herself in order to find the strength to keep going when, after her third round of IVF in February, she suffered a devastating miscarriage.
Finally in June, eight days after the second embryo transfer from her fourth round of IVF, she saw the strong, bold line.
"I was so excited," said Batsinilas, the co-founder of popular Brisbane label Sabo Skirt who is now 15 weeks pregnant.
"I wanted to surprise (my husband) Georgio because with IVF, there are usually very little good surprises. I placed the pregnancy test in the oven and when he got home I asked him 'Can you please get the bun out of the oven for me?'
"He didn't catch on to my joke and opened the oven. He saw the test and the bold line and said 'No! Really? Is it too early?' … I laughed and we hugged."
Thessy and Georgio, the co-owner of Brisbane fitness company FitazFK, share two-year-old daughter Zani - their miracle baby conceived via IVF treatments in 2017 after Thessy had a series of surgeries to remove ruptured cysts in her ovaries, caused by severe endometriosis, and her fallopian tubes.
After marrying last July, a wedding they had put off to focus on conceiving a child, they began IVF treatments to try for a second child and suffered a miscarriage in February.
"Having a second child means everything to us. We so desperately wanted to give Zani a sibling. We come from big Greek families and to have our siblings is so special," Thessy said.
"A miscarriage for any couple trying is extremely devastating. I found the strength to keep pushing after this because I had always set myself a 6 round IVF limit, so I had already promised myself no matter what happens I'll keep trying until I've completed 6 full rounds."
After five failed transfers in the last year, they decided to move their two frozen embryos to Senior Monash IVF specialist Dr Kee Ong on the Gold Coast, who incorporated alternative medicine and a more aggressive hormone schedule.
Thessy also underwent a laparoscopy to clear all of the endometriosis that grown back dramatically since 2017, which she believes was key to falling pregnant.
"The first trimester is always nerve racking for every expecting woman. It can be overwhelming having to deal with morning sickness, fatigue, and the possibility of a miscarriage," she said.
"We feel very blessed to make it past the 12 to 13 (week) mark and know that every day is a gift and we don't take it for granted."
The couple have one embryo left in the freezer and have decided they won't retrieve any more embryos in future.
"I will actually be looking to get my uterus removed after we complete our family, so my endometriosis days can finally come to an end," she said.
"If we are meant to have a third child we will be over the moon, however if our last embryo doesn't work we will be content with our family of 4."
Thessy chose to be open about her struggles with infertility and endometriosis to offer hope to couples facing similar challenges.
"To anyone going through or considering IVF - you're stronger than you know," she said. "Don't be afraid, give it your all, stay positive and stay healthy. What is meant to be will always happen when it's meant to, trust the timing of your life."
Originally published as 'Every day is a gift': Fashion label founder shares IVF miracle