My Own IVF Miracle – Colleen Oates

“We are unique – a mother/daughter team – I am Colleen Oates, MOTHER (how I love that word) and Jade is my 28-year-old daughter, conceived through IVF in 1988 when it was still pretty new and I had a 15% chance of falling pregnant!

At the age of 31 I was told that I’d never have my own child. It was something I’d never dreamt of hearing … ME? Not have my own child? I wouldn’t hear anything of it, and set out to disprove the experts. I set out on my IVF journey … a journey interspersed with tests and clinics and fortune tellers and … wait for it … a witchdoctor! Eventually I landed on Sandton Clinic’s doorstep. (Today known as Medfem, the clinic we work with mostly). My daughter Jade was conceived on my second IVF attempt, which happened to be the first attempt in South Africa using the trans-vaginal method –  instead of having the eggs retrieved through a laparoscope as was the only way to do it thus far. Jade was the first baby to be conceived by this method in South Africa, and we enjoyed the moment of fame … and a photograph in Rooi Rose magazine to boot!  After our success, this way became the standard approach in IVF. This was in 1988.

Over the next 6 years I signed up for a further 4 IVF attempts but to no avail. In hindsight I realised that my eggs had probably gotten a bit old (I was 41 when I stopped trying) … if only donor eggs had been available back then! Thankfully we now have access to all this remarkable progress, and a superb scientific, ethical setting in which to make the miracle of egg donation come true for countless women.

A friend and I started an Infertility Support Group in South Africa … a much-needed support structure for couples who also had to put up with comments like, “Just go on holiday and relax” and, “I’ll lend you my husband, he just has to hang his pants on the door!” I’m not active in the group at present, but am still passionate about supporting families and particularly women who would like to conceive.

My daughter recently joined me in the agency on a full-time basis, adding her invaluable marketing expertise into the mix. Considering that Jade is living proof that miracles do happen, our mother-daughter team makes perfect sense on so many levels! I love the service I provide through BabyMiracles, and we invite you to let us be part of your quest for a family!