Melbourne Cup jockey Brad Rawiller, wife Carolyn and five-week-old baby Cleo joined City Fertility Centre Melbourne to help celebrate the clinic’s fifth anniversary recently.
Baby Cleo, who was due on Melbourne Cup Day but arrived a week early, was conceived with the help of City Fertility Centre Melbourne.
The Rawillers are just one of hundreds of families over the past five years who have been “over the moon” after receiving fertility help from the clinic.
Brad and Carolyn said Cleo was an absolute joy to have around and the first month had been much easier than expected.
“She is starting to become more alert now and we are seeing her little personality shine through,” Carolyn said.
Carolyn, 36, and Brad, 33, had a roller-coaster ride before becoming pregnant with Cleo. Initially they had been told by a doctor they couldn’t have children, but they wouldn’t accept that diagnosis and sought the help of a fertility specialist.
“The first clinic we called couldn’t get us in for six months so we tried City Fertility Centre and were able to see Dr (David) Wilkinson much sooner,” Carolyn said.
Dr Wilkinson, City Fertility Melbourne’s medical director, then insisted on more tests and advised the Rawillers there was a chance of falling pregnant.
Brad’s commitment to staying in peak physical condition was their major issue as it significantly reduced his sperm count. The couple was advised to take a holiday and return to their specialist afterwards.
“Thankfully the holiday after the Spring Carnival worked and we were able to proceed with IVF on our return in February,” Brad said.
“Our first round of IVF was successful and the rest is history.”
Carolyn said one of the best parts of consulting City Fertility Centre was when their counsellor said the pressure was off them and it was now up to their scientists to help.
“I felt a huge sigh of relief when the counsellor said that to me; the pressure and disappointment month after month had been enormous,” Carolyn said.
Dr Wilkinson said the number of new patients needing help had continued to grow over the past five years.
“We now have six fertility specialists consulting from our St Kilda Road clinic and other consulting rooms around Melbourne,” he said.
The number of people undergoing IVF treatments continues to increase, according to the latest official report Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2007. There were 70,541 treatment cycles in Australia and New Zealand in 2009, an increase of nearly 14% on 2008 and of almost 50% since 2005. In total, 13,114 live-born babies were born following ART treatment in 2009 in the two countries.
Dr Wilkinson said it was important for couples to be aware of the many factors that influenced their chances of success.
“Like Brad and Carolyn, every couple’s circumstances are unique and we therefore tailor a unique treatment plan to suit each couple,” he said.