8 years, $75k medical bill: The couple who never lost hope
"WHEN THE world gives up, hope whispers, give it one last time."
Yeppoon couple Krissy, 35, and Clayton Orr, 38, have spent the better part of the past decade on a journey of hope.
This journey has been recently shared with with the whole of Australia.
After eight years of trying, $75,000 in medical bills, countless rounds of IVF and many nights of crying and longing for a baby, Krissy gave birth to a healthy little girl on September 25, 2018.
The Orrs were featured on Channel 9's reality television show, This Time Next Year, which aired last week.
Hosted by Karl Stefanovic, each episode features guests making a pledge and follows the journey of how they have achieved it over the past year.
"This is definitely our last chance, it's the only thing we have ever wanted ... It would complete us," Krissy said at the beginning of the episode.
"This time next year we will have a second chance of being parents."
The couple spoke with Karl about how they had been together for 18 years and had spent the last eight years enduring the IVF transfer.
It started off well as Krissy fell pregnant on the first round and transfer.
The couple felt very blessed and over the moon - and it got even better. It was identical twin boys.
But tragedy later struck.
Around the 12-week mark, some abnormalities were found and one of the babies was not getting enough fluid around it.
Krissy underwent surgery and everything went well; they had photos taken from inside the womb and the doctors were happy.
Then her waters broke - she was only 18 weeks.
12 hours later, she gave birth to Abel James and Riley Robert Orr.
"We got to see them, we held them and said goodbye," Krissy said on the show.
The couple's journey since then has been an "uphill struggle".
Since then they have had eight transfers performed.
Krissy told Stefanovic on the show, if they didn't get to the end of the rainbow this time, she didn't think they could emotionally, financially and physically put themselves through the process again.
"This pledge for us was really difficult to make because we knew it was going to be our last shot," she said on television.
"The year was long, not as predicted, lots of ups and down and just crazy whirlwinds of emotions."
Now fast forward and the day comes to see how the pledge went - did the Orrs' dreams come true?
The audience launches a cheering round of applause - Krissy and Clayton walked out on stage with a beautiful baby girl.
The baby's name is Hope, from a quote the couple read one day.
"When the world gives up, hope whispers, give it one last time," Krissy said.
Speaking to The Morning Bulletin, Krissy shared her inspiring journey on becoming a parent.
"We never thought it would be that hard," she said.
The couple are both from the Northern Territory and moved to Central Queensland in 2008, living in Blackwater for the first 12 months before moving on to Yeppoon.
It was around this time they began trying for a baby.
Around the time Krissy lost the boys, the couple were both made redundant from their jobs at the mines.
The money they received from the redundancy became their "IVF fund".
Krissy said if they hadn't had that, she doesn't know if they would have been able to finance so many IVFs.
Krissy was diagnosed with polymyositis and after unsuccessful pregnancy results, they began the process of IUI.
After three rounds of artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI) in Rockhampton, they moved onto IVF.
They had three rounds of the in vitro fertilisation and six embryo transfers later, still no luck.
Their Rokhampton doctor, who the couple speak highly of for his help and guidance, recommended them to get a second opinion at the Gold Coast.
Krissy then went through a "clean out" process and had her endometriosis removed and a Lipiodol flush and started medication to stimulate the ovaries for pick up.
Doctors were able to pick up 32 eggs, double the amount expected.
During this time Krissy also underwent lots of acupuncture.
They then waited for a week for the eggs to grow.
It was around this time, the couple went on the TV show.
Krissy had two embryos inserted and five others were put in the freezer.
"The big difference between Hope's IVF and in Rockhampton was in Rocky it was a frozen embryo and in the Gold Coast it was a fresh cycle," she said.
Throughout the whole pregnancy the couple were cautious, trying not to get their hopes up.
They celebrated every milestone, the 12-week mark and got through the stressful 18-week mark, the time when they lost the boys.
"It wasn't until we got to 38 weeks we weren't even comfortable to breathe," she said.
Then the moment came and Hope was born.
Krissy couldn't put into words what it was like.
"It was scary, it was exciting, exhilarating," she said.
"I heard her cry and knew she was there."
And even though she still has her sleepless nights and long days, Krissy is constantly feeling blessed and grateful.
"It's such a life-changing thing to be a mum, when she smiles or giggles at you even if you had a crappy day it just melts your heart," she said.
With Clayton still working away in the mines, it is tough not having him home.
They have been lucky enough he hasn't missed any milestones so far.
He was home when she had her first attempt at words and crawling and they do spend a lot of time video calling.
While they do have five eggs in the freezer, Krissy and Clayton are still at a crossroads whether they will try again, even though they are keen to give Hope a sibling.
"We have been doing it for eight or so years ... it has been consuming all of our time and money and now we are in position of single income with me on maternity leave," Krissy said.
Speaking of the television show, Krissy chose to go on it to share her story.
She also took the chance to share her story with her family who are mostly in Western Australia and spread across the country.
"They didn't see what the journey was like but also inspire other people not to give up.
"There are so many people going through the IVF journey there can be little at the end of the tunnel," Krissy said.
"And it's something we can show Hope when she is older, to show her how much we fought for her."
She spoke highly of the show, stating it was the most smoothest operation.
Filming first began for the show in February last year and throughout the entire year Krissy said they had the same contacts who were very supportive.
Since the show has aired, Krissy has been flooded with messages from women going through a similar journey.
"To get the messages has reiterated the whole reason we did it.
"I was talking to a girl last night, who is in Townsville and has two rainbow babies," she said.
"You can relate, you can ask questions that is awkward to ask other people."
For those who are going through a similar journey, Krissy said the most important thing she has learnt is to have a good support network around you.
"I don't think I would have suffered what I did go through with the boys without my support group or my IVF sisters, I think I would have gone insane," she said.
"Just trust your gut and don't leave it too long to get a second opinion."
Nowadays, there are a lot more facilities and services offered for IVF, which is great, Krissy said.
She couldn't speak more highly of Monash IVF, the company she went through for the whole process.
When the Orrs started their IVF journey, there wasn't much available and it wasn't as widely spoken about.
"It was Monash and that was it and now there are so many different companies and different pricing," she said.
"Now it's commonly used and heard of."