Couples yearning for children across Canberra have voiced their huge relief that they are allowed to start IVF again after it was blocked because of the COVID-19 crisis.
"My partner and I were very emotional when we got the phone call to say that the cycle had been cancelled," said Gemma Killen from Belconnen.
She was having injections of drugs to make her body ready for pregnancy when the treatment was blocked.
She said the drugs made her "weepy and sad" so when she was told the treatment would be stopped mid-flow, it hit her hard.
She desperately wants a baby. IVF is a long-drawn out process where a woman's body is manipulated through drugs.
Eggs are removed, fertilised outside the body and the embryos then implanted in the hope that they catch and grow. In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) means fertilisation in a test tube.
To be told that they can't have the treatment, it was devastating for patients.Dr Tween Low, Genea Canberra
"There's just so many emotions attached to it. You feel your life is on hold. You have this vision of how you want your family to look and it's very hard to get rid of that vision."
She and her partner, Yen Eriksen, were using a sperm donor and being treated at the IVF Australia clinic. Gemma has now restarted the drug injections.
IVF is not offered through the public health system. There are three private clinics in Canberra specialising in it. Between them, they treat about a hundred women a month.
"2020 hasn't been easy for Canberrans," Dr Tween Low of the Genea IVF clinic said.
First there was the bushfire smoke which made her defer treatment of some patients because research indicated that pregnant women should minimise their intake of smoke.
Then came the hail so "some people put treatments off because of financial problems".
And then the virus crisis and the ban on IVF. "The patients were obviously very frustrated, especially the portion of patients who are in the older age bracket and this is their only chance to have a family," Dr Low said.
Infertile couples have a "yearning and a longing", the doctor said. "They feel incomplete.
"It's a process of loss and grief that they come to accept that they need IVF.
"And then to be told that they can't have the treatment, it was devastating for patients."
One couple who are being treated at the Genea clinic said they were very relieved the treatment could resume.
"It's been pretty hard - the uncertainty," the would-be-father said. The couple don't want to be named because they don't want family and colleagues to know just yet.
"We've missed only the one cycle but it's been the uncertainty."
The mother-to-be is a nurse in Canberra who works with babies so it's been particularly hard for her. She's been constantly messaging other women in the same situation to seek comfort in their comradeship.
One embryo was implanted in February but it didn't develop so the couple were ready to embark on a new round when the block came.
They still have three frozen embryos and the would-be-mother said one would now be transferred into her in May.
The couple initially thought that the ban could last until at least September - and every month that passes is a chance lost.
So when the prime minister lifted the block, it was a shock "but in a good way".
When the block came in, some Canberra IVF nurses were stood down - kept on the books but without pay.
"We've been able to get back to work after a month's delay," Dr Peter Illingworth, Medical Director of IVF Australia, said. "There was a great sense of relief," the doctor who splits his work between Canberra and Sydney said.