Our founder Nicole shares her IVF experience.
The joys of getting pregnant can sometimes be not ‘so joyous’, it looks as if it just happens so super dooper easily to those around. Sharing how one can struggle to conceive has always been a ‘taboo’ subject amongst my crowd of friends and family and not something you particularly want to bring up when they are all sharing their wonderful ‘soon to be mums’ news.
I wanted to share the struggles I encountered with my reproduction journey, to convey to others they are not alone and there are lots of young people out there experiencing this now, they just do not discuss this.
Having a baby has always been a dream of mine since I can remember, having a younger sister five years my junior triggered off my love for ‘all things small and cute,’ a baby sister was definately on my ‘wish list’. My mother also had an abundance of friends with children much younger then myself, therefore I was always comfortable spending my time with babies, constantly squeezing and kissing their soft chubby cheeks. Always imagining that I would have a big family in the future and it would be as simple as that.
As I started to get older I was feeling more paranoid about starting a family and I even remember praying to g-d one day and I got a message that pregnancy would not come easily for myself. I did not think too much of it as I was only 18 living in Israel where I volunteered in absorption centres working with deprived children which was always something I wanted to do. I then started dating the most incredible kind, guy from London we have been together for over ten years (married for nearly four years.)
I ended up moving from Manchester to London for him as he was not going to move there…I got a job in Soho at Hearst Magazines and I remember pulling out cute baby pictures on my lunch from Prima Baby (one of the magazines Hearst published) and sticking them on to my computer pretending they were my babies, yes weirdo right? They were so adorable though. There was no hiding my infatuation for these little muchkins.
A few years passed and I turned 25, moved in to my own home I got married and felt that it now was my time to have my own little boo. Going to visit my friends babies was amazing and it gave me my weekly fix but I always had to hand them back.
I tried to become pregnant naturally for two years, living a stress- free life trying to travel as much as possible to our holiday home in Miami to relax and forget about things. When I realised that this was not working I went to see my gynaecologist Miss Amina Shafik at The Portland Hospital and I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, endemetriosis and the unability to ovulate. I immediately booked in to have a procedure for my Endemtriosis to be removed and I was put on Clomid tablets to help with my ovulation for 6 months. Attending regular scans in the hope that I would actually be ovulating however, this did not seem to be on the cards.
I did my research and heard about IVF at The Lister Fertility Hospital in Chelsea as they had a high success rate. I booked my appointment in the November 2014 (I was aged 28) with the most wonderful helpful Dr Jaya Parikh and she discussed all of the routes I could go down and reassured me I was in safe hands. There were numerous options to try however, IVF was my preferred choice.
Once I came on my period in the February 2015 we could start the ball rolling, I really did not know what to expect and every day I said a prayer. My ovulation cycle was totally taken in to the nurses and doctors hands. I had to travel to the hospital every morning at 8 am before work for blood tests and scans so they could monitor all of the medicine and check I was not over producing eggs as that was one the side effects of polycystic ovaries. I had to completely put my social life on hold as I needed to be at home every night at 8pm to inject myself with hormones, it started with one needle for a few weeks, then moved on to two and then three. All of the medicine made me extremely hormonal, tired and emotional, considering I am such a blabber mouth I did myself proud by not announcing this to the entire universe because I wanted to wait to see if it worked before sharing my news (it is a good idea to let a few close friends and family in).
After 6 weeks my eggs were starting to get over crowded and I was at risk of multiple pregnancies. I was rushed into surgery the next day to have my eggs extracted, I remember just before I was put to sleep I burst out crying to the doctor and had a sudden rush of all of my emotions having stayed strong for so long, and I told myself this is it, this could make my dreams come true. They managed to extract 19 embryos and four survived as you can imagine I was over the moon to hear this and all of the eggs that survived were a grade B. I came back the following week to have one embryo placed inside of me and I had to wait 14 days to see if it would embed along my uterus lining. These were the longest 14 days of my life but during that time we took a trip to Poland to research more about The Holocaust and the tragedy of what happened to our ancestors to put life into perspective. Returning home numb and somewhat deadened my news had taken a back seat with day 14 looming the next morning.
Waking up I felt empowered and had the urge to educate as many people as possible on The Holocaust and I said to G-D if my miracle does come true my family will be sure to inform everyone so that History does not repeat itself. I took the test and ran to the bedroom screaming to my husband,
“It is positive, we are going to have a baby. “
I do not remember who cried more but either way they were the most glorious tears I have ever cried. We met up with my husband’s family in London to share our happy news and then drove to Manchester so my family could have a slice of the action too. We told friends and the rest of the family when everything looked perfect at the 12 week scan, 6 months later we were blessed with a healthy baby boy called Teddy. The birthing story is for another day but I just wanted people out there to know that they are not alone, if you have any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.