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My husband and I started trying to conceive in March 2019, then we got a year down the line and nothing was happening. We started to think why isn’t it working and got a bit obsessive with tracking and still nothing was working. So I went to the GP in early 2020, just before COVID which slowed everything down. From my side I have a relatively low AMH and my husbands sperm sample was okay but not the best, so between the two of us we both had a few issues and were classed as unexplained infertility. In early 2022 I went for a repeat AMH test and it showed that my AMH had dropped quite a lot, so that’s when we were referred to IVF through the NHS.

All the tests I had with the NHS were very slow, part of that was obviously COVID, but in some cases it took 4 months to get a test. Once we got referred everything was so quick, I definitely noticed we had moved from the NHS. I had a call to book in the initial consultation and it was me who was asking for a later date as I had a holiday!

When we were referred by the NHS we were given a list of about 10 or 12 clinics, so I sat down and started going through each one and doing some research. I ruled some out initially based on geography but eventually got it down to three. The satellite clinic in St Albans was really handy for me, because that meant I wasn’t going into London for scans, it just made life a lot easier.

I chose CREATE over the others because I really liked the more natural approach. We’d never done it before, rather than going in first time with high doses of medication and hormones, we thought why not go for something that’s still effective and means I don’t have to pump myself full of drugs. So that was a huge factor in our choice.

The whole IVF process was really positive, I remember saying to my partner David, no matter what the outcome of this cycle is I know we’ve had a really positive experience. Everyone was really friendly, approachable and efficient. Our patient coordinator was really great, it’s just very reassuring when you’ve got people there who are really helpful. Every single person we came across and met was so kind, and it’s a really anxious time especially when you’ve never been through it before. It’s so daunting, and you can read all these stories but until you actual go through it, you don’t really know how you’ll feel. So knowing the team were just so kind and on our side was  so important and it really made everything a lot easier for us.

I’ve been very open about my experience with IVF with family and friends. With work I told my line manager and a few others, mainly because I needed flexibility in when I worked. There is sometimes a stigma attached to fertility treatment and I reached a point where I was like there isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, we’ve not done anything wrong! Why not speak about it, because if we do it might help raise awareness.

Finding out we were pregnant was actually really scary! I almost didn’t want to believe it, at that time my husband was away of a work trip so being able to facetime him and tell him it worked was really great. It was a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

I’ve always wanted children, and it’s been absolutely amazing. Poppy is almost seven weeks old and I just don’t know where the time is going. I’m just loving every moment of it. It’s everything I hoped it would be, yes there are obviously low moments, but it’s just been absolutely incredible. She’s a real joy.

My advice to anyone at the beginning of their journey would be to trust the process and the people, they’re the experts and know what they’re doing. I know it’s very easy to say that sitting here after having a positive cycle on the first go but no matter what even if it wasn’t a positive result, I know the clinic did all they could.

Support is also really important, wherever it comes from, just make sure you’ve got it. I didn’t use the support CREATE offered as I had my friends and family, so didn’t feel I needed it, but to know it’s there is great.