I was over the moon that the IUI treatment had worked and that I was finally pregnant
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to have a baby and be a Mother. I made a promise to myself that if I ever reached my late 30s and had still not found the one, I would start my journey into solo motherhood. When the first lockdown struck in March 2020, I was 34-years-old, with the whole country in lockdown the chances of meeting anyone were slim to none!
I felt like time was running out for me and I was very aware my fertility was declining. I didn’t want to bring a child into this world with just anyone, so I made the decision to start looking for clinic and my treatment options to go it solo. I knew that I wanted to start my journey by trying IUI as I felt that it was the least invasive option. Originally I wanted to have treatment at ABC IVF due to their lower costs, however they did not offer the IUI treatment I was after so I was kindly referred to their sister clinic, CREATE Fertility.
My first step towards treatment was to attend an initial consultation and a scan. This is where CREATE Fertility assessed my fertility and advised me of all my options. Fortunately, my case was fairly straightforward, so I was told that IUI would be a good starting place. However, I knew that the success rate for this type of treatment was fairly low and not as high as IVF.
I found a donor who matched my physical appearance criteria and also who had answered the questions in the questionnaire in a similar way to myself if I had been answering the questions. I was allowed to listen to a 10-minute audio clip of the donor answering certain questions during an interview with the European Sperm Bank, along with a letter he had hand written to any potential children that may later be conceived using his sperm. He seemed like a really nice person and I liked everything I had seen and read about him, so I decided that he would be the one who’s sperm I wanted to use.
One thing that I found really beneficial was that the European Sperm Bank worked closely with CREATE Fertility, so the process of having the sperm shipped over to the UK was also very straightforward and the purchase of two straws was made!
Before the treatment could take place I needed a procedure called a hycosy, this is to check there was nothing blocking my Fallopian tubes. The procedure was done and fortunately, all was well, I was then scheduled for my first IUI with my next cycle.
Unfortunately, but as I probably expected, my first cycle of IUI wasn’t successful. I felt disappointed but I knew that the chances of success were against me. I decided to throw myself into another cycle straightaway, and if this cycle didn’t work, I would consider moving to IVF.
I started the treatment for a second time with my next cycle and both my follicles and womb lining reacted well to the treatment - better than the first time.
On December 18th 2020, I went in for the IUI procedure and, on December 29th 2020, I had my first positive pregnancy test. The treatment had worked!
I was over the moon that the IUI treatment had worked and that I was finally pregnant, but I didn’t allow myself to get too excited. I knew that pregnancies are extremely fragile at that stage and that anything could happen. It was only when I reached my seven-week scan that it started to feel real and genuinely exciting. My Mum was allowed in the room with me where we both first heard the baby’s heartbeat and everything changed. It was such a beautiful moment and something that I’ll never, ever forget.
The only people that I had told about my treatment was my parents and Sister and, although my Mum came with me to the clinic for most of my appointments, she wasn’t allowed in the room with me due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the staff at the clinic went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable. Going through a process like this can be daunting, especially alone, but I genuinely feel like CREATE Fertility made the journey much easier and as comfortable as possible for me.
I didn’t tell anyone else about my pregnancy until I had reached the 22-week stage, which is when I announced my decision to become a solo Mum by choice. I received so much support and I’m proud of my journey. Since sharing my story, I have connected online with many other women who went down the same path, and now I’m hoping that my story can help inspire other women who want to make that decision too.
My pregnancy went smoothly until the 32-week stage, which was when I tested positive for COVID-19 and developed some complications. I was told that I had Cholestasis, but the NHS wasn’t sure whether it was caused by the pregnancy itself or by COVID-19. I was told to start medication immediately to prevent the risk of a stillbirth and was monitored closely for the rest of my pregnancy. This was the hardest and scariest part of my journey, but I made it through to the 36-week scan. Unfortunately, the baby was in a breach position and I was advised that the safest thing for the baby would be to have a C-section the following week at 37 weeks, mainly due to the Cholestasis. I took the medical advice that I was given and gave birth via a planed C-section to a beautiful, and very healthy, baby girl.
I absolutely love being a Mum and having her all to myself - it is everything I ever dreamed it would be. She is really chilled and easy-going so I think that I have it quite easy compared to other parents, but I also like to keep things very simple. It’s just my daughter and I, as long as she’s good, I’m good!
I will of course tell her about my journey and how she was conceived. She didn’t come into this world in the conventional way, and that’s ok, she’s is my world and my daughter couldn’t be more loved by everyone who is lucky enough to meet her.