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At the start of 2020 my husband and I decided that we wanted to start actively trying for a baby. We didn’t have any reason to think there might be an issue but we did discuss that if we weren’t successful after 6 months, we would see a doctor about it. 6 months had passed and no sign of pregnancy so we booked in to have a couples fertility MOT.

It was through this process that we found out that it was going to be almost impossible for us to conceive naturally. I was told I have a condition called premature ovarian insufficiency which basically means that, for my age, my ovarian reserve was very low. We were highly recommended that we start fertility treatment right away as my fertility would continue to decline as time went on. I can’t describe how heartbreaking it was receiving this news. I felt like a failure; like my body wasn’t doing what it should be doing. It was a really tough period in our journey.

When we started looking into IVF treatment, we did initially consider going through the NHS but we knew that time was of the essence and with my AMH being so low it appeared that I would not meet the eligibility criteria in our borough so private treatment was our only option. We didn’t want to have treatment at the same clinic we had the fertility MOT at simply because we didn’t have the best experience there, so we started looking at other fertility clinics in London.

I work near St Paul’s so have walked past CREATE Fertility quite a few times. After reading more about the clinic, I immediately took a liking to their methodology. CREATE offer a milder type of IVF treatment and value quality over quantity. I knew that my case was complex and it felt as though CREATE would be the perfect clinic for me.

We started treatment in August 2020 and despite everything that was going on in the world at the time, I felt completely comfortable and safe throughout my whole treatment. CREATE made sure that the treatment journey was as smooth as possible given the circumstances and extra health and safety protocols. The only downside was that my husband couldn’t attend most of the appointments with me, but the staff did make a great effort to make me feel comfortable when I was on my own.

We were recommended the 3 cycle package and once we went through all the details, we decided that this would be the best course of action for us. The 3 cycle package would give me the best possible chance of a pregnancy compared to one cycle, due to my low ovarian reserve.

The first cycle was the most difficult because I didn’t know what to expect. Also, only one egg was collected as a result of that cycle and I simply felt hopeless. I kept reading stories online and comparing. One egg was far below average and I started to feel as though treatment would never work for us. We were reminded by CREATE that it only takes one egg and one sperm to make a healthy embryo, however this was hard to believe at the time.

The second cycle was a lot better. We were more familiar with the process and the medical team learnt a lot from my first cycle about how my body reacts to treatment. They reviewed and adjusted the protocol for the second cycle and we managed to get 4 eggs during that second egg collection. This felt like progress and I became a bit more positive.

By the third cycle I felt exhausted. It was the third month in a row of medication and although CREATE use minimal doses, it still takes its toll on the body. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that this was the last egg collection and that we would soon be moving to the last step - the embryo transfer.

After the last egg collection we actually decided it was for the best to give my body a bit of a break before going ahead with a frozen embryo transfer a couple of months after.

The embryo transfer was the most positive part of the treatment for me. I finally had an embryo in my womb and we could go home and try our best to look after it together. Trying for a baby is usually a process you keep between you and your partner , but of course we couldn’t do that. Up until this point we had so many procedures and people involved that it didn’t really feel real. As soon as we left the clinic after the embryo transfer, it started to feel more real. I had an embryo inside me which might end in a pregnancy!

On New Years Eve I went in for my pregnancy blood test in the morning and that same afternoon we were told that our treatment had been successful. I was pregnant! Treatment had worked and I can’t explain how elated we both felt.

My husband broke down crying. I had never seen him so emotional and I think it’s because throughout treatment he had been so positive and did everything in his power to hold me together so when he heard the news all the emotions burst out at once. We felt very excited but also knew that miscarriages are common and that we weren’t in the clear just yet. With that being said, that was the best New Years Eve we’ve ever had.

My pregnancy went well and on the 13th September 2021 I gave birth to a very healthy, and heavy, little boy! I was completely unprepared for what motherhood would bring my way but I absolutely love it.

IVF is a very emotional process. It is tough both physically and mentally but it certainly was worth it. I deemed myself to be a very resilient person and it almost broke me because there are no guarantees at all. We just had to take it one day at a time, do everything that was in our control right and hope that the rest would work out.

My only advice to anyone who might be in a similar situation to us is to please not fixate on numbers. CREATE were right; it only takes one egg and one sperm. I know so many people who had far more eggs collected than me. Try to remember that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to IVF and be kind to yourself. You are not a failure.