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''My husband and I tried to conceive naturally for many years'' 

We eventually got the the stage where we wanted to figure out why it wasn’t happening for us so we decided to have some tests done. The results came back to show that my husband had azoospermia which meant that there were no sperm in his semen so there was no chance for us to be able to conceive naturally.

Initially, we weren’t sure if we wanted to go down the IVF route because due to the type of infertility we were experiencing, IVF treatment would most likely involve donor sperm, so we wanted to thoroughly explore all our options, including adoption. I really wanted my husband to be as comfortable as possible with the decision we eventually make so I let him lead the research into different options available to us.

''To try to understand more about IVF treatment we decided to book in for an Initial Consultation at CREATE and discuss our situation with a Consultant.''

CREATE recommended my husband do another sperm analysis as sometimes a small number of semen can still be found, but sadly this wasn’t the case for us. So, our main two options were IVF with donor sperm or adoption, but on the way home from the appointment my husband mentioned that he was really keen to go down the IVF route and give it a go so that’s what we ended up doing.

We were eligible for one round of IVF treatment on the NHS and we were lucky enough to be able to have that round at CREATE had such a good experience with the CREATE from the very beginning that we were keen to carry on there if possible - so it all worked out perfectly for us in the end.

''Starting IVF treatment is always too overwhelming to begin with and we were still trying to process the diagnosis we were given not long ago, but CREATE did everything in their power to make sure we both feel as informed and comfortable as possible at every stage. We felt as though we were in the right hands and that helped massively.''

We found choosing donor sperm to be one of the hardest parts of our treatment. It was quite scary because it is such a huge decision to have to make and, of course, my husband was still dealing with some grief around it too. We only really found around four donors who matched our characteristics and although it did feel a bit surreal having to pick someone based on their characteristics, I think having much more choice than that would have been even more overwhelming.

Once we started treatment, everything went pretty smoothly. We had a lot going on around that time so we did find that time went by pretty quickly. I didn’t want to put our life on hold during treatment and actually found the distractions very welcome. I didn’t find the injections that painful, although I did have to have my husband do them for me because I didn’t like the thought of injecting myself, and hormonally I didn’t feel many side effects either - so overall that side of things was quite straight forward.

It so happened that my egg collection fell on the same week of my best friend’s wedding so we had to get a mini fridge and take all of my medication with us, but we made it all work. I took the trigger on the night of the wedding and we got up at 5am the following morning to go to the egg collection appointment.

I had been absolutely petrified of this part of the treatment because I have a phobia of being put to sleep, but once again the staff at CREATE did an incredible job of reassuring me and making sure I’m as comfortable as possible. Once I woke up, I actually felt elated and relieved that I had done it, and although I felt a little bit sick from the anesthetic I really didn’t care. I was just so happy it was done and that we were able to proceed to the next stage of our treatment.

After having the embryo transfer, we were good and waited the full two week before taking a pregnancy test and although I had done so many test before, I managed to forget that you have to wait a few minutes before looking at the results! So, I took the test and saw that it said negative right away. I went in to tell my husband it hadn’t worked and began crying; we were devastated. I then went back in to the bathroom about 10 minutes later to throw the test away and saw that, actually, it was now positive. I honestly couldn’t believe it! I was ecstatic and shouted for my husband to come in so I can show him. We were both over the moon and it was only really in that moment that we both realised how much we had been longing for treatment to work.

''Life as parents is wonderful. We’ve got a healthy little boy who is 16months now and we absolutely adore him. We can’t thank CREATE enough for everything they have done for us and we would absolutely recommend them to anyone who is looking at fertility treatment, whatever your situation''

One thing I would really like to add before I finish, because although it was such a scary experience, CREATE did such a good job at helping us though. In between having the positive pregnancy test at home and going to the clinic for the viability scan, I had a really big bleed. We were convinced I was experiencing a miscarriage so I called CREATE's emergency number at around 8pm and the doctor we initially saw for our consultation answered right away. He was absolutely brilliant; he took the time to listen to me, reassured me and booked me in to have a scan the following morning to check things through. When we went in the following morning every single member of staff were incredible with us. They were all so comforting and lovely. We had the scan and much to our surprise they did find a heartbeat and it was a very strong heartbeat too.

''We feel incredibly lucky that everything turned out to be okay but also so grateful to have the CREATE team by our side during that experience.''

Learn more about our CREATE Birmingham clinic here.