Me and my husband Ryan wanted to start our family, and after a while of trying, we were struggling to conceive naturally. I took a visit my local hospital for some information as to why we were having trouble conceiving, and we were told that we were just ‘unlucky’. Ryan already has a living child, so we knew we would struggle to get NHS funding. So, we looked into other ways of being able to move forward with treatment, and it was to be self-funded.
“During my pregnancy there were moments where I would sit in the nursery we were preparing, feeling overwhelmed with joy that our dream happened.”
However, when we had our first consultation at CARE Sheffield, we were told straight away what the issue was, and reassured us that we had a good chance of getting pregnant on the treatment we had been recommended. They were always transparent and honest about the safest and best options for us, which I really appreciated. The clinic was so helpful in suggesting a few ways we could help support our treatment costs and it was suggested we could look into either egg or sperm sharing. I really wanted to do egg sharing to help someone else achieve their dream but due to a treatment that I needed myself, this then unfortunately meant I wouldn’t be able to at this time.
We were then given the option of sperm sharing; Ryan was very open and willing to do sperm sharing for the same reasons. We know how it feels to need support with having a family, so if we can help someone else then we absolutely would. – We have helped to create 5 other little miracles through the donation! –
The clinic visits were just a lovely experience. You always hear about the ‘clinical’ side of things, like the communication of information, the promptness of appointments etc. but it was much more than that for us. – The little things such as the train journey to and from appointments, we would see places we wanted to then visit as a couple (and hopefully as a family!) the friendships we built with the staff and the excitement we found ourselves having when we were due a visit.
It also helped Ryan and I re-connect and have some time to ourselves. Having another little one at home and everything that comes with everyday life, it is so easy to forget to talk and keep your relationship healthy. We really appreciated the time together that we probably wouldn’t have gotten and we have memories that will last a lifetime. We talked deeply about how much we wanted to be parents together and even if we didn’t get the end result we wanted, we could look at adoption and know that we also helped to create families along our journey. We knew how lucky we were as this can be quite a stressful time for some couples.
The first part of our process was heavily involved with Ryan as it was his donation that came first. It was around a year in duration, so I knew this wasn’t going to be a quick process! I have to admit, sometimes during this part, it was a little bit upsetting for myself personally. I wasn’t involved with anything, felt like I wasn’t really helping and I just desperately wanted to be like the other couples we would see coming into clinic on their treatment path.
We then also had decided to get married before we went ahead with our treatment. Ryan had proposed after I had been away for a while with work so he wanted us to do this before we took on treatment for a baby. After the wedding, we did end up actually conceiving naturally as well to our surprise. But as we expected, due to out diagnosis, it unfortunately was ectopic and needed surgery to be removed.
Then as if the universe wanted me to wait longer, covid unfortunately hit. However, I am a strong believer in that everything happens for a reason so our decision to get married and small delays could’ve only meant we were destined for this cycle, and that this time, it was to be the right one.
Our treatment cycle had finally arrived! Medication was explained thoroughly, and we were given lots of options for that, to again ensure the most cost-effective method for us, and we weren’t pushed by the clinic to choose a specific brand.
We were put on a 2- week protocol, it went so quickly. The patient portal and self-injection teach videos were great and were there to refer back to if I ever needed help. As strange as it sounds, I advise people to try to really enjoy this part if they can. Although self- injecting isn’t the nicest some days, I always tried to remember why I was doing it.
We were very lucky that we were successful on our first round. I do believe this is down to how much detail the doctors look into at CARE. They make sure that you are on the best treatment to give you the chance to conceive.
The staff were all amazing. Everyone just so welcoming and friendly every time we were in, even if we hadn’t met them before. The level of attention never dropped and we truly felt like they were happy to see us. It felt like a second family. They wanted to help us to preserve every memory that we could, we have lots of pictures and scan results and everything to look back on.
I felt so involved in the process and not just that I was going in for things and to then take a pregnancy test at the end. It was so much more than that.
There were times where I wasn’t able to have Ryan with me at certain times due to restrictions but not once did I feel uncomfortable or worried. It felt like I always had someone I knew with me. They chatted to me/us as people and got to know us rather than just standard conversations about my treatment. Even during what could be classed as the most nervous time -waiting for the news of the embryos and the 2 week wait- I was so reassured and knew the staff were there, I was able to relax during the time and I feel incredibly lucky.
Linda the sonographer stood out to me the most, I feel I should give her a special mention. Once we were discharged into the NHS, she also worked at another clinic where we had our pregnancy scans and she recognised us and it was so lovely to have someone throughout the later steps in our journey also. We know how rare that can be. At the same time though, we still knew CARE were there if we ever needed them.
During my pregnancy there were moments where I would sit in the nursery we were preparing, feeling overwhelmed with joy that our dream happened.
Our miracle baby Nyle was born in March 2021 and we feel so complete. Thank you for everything CARE Sheffield. xx