I was diagnosed with Turner’s syndrome when I was about 13, and as soon as my parents explained the condition I put two and two together and asked if that meant I couldn’t have children. Even though I was only young I knew that I wanted children when I was older.
I remember feeling empty when it was confirmed to me that I would never have my own child. I know that my parents have always felt guilty for my condition, despite me reassuring them that it was not their fault. For ages after I remember feeling that every woman I saw in the street was pregnant, and feeling hurt that it would not happen for me.
“Even though I was only young I knew that I wanted children when I was older. I remember feeling empty when it was confirmed to me that I would never have my own child........... .....I gave birth to Francesca via C Section this year.”
My parents researched the condition and we went to see Professor Brook in London. I have been under the UCLH in London ever since and they continue to give me expert care to manage and monitor my condition.
I had other boyfriends but when I was 19 I met Alan and straight away knew that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I took the difficult decision to tell him early on in our relationship that I could not have children in case he did not want to be with me. However, from the start Alan was very supportive and accepted my fertility issues. He also straight away attended my annual check-ups in London.
We got married in 2005 and always intended to commence IVF treatment. So after doing a house up and travelling we had our first and only NHS treatment in 2009, where we had IVF with a donor egg. We were devastated when it didn’t work but stayed strong, we would try again and not give up.
We found out about a clinic in Spain and after further investigation we embarked on a second course of treatment there. This again unfortunately was unsuccessful, however we had a frozen embryo remaining, so we had a second cycle in Spain. The clinic were fantastic with us but I failed to become pregnant.
Despite moments when we wanted to give up, we both knew that a child was very important to us. We decided not to continue in Spain and through a colleague of Alan’s we heard about CARE Fertility. We first visited CARE Nottingham and were excited at the level of research and new techniques. Throughout the whole process the difficult thing to cope with is that things change and there are so many new techniques that it’s hard to feel you have tried everything.
After in depth discussions we embarked on another cycle with CARE and were confident that we were in the right hands. At this point we discussed the blood test that looks at your killer cells, but we felt we were trying so many other new things that we decided not to have the blood test.
Unfortunately this cycle did not work either, so we decided to have the blood test before another cycle. I was personally devastated when it came back that I have high levels of killer cells. It made both of us feel that all previous attempts had been pointless.
So we then embarked on the fifth cycle, this time I underwent intralipid treatment. We were excited when for the first time we had a positive pregnancy test, however I started bleeding and miscarried at 5 weeks. We were devastated and I particularly found it hard to comprehend having another go and putting my body through it again.
However, after some respite we decided to have one last final attempt, this time at CARE Manchester. We threw everything at it this time! We even decided to have the embryos chromosome tested, as well as having an exclusive donor.
We were delighted but apprehensive when we had another positive pregnancy test. We did not relax at all until our three month scan. Thankfully the pregnancy was uncomplicated, and I gave birth to Francesca via C Section this year.
I look at her every day, and can’t believe how lucky we are. It has taken a lot of heartache, but we now have a beautiful, amazing daughter. We feel very thankful to our donor and all those skilled specialists at CARE that have made our beautiful Francesca possible.
Ruth & Alan