Our honest mum campaign is all about shining a spotlight on different mum’s experiences. This week is the turn of Nic, who runs @goodlucknic
. Nic is an IVF mama to her newborn son, Jax and shared her journey of undergoing IVF during a pandemic over on her instagram account. She also has her own range of IVF milestones
for those who are currently undergoing fertility treatment. Here we share her journey…
When did you realise you might need fertility treatment?
When I came off the pill to start trying for a baby, I assumed my body would return to normal pretty swiftly. However, my periods did not return for months and when they did, I would bleed for around 6 weeks with my whole cycle being about 9/10 weeks long. I knew this was a problem as it meant I wasn’t ovulating.
I saw a lovely doctor in the summer of 2018 who said I was showing signs of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and after blood tests and a scan this was confirmed. My husband, Mark, was also found to have low motility in his sperm so we were referred to our local hospital to see a fertility specialist. After another semen analysis three months later, luckily Mark’s results were now normal but I had an HSG test. My world came crashing down the day I realised both my tubes were actually blocked. After unsuccessful attempts to flush them, I was told by a doctor that day that I would only be able to have children via IVF.
How long did it take to receive IVF?
In July of the following year, our referral got sent off to Birmingham’s Women’s Hospital. In preparation for my IVF, I had to lose two and half stone to be in the right BMI bracket. I fell in love with weight training and have now lost just over 4 stone in total. I was eligible for one round of IVF. We had our egg collection in December 2019.
What was going through IVF like?
Each morning and evening, my husband injected me with hormones. One was to switch off my system to make sure I didn’t ovulate so the drugs could do their jobs; the other was a follicle stimulating hormone. The aim is to stimulate the follicles to grow multiple eggs. Every few days, I was scanned to make sure the optimum time for the trigger shot (to mature all of the eggs) wasn’t missed. These are then collected in egg collection; which I was put under heavy sedation for.
Your eggs are then fertilised by your partner's sperm sample to create an embryo; which is watched by an embryologist. I froze my embryos for a few months to give my body a few months to recover as I had 18 eggs collected and was at risk of OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) due to my PCOS. In February, our frozen embryo transfer was cancelled due to COVID and it wasn’t until the 25th July that it was then restarted and I had my embryo transferred back into my uterus.
How did you feel after your cycle and when you learnt it was successful?
After the transfer, I was PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) and in the dreaded two week wait. For me, I just kept busy. I stopped everything you shouldn’t have when pregnant (like sushi) and I did what I could to stay positive and busy at this time. We booked a staycation in the middle of the wait and stayed in a gorgeous shepherd hut in Milford on Sea. 2 days before the official test day we decided to test. At about 6am on Monday 3rd August 2020 we did the test. We flipped it over together and saw the two magical lines. There were many tears, mostly mine and I couldn’t believe our luck! The chances of becoming pregnant with IVF is between 20-50% which are not great odds. You can see my reaction on our youtube video.
How are you finding being a new mum?
Before having a baby, I had no prior experience with babies. So although I knew I wanted children; I really didn’t know what to expect. As soon as Jax was born, that mothering instinct that everyone tells you about did kick in. Jax is now five weeks old and I feel like being a parent has become second nature. Having waited so long to get to this point, we are really trying our best to soak up every single second. Restless nights, dirty nappies and all. I love being a mum and I feel like Jax has changed me for the better.
Hope you’ll find some interesting and useful insights
Lots of love
Lily and Ribbon Team x