As an IVF Mama myself, I was super excited about this interview. I think IVF is one of the most magnificent things that clever brains have created and I’m eternally grateful to them and science. I know that Emma feels exactly the same!
How long were you trying to conceive before having IVF?
My husband actually told me when we’d only been dating for a few weeks that he couldn’t have
children. That was 2013 and looking back it was all kind of a dramatic time. After just a few months we
went for a procedure to correct his infertility but it failed. The doctor came out to me where I was
waiting in my little private sitting room and told me very definitely that the procedure hadn’t been
successful and we had no chance whatsoever of getting pregnant. This was pretty devastating because
we’d been really confident that it would work!
We each spent some time after this getting used to the possibility of never having a baby and figuring
out what that meant for our relationship. We decided that even with no children, we wanted to be
together more than anything. I knew without a doubt that he was happily ever after for me but it was
still a massive decision to be making at the age of 23 when all I had ever wanted was children! Once
we’d made this choice we discussed what we wanted to do from there and we both agreed that
although we could be happy without one, we really wanted a baby. By the end of 2014 we had agreed to
start IVF as soon as we were married. We both really wanted to have children and we made the decision
to keep going until we made it happen.
So you didn’t have to take the dreaded Clomid or any other fertility drugs before IVF?
Due to ours being a case of male infertility I never had any meds or anything before IVF. In a lot of ways
this was a blessing, but at the same time its difficult to deal with such an abrupt, hardline ‘no chance at
Even though you were told you wouldn’t conceive naturally, did you still cling on to any secret hopes?
We had a 0% chance of ever conceiving naturally so you’d think that least there would have been no
crushing hope-and-disappointment phase but I guess it’s human nature. Every month I would get my
period and I would realise that some small part of me had been holding its breath and hoping for a
miracle. I would catch myself daydreaming about it and have to give myself a shake. Seeing people with
babies would cause a little stab of pain. I just kept telling myself that after the wedding we would be
starting IVF and to try not to think about it until then.
Did you have lots of people asking when are you going to have kids/why don’t you have any yet?
People started asking about kids right when we first got engaged and I mentally kicked myself for every
time I had ever asked another couple that question. I would mumble something awkward about hoping
to be lucky enough or not everyone being so lucky and then I would shuffle off. This was a big contrast to
once we actually started IVF, at which point I because VERY open about the whole thing. I think that
before we got started it felt like being in limbo and I didn’t want to jinx anything or think about it all too
Did your husband have a particular kind of male infertility?
He’d had a vasectomy! 9 years before we met, when he was with his first wife- they didn’t want
children together and he didn’t know that they would break up. The moment they did split he realised
he wanted children if he could find the right person, and started researching reversals (the
procedure) and for us to start trying for a family. I was so excited!! We had just got back from our
honeymoon and we leapt
straight into the scans and injections! We did it all privately because we don’t qualify for any IVF on the
NHS, so where and when was up to us and we just got going as soon as we could.
What was your experience in taking the IVF meds? Are you a pro at needles now?!
My husband is a gem and did all my injections for me! I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I got bloating and cramping and I was absolutely exhausted! That was all manageable though- the worst
part came when we attempted a live transfer that first month. I was chock full of meds and hormones
and then had to take more meds and hormones and have an embryo transferred. It was a perfect
embryo and had a 50% chance of success. We were sure it had worked and then when I developed OHSS
it seemed like confirmation. Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome can occur when pregnancy hormones
are added to the artificial hormones. It felt like I was being struck by lightning everywhere, all the time.
It wasn’t fun. And I wasn’t pregnant. The doctor wasn’t really able to explain why I developed OHSS but
no baby. It’s possible I had a chemical pregnancy that was just very brief.
Either way, I was physically and emotionally drained so we took a month break before trying one of our
So only one embryo was transferred and it split into twins?!
We only had two embryos left after our failed first attempt and I was young and healthy and fertile, so
we only had one transferred. I think it split because my husband and I are rubbish at sharing. (ok, fine,
I’M rubbish at sharing!)