Liz and her husband almost gave up their hopes of having a baby. But they persisted through long waits, changed appointments and failed IVF on the NHS attempts to finally succeed at the Bridge. “There,” says Liz, “they treated us both with dignity and respect, patience and care and made what was impossible possible.”
“We had been trying to start a family for a long time before it became obvious that something wasn’t right, and that we needed help. Waiting time for IVF at my local NHS hospital was a year, but they were unable to diagnose any specific problem. So I was put on an interim course of clomiphene and, after three months, fell pregnant for the first time. But sadly I suffered a ‘missed miscarriage’, and decided to stop the clomiphene.
After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, my IVF treatment on the NHS finally began. I produced lots of eggs, and had two separate cycles of embryo transfer. But the downside was that I overstimulated and suffered three months of terrible OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), and had another miscarriage. Whilst I was able to get myself back into physical shape, the emotional consequences left me feeling very despondent and angry.
We decided to look elsewhere for help, and, with my best friend, went along after work to an open evening at the Bridge Centre. Here, I met for the first time the IVF consultant who not only later guided my treatment, but whose presentation at the time encouraged me to make a follow up appointment.
At this stage I was extremely keen to get going on a second IVF attempt. I’d had more than enough of waiting for the NHS, not to mention hearing the words ‘biological clock’. But first, following a 3D aqua scan, I was advised to have the scare tissue removed which had formed at my second miscarriage. The surgery scraped away the tissue - which I believe later helped implantation. Following the surgery I was also advised to consider pregenetic testing and referred to the clinic's genetic counsellor. Karen went through a detailed analysis of both our families' medical history, and planned to oversee the genetic testing of any viable, harvested embryos.
Finally, with checks completed, I began IVF treatment once again. The results were great! Lots of eggs, many of which progressed in the laboratory under the watchful eye of Christian and the team, and then four finally cleared of genetic defects. Of these, two were transferred and two frozen. And ten healthy months later, my little bundle of precious joy was born.
Personally, I’m not sure whether I managed this process the best way possible for my mental and emotional health, but I did what I felt I needed to do to keep going – and believe me, at times it was devastating. I’m not afraid to admit that I allowed doubt to creep in occasionally, that I lost a few friends along the way. But, I persevered with ruthless determination and succeeded. Was it worth it? Yes, of course.”
For more information on treatment at the Bridge Centre, please call 020 3819 3282 or attend one of our open evenings.
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