FREE Semen Analysis with every Scan and Consultation booked this May. More info

FREE Semen Analysis with every Scan and Consultation booked this May. More info

"Choosing to share my eggs was quite an easy decision for me and I’m still really glad I did it"

When I was 20 I discovered that I had a cyst on my ovary which needed to be removed via a laparotomy. During the surgery, the doctors found that I had endometriosis and I later also found out that I have a blocked tube and PCOS. It was was a lot to take in, especially at that age.

Nothing was offered in terms of treatment as I wasn’t trying to conceive at the time but it was still pretty worrying knowing that it’s not likely I’ll ever be able to conceive naturally.

When the time was right for my partner and I to start trying for a baby, I was aware that it was very unlikely that we would manage naturally so I went to see my GP about it. I was given metformin and when that didn’t work we were offered IVF. The NHS were able to fund our cycle but funding would be cut soon after so if we wanted to start we would have to start as soon as possible. We went ahead without thinking too much about it. That cycle was successful however I suffered an early miscarriage and lost that pregnancy. We were devastated and in need of a break away from treatment.

That whole experience was stressful from start to finish. I felt rushed from the very beginning and felt like just another number through their doors. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even address us by our names at the clinic but by our patient numbers instead. I even developed OHSS during that cycle which wasn’t picked up by any of the medical team! I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone and we certainly didn’t want to go back there, even though I had some eggs frozen there from my cycle.

It was during the first lockdown that we started talking about trying again and started looking at clinics in Bristol. It was then we came across abc ivf.

This time around we decided to try egg sharing. I got to a point where I had accepted that treatment might not work for me but maybe my donated eggs might help someone else conceive and I really liked that idea. On my journey, I had met so many people desperate for a child and I really wanted to help in someway. Choosing to share my eggs was quite an easy decision for me and I’m still really glad I did it.

The staff at abc ivf were amazing from the get go. Everyone knew me by my name and it was a completely different experience to my previous clinic.

Collage of New born baby

The first step to treatment was going in for the Initial Consultation and Scan where they assessed my fertility and we talked through all the details of starting treatment. I was told that I was a good candidate for egg sharing so the plan was put together for our IVF cycle; half of the eggs collected would be used for our treatment and half would be frozen in the egg bank for another patient to potentially use. I then had some screening blood tests and we were ready to start.

I was monitored quite often throughout the whole process and my medication was adjusted to fit what my body was doing. This approach worked really well for me and my body responded really well. After the egg collection, we were given the option of having a fresh transfer or taking a break and coming back for a frozen embryo transfer later. I was so grateful to have been given this choice because I really felt as though my body needed a break. We weren’t offered this option at the previous clinic so we didn’t even know this was an option, but I am glad abc mentioned it.

We took a break and came back after a few months to have the embryo transfer. A couple of weeks after, I did a home test and we couldn’t believe the result. Our treatment had worked! We were both excited and apprehensive.

At 12 weeks we went back to abc to have our last scan and it was at this appointment I thought it was all over, again. I started bleeding heavily in the waiting room and I thought I was losing the baby. It was such a scary experience. We went in for the scan anyway and to our surprise they found a heartbeat. A very loud heartbeat actually! My partner and I and everyone else in the room were absolutely elated; it was an amazing moment. It was also so lovely that we were able to share it with the team who had made this possible for us.

We can’t believe after all this time she’s finally here, and we are loving being able to really enjoy the newborn stage where she’s still sleepy, and we can go to cafés and get out in the sun together - having a spring baby is really nice. It’s amazing to me that this real little living thing was once in a petri dish, and a freezer, and now she’s lying on my shoulder and chirping away in my ear

Holland x