A Shoreham-by-sea couple who have spent years trying to conceive have just had their dreams realised after becoming pregnant with the help of the team at the Agora Clinic, in Brighton
Natalie and Greg Bunn, have been trying to conceive for several years and just 12 weeks ago got a positive pregnancy test following their fourth cycle at the clinic, headed by leading fertility consultant, Dr Carole Gilling-Smith.
But it wasn’t an easy path to walk. Here, Natalie, 32, tells her story to IVF babble to give inspiration and hope to others on a similar journey
Greg and I met online in 2008. I lived in Middlesbrough and he lived in Shoreham-by-Sea. When we met we hit it off straightaway and just weeks later we agreed to move in together.
Here we are ten years later still very happy and in love.
We spoke about having children after a year of living together as I knew that Greg was the person I wanted a family with.
We got engaged in 2010 and we married in 2012 in Paphos, Cyprus – the most amazing day of my live so far.
We didn’t think there would be a problem so lived our lives and thought everything would be ok and it would happen naturally.
I had a ruptured cyst before we got married and was still in some discomfort.
Two years later, still in pain, I was referred for further tests and was told I could have surgery to stimulate more eggs to be released.
But none of it worked and we were left frustrated.
By 2015 our GP referred us for funded fertility treatment
Four months of scans, blood and screening tests to be informed by the clinic my BMI was too high. At the time it was 31, the criteria was to be under 30. I was devastated, I wasn’t overweight but thought since it’s the criteria I will work to get it lowered.
I kicked my unhealthy eating habits, started the couch to 5km running app which was amazing for someone who couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds, it was so good for mental health too. I lost one and a half stone, felt better and I was helping to get my fertility referral approved and we did.
I was informed that we had the option to use a fertility clinic in Hove, Eastbourne or London
I knew it would involve a lot of appointments and travelling so we decided to go with the one closest to us, the Agora Clinic.
We were so happy to finally be in the road to parenthood
In August we began our first treatment round. From the minute we walked into the Agora I felt a huge weight has been lifted and that the team would help us realise our dream.
The reception was bright, calming and the greeting from the staff was wonderful. It was a lot to take in but we were really happy to be on our way.
On our first cycle I got a positive pregnancy test, but it wasn’t to be. At the scan we were informed there was a pregnancy sack but no contents, it was still early but then we heard the words ‘blighted ovum’. I cried all the way home and it continued all day. The days that followed I felt numb and didn’t do anything, I blocked the world out for a while.
In April 2016 we had a single frozen embryo transfer. The medication was slightly different and I thought it would of been easier but it felt harder. We started the two-week wait but only got a few days in and I had abdominal pains and had full flow period.
In July 2016 we went ahead with a double frozen cycle and used our last two embryos. We were so excited to do another transfer but really nervous as these were our last two. During the two week wait I started bleeding a few days after the transfer. This cycle was probably was the hardest one we had done as that was it, we had nothing left to use.
But the Agora were there for us every step of the way throughout the whole process and were just fantastic
At this point we were regulars in their clinic so we formed quite a good relationship with them and I loved going to the clinic to see them all given what we were going through. As hard as it was that we still did not have our family yet, I feel we gained a lot from each one of them that year.
The following month I was admitted to hospital due to extreme pain.
Between October 2016 and July 2017 we had numerous appointments with NHS specialists and for the next ten months we had a rollercoaster of letdowns and emotions to investigate the cause of the pain.
I had to have surgery to remove my fallopian tubes in November 2017, which meant by fertility treatment had to be put on hold.
We made a plan with the Agora team to re-start treatment in 2018.
I was so excited to get going again and this time I was determined it would be our time.
Read part two of Natalie’s story next week.
Have you had treatment at the Agora Clinic? Or are you thinking of choosing it as your clinic? If you have questions for the team, let us know as we can connect you with the fantastic medical director, Dr Carole Gilling-Smith. Get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org