Donna and Heidi have wanted children since they met, and being in a same-sex relationship, they knew they’d need help conceiving. IVF wasn’t straightforward, but after five cycles of ICSI, on Christmas Day 2021, they received the best Christmas present they could wish for. Here, Donna shares their story, and how Access Fertility helped them make their dream a reality.
Finding our clinic
We live in Glastonbury, and with busy jobs, we wanted to choose a clinic close by so that we’d have as little disruption as possible as we underwent treatment. Fortunately, London Women’s Clinic has a satellite in Bristol, so we went there.
From the outset the team were fantastic with Heidi and I, treating us as they would any heterosexual couple. I’d say that for anyone in a same sex relationship considering IVF, don’t be put off by the adverts featuring men and women – the clinics are actually very fair. I was pleased that they involved Heidi just as much as any parent, when we used donor sperm.
LWC ran lots of tests before we started, to get a picture of our fertility and any issues that might arise. As a result, we discovered that I have a low ovarian reserve which meant we had no other options. We also knew that this might mean we could need more than one attempt.
Discovering Access Fertility
The staff at London Women’s Clinic were great at explaining the options we had to pay for our IVF treatment. They shared some information on Access Fertility’s package, and it seemed like a really good deal. What they were offering was much cheaper than going through the clinic, and critically for us, as it turned out, it offered multiple rounds of IVF.
When we rang Access Fertility, they were fantastic. They were really responsive, so we didn’t have to wait for information, and everything was straightforward. There are other providers who aren’t as simple, and it just puts you off, at a time when everything is so confusing and stressful.
Treatment during Covid
While our blood tests started before Covid-19 arrived, by the time we were ready for egg retrieval, the clinic had closed due to lockdown. As a result, we had to go to LWC Cardiff, and furthermore, I had to go for the egg collection alone.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, they retrieved 11 eggs, and all of them fertilised. Over the course of the next year or so, we transferred four of those eggs. Some of them failed, and with one I sadly suffered a miscarriage.
It was a really hard time, and honestly, after the miscarriage I wasn’t sure I could keep going. But we knew we had one go left with our Access Fertility package. I resolved to give it one more try. Luckily, this one resulted in a pregnancy, and we saw our little Ace on the scan.
A Christmas present to remember
The pregnancy was all fine, right up until the 38th week. I’m a dog groomer and spend a lot of time on my feet. Unfortunately, that contributed to me getting pregnancy-induced hypertension. The doctors suggested I stop work, and I took beta blockers to reduce my blood pressure, but was ultimately induced on 20th December.
Four days later, I went into labour. 12 hours in, Ace still hadn’t arrived, and he was starting to show signs of distress. His head was twisted into a position that was making it impossible to come out, and we needed an emergency C-section. At 2.33am on Christmas Day 2021, the nurses handed Ace to us and said, “Merry Christmas”.
Ours is a story of hope – I’d resigned myself to the fact it might never happen, after the miscarriage. Fortunately, we were with Access Fertility, so financially we were able to continue. After thinking ‘one last chance’, I relaxed into it, and we got our Ace. It’s easy for me to say, on the other side now, but it’s so important to try not to get stressed – what will be will be.