After years of trying to conceive and four rounds of IVF treatment at Origin Fertility Care Alison and Andrew Allen are now happy to have two healthy babies, Jack and Indie. Alison was overwhelmed with joy upon finding out they were not expecting one baby but twins, “It was amazing – instead of one, we now had two!”
After three years together, Alison and Andrew began trying to conceive. After an unsuccessful year Alison and Andrew visited their doctor and were referred for IVF on the NHS, unfortunately the first round was unsuccessful. For many couples it takes a few attempts at IVF before they will successfully become pregnant. The NHS state that around 32.2% of IVF treatments for women aged 35 or under result in live births, this percentage declines with the age of the woman being treated, by the time a woman is 44 there is just a 1.9% chance of success.
Upon her first round of IVF Alison thought she would be pregnant after one treatment, “Looking back, I realise that I was a bit naïve. I thought that I’d be pregnant after one treatment but not everyone reacts the same way to fertility drugs. It can take one go to see what dosage you’re going to need so your first time is almost a trial run”. Alison and Andrew were devastated after their first attempt but decided to get in touch with Origin Fertility Care, Alison recounts “the course failed and I was devastated. We had to decide whether we wanted to take on the expense of further courses, and of course we did”. Origin were able to extract 12 healthy embryos.
At Origin Fertility Care we aim to make the IVF process as simple and pain free as possible as we understand and appreciate that this is a stressful time. For some patients, one cycle of IVF works first time, for other they may need to have multiple cycles. To support couples throughout this time we offer complimentary counselling with our fertility counsellor.
Alison describes her experience to be just what she needed at the time,
“Origin understood my worries and were very supportive, opening my eyes to the different possibilities that were available to us. They did a full set of diagnostic blood tests to try and find the best and most effective way to help me and came up with a few options I’d never heard of before. I learned a lot between my first and second round.”
Alison and Andrew had agreed to have three round of IVF due to the costs, and emotional and physical strains involved. Alison recalls “the first three rounds hadn’t worked but I knew I had two eggs left in storage so we decided to have just one more go, because otherwise we’d always wonder”.
Alison says “The fourth time differed from the others because it was quite soon after my third. With all the others, we’d put a bit of time in between the cycles to help me recuperate and prepare to try again but this time I didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t have dealt with the anticipation, I was happy to just try our luck and move on. By that point, I was growing used to disappointment so I thought I could handle it.”
Alison’s consultant from Origin Fertility Care Dr Tang suggested trying Endometrial Scratching as implanting the egg was the main issue. Endometrial scratching involves scratching the lining of the womb in order to stimulate repair/growth which can be more receptive to implanting an embryo. Alison and Andrew decided to try with Dr Tang’s suggestion, as they were using their last two eggs.
After the procedure Alison and Andrew took a holiday to Portugal for two weeks to avoid waiting around for a result. However whilst there, Alison took a pregnancy test and got a positive, “in the end I took about 14 pregnancy tests and once the Doctor confirmed it – there was just no way to describe it. After all that time, all that effort and pain and hoping, it was happening. We were having a baby!”
Early in the pregnancy Alison experienced bleeding and went straight to hospital. Alison and Andrew were terrified that they were going to lose the pregnancy but the Doctor came back the news that both sacs were intact. Alison was shocked to learn she was carrying twins, “I just remember thinking… both? I’d never imagined that I was having twins”. Alison was told that one of the twins didn’t look viable, but at the 12 week scan received the good news that both babies were thriving, “It was amazing – instead of one, we now had two!”
Alison describes living with the twins as “a military operation”, as “there’s twice as much to organise; if Jack’s asleep but Indie’s awake, it can offset the whole timetable. You can’t really go with the flow but I’m constantly counting my blessings.” Alison finds she is often asked for advice from others, “I’m always asked if I’ve got any words of advice. If I had to venture anything, it would be to relax. I was always told to avoid stress, which I thought was ridiculous considering the circumstances but once I was able to relieve some of the tension, I felt better. I swore by acupuncture, Reiki and generally being proactive about the situation – if I was practical, I felt in control. Find your coping mechanism. It will help… Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your loved ones. Andrew has been amazing through everything and I’m so lucky to have my mum. She’s been there through it all and now helps us out at home. If all this has taught me anything at all, it’s that family is so important. Now I have a little family of my own and every day just keeps getting better and better!”
Culled from http://www.originfertilitycare.com/mothers-joy-ivf-success-story/