Joanna and Graham’s Story – Eeva

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Joanna and Graham didn’t have the easiest journey to becoming parents, but they chose the Eeva system to help select the best possible embryos and are now besotted parents to baby Freya Rose.

Sadly, Joanna had an ectopic pregnancy 4 years ago, in 2010, at the age of 31. The couple were told that it would not affect their chances of a pregnancy but after a year of trying they were very
concerned and went to their GP. The GP then referred them to hospital for a series of tests. The fertility checks showed that Joanna had an underactive thyroid and needed medication for this and also her very irregular cycle showed signs of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Finally in November 2011 they were granted funding for a single IVF cycle.

Eeva helped create our little miracleJoanna

Joanna and Graham began to look at treatment centres and booked themselves a place at Wessex Fertility’s information seminar. Looking back Graham said that it made the couple realise that they were not alone with their problems, “Going to the seminar allowed us to see that other people were going through the same thing as us and that was reassuring. Meeting the Wessex Fertility staff and understanding the procedures made us feel much more positive about the path ahead of us.”

We actually still can’t quite believe she is real! It sounds strange but sometimes we just look at her and we say ‘she’s actually here and she’s really ours!’ We give our heartfelt thanks to the entire team for the part they played resulting in the birth of our wonderful daughter, appropriately named Freya Rose. You should all feel proud at the amazing job you do. We couldn’t have chosen a better clinic and I recommend you without hesitation.Joanna

Joanna and Graham decided to embark on their first cycle of IVF in February 2012. They had their Initial Consultation with Dr Chantal Simonis and felt even more reassured that they had made the right decision. Their first cycle was an antagonist cycle but unfortunately caused an over response of Joanna’s ovaries, so their second cycle in September 2012 was a long protocol. This cycle, however, had complications due to Joanna’s polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCO) and prompted little response from her ovaries. Sadly, these cycles were both negative. This didn’t deter them, however, as Graham confirmed that they knew it would work, “we always knew that at Wessex it was a case of when, not if, we became pregnant. Although it was expensive we weren’t going to give up on our dream. We found it was always a pleasure coming to the clinic. We felt so comfortable and well informed in what can be the confusing and alienating world of infertility.  All staff we met were always friendly and compassionate. We felt so relaxed whilst going through treatment. At such a testing time, that feeling was priceless.”

The couple, from Hampshire, came back for a follow up discussion with Dr Simonis and were advised that because of Joanna’s PCOS it was recommended to use a drug called metformin to improve the function of her polycystic ovaries and regulate her cycle before IVF. They then embarked upon their third cycle in May 2013. “I was initially apprehensive about the egg collection procedure,” explained Joanna “but it all went so smoothly. The staff were so kind and professional that I didn’t have to worry about anything.” Even Graham felt well looked after, “Johanna, the nurse who looked after Joanna in recovery, made us both feel so welcome and cared for.”

“The option of having the Eeva – Early Embryo Viability Assessment test for our cycle was discussed with us by Dr Simonis at our follow up appointment. We knew that this new technology would take time-lapse images of our embryos and give the lab team a better idea of which embryos would be most likely to make a baby. We chose to use Eeva because it sounded fantastic and we wanted to try anything that could improve our chances,” explained the couple.

Joanna had her embryo transfer 3 days later and then the couple began their agonising 2 week wait to find out whether it had worked. “We took the test and it was a positive, we just couldn’t believe it! We then took a second test and it showed a negative but our third test the following day showed another positive result which put our mind at ease slightly,” explained Joanna. “The wait before the 7 week scan felt like a lifetime. We came back to Wessex Fertility for the scan and were over the moon that it showed an ongoing pregnancy! It was just amazing to see the little heart beating on the screen. Even then we couldn’t quite believe it after such a long and difficult journey.  We tried not to be too optimistic in case anything went wrong but we couldn’t help but hope so much.”

But Joanna and Graham were right to hope as, after an enjoyable pregnancy, Joanna gave birth to their beautiful baby Freya Rose weighing a very healthy 9lb 1oz. The couple are completely besotted with Freya who has made their lives complete.