February 24, 2017

Hannah & Russell’s story – NHS funded IVF ICSI


We have been together for 11 years and got married in April 2014 and naturally thought the next step is to start a family, not realising the emotional journey we would have to go through to get there.

We knew we may have some difficulties with me (Hannah) having polycystic ovaries but after no success we were referred to gynaecology who undertook further investigations for Russell. The results showed Russell had combined issues of low sperm count and motility levels which was due to operations he had as a child for undescending testicles. After various tests and medication with no avail (Clomid, Metformin and Multi-vitamins for Russell) we were told the news we would have to have IVF in the hope to have a baby.

In 2015 we were referred to a fertility specialist in Winchester who went through the IVF criteria and explained that we would need ICSI and would only be entitled to one cycle on the NHS. Another hurdle we had to cross was my (Hannah) BMI to reduced greatly to below 30. This worked out I had to lose over 3 stone before we started any treatment.

We couldn’t quite believe it, after months of blood tests, medication, consultations, internal scans, injections and a wealth of emotions, we finally had our little miracle baby, this is all thanks to the wonderful staff at the Freya centre with which we will be forever thankful.Hannah

During my weight loss we attended the Wessex Fertility Seminar held in Fareham for an insight into the treatment that lie ahead.

We finally got the go ahead to start to IVF ICSI treatment after maintaining my (Hannah) weight loss and reaching the required BMI of under 30.

In February 2016 we went for our first consultation at the Candover Clinic Basingstoke which was ideal for us as more local to ourselves. We found the staff very friendly and welcoming throughout each visit. We had our first consultation with Dr Tuckey in which we were explained in detail the IVF ICSI process, and the treatment plan we would need specifically for our  conditions. Soon after this appointment all my medication was delivered which included the Gonal F injections, pregnancy test kit, sharps box and pessaries I would need for the treatment plan. This was a daunting knowing I had to give myself the injections daily but I always knew there was someone at the end of the phone at the Candover Clinic or the Freya centre to ask any advise or concerns I may have.

Throughout my treatment plan we had frequent appointments to keep a close eye on all the follicles and to ensure they were growing at a steady rate and not to over stimulate them. We found at this stage I had 16 follicles although some were growing better than the others and after further internal scans this number reduced further, this meant the chances of a good number of eggs less likely.

Although pleased we had eggs available to use, this was a worrying time but we remained positive and knew we only needed the one egg for a chance to fall pregnant.

In the morning of Friday 22nd April 2016 egg retrieval took place at the Freya centre, I was sedated for this to take place which was a weird feeling, but this didn’t take long, and before I knew it I was in recovery along with other ladies who had been through the same. Worryingly only 4 eggs were good enough for retrieval  but again I tried to remain positive. The eggs were passed onto the lab for the ICSI process to take place.

Fortunately one of our embryos went on to become a grade A blastocyst.

On 27th April 2016 we went in for the embryo transfer, another worrying time as I knew I had the “2 week wait” where I would have to take it easy to give the embryo a good chance of developing further.

The day of our pregnancy test arrived (9th May 2016), we had very little sleep that night as we were anxious and excited at the same time.  After taking not one but three tests just to make sure, we were elated that all three tests were positive. We couldn’t quite believe that after just one IVF cycle we had been successful knowing that if we weren’t so fortunate the costs involved would have caused us much financial strain and stress to go through another cycle.

At around 20 weeks pregnant we had an appointment with the consultant due to the pregnancy being IVF and my polycystic ovaries. Fortunately all was going to plan and they had no concerns therefore referring back to midwife led through the remaining pregnancy.

After a long enduring pregnancy my due date arrived being Friday 13th January 2017 but no sign of early stages of labour. Two weeks later at 42 weeks I went into Winchester for my planned induction which was an exciting time for us both knowing we would soon see our baby. Unfortunately labour wasn’t going to plan and I wasn’t progressing any further than 3/4cm dilated and baby was back to back, we had to go down the caesarean route. At 14:29 on Wednesday 25th January 2017 Baby Molly Jane Carter arrived into the world weighing 7lb 14oz.