Cara’s Story – Donor Sperm IVF
Cara, aged 41 from Portsmouth, is looking forward to her first Easter with beautiful baby Evie, she spoke to Wessex Fertility about why she chose to have IVF on her own and use donor sperm to become a mummy.
Cara had sadly not had much luck in relationships but hadn’t thought much about babies until a routine health check with her GP. “My doctor asked whether I planned to have any children,” explains Cara, “I said that I did want a baby but hadn’t found the right person. She told me that she had been to a GP seminar that Wessex Fertility hosted and had learnt about fertility declining with age. She recommended I see them for a fertility check.”
I’m so thankful to my donor, he gave me Evie.Cara
On her GP’s recommendation, Cara attended Wessex Fertility for a Rapid Fertility Assessment. This is a 2 hour appointment which checks fertility. “I was really disappointed to learn that I had a low AMH for my age, but Dr Chantal reassured me that I could still get pregnant but that I should look in to treatment within the next 6 months” states Cara.
Cara’s short-term relationship ended and a few months later she prepared for donor sperm treatment alone. “I never imaged when I was younger that I would need donor sperm,” remembers Cara, “it was daunting going through it alone, but I was fully prepared. I hadn’t been left or let down, it was my decision and I was happy to be having treatment and potentially having a baby as a single lady.”
Cara started treatment in August 2013 and chose her sperm donor by his physical characteristics. She then attended a set-up appointment with a nurse to go through what drugs she had to take and when. “The first injections were quite daunting, I was terrified of getting something wrong and ruining the cycle. Thankfully it was all easier than I imagined!” Cara worked locally to the clinic so didn’t have far to travel for her scan appointments, which she felt reduced the stress of the treatment. After watching her follicles grow from taking the stimulation medication, Cara had a sedated egg collection and had 5 eggs retrieved. “I worried at each stage,” describes Cara, “I worried about the fertilisation check but was phoned and told that all 5 eggs had fertilised, I then worried over the weekend until I was phoned on Monday and told that I had 2 top quality embryos and 1 good enough to freeze. This was excellent news for me and I relaxed a little.” Cara watched the embryos being put back in to her on the ultrasound scanner screen, a relatively painless process which she likened to a smear test.
Cara then embarked on the agonising 2 week wait until her pregnancy test. “I remember getting up at 5am and taking the test. I didn’t feel at all pregnant so I couldn’t believe it when the test showed positive. I text all my friends and woke them up to tell them.”
I never regret deciding to be a parent alone, I have so much support from family and friends and love every minute of being a mummy. I couldn’t wish for more.Cara
Cara chose to donate her remaining good quality embryo to research, “I knew that I just wanted 1 child, I just wanted to have the chance to be a mummy so I decided that I would donate my embryo to research. I really liked the thought that I could be helping others in the future to have a successful IVF treatment because of research carried out.”
Cara had a straight forward pregnancy and gave birth to baby Evie in June 2014 weighing 7lb 10oz. “Evie is perfect and completely adorable. I love the fact that she has big brown eyes which are the same colour as the donor’s; her father. It means I think of him and am grateful to him when I look at her. Every little smile I get from her makes every penny spent and all the effort worthwhile,” explained Cara. Cara plans to be honest with Evie and explain to her from an early age about her donor conception. “I joined the donor conception network and have a children’s book that explains everything to read to Evie when she is older. Because I’ve been so honest I have been approached by lots of friends who are having problems conceiving or thinking about fertility treatment.”
Photography courtesy of Jenny Owens Photography.