Emily & James’s Story – Guernsey Satellite Clinic

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Emily and James with Miles and baby Thea

Emily and James Vizard from Alderney had been trying for a baby for over 18 months when they decided it was time to seek help. After a referral from the Medical Specialist Group in Guernsey to Wessex Fertility’s satellite service, the couple were delighted to become parents to two year old Miles, and two month old Thea. The birth of Thea also marked a special milestone for the clinic, being the 50th Guernsey baby to be born through Wessex Fertility’s Guernsey service.

Emily and James met at their Alderney school when they were just 6 years old. “We were in the same class at school, but when it came to college we went our separate ways for a while. James went back to Guernsey and I went to the mainland” remembers Emily. “We then found each other again and we got married in 2010” adds James. The couple had already started trying for a baby before their wedding. “We had planned to announce that we were expecting at our wedding but it just didn’t work out that way” recalls Emily.

We had planned to announce that we were expecting at our wedding but it just didn’t work out that way Emily

After months of trying for a baby Emily and James went to see their local GP. “We were advised by the GP that they wouldn’t intervene until we had been trying for at least a year, so we kept on trying until it had been about 18 months” recalls James. The couple went back to their GP who referred them to MSG in Guernsey, who provided the couple with investigations including a lap and dye test. “We then tried 6 rounds of Clomid which weren’t successful before having a break. We then went on to try a further 3 rounds of Clomid followed by 3 rounds of IUI treatment which didn’t work either. We were really disappointed and just wanted answers as up to this stage we hadn’t had a definitive diagnosis”. The couples MSG consultant recommended that the couple have a consultation with Wessex Fertility, who provide a regular satellite service at MSG. “We had been trying for a baby for 6 years by 2016, when we had a consultation with Dr Sue Ingamells who recommended a long cycle of IVF.

The couple commenced treatment the following month. “As the Guernsey service is a satellite service, we could have everything done at MSG except for the egg collection and embryo transfer which was obviously a lot more convenient for us! The communication with Wessex was also fantastic, especially with Gillian, which made everything a lot easier” remembers Emily.

The communication with Wessex was also fantastic, especially with Gillian, which made everything a lot easier Emily

Emily and James decided to stay in Southampton from egg collection until embryo transfer. “It was a bit traumatic in the end because of the risk of bad weather from Alderney to Southampton which led us to leaving for Southampton earlier than planned, and on the day of egg collection we got stuck in some really bad traffic from our accommodation, we were panicking because we thought we’d ruined our chance of success due to the timing of the trigger shots. But we rang the clinic who were very relaxed and reassuring and said just to get there as soon as we can” remembers James.

Emily had 7 eggs collected which were injected with James’s sperm in a process called ICSI. “It was discovered that I had 100% sperm anti-bodies so ICSI was added to the treatment, ” remembers James. Up until this stage we were put in to the ‘unexplained bracket so it was a relief albeit upsetting to finally have a diagnosis. The eggs fertilised to form 3 embryos, one of which was transferred to Emily’s womb. “The two week wait felt so long, I’d second guess every twinge or cramp-, I found I spent an awful lot of time googling which certainly didn’t help. It was strange timing really because it was the start of the Alderney Festival week which isusually spent with our friends and a lot of alcohol!” remembers Emily. On the first day of the festival, Emily took her pregnancy test, and finally got the news the couple had been waiting years for. “We saw it was positive and were absolutely overwhelmed. After 6 years we were finally pregnant! We couldn’t wait to tell our family so there were a lot of phone calls to family at 6am before James went to work” remembers Emily. “I think all my mum could manage to say was ‘that’s brilliant’ before putting the phone down because she was so overwhelmed with emotion for us” adds James.

I think all my mum could manage to say was ‘that’s brilliant’ before putting the phone down because she was so overwhelmed with emotion for us James

In April 2017 after a healthy pregnancy, Emily had some complications which led to an emergency caesarean. However, all of the negativity felt by the couple disappeared when they saw their gorgeous baby boy, Miles. “As soon as I knew both Emily and our baby were safe it was the most amazing experience” remembers James. “Miles didn’t feel like ours for a good few months after his birth, we just couldn’t believe it, it was absolutely surreal” adds Emily.

In early 2018, after enjoying some time with baby Miles, the couple decided it was time to try for another baby with one of their frozen embryos. “We knew a bit more of what to expect this time, which made it a bit easier” remembers Emily. Emily had medication to prepare her womb for the embryo transfer, and had another two week wait to find out if they had been successful. “We had come to the conclusion that it hadn’t worked this time, we had used all of our luck the first time!” remembers Emily. However, luckily this wasn’t the case and Emily was pregnant for the second time, which left the couple over the moon. “Once again it wasn’t the easiest birth! I had my midwife appointment in Alderney and I hadn’t been feeling quite right, so the midwife advised I travel to Guernsey early to be checked over. The consultant discovered I had pre-eclampsia and recommended a caesarean so it was a semi-elective procedure”. In January 2019, a beautiful baby girl, Thea, was born, the 50th baby to be born through treatment at Wessex Fertility’s Guernsey satellite service. “It was amazing holding Thea for the first time and again it didn’t feel real!” remembers Emily.

It was so special to find out that Thea was their 50th Guernsey baby too. We’ll always be grateful because we wouldn’t have our family if it wasn’t for them  James

“We couldn’t fault Wessex Fertility, they’re absolutely amazing. It’s not a pleasant journey but having Wessex in Guernsey made it so much easier for us. We didn’t understand the process at all and now we feel like experts! It was so special to find out that Thea was their 50th Guernsey baby too. We’ll always be grateful because we wouldn’t have our family if it wasn’t for them”.

Emily and James are enjoying life in Alderney with their two miracles.