Louise & Stuart’s Story – NHS IVF & ICSI Treatment

Baby Lilly’s photo session-114
Stuart & Louise with baby daughter Lily

Louise and Stuart from Eastleigh, had been trying to conceive for over 5 years before being referred for treatment at Wessex Fertility. After years of tests and treatments, the couple were delighted to conceive on their first cycle of IVF and ICSI treatment, and are now proud parents to beautiful baby Lily.

Louise, 30, was training to be a teacher in Winchester when she met Stuart, 36. “Stuart was the local barman so that’s how we met, we started dating from there, which led to us getting married in 2013” remembers Louise. Once married, the couple didn’t want to waste any time in starting a family. “My Dad passed away the same year we got married, it was one of the best and worst years of my life. It really made me think that we don’t know what’s around the corner and not to waste a second”.

The couple knew that Louise had polycystic ovaries and so went to see a doctor at Winchester hospital. “I had some tests and procedures including ovarian drilling to try to trigger ovulation, and ovulation tracking. I was told to follow a healthy diet and to keep trying for a year”.

My Dad passed away the same year we got married, it was one of the best and worst years of my life. It really made me think that we don’t know what’s around the corner and not to waste a second Louise

After a year, Louise and Stuart returned to Winchester hospital. “It was heart breaking. To get to the area of the hospital for fertility treatment, we had to walk through the maternity ward and could see ladies with their babies and waiting for scans. I was so happy for them, but at the same time just wished it was me” recalls Louise. The couple were told that they would likely qualify for NHS funding but Louise would need to reduce her BMI to a level suitable for treatment. “I worked really hard and managed to lose 4 ½ stone! It was frustrating because at one point I thought I was there but was about a pound off the target, but I got there in the end” remembers Louise.

The couple began to research into their local fertility clinics. “We had a tour around Wessex Fertility and we just felt so at home and relaxed, there was no hospital or clinical feel. We also went along to one of the information evenings and felt that Wessex was the clinic for us” remembers Louise. The couple had their funding approved and were referred to the clinic for treatment. The couple had their initial consultation with Dr Sue Ingamells who advised an antagonist cycle of IVF treatment. “Everything started happening really quickly! Because I work in Andover we switched between using the Southampton and Basingstoke clinic for our appointments which made everything much easier”.

I took the test, and we were absolutely overwhelmed with emotion when we saw it was positive, we were just in complete disbelief! Louise

On the day of egg collection, the couple were delighted to discover that 9 of Louise’s eggs had been collected, which were injected with Stuarts sperm in a process called ICSI. “Out of nine eggs, seven survived and formed embryos. One was transferred to me, and we had the other 6 frozen and stored” remembers Louise. The couple then had the two week wait to discover if they had been successful. “We tried to keep life as normal as possible, we went to work and spent time with friends. Being a teacher, my employer and colleagues knew I was having treatment due to the time off I was having, so I felt a little extra pressure building up to the test. We were completely open with our family and friends who were such a great support to us”. When the day came to do the test, the couple took the morning off work. “We woke up early because we couldn’t sleep! No one else knew our exact test day, we chose to keep this between us. I took the test, and we were absolutely overwhelmed with emotion when we saw it was positive, we were just in complete disbelief!” remembers Louise.

The couple had two early pregnancy scans at Wessex. “I saw people in the waiting room some who were just starting their journey and I thought ‘I know exactly how they feel’. To see our babies heartbeat was an incredible moment, and it was such a lovely way to end the journey with Wessex Fertility” remembers Louise.

We have already recommended the clinic to friends who are having treatment there. It feels like a home away from home to us Louise

On 30th November 2018, exactly 1 year after the couple had had their NHS funding approved, the miracle they had been waiting 6 years for arrived. Louise gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Lily, weighing 5lb 15oz. “Lily arrived very quickly so it was a little bit stressful for her. Stu was very emotional and teary, and I was just in shock! To have the warmth of skin to skin contact for the first time and feel her latching on was so special”.

Louise and Stuart feel positive about their experiences at Wessex Fertility. “We have already recommended the clinic to friends who are having treatment there. It feels like a home away from home to us, it’s a big supportive network and whenever you phone there’s always someone to listen to you”.

Louise would advise people going through treatment to be open with their family and friends if they are able to. “Make sure you’ve got a good supportive network of family and friends. I also think it’s important to remember the man too. People would always ask me how I am and Stu was sometimes left to deal with things by himself, so it’s important to remember it’s difficult for the partner too. To us it was important to take each stage step by step, to keep the bigger picture in mind but not let it stress you out.”

Louise and Stuart are enjoying life with their bundle of joy, Lily.