When Julie, now 36, and Peter, now 57, met while working for the same local authority, they decided within months to start a family. They knew things wouldn’t be easy because Peter had had a vasectomy, but nevertheless they were quite determined to have a family.
Choosing to go to a private clinic to have Peter’s vasectomy reversed, it took quite a while to determine whether or not it had been successful. A first visit to a fertility clinic did result in a pregnancy but sadly, Julie suffered a very early miscarriage. This experience left Julie devastated and suddenly uncertain whether she wanted to try again after the emotional turmoil and stress of this first failed attempt.
Julie says: “I’m not embarrassed to say that I took it very badly, and I wasn’t in a good place; I’ve never known anything so stressful. It’s also strange to share what you’re doing with your employer and colleagues, even friends and family. Do you tell people you’re having fertility treatment or not?”
Julie and Peter decided to take a break and waited a few years before they were ready to try again. This time they decided to go somewhere else because Julie wanted a fresh start and a different experience. The couple live in Essex and so they looked at different clinics, at their success rates, and knew that Simply Fertility were the right people to go to.
In the first appointment, they explained their situation and said they were willing to give donor sperm a chance. The doctor they met with explained that it was worth extracting Peter’s sperm to see whether that was a viable option first. The findings were positive and so Julie and Peter started on a course of ICSI with IVF, following a consultation with Mr Gangooly.
Julie explains: “This time, they froze the sperm early on so that they could narrow down the timings, learning from what happened at the previous clinic. My eggs were harvested separately and we ended up with nine embryos on Day 5, which we were over the moon about, and so we could have some frozen and some implanted. I got quite anxious during the whole process, so much so, that I even rang Sarah on the day of the embryo transfer. She really helped me to get my head straight and they were so supportive of us during the whole process.”
She continues: “When I found out I was pregnant, the team at Simply Fertility were so excited for us. It’s like I said to my mum, it’s like you’re telling them that you’re the only person who has ever been pregnant. They’re just so genuine and completely down-to-earth. When Peter went in for his procedure, Andy even made him a cup of tea. I would recommend to anyone to go there because you get such a personal approach and they’re so caring. Mr Gangooly came to see me when I was in labour at Broomfield Hospital, and I never expected him to do that; I wasn’t under his care so he really didn’t have to do that.”
Florence is named in honour of Peter's late mother, and her proud parents couldn't be happier.
Florence Irene was born on 10 November 2017 and Julie is on maternity leave considering her options while she plans her wedding in June. She finishes by saying, “Florence is absolutely gorgeous, she sleeps well and is always hungry. She is going to be our flower girl when we get married in June – she’s got three dresses, can you imagine? After our first attempt, all those years ago, I was so frightened of trying again. It’s been an eight-year slog but thank God we did because this time it worked.”