After a series of problems relating to her fertility, Kate Etheridge from Eastleigh decided to take matters into her own hands through IVF treatment as a single lady with donor sperm. Kate is now proud mother to her beautiful baby girl, Lily-Mae.
Kate’s fertility journey begun at an early age, upon discovering that she unfortunately suffered from both endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. “I later also found out I had a damaged fallopian tube which later had to be removed, with my 2nd tube severely damaged from a previous illness” remembers Kate. In November 2016, Kate decided to have an initial consultation at Wessex Fertility as a single lady to discuss her options for a baby in the future. “I originally went to Wessex to freeze my eggs, but after being advised of the success rate of pregnancies through this, I decided that my best chance of having a baby was to begin IVF treatment with donor sperm” remembers Kate.
Kate chose her sperm donor with the help of Wessex Fertility’s dedicated donor programme. “The process was easy and welcoming. I knew my donor had fathered children before, so I knew there may not be an issue from that end. The only thing that I really cared about was his height, I am tall and I hate it, so I didn’t want him to be overly tall so she would be and possibly feel insecure” remembers Kate.
In January 2017, Kate began her stimulation injections in the build up to her egg collection, and fortunately suffered no side effects. “Following my egg collection, I did suffer a blow, when I was diagnosed with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHHS), so unfortunately could not have my embryo transfer in February”. OHSS is a medical condition that some women experience when they take stimulation medication. Kate was monitored by phone over the next few days by Wessex Fertility, and made a full recovery. “I was devastated as I didn’t want to wait another full cycle to have my embryo transfer, but I did as I was told because my chances of success actually increased by having the frozen embryo transfer, so I was extremely happy. The doctor had collected a high number of eggs which successfully formed 9 embryos!” recalls Kate.
I chose not to read too much into procedures and individual IVF cases. I kept my body and mind healthy before, during and after the treatment and I do believe it helped me.
In March 2017 Kate commenced her frozen cycle. As part of her cycle, Kate took medication to go through down-regulation, which temporarily shuts down the ovaries to prevent any eggs from being released. Kate was then given further medication to prepare for the embryo transfer. On 20th April 2017, Kate was finally able to have one of her frozen embryos thawed and transferred to her womb. After a two week wait to discover if her treatment had been successful, Kate finally got the news she was hoping for. “I took the test, and it came out positive! I couldn’t believe it was real. To this day I still have my two pregnancy tests” remembers Kate.
Kate embarked on her pregnancy and 9 months later gave birth to a baby girl, Lily-Mae, weighing 8lb 3oz.
To hold Lily-Mae in my arms felt amazing. I had a pretty traumatic delivery and wasn’t well post-pregnancy, but she is a delight and my little miracle!
“Wessex Fertility are a fantastic clinic, with fabulous and helpful staff. If I could advise others going through the same as me, I would say do not read too much on the internet from forums or old websites. I just kept positive, kept my body clean and hoped for the best”.
Kate is enjoying life with her beautiful Lily-Mae.