They tell their story
Katy – “We were one of those couples who thought it would be easy. We’d get married, come off the pill and have a baby. But after 18 months nothing was happening, so we went to the doctor. The tests were inconclusive and eventually a consultant at Stoke Mandeville hospital told us that we’d need IVF.
“At this point things got complicated because lockdown hit. I needed one last scan and this was delayed from February until July 2020. The scan revealed a 6cm ovarian cyst which was weighing heavily on my ovary. I wasn’t at all aware of it, although I had been having painful periods that I had thought were normal. Unfortunately, the cyst had to be removed before IVF could start.
“The consultant was amazing. She knew we were so desperate for a baby, as we’d been trying by then for more than two years. She was worried about lockdown but she managed to get me the operation within three weeks. Then, six weeks after the op, we were straight into IVF.”
Matt – “We had a Zoom call with Professor Tim Childs from the Oxford clinic. He’d hosted the open evening we’d attended at Oxford back in February, just before lockdown. He was very informative – very good. We’ve watched him on TV. He was part of ‘Me, My Brother and our Balls’, a BBC programme about male fertility featuring ‘Love Island’ star Chris Hughes. I was quite surprised that he’d hosted the open evening. There were lots of couples there and it impressed us that one of the top people was giving us all so much time.”
Katy – “After the Zoom call I had blood tests and then the nurse planning appointment. The nurse worked out all the dates. I started my first lot of drugs on 1 December, then our first injection was on Christmas Eve. It felt incredibly special doing it then. And on New Year’s Day, the clinic told us that egg collection day would be 4 January and transfer day would be 9 January.
“Everything went as planned – we felt so reassured by everyone at the clinic - and ten days later I found out I was pregnant.
“Looking back, Christmas was so happy. We were in a little lockdown bubble, just the two of us, so rather than having the pressure of being at work in an office, or being surrounded by people, we were able to concentrate on ourselves. We were so hopeful but we were realistic that it might not happen.
“Funnily enough, I don’t remember me being pregnant. It went quite fast. We were a bit worried about miscarriage and things like that, so we went for private scans.”
Matt – “The 4D scans we paid for were so good. When Joshua was born, he looked exactly like the 4D! It was uncanny. We did more scans in first trimester when we were being cautious about it all. It seemed to go slowly – then trimesters two and three just flew by.”
Katy – “It was lovely to get a bump. It was what we’d been dreaming of for all those years – and to feel him grow and kick for the first time. It was so incredible. Even now, looking back, it sometimes feels like a dream that it was happening for us.”
Matt – “The birth was a planned caesarean, as Katy had a low-lying placenta. It was text book. But soon after, Joshua had to be rushed to the John Radcliffe hospital with a suspected twisted bowel and blocked intestine. Luckily, it turned out that he was fine.
“Now we’re at home and in a routine, everyone’s really chilled. Joshua sleeps well. He’s a smiley baby. He struggled to put on weight at first but is feeding well now. Considering stories from friends, where they are up every hour, we count ourselves lucky. He slept ten hours last night.”
Katy – “We’ve learned so much through this process. When people tell you to relax, they are spot on. We looked forward to every stage. It was so exciting. We also listened to an app, Mindful IVF, which was really good, every night before we went to sleep. Also, someone suggested we watch a comedy series, so we watched the whole ten seasons of Friends!”
Matt – “It’s hard not to get carried away with the best-case scenario and what you hope will happen. You need to be open minded. We count ourselves lucky it went to plan. If it hadn’t happened first time, we would be thinking differently right now.”
Katy – “At each stage of the IVF we bought a faith purchase. The first purchase was a grey and white blanket, right after the operation to remove the cyst. Now Joshua has that blanket! We also took pictures at every stage – even just selfies in the car - so we always remember it.
“IVF has made us a stronger couple. We both know the heartache we had every month, hoping we were pregnant. We had clung onto things for three years. It had consumed our life.
“We’re not ready to try for another baby yet – we just want to enjoy Joshua - but we’ve got two more embryos waiting in the freezer. When we drive past Oxford Fertility we always wave and say hello to them!