When I first met Jason, he wanted children but I wasn’t really ready. It became a running joke. I wanted to get married and Jason wanted children. There was a bit of standoff over who would win.
I won! We got married and then, a year later, we went to New Zealand for an extended honeymoon. Whilst we were away, we talked about starting a family. We figured, let’s just try it and see what happens. It was very relaxed. At that point, I wasn’t bothered either way.
But six months later nothing had happened. And a year later, still nothing. Very quickly, a year turned into two years. To be honest, I was upset.
We contacted our GP in September 2020 and things then happened very quickly. We’d started treatment by December of that year.
As part of the pre-treatment process, we had a telephone appointment with Dr Tim Child at the Oxford Fertility clinic. He talked us through everything and agreed to do a programme of treatment on the NHS.
The Oxford team couldn’t have been friendlier or more sensitive. They answered all our questions without hesitation – they were just brilliant. Also, I didn’t realise how senior Dr Child was until I saw him being interviewed on the BBC!
Getting to and from the clinic was easy for us. We live in Chipping Norton and my husband knows every shortcut in the county.
All this was happening during the pandemic, so the medication I needed came straight to my house. I was taught how to inject myself and was given a schedule of the dates and times. Jason did it once for me but I realised I preferred doing it myself. It really is mind over matter. I just kept calm and got on with it as it was a means to an end.
The process got a bit intense when it went to two injections a day. I did it in my stomach and alternated the sides so I didn’t bruise. For one injection type I needed 58 doses – but overall, the experience wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Once the hormones built up, though, things did get on top of me. The tears just flowed for no reason. Before that, I was often referred to as the friend who never cried at weddings!
My egg harvest day was in early January and they retrieved 20 eggs, which was fantastic. They injected sperm into half of them and let the other half do their own thing and develop naturally. Eight embryos matured over five days and on transfer day (which was quick and easy) we had three which were good enough. The team chose the biggest, healthiest embryo to transfer and then froze the other two.
Then came the two-week wait: the most nerve wracking two weeks of your life. We were in lockdown so I was working from home and didn’t need to go into Oxford. I was glad of that.
I did the test first thing in the morning and there was a faint line. It was positive. I thought, oh my gosh it worked first time! Then you have to think logically – miscarriages happen. We told our immediate family but we tried to hold out telling anyone else.
I was very, very poorly during my first trimester and lost nearly a stone in weight so the doctor started me on pills, which worked. The last trimester was better as I wasn’t throwing up every day. I’m probably the worst pregnant person in the world as I really disliked being pregnant. I found the feeling of the baby inside very icky. My mum thinks it’s hilarious.
The birth itself took 12 hours and we ended up going to the Horton General hospital in Banbury. I was the only lady on the ward so I had everyone’s undivided attention. There was a lovely student midwife helping me, too. Eddison arrived naturally, and with no epidural.
I’ve only just gone back to work – I’m a PA to a science professor. It is nice to have my identity back but at the end of each day I’m so happy to go home to my baby.
At the moment Eddison is being shared between my mum and Jason’s mum and it works out well because who knew you had to sign a baby up for nursey before you have even have him! We went round when he was six weeks old, and they said their waiting list for full-time care was backed up until January 2023. So, we are making it work between us.
My work colleagues have been amazing. They understand that some days I may have a baby at home with me. And both the grandmothers are very happy to accommodate him. Naturally, he’s spoiled rotten because he’s the first grandchild.
Life’s been a whirlwind since Eddison arrived, but I can’t imagine being without him.