Murdina and Aaron never thought they’d have trouble conceiving, but a year after coming off the pill nothing had happened. They visited their GP and were referred to their local hospital for tests.
Blood tests were taken at different points in Murdina’s cycle to establish whether she was ovulating and her AMH (Anti-Mullerian hormone level) was tested to check the number of follicles in her ovaries. Tests were also completed to establish if there were any blocks in her fallopian tubes. Aaron’s semen was analysed, even though he had two boys from a previous relationship.
These are all routine checks and, in many cases, identify factors for further exploration. In this case, the couple was diagnosed with unexplained infertility – as are one in four couples in the UK. “It was tough,” said Murdina. “When everything came back as unexplained, we just kept asking why wasn’t it happening, then?”
The couple then decided to explore options for IVF treatment and chose TFP Oxford Fertility based on the success rates and the reviews they had read online.
Murdina found out that she had a high ovarian count and on egg collection day the procedure was a success, which delighted the couple. Twenty-three eggs were collected: they decided to keep twelve for themselves to be fertilised by Aaron’s sperm, and to donate the other eleven to help other people in a similar situation to them.
“The way we looked at it, was that if Aaron and I needed eggs, we would desperately hope someone had donated. I just knew that someone out there wanted a baby as much as me, but was missing eggs.”
Murdina says that the run-up to the egg collection was a whirlwind of tablets and injections and that it was tough, but she knew it was worth it. “All our family and friends were aware we were going through IVF,” she said, “At first, I felt ashamed of my body, but you get so much support from online groups of people also going through it. IVF is made up of the strongest people.”
As Murdina’s hormone levels were so high, all of the embryos were frozen, giving the lining of her womb the best possible chance of being in a good condition ready for the transfer. She understood that this was necessary, to get the best outcome, but felt ‘gutted’ about the wait.
There were more challenges ahead. After their first embryo transfer, Murdina waited the advised two weeks and took a pregnancy test. It was negative. She said: “I was heartbroken. Aaron had to go to work and I couldn’t bring myself to call him, so I texted him the news. All my hopes were now on the second transfer.”
On her second transfer, Murdina knew that she had to take care of herself and keep busy whilst waiting to do her pregnancy tests, so she took some time off work and filled it walking, reading and hand-making a rug.
Two weeks later, she did the test. “I was a nervous wreck. I literally did the test and got back into bed and waited for Aaron to read it,” she said.
Finally, the couple had conceived.
Then at the first scan, there was more news. The sonographer found two ‘perfectly beating’ hearts in Murdina’s womb – twin girls Iyla and Lexi. The couple were overjoyed as twins run in Murdina’s family and she’d grown up with twin sisters.
Reflecting on their IVF experience, Murdina says that TFP Oxford Fertility acted as a rock. The team was there at every stage, especially the hardest time of all, when the first transfer failed and she ‘couldn’t stop crying’.
Aaron, too, was a source of great strength, never losing faith. Murdina said: “Honestly, if you are going through this, don’t lose that faith. Stay strong, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to tell people. Remember, you were given this mountain to show others it can be moved.”
Several months after the birth of their baby girls, Murdina and Aaron were overjoyed to hear that their donor eggs had helped another couple conceive a little girl. “It made us feel super happy,” said Murdina.
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