Natalie and Craig from Farnborough, had never imagined that they would have trouble conceiving, so after trying without success, the couple grew concerned. After tests with their GP revealed no clear issues, a diagnosis of unexplained infertility was given. The couple decided to seek help at Wessex Fertility, and after one fresh, and two frozen rounds of IVF treatment, are proud parents to two beautiful daughters, Lillie and Lucy.
Natalie and Craig married in 2011 and dreamed of having a family. “After we got married, we decided to start trying for a baby straight away, but nothing was happening” remembers Natalie. The couple went to see their GP, who recommend fertility tests, including a semen analysis and ovulation test. The tests all came back normal, and so the couple were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. “We saw everyone having babies and we were happy for them but also felt sadness for ourselves” recalls Natalie.
“Not knowing why we couldn’t get pregnant was really frustrating, if you know what’s wrong with you, you can fix it, but they couldn’t give us any answers”
The couple decided to see a private fertility specialist who recommended the couple try ovulation induction treatment. “We went through the treatment, waited and waited, and nothing happened” remembers Natalie. “We had NHS funding approved for IVF at this point and started looking at our clinic options”.
In 2015, Natalie and Craig decided to go to Wessex Fertility’s patient information evening in Southampton to research into their options. “We hadn’t told any family or friends that we were having trouble conceiving at this stage, so we were holding it all in. We arrived at the seminar feeling very stressed and emotional, but were instantly relaxed by the consultant’s warm and friendly approach, it felt like such a big relief. We listened to the presentations and a patient’s personal story, and by the end of the evening knew Wessex was the clinic for us” remembers Natalie. The couple chose to have their NHS funded IVF cycle at Wessex Fertility’s Basingstoke Clinic, and booked in for an initial consultation with Dr Jacqui Tuckey. “We finally felt like we were speaking to someone normal. We have had consultants speak to us in quite a cold way in the past. It was such a difference”.
When the time for egg collection came, six eggs were collected from Natalie’s ovaries, and fertilised with Craig’s sperm. “We were delighted to find out that we had five top quality blastocysts, so were full of hope, but still knew it doesn’t always work” recalls Natalie. One of the couple’s embryos was transferred into Natalie’s womb. Unfortunately, two weeks later, the couple didn’t get the news they were hoping for, when Natalie had a negative pregnancy test. “We were devastated. We’d lost something, we grieved and cried. It was strange going straight back to work and trying to carry on as normal” remembers Natalie. Natalie and Craig had a follow-up appointment with Dr Tuckey to discuss their next steps. “Dr Tuckey advised us to take some time out and enjoy ourselves. We could begin a frozen cycle when we were ready with another of our embryos”.
When the couple were ready, Natalie began her medication and prepared for her embryo transfer. “I decided to have the addition of intralipid infusions, and an endometrial scratch this time. I was nervous, but was also feeling positive”. Following the embryo transfer, the couple faced another two week wait. “We decided to go to Southampton for a HCG test this time, which was done by a member of the nursing team Gillian. We had to wait for the results and so went to Winchester for a cup of tea. After what felt like forever, Gillian phoned us and said ‘Congratulations, you’re pregnant!’. We couldn’t believe it. We phoned our families straight away who were absolutely over the moon!” remembers Natalie. “The support once I was pregnant was brilliant. Wessex even did an extra scan for us at 10 weeks to put our mind at rest. I did plenty of yoga, and tried to enjoy every moment of being pregnant”.
In 2016, Natalie gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, the miracle the couple had been waiting four years for. “It was just amazing. We didn’t find out the sex, so I first knew we’d had a little girl when Craig cut the cord and told me. We decided to name her Lillie, after my Nan who had passed away whilst we were having treatment” remembers Natalie.
The couple knew they would eventually like a sibling for Lillie, so when Lillie turned two, they decided it was time to try again. “We decided to not tell anyone we were going through treatment this time. I had been made redundant during my maternity leave, so staying at home helped me to stay calm”. Following another frozen cycle, the couple were delighted to find out that once again been successful. In 2018, Natalie gave birth to another beautiful baby girl, named Lucy. “It was amazing, we finally had the family that we had always hoped for” remembers Natalie.
The staff are just amazing at Wessex Fertility, they made us feel like no question is daft. There is no clinical feel, it just feels like a family unit.
The couple are enjoying life with their two miracles, Lillie and Lucy.