“Donna and I met when we were teenagers, studying Public Services at college. We both wanted to pursue careers that would help our local community and so Donna went on to hold a number of roles supporting prisoners and I became a Fire-fighter.
“We both also really wanted children. We pictured ourselves starting a family before turning thirty, so we started to try before we got married. When nothing happened we didn’t worry, but after our wedding in 2012, the topic of children was pushed up our agenda.
“We went to see our GP, who referred us to a fertility consultant. After tests we discovered that, just like one in five women, Donna had polycystic ovaries, which was making it difficult to conceive naturally. The consultant recommended we receive fertility treatment and luckily was able to arrange for us to receive NHS funding. We were talked through the clinics we could attend. This, coupled with our own research, looking into success rates and reviews, led us to choose Oxford Fertility.
“I can’t talk highly enough of the team at Oxford Fertility. They were so welcoming and supportive; our dreams really mattered to them. The facility itself is clearly well thought through, every detail is refined to make the experience easy and dignified. Donna liked that there is a window into the lab where you can see the science happening. I appreciated that there was a cupboard which allows the sperm to be quickly and discretely transferred into the lab and I also valued being able to be in the room to support Donna through the procedure of egg collection and embryo transfers.
“Our first cycle of treatment couldn’t have gone better. We were so lucky. Donna became pregnant and Reuben arrived on 17 June 2015 – I can’t think of a better Father’s Day.
“Through the process, the team managed to freeze six embryos, and so after a while of enjoying Reuben, we decided to return and have another go. We knew we had been very lucky, but also didn’t want to have any regrets of not trying to have another child and complete our family. Having one child, this time we didn’t receive funding from the NHS. But treatment using a frozen embryo is significantly cheaper, which really helped.
“We were overjoyed when again Donna became pregnant and the following July, on the evening before my birthday, Hayden arrived.
“Life is so much busier now. Like all parents we get less sleep, have less spare income and don’t jet off on holiday as much, but we wouldn’t change a thing. There are lots of challenges, and sometimes I feel guilty if I ever hear myself moan. But being a parent is an incredible experience, we have got everything we could ever have dreamed of.
“We always wanted a family and had planned what we would do if we weren’t successful. We knew fertility treatment would be a challenge and we both tried to be on the same page. I felt like Donna had to go through a lot, so I tried to help wherever I could. Donna doesn’t like needles and so I took on the role of injecting her every day. We also supported each other when all we seemed to see were happy families – every film we came across seemed to be about having children. It could be all consuming at times, but we always made sure we kept talking.
“For anyone considering fertility treatment, I can’t stress the need to communicate with each other enough. I also can’t recommend Oxford Fertility enough. From the nurses to the scientists, they all pull together to give you the very best treatment.”