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Vanessa & Michael’s Story

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Vanessa 32 and Michael 32 from Nottingham share their eventful story of pregnancy and birth during lockdown.

I met Michael at High School when we were 14. Years later we reconnected on Facebook and we married in 2013 and we started trying for a baby straightaway. I conceived naturally but sadly miscarried in 2015. It was a really difficult time and then when it became obvious that we could not conceive naturally again we went to see our GP. In order to qualify for fertility treatment, we were both told we would have to lose weight.  We were fully prepared for this after doing our own research beforehand. It was really hard to lose the weight but we were determined and very motivated. I lost 1.5 stone and Michael lost an amazing 5 stone by doing ‘Couch to 5K’ and meal replacement shakes. We were then offered 3 rounds of NHS funded IUI at Queens Medical Centre, where I work as a nurse.

After two rounds of IUI it was discovered that Michael’s sperm count had dropped and we should stop IUI and go for ICSI instead. Michael, although initially quite shocked to hear this news, was a brilliant partner throughout and we quickly adapted to the news and moved forwards. He feels strongly that male infertility is something that should be discussed in the open so men in his position don’t feel isolated. We chose to go to Nurture Fertility due to their great success rates and we started ICSI in the Autumn of 2019. I was worried about how ICSI would affect me and if I would have any problems with the drugs but it all went smoothly and the staff there were brilliant with us both.


We only had one ‘average grade’ embryo and we feared that this would not be good enough. After a very anxious couple of weeks, I could not wait any longer and did a pregnancy test on Christmas Day 2019. It was the best present ever when it showed positive! We couldn’t believe we had been so lucky.

Little did we know that soon after I tested positive the whole World would change and we would be faced with a pandemic.  I am a nurse at QMC in Nottingham and being pregnant during a pandemic definitely presented us with challenges. They were extremely supportive and when we lockdown in March I was moved to non-patient facing work and in accordance with guidelines left work at 28 weeks.

Our beautiful baby boy was born at 35 weeks after I began bleeding and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. I gave birth via caesarean section by the very team I work with in theatre! Ayrton (after our hero Ayrton Senna) was born healthily on 2nd August 2020.

It has been extremely hard having a new born in lockdown and not doing the normal things a new Mum usually does but we are so happy to have Ayrton and want to thank Nurture so much for helping us have our family. Michael is a Call Centre Worker and is enjoying working from home during lockdown and seeing Ayrton more than he would have done in these early months which is great.

2020 will definitely be a story to tell Ayrton when he is older!

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