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Louise’s story

Louise bio
I am a textile designer and I specialize in home-ware. So it is cushions, quilts and that kind of thing and I always thought you know, I would want a big family and, when it came to feel like the right time my husband and I started trying and, you know, like everyone does and just sort of and then the months went by and still nothing was happening. And we went to go and see, someone, a doctor on the NHS and they suggested that maybe it maybe worth going for a round of IVF. At the time I had a pretty stressful job. It was very long hours. And I was in a very difficult position.
I didn’t know whether to tell them that I was going to go through IVF. And I made the decision not to. So, that actually was very difficult, trying to balance going through with you know, the sort of scans and meetings and drugs with balancing with work and sort of making excuses about seeing doctors and So that was tough. But we went through it and it was unsuccessful and it was such a strange process. Anyone who has been through it will know it is an emotional and physical rollercoaster. And you just kind of have to take each day as it comes. So we went through that round and it was unsuccessful.
And it was a real emotional blow when it didn’t work. We had 2 embryos put back in but they hadn’t stayed. So we decided we would like to try again. Again I decided not to tell my work. And I think that almost pushed me over the edge. When unfortunately, that round didn’t work, I was extremely upset and ended up telling my boss and she was incredibly supportive. And I wished I had told her about it earlier. And she said whatever time I needed off that was great. And don’t worry about it. And so that was really lovely to have the support of my job behind me.
So it was suggested after our third round that we do a test it was just one of the tests we were having. It was more expensive but you get to the stage where you just think, okay we will do that and we will rule it out. So it was to test the chromosomes within myself and my husband. And mine came back with a balanced translocation. So between chromosomes 5 and 7. That was tough to take but also felt like, “ah like maybe we know why this is difficult for us.” We had no idea about, you know, how we could overcome this, issue.
So we looked around for clinics that might be able to help us and we found one that had genetic, a sort of a bit of genetic expertise. And we came and we met with two of the top nurses who were recommending we try PGD. Which was not something we knew about before. and they spent a long time with us describing the process telling us how it worked, about biopsying the embryos, checking the embryos for any kind of chromosomal abnormalities before they transfer them back. So we felt like that seemed like a good thing to try. We went and did a fourth round, and felt very hopeful.
And again, we sort of had a lot of success with getting embryos and it seemed to follow a slightly better path than previously. But when we came in for the day of transfer we were informed no embryos were normal. They all had chromosomal abnormalities. We didn’t know that this could, this would be the outcome. We’d always sort of had something transferred but obviously perhaps what we had transferred may not have been viable. So, again we went away and we really seriously had some serious thinking to do. We actually thought, “okay let’s not do anymore, let’s not try anymore.” We were looking to egg donation and adoption. So we put our name on the list for egg donor.
So we were looking into adoption as well. And then we got a call from the head PGD nurse here and she sort of, she hadn’t been there when we had made the decision not to try again and she, very gently persuaded us that maybe we should try one more time. So, we did it. We did the round again. Getting more and more nervous as the day comes. And we came in to the clinic for a transfer and we didn’t know if there would be anything to transfer. And amazingly one out of the embryos was chromosomally normal. So, we just felt amazed, and elated and very excited. So, we had that embryo transferred.
You don’t ever feel like you are out the woods until you’ve had, the baby but took each step as it came. And the scans kept coming back fine. And everything seemed to go normal. And now I am really happy to say that I’ve got a 19-month old daughter. We also were in a very lucky situation where a couple of weeks after we had the transfer, we got a call to say there was another embryo, that was also chromosomally normal but it was a bit slower in developing. So they had to freeze it. And so we knew we had another one for, when we wanted to try again. And, we have just been through that, so, I’m currently 8 weeks pregnant.
Early days. But, I feel incredibly, incredibly lucky to have got this far and be on our way to a have a lovely family.

Louise is a textile designer. An expert in her chosen field, she spends her time making beautiful things. Not being medically trained, she never expected to have to understand the ins and outs of fertility medicine.

However, when she and her husband first tried to conceive, they found that having a child would be more difficult than they have thought. They weren’t prepared for how hard it would be.

Louise and her husband had to come to terms with the fertility difficulties at the same time as they had to seek out, understand and evaluate the options put there in terms of assisted reproductive technologies.

Luckily, they found a clinic and they were supported by the clinic staff throughout their fertility journey. Louise gives us a glimpse of what that process was like for her.

For any technical words, please refer back to the glossary in the previous step.

For your discussion: What thoughts does Louise’s story evoke in you? What do you feel listing to her? What would you tell her if you met her?

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Making Babies in the 21st Century

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