Fertility Letters of Hope
We hope our Fertility Letters of Hope offer you hope and encouragement for the future wherever you are in your fertility journey.
We hope our Fertility Letters of Hope offer you hope and encouragement for the future wherever you are in your fertility journey.
An open letter written from the heart to give hope and support to those who are struggling to conceive.
Dear Whoever is Reading This……
I met my husband at the age of 31. I’d already been blessed with a daughter from a previous relationship, and my husband Andrew had been blessed with two sons, also from a previous relationship. We lived in Dubai, and the natural feelings of wanting a child together soon followed not long after we married.
Andrew had a vasectomy 10 years before we met, and I suffered from PCOS. Despite our infertility issues, we were both excited and confident that our journey to having a child together would be easy as we had both conceived in the past without any infertility issues.
We booked an appointment to see a Urologist Consultant and Andrew underwent a vasectomy reversal the following month. The first infertility hurdle was over, and we were one step closer to our dream of having a child together. We were excited about the future and I was sure I would fall pregnant soon after we started trying.
However, our hopes and dreams for the future soon came crashing down when the Urologist Consultant told us the vasectomy reversal was unsuccessful. We drove home in silence, not really knowing what to say to each other. It hadn’t really occurred to either of us the vasectomy reversal might not be successful. I broke down in tears as the reality of having a child together naturally had been taken away from us so suddenly. Andrew blamed himself, and we found ourselves not really knowing what to say to each other during the weeks that followed.
We picked ourselves up, and a few weeks later we decided to look into having IVF treatment as this was our only hope of having a child together. Instead of tracking my ovulation and looking at all things ‘baby’ online, we spent most nights researching IVF Clinics. At this point I was 33, Andrew was 47 and we were still living in Dubai. Never in a million years did I think we would need IVF treatment and it all felt very overwhelming and confusing. I wasn’t sure I was brave enough or even ready to book a consultation at a Fertility Clinic, but the need for a child together became all too consuming, so we booked an appointment with a private Clinic in Dubai.
On the morning of our consultation, I was extremely nervous and didn’t really know what to expect. It all felt very daunting. The Consultant advised that Andrew would need a Surgical Sperm Retrieval as the first step, and our treatment would be planned as an ICSI treatment cycle. Despite being made to feel like I was the oldest woman to ever want a child, we were given a 40% chance of success. As it was a private Fertility Clinic, we decided to proceed with treatment straightaway, and after routine blood tests we left feeling hopeful for the future.
We started treatment the following month, and Andrew’s Surgical Sperm Retrieval procedure was successful, the first hurdle was over. Soon after, I started the hormone stimulation process. I responded perfectly to the medication and 9 eggs were collected, the second hurdle was over. 4 eggs fertilised and we were left with 2 embryos to transfer. I clung onto the fact that I would be one of the 40% successful patients and didn’t really think about the 60% chance of failure. After all, I was only 33, why would the treatment fail? The 2 week wait was full of mixed emotions which seemed to drag on forever, and I had secretly convinced myself I was pregnant. The day of the pregnancy test finally arrived, and I will never forget those words ‘not pregnant’. Our hopes and dreams of having a child together were shattered for a second time. We cried together and never in my life had I felt so completely and utterly heartbroken.
We picked ourselves up again and decided to have another cycle of ICSI with the same Fertility Clinic in Dubai. I felt that we’d rushed into the first cycle without the time to prepare or consider anything the Consultant was advising, so, for our second cycle I was determined to give my body the very best chance of success. We both gave up drinking alcohol, started to eat more healthily, stopped our partying lifestyle, started exercising, and I tried to relax as much as possible.
Our second cycle went well. Andrew had frozen sperm from the first Surgical Sperm Retrieval, and it was a huge relief when we were told it had survived the thawing process. I responded well to the medication again, and after 12 eggs were collected, we decided to have two embryos transferred. I took annual leave from my job during the 2 week wait, something I hadn’t done in my previous cycle and I rested as much as I possibly could. The day of the pregnancy test arrived again, and I remember feeling very nervous. I looked down at the test and the words ‘not pregnant’ stared up at me again. Andrew held me as I cried for what seemed like a lifetime. I felt a complete and utter failure. I blamed myself for my body not working and wondered if the car crash I had been involved in during the 2 week wait was the reason I wasn’t pregnant. I guess we’ll never know, but for some reason it wasn’t our time and just not meant to be.
We both needed to take some time to come to terms with everything and it was a year later before we were ready to start treatment again. I desperately wanted to try something new to improve our chance of success, so once again our evenings were spent researching Fertility Clinics on the internet. By this point I was nearly 35 and felt like time was running out. I longed for a child with Andrew and felt as each day passed my hopes and dreams of this happening were fading.
We’d read great reviews about a Clinic in Prague, so we booked a consultation. As we landed in Prague the following month, we both felt hopeful it would be third time lucky. Surely it was our time now after all the heartache we’d been through. For the first time in over a year, I allowed myself to start feeling positive again.
With the help of the Clinic in Dubai, we soon started our third cycle of ICSI treatment in Prague. Andrew underwent another successful Surgical Sperm Retrieval procedure, but unfortunately, I hyper-stimulated and over 40 eggs were collected on egg collection day. A good number of eggs were fertilised, and we had 5 good quality embryos. I was advised by the Consultant not to proceed with embryo transfer, and to come back the following month for a frozen embryo cycle instead to give my body a break. Coming home without an embryo transfer just wasn’t an option for me, so I didn’t listen to the advice, signed the consent forms and had 2 embryos transferred. I’d convinced myself this was it; I was finally going to see ‘pregnant’ in 2 weeks’ time.
We returned home and I rested as much as possible. However, just 2 days later I started bleeding heavily. I knew then I wasn’t pregnant, and the treatment had failed for a third time. I didn’t even make it through the 2 week wait. I’d pushed my poor body to the limits because of my desperate need for a baby. I cried many tears knowing I wasn’t going to see the words ‘pregnant’ this time. Andrew was a great support during this time, but I blamed myself enormously and it took me several months to come to terms with the loss of my precious little embryos.
I was 36 before I was ready for treatment again. A year later I flew back to Prague with my daughter as for the first time in over 3 years we had a glimmer of hope. We had 3 frozen embryos. Andrew was unable to take time off work but having my daughter with me was such a support and a very special time for us both. Two of the three frozen embryos survived the thawing process, and I had both embryos transferred. The treatment was far less stressful than what I had been through before, so I felt more positive on the way back home to Dubai. It was definitely going to be fourth time lucky for us. I’d convinced myself it was our time.
Once home, I rested as much as possible again, but our happy little bubble was burst when a week later I started bleeding heavily again. Like the previous cycle, I didn’t make it through the 2 week wait again. I was completely and utterly heartbroken. Another failed attempt and no frozen embryos left. The pain I felt at this point was indescribable. The dream was over, and the child Andrew and I were so desperately longing for was not going to happen. I felt that I was never going to see those words ‘pregnant’. I really grieved for the loss. For some reason, this failed cycle was so much harder to come to terms with than the last three failed cycles.
Almost 6 months passed before we were ready to think about treatment again. Only this time we were considering donor embryos. We both longed for a child together so much that we were willing to consider anything to improve our chance of success.
We put our plans for more treatment on hold as we decided to give up our stressful jobs in Dubai and move back to the UK. We were both so determined to put our next treatment cycle at the forefront of our minds and before anything else.
We arrived back in the UK in July 2017 and we immediately felt so much better. Gone were the stressful jobs, my allergies improved, and we felt so much more relaxed and happy being back in the countryside. After all the heartache we felt we had made the right decision to come home. Maybe this was what we needed all along.
I was almost 37 by the time we were back to researching Fertility Clinics for treatment again, and we were sure donor embryos was the right treatment for us. We found a Clinic based on their good reviews and booked a place to speak to them at a Fertility event that was being held in Wales. We felt hopeful for the future again. However, after meeting with them, I felt totally underwhelmed and knew the Clinic just wasn’t right for us. At this point I felt completely and utterly deflated. I just wanted to give up and go home.
As it was a Fertility event, we decided to stay and find out if there were any other Clinics who could offer us hope for the future. We approached another Clinic who was also at the Fertility event and spoke to a lady who was literally the best thing to ever happen to me. She saw the desperation in my eyes for a child and listened to my fertility journey with such kindness and empathy. It was September 2017 and her advice to me was there was no need to consider donor embryos at the age of 37 based on my previous fertility history. She advised me to take some ‘me’ time over the next few months and to book a consultation in 2018 when I felt ready to do so. For the first time in almost 5 years my entire mentality changed, and it felt amazing. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I wasn’t too old to consider treatment using my own eggs again. I knew then I had found the right Clinic for us. A Clinic I could trust. A Clinic where I would feel safe and supported. I left that Fertility event feeling positive and for the first time in years, I felt happy and was looking forward to the future again. There was still a chance Andrew and I could have a child together we so longed for.
I took some ‘me’ time as advised and with newfound hope, I also started reflexology with a Reflexologist who specialised in fertility that had been recommended to me by a wonderful lady at the same Fertility event. Within a few months, my irregular periods were back to regular healthy cycles. I also started Accupuncture which helped me enormously with stress levels. Not only did these therapists help me physically, they also helped me emotionally and rebalanced my mindset. I also ate organic fresh food wherever possible and avoided any hormones that were fed to animals. I started to drink lots of water, went for daily walks in the fresh air, and took many fertility supplements.
In March 2018, 6 months after being advised to take some ‘me’ time, we booked a consultation at the Clinic that had offered us so much hope for the future. I walked into the Clinic with such confidence that I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that this time would be our time. Emotionally I was finally in the right place. We were welcomed by the lovely Sarah who we’d met at the Fertility event who was just as kind and supportive as we’d remembered. Sarah was someone who felt like a friend I’d known forever.
We started our fifth cycle of treatment in May 2018 with Andrew having another Surgical Sperm Retrieval which was successful. I responded well to the medication and 15 eggs were collected on the day of egg collection – our best cycle so far. 9 eggs fertilised and we were left with 4 good quality embryos. We choose to have 2 embryos transferred and the remaining 2 embryos were frozen. We both left the Clinic feeling positive as we began another 2 week wait. I continued having Accupuncture treatment and remained hopeful this had to be our time after so much previous heartache. The day of the pregnancy test arrived, and I almost didn’t want to look at the result. As soon as I saw the words ‘pregnant’ the tears began to flow. Tears of joy and tears of relief as I had waited almost 6 years to see those words staring back at me. We had a long way to go, but just seeing those words felt like it was finally our time. After all those years, I was finally pregnant, and it felt absolutely amazing. Andrew and I held each other tight as we quietly celebrated the heartache was finally over for us.
I continued to eat healthily throughout my pregnancy and carried on with my daily walks in the fresh air which really helped me. As my bump grew we allowed ourselves to let go of the past heartache and look forward to the future for the first time in years. We choose names, decorated the nursey and waited for our little miracle to arrive.
In February 2019, our beautiful, special baby boy arrived who we named Arthur. The one who we’d tried for, for so long was finally here. The one, I wondered would ever make an appearance. The one I’d almost lost all hope of meeting. This was one of the most magical days Andrew and I will never forget. Our precious baby was finally here.
Our special little miracle has grown into such a beautiful spirited fearless little boy who keeps us on our toes in the most amazing way. We couldn’t imagine life without him, and we thank our lucky stars that after so many years of trying it was finally our time. Seeing him every day makes the previous heartache seem worthwhile.
If you are someone who is struggling with infertility then please know you are not alone. Have faith in yourself that you will find the strength and courage to continue with your fertility journey. Have faith in your wonderful body that it can and will one day work its magic, so you too are hopefully blessed with a little miracle.
There were many days where I felt like giving up, but through the tears I found the strength to continue, and you can too. Never lose hope as sometimes in life what feels like the end is often the start of a beautiful new beginning.
Sometimes the darkest days of our lives can lead to beautiful rainbows. I only have to look at my beautiful little miracle to be reminded of that.
I wish you all the very, very best ☺️❤️