Sam and Chris chose the Access Fertility IVF Refund Programme for the reassurance it would offer them if, in the worse case scenario, they didn’t have a baby, there would be a silver lining. Learn more about their IVF story in this quick interview.
How did you and Chris meet?
We met in Tesco, where he works! I was shopping – he helped me to find something and he gave me his number. The rest is history. That was 15 years ago now.
When did you start trying to conceive?
Straight after we were married we started trying for a baby. Chris and I always knew we wanted a family, right from the start.
How long was it before you knew there was an issue?
We tried for about seven years and it wasn’t happening. I was taking supplements, doing ovulation tests and following all the things you’re meant to, but nothing was working. So I went to the doctors to see what they could tell us. They ran all sorts of tests on both Chris and I. The results showed that my fertility health was fine, but unfortunately Chris had a low sperm count, and the sperm he did have was slow moving. They explained we’d need IVF to get pregnant.
How did you feel?
I was devastated – I thought “that’s it, it’s over, I’m not going to be a mum”. It was awful.
How was your experience with your NHS treatment?
We had about a six month wait, not too long. It gave us a bit of time to process the news.
We went to Neith Port Talbot Hospital for two cycles with them. We had ICSI treatment. On the first round we had six eggs, and they implanted two. Then on the second round we had 7 or 8, and again they implanted two. Unfortunately neither resulted in the outcome we wanted.
It was all very stressful and emotional – really not nice.
What made you decide to go private?
We nearly gave up and we were starting to look at adoption. It seemed as though IVF just wasn’t going to be an option for us. Then, on Facebook one day, an advert popped up for Access Fertility and the IVF refund programme. It surprised me – I wondered if it was it meant to be. As it turns out, I think it was – that advert changed our lives, for the better.
We had a look at the partner clinics that offer Access Fertility’s programmes, and fortunately there was a clinic near to us, in Swansea.
How was your experience with London Women’s Clinic, Swansea?
Oh, they were fab from start to finish. All the staff there were so friendly, they really put us at ease.
The whole journey was less stressful than our previous experience. They made me feel more at ease, and more confident and positive going into it all. What’s more, the consultant suggested a different medication protocol to try.
What happened on this IVF journey?
We went for ICSI again, and this time they harvested ten eggs, and implanted two. We had the same awful two week wait that everyone warns you about, and on Mothers Day, it was time to do a test.
It was positive. I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe it – I was doubting it. Then we tested on Tuesday, then the week after, and the week after that, just to make sure. But we were successful – little Millie stuck around.
This was all during Covid. I found out I was pregnant on the Saturday, and on Monday the country went into lockdown.
What made you choose the IVF refund programme?
I saw the ad, and just thought, either we’ll have a baby, or worst case scenario, we’ll still get our money back. It was the security. We couldn’t afford to lose both. At the end, we’d either have a baby, or our money back to try another cycle. That security takes the pressure off, and having less stress is so important when you’re going through IVF.
What was your experience like with Access Fertility?
It was great, they were helpful right the way through. They made it all so easy.
How was your pregnancy and life afterwards?
The pregnancy was all fine, very straightforward. Unfortunately due to COVID I had to go to all the scans on my own, Chris had to stay outside, which was a real shame.
Towards the end, Millie wouldn’t budge, so I had to have a C-section in the end. She wasn’t having it!
She’s now 15 months’ old, and she’s so busy, into everything. We don’t have any plans to try and conceive a second, we’re just going to relax, enjoy Millie and see what happens.