Faith, Determination And Hope

(UK, London)

Hi all

I'm 23 this year, and am 11 weeks 2 days with twins after undergoing IVF treatment. My story like many others is a little hard to tell, but I have read others' stories, and as well as scarying me into thinking all sorts of things, it also helps to know that you are not the only one in the world.

I met my husband back in college, when I was 16, and he was 2 years older than me. We discussed having kids right away, as I come from a big family and knew that's what I wanted from the start. We were engaged by the time I was 18 and married at 20. After having unprotected sex for 3 years, and not having as much as a scare, I was worried that something was wrong with me and went to see a specialist. After all the blood tests, a sperm count was done, which found that my husband had a zero sperm count. We were devastated, and this really tested our relationship to the max. I remember the doctor at the time mentioning that the only other option would be to use donor sperm or adoption, of which he did not want to hear of. With further tests and research it was determined that he had a genetic problem which meant that there was little or no sperm production at all.

We travelled to South Africa in 2008 after making contact there with fertility doctors who were happy to help and less pricy than treatments in the UK. In those three weeks I produced 20 eggs due to stimulations and my husband had an operation to find sperm, (TESE) which was unsuccessfull. After plenty of talking and tears, we decided to go for donor sperm.

Within 2 days of our return from our 3 week "holiday" we had a positive pregnancy test, but I started to bleed within a week and lost the pregnancy at 4 weeks. We were crushed.

After working hard for the rest of the year and saving more money, we decided to go for a clinic in London, and as I made a lot of eggs on my last treatment, I was offered the option of donating my eggs for the majority of the cost of our treatment to be covered by the receipient. We agreed and went ahead with the treatment plan, again with Donor sperm. 21 eggs were collected and shared. We had a positive test 9 days later.

I, being the impatient one, decided at 5 weeks to go for a scan at the local EPU, they saw no sac, no baby, nothing. again, I was devasted, especialy since I had very sore breasts and was extreemly tired all the time. A week later and another trip to the doctor they could see a sac, but nothing else. Another week, there were two yolk sacs within the same sac at 7 weeks, but no fetal pole, no heart beat. 10 days later and another visit, the sac was measuring 5 weeks and still the yolks were there and no baby. I was told that it's a blighted ovum and will require evacuation.

I knew the pregnancy was doomed when they saw nothing at 5 weeks but was still devastated. my breasts leaked milk and I had to put on a brave face and carry on with work, as I was on a temp contract and could not afford to take time off. on the 31st of December 2008, I had the D&C, and I can remember as soon as I woke from the surgery all my symptoms were gone. I have never felt more lonely in my life. From all the patients that were there for the same procedure, I could tell who was there due to a failed pregnancy by the sadness on their faces and their tears, and the ones who were there to get rid of their unwanted babies. It's so unfair that they make women in our situation have to be in the same room as the lucky ones who can easily get pregnant and get rid.

In February this year, 2009, I had never stopped to feeling empty, and knew that if I carry on feeling this way until my planned due date in July, I would die. To make matters worse, the receipient of my eggs had a healthy pregnancy, which made me feel very hard done by, but it was somethng I had to accept.

That same month we put together another treatment plan with the doctors at the clinic to use the same donor sperm.

This was a testing time for our relationship as I felt that I was doing so much to have a baby and physically there was nothing worng with me! We decided that we would never tell our children or our families that we used donor sperm, if we got pregnant, and if we didn't we would try and live our lives and review the situation in a few years time. The worst thing that my husband said during this time, was that I could just sleep with someone else to get pregnant, but I knew he was just hurt, and trying to find ways to resolve the situation. He never stopped being suppotive and loving.

In March 2009 after another bout of treatment, and donation of eggs, we tested positive 7 days after egg transfer. I couldn't sleep for another 2 weeks until I went to a scan at 5 weeks. I knew that if this time they saw nothing the pregnancy was doomed again. After what seemed to be a lifetime, we had the scan and the nurse showed us the two sacs with yolk sacs. The joy we both felt was indescribable. They asked me to come back in two weeks to see if the pregnancy was viable, but at 6 weeks I went back for another scan which showed both fetal heart beats.

I have been back for scans every week since and I am now nearly 12 weeks, as I am scared that our past experiences will repeat themselves, and have also been spoting brown blood. At 9 weeks, I had fresh blood gushing out, a lot of it, and went the next day for a scan and the babies were fine. But I keep praying, hoping and wishing that all will be okay until they are born later this year. We are both keeping our fingers crossed, but can't help it but be over joyed at the prospects of the future with our beautiful twins.

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