‘My name is Suzanne and I am 42 years old. Brian and I were married 10 years ago and decided to start trying to conceive straight away. We had friends that had IVF so we didn’t want to waste any time. I always wanted 4 children, I don’t know why but that’s the number I had my mind set on.
When we came back from our honeymoon I found out that I was pregnant- we couldn’t believe it. We were SO happy- we told everyone straight away. Everything was going fine, I was quite sick and very tired but that’s what I expected. We went for our 12 week ‘dating scan’ in the hospital, we were so excited to be going to see our baby. The lady doing the scan was so chatty but as soon as she located the baby in my belly she went so quiet- then said she needed to get the doctor. I don’t remember much more but we were told our baby had stopped growing at 7 weeks and had died. We were given several options and ended up taking some tablets home to help to ‘expel the foetus’. I took several days of painful cramping and emotional heartache to complete the task of my baby leaving my womb. I never thought I could feel such pain- I was in shock for days. How could my baby be dead?
I eventually came to terms with the miscarriage. As it turned out lots of women I knew had been through a similar thing and they all said I just needed to get pregnant again and I would be fine. We started trying again 2 months later and expected it to happen very quickly. My cycle was a bit different after the miscarriage- I had always been every 4 weeks to the day. Then it was 30 days, 33 days and even 40 days on month. I got symptoms every month like I was pregnant, feeling a bit sick, sore breasts and tiredness. I spent a fortune on pregnancy tests, they were all negative. I even went to the doctor saying the tests had to be wrong and asking for a blood test to tell me I was pregnant. She wanted to send me to a psychologist as she was worried I wasn’t coping after the miscarriage. I refused to go, I just needed to be pregnant again. Our first wedding anniversary passed and I still wasn’t pregnant. I went back to my doctor and asked what was wrong. She said we probably just needed more time but agreed to refer us to a fertility clinic.
It took 3 long months to have our appointment. We had to do lots of blood tests. Brian did his semen analysis sample. I had an ultrasound. I had a laparoscopy. All normal. We were told we had ‘unexplained infertility’. We were booked in to start IUI treatment next cycle. The usual course of treatment was 3 cycles of IUI and then IVF.
We had very mixed feelings about undergoing the treatments. We desperately wanted to conceive again but it all seemed so clinical. Brian had recognised one of the other men in the waiting room and felt very awkward about it.
We decided to go with the IUI. I took the medication that I was prescribed and went for the scan to show how my follicles were developing. They said there was a problem- a large cyst had developed on my left ovary. They had to stop the treatment and we could try again next cycle. I was very upset but we just had to get on with it. The next cycle went fine but I didn’t get pregnant. And it was the same with the next cycle. The doctor spoke to us and said we should go straight into a full IVF cycle and said something about my ovaries looking a bit tired. I was only 34- how could there be anything wrong with my ovaries?
So we started the IVF. I didn’t feel great on the medication, I was very emotional. I went for the routine scan before egg collection and to my horror there was another big cyst on my left ovary and the treatment was stopped. We were told we could start again in a few weeks but the same thing happened. They said to take a break for a while- but not too long as I was at risk of going into menopause soon. I cried for 2 weeks. I am a primary school teacher and the children kept asking me why my eyes were red. One child told me I looked like his goldfish with big eyes.
We knew we were not ready to give up but the thought of more fertility treatment was torturous. Then a friend of a friend told me about a lady called Sarah Leather who helped people with fertility problems and had great success. I was very skeptical- if a fertility doctor couldn’t help how could something natural help? Brian said it was worth a try and that I should at least give her a call. The only problem was that she lived 8 hours drive away but I rang anyway. I was delighted that she seemed quite positive and said she had several similar cases who had done well. She gave me several treatment options and I decided to go with the online questionnaire with a phone call afterwards to tie it all together.
We both initially felt a bit tired but then felt much better within a couple of weeks. We both had more energy an I felt especially well emotionally- probably better than I had felt since before being pregnant. My menstrual cycle changed quickly too- much more regular and far more healthy- probably the way it was in my 20’s before I got married. My PMS symptoms went as well. I also noticed my ovulation time was far more obvious. Sarah had also given me information on timing for conception which was very useful.
We decided to wait until I had my follow up consult with Sarah before making a decision about another IVF cycle. Sarah had said it was important that we were both as healthy as possible no matter what we decided to do.
Our beautiful baby girl was born just before my 35th birthday- my best present ever. When she turned one I decided to have another treatment with Sarah to make sure everything was well balanced before we conceived again. My cycle had become a bit irregular again but was soon fixed and our second daughter was conceived soon after that and was born on my 37th birthday! Baby number 3 took a little longer to come along and was born just before my 40th birthday- he was worth waiting for.
We had a chat then about our family and decided we had enough children and were so lucky to have them. But I always had the idea in my mind that we would have 4- so after a while I confessed my thoughts to Brian and all he said was ‘call Sarah’. So we went through everything again- quite a few bad habits had slipped back in. Sarah said we had to pay even more attention now to our diet, lifestyle and supplements as we were a little bit older.
So a week before my 42nd birthday our 4th child arrived and is a amazing addition to our family. I feel totally blessed, words can’t properly express the gratitude I feel towards Sarah and her work. She says all she does is to help our bodies to come back to a place of balance but when I look at my family I can’t help thinking that there is a little magic there as well.’
Thank you Suzanne for sharing your fantastic fertility journey.