Alan and Monique’s story
For Monique and Alan, the journey to parenthood was long and fraught with highs and lows.
Over the past four years, the couple had four attempts at IVF and Monique admits she was “too scared to fully enjoy her pregnancy, because a pregnancy doesn’t necessarily end up with a baby.”
Their first IVF cycle, on the NHS, failed and although they were entitled to further cycles Monique didn’t want to wait the required five to six months. She says: “For me that was a long time, so I looked for a private fertility clinic that was easy for me to get to, with a good success rate. We attended the information evening at Boston Place and it felt good. We booked our first consultation the same month.”
Lawyer Monique found the convenience of Boston Place’s location an asset. “My firm is in central London, which meant that I could easily go for appointments in my lunch break,” she recalls. She found working full-time a welcome distraction from the thoughts of the ongoing treatment and also believes that once she became open about her situation with close friends and family it was easier to deal with.
“The difficulty is that there are no guarantees whatsoever. Every cycle there is hope and sometimes shattered hope. I couldn’t believe, right up to the birth of our daughter Sophie-Alexandra on 3rd October, that we were going to have a baby as silly as this perhaps sounds. I know from talking to others struggling with fertility issues that I’m not unique in that respect. I didn’t dare to enjoy it in case something went wrong. It was my coping mechanism so I wouldn’t be too disappointed.”
“We are so incredibly grateful to the team at Boston Place and can’t thank them enough. They have given us the one thing we wanted more than anything in the world and that is how compelling it gets.” Monique
The first cycle with Boston Place, using ICSI and fresh egg transfer techniques in June 2016, resulted in a positive pregnancy test. Monique was elated, but the couple’s hopes were dashed when she miscarried after two weeks. “Emotionally, it was a big blow,” she admits. “I became pregnant again later that year but after the first miscarriage I had a different mental approach towards it all. It was more wait and see.” Again, sadly the pregnancy was also unviable.
After additional blood tests to rule out any issues that might be causing Monique’s miscarriages, the best two of their remaining three frozen embryos were transferred in January 2017. “I always had double embryo transfer,” explains Monique. “The test was positive, but I didn’t want to get too excited and was constantly worrying about things that had not even happened.”
“Every cycle you go through, you have to get yourself together again. The mental anguish is much harder to cope with than the physical issues – you just get on with those.”
“We found out, as a result of the NIPT test, at 11 weeks that we were having a girl and I still cry sometimes out of joy and perhaps disbelief that she’s here. Our once so tidy house sometimes looks like a jungle and I am still trying to find a balance between work and family life, but I don’t take for granted at all that she’s ours and she’s here now.”