Katherine*, a yoga and meditation teacher from London, was 39 years old when she first considered having a baby with the help of a sperm donor. “I started my journey at another clinic, but the location just wasn’t convenient for me and so I decided to find a clinic closer to home. I was travelling one day and saw a banner advertising a local clinic so I decided to investigate”.
Katherine attended an appointment with her chosen consultant and built up an excellent rapport with him. Katherine was then referred to Boston Place to start her treatment. Whilst she found changing clinics quite upsetting, Katherine was put at ease when she arrived at Boston Place. “I had found previous clinics quite big and impersonal, but Boston Place was much more intimate. From the moment I arrived the receptionists were so friendly, I was very impressed” recalls Katherine.
By the end of her initial consultation at Boston Place with Dr Zabeena, Katherine left feeling encouraged. “By this point I was in my early 40’s so I knew my chances of conceiving with my own eggs were greatly reduced. Dr Zabeena was very professional, straight talking and very realistic about my situation, whilst showing me great empathy. She advised me that we need to get cracking!” remembers Katherine.
From the moment I arrived the receptionists were so friendly, I was very impressed Katherine
Katherine selected her sperm donor from the European Sperm Bank, which was then transported to Boston Place. “I chose a sperm donor that I felt was best for me based on his health. Some people feel like IVF with a sperm donor is a very artificial way of conceiving a child, but to me it felt like the most natural thing to do” recalls Katherine.
Katherine then begun treatment. “I was teaching yoga at the time and everything I was teaching surrounded exercises that were beneficial for my fertility treatment. I was lucky because I felt so calm and well throughout my treatment, including the injections. I really believe this is because I maintained such a positive mental attitude and just kept saying to myself ‘this will work!’ I also had a detox before egg collection to make sure my body was ready”.
Katherine’s follicles were monitored in the run up to the egg collection procedure. “Dr Zabeena told me I had ten follicles, five eggs were collected of which one developed into a blastocyst. Boston Place sent me clips of the blastocyst developing and kept me constantly informed, calling me four hours after my egg collection with updates, which was so personal and extraordinary” remembers Katherine.
I felt so calm and well throughout my treatment, including the injections. I really believe this is because I maintained such a positive mental attitude and just kept saying to myself ‘this will work!’ Katherine
Katherine was delighted to discover that her egg had formed into a healthy embryo. “It felt like a huge risk. From all the money I had spent, I only had one small chance of success” recalls Katherine.
Katherine unfortunately lost her job around the time of egg collection, which lead to treatment being put on hold. “My embryo was frozen whilst I found a new job, I wanted to make sure I had this in place before having the embryo transfer procedure”.
Katherine settled into a new job, and by early 2019, she was ready to begin her frozen cycle, and finally, her embryo transfer. “My embryo transfer was booked for 14 February, which was very important for me. I had several members of the Boston Place team assist in the transfer – it was the best day of my life” remembers Katherine. Following the procedure, Katherine left the clinic and was stunned to bump into actor Damien Lewis on her way home. “It was incredible. The first thing I said to him was ‘I am pregnant!’ I had only just had my embryo transferred, but this positive thinking really helped me, and I just felt it had worked. He even signed the photo of my embryo, I don’t think he knew what he was signing!”
Katherine remained as relaxed and positive as she could throughout her two week wait to discover if she was pregnant. “I listened to positive affirmations and videos, and continued with yoga and other holistic therapies like Reiki, in addition to homeopathy treatment once a week and keeping a positive inner circle. I had regularly practiced acupuncture in the 5 months prior to egg collection, and after treatment which provided my system with balance, and meditated daily. It was really important for me to manage my stress levels” recalls Katherine.
I took the test, and burst into tears! I went for a walk around my local park and thought ‘wow, this is really happening’ Katherine
Even before taking her pregnancy test, Katherine believed she had been successful. “A week after the procedure I was driving and begun to feel very tired which is unusual for me. I felt at this stage that the embryo had implanted” remembers Katherine.
Two weeks passed, and Katherine finally got the news she had been hoping for, the pregnancy test was positive. “I took the test, and burst into tears! I went for a walk around my local park and thought ‘wow, this is really happening’” remembers Katherine. Katherine had a straight forward pregnancy and continued to stay active. “I felt great! I trained throughout my pregnancy to keep my body fit and energised, and also continued with acupuncture. I had no sickness or swelling, I felt very lucky”.
In October 2019, Katherine was induced at her local hospital, and the miracle she had been waiting for arrived, a beautiful baby girl. “It feels like I’ve always been a Mum, I absolutely love it. My daughter has given me a new lease of life – she is so happy, content and chilled. My Mum has also been very supportive to me”.
My advice would be, if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen! I worked very hard to be where I am now, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Katherine
Katherine’s advice to others considering IVF treatment is to keep a positive mind-set, and never give up. “I managed my stress levels before and during my treatment. I really believe my success is due to my physical and mental state. At 43, I am planning a second IVF cycle in 2021 at Boston Place, to give my daughter a sibling with the same donor. My advice would be, if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen! I worked very hard to be where I am now, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Boston Place were amazing, especially Oriol, Carl and Mary, who were a big part of my journey”.
Katherine is enjoying life with her beautiful baby girl.
*Name changed to protect anonymity