Peter & Deirdre (UK)
Peter & Deirdre (UK)
Peter and Deirdre’s Journey Journal began almost by accident, when their local doctor (in the UK ‘General Practioner’ or GP) failed to answer their questions about infertility. A specialist visit for an unrelated treatment led them to the start of their Journey. Peter takes up the story, with some insights into the male partner’s perspective on the experience.
”I live with my wife Deidre and our, beautiful children - three girls and a boy. The pathway to this perfect family has not been easy, and we have been on a long journey through both disappointment and joy. We are delighted to share our experiences with others, in the hope that we may provide some inspiration and a 'light at the end of the tunnel'.”
An unsuccessful meeting with the General Practitioner (local doctor)
“Deirdre and I spent ten years between 1980 and 1990 trying for children, waiting for the miracle to come naturally. We were watching our friends and colleagues have children, starting their families, and the wait became increasingly frustrating. Still, we did believe it would happen to us eventually. After ten years of trying, however, we decided to approach our GP with our problem.”
A chance meeting with fate.“We spoke with our local GP, but at that time they were not able to offer us any information whatsoever, leaving us in the dark. We were not referred and felt we had come up against a brick wall. The guiding light for us proved to be a gynaecologist in London, when Deirdre was having treatment for a cyst on one of her ovaries. We spoke to our gynaecologist about our problems ‘getting pregnant’ and she told us about the possibilities of IVF treatment. She gave us eight brochures for different fertility clinics, and at that moment we embarked on a pathway that would ultimately change our lives. We have a lot to be grateful to this gynaecologist for – we were seeing her on a different matter and she helped us find a new direction in our search for help – she was our saving grace, really.”
Determination to succeed together is a major part of completing the Journey to Conception. For Pete and Deirdre, the mantra was ‘Let’s give it everything we’ve got’“We chose Bourn Hall as our fertility clinic, based on its success rates, which were the highest of the choice we had been given. We were not swayed by costs, as we believed, and I still believe, that when you go into IVF treatment you should really give it everything you’ve got. More importantly, we felt confident in the clinic and the specialists that would be treating us. If I could give one piece of advice to a couple embarking on IVF treatment, it would be to choose a clinician in whom you have complete confidence. You must take notice of everything they say and follow all their instructions, go strictly with their plan. This is how we approached our visits to Bourn Hall and we feel indebted to them for their help and advice.”
Disappointment can come in many forms. But as Peter and Deirdre discovered, disappointment can disappear when determination, teamwork, planning and a bit of luck all come together. “During the first cycle of treatment at Bourn Hall, Deirdre was implanted with three embryos, all of which took initially. Unfortunately, one of the embryos aborted at four and a half months, but the remaining two went full term and we were ecstatic to have twin girls, born in 1991.
Bourn Hall had frozen the remaining embryos from that first cycle and two years later we undertook another cycle of treatment with these frozen embryos. We were extremely fortunate again and Deirdre became pregnant, delivering a baby boy in 1994. We were thrilled with our family and so grateful to Bourn Hall for taking us through the treatment.
Speaking as a man who has gone through IVF treatment with his wife, I can understand some men may find it extremely difficult, or feel guilty if they have the problem with infertility. But I would say that it doesn’t matter who has the ‘problem’; the most important thing for a couple is to support each other one hundred percent, no matter what. And you must never give up. We put in a lot of footwork on the way to our family, and we are in a privileged position now to look back with hindsight and offer advice to other couples.”
When you feel like good luck belongs to everyone but you, it can be hard to feel happy about other people’s good news. But when the news comes from people who have been exactly where you are, you need to allow yourself some optimism.“Blessed as we were with our three beautiful babies, achieved through IVF treatment, our fortune continued when we discovered four years after the birth of our son that Deirdre had fallen pregnant again, without any fertility treatment this time. The rollercoaster ride had taken another twist and our third daughter and fourth child was born in 1998. We were overcome with joy.
To us, it doesn’t matter how the children were conceived, or when, or where. What matters to us is that we put all we had into IVF treatment, really gave everything we had, and were rewarded with what we have always wanted – a family.
I would absolutely recommend IVF treatment to anyone. It has changed our lives, and if we can give inspiration to just one other couple then we will be satisfied. We were privileged to have access to the very best IVF treatment, and believe every couple unable to conceive naturally should have this chance - the chance to start a family.”