5 years of helping families – First Christmas with Freddie

An IVF baby for each of the years that Bourn Hall’s Essex clinic recently came to celebrate the clinic’s 5th anniversary with the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown.

This Christmas is going to be ‘very special’ says Amy who is looking forward to celebrating it with six month old Freddie and husband Nick.

Amy and Nick had IVF at Bourn Hall in 2022 after battling with the frustration of unexplained infertility.

“We were trying for a couple of years without success,” explains Amy. “Waiting every month to see if I was pregnant or not. It became a bit of a burden, making us unhappy with the pressure and the stress of it all.

“We were told we could be referred for one round of NHS-funded IVF. I was happy we could have IVF but also apprehensive, because we only had one shot and I didn’t know whether it would work and if it didn’t what our future would look like.”

Amy, Nick and Freddie with Louise Brown
Amy, Nick and Freddie with Louise Brown

Scan before Christmas

The couple’s IVF at Bourn Hall worked first time.

“We were thinking ‘surely this can’t be right?’!” says Amy. “I did so many tests I must have tested every day for about three weeks, it just that anxiety and the paranoia as well because we were so happy but also worried that something was going to go wrong.

“We had our 12-week scan on 23 December which was lovely because it meant that we could tell our wider family on Christmas Day and Boxing Day that we were expecting, which was a beautiful timing.

“Our mums had known about our fertility journey, but other family members genuinely had no idea about what we had been going through because we are quite private about it. I think from the outside maybe people thought that we didn’t want children so it was a big surprise for everyone.

“Freddie was born in June 2023. I just remember being so relieved that he was here.

“I still just can’t believe it. I never would have dreamt in Summer 2022 that I would have a little boy by Christmas 2023.

“It is a very special time for us, and we feel very blessed.”

Amy, Nick and Freddie have a merry Christmas
Amy, Nick and Freddie have a merry Christmas
Amy and Nick with Freddie
Amy and Nick with Freddie
Dr Arpita Ray, Lead Clinician at Bourn Hall Essex
Dr Arpita Ray, Lead Clinician at Bourn Hall Essex

Fertility Testing

Bourn Hall Essex provides comprehensive fertility testing, with options for home testing, to assist diagnosis. It is highly recommended that both partners are checked at the same time, as this may reveal a male infertility issue or influence the decision of which person in a same-sex relationship should be provided with sperm or carry the baby.

Testing includes:

  • Screening for infection
  • Blood tests for hormone levels and ovarian reserve
  • Ultrasound scans of the womb to rule out fibroids and other potential issues
  • Tubal patency assessment – to check the fallopian tubes are clear (these tubes carry the egg to the womb)
  • Semen analysis to test mobility, quality and quantity of sperm

A complete assessment can be completed within six weeks and includes a consultation with a fertility specialist.

Unexplained infertility, where the reason is not clear and might be caused by sub-fertility on both sides, is also common and is frustrating for patients. You can still be referred for IVF if you have a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.

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