As Drew Harding reached 40 without a child he felt excluded from a special club. He and his wife Ann had been trying for a family for several years, but without success.
“It’s really hard when your friends and family are all having children,” said Drew.“I watched it happening for my younger siblings and thought to myself: ‘I’m never going to be a parent. You feel like there’s a special club of parents that you just can’t be a member of.”
As the couple started IVF treatment at Bourn Hall, Drew felt he had to stay strong for Ann.“As the man, I felt I had to be strong and keep everything bottled up,” he said. “She was the one going through all the treatment and taking drugs. But it was very hard.”
During the couple’s first treatment, nine eggs were harvested and four embryos were created. Two were frozen and two were transferred to Ann’s womb. But she did not fall pregnant. In a second treatment, six eggs were harvested and three embryos were created. One was frozen and two were transferred. Again she did not fall pregnant.
“We had been pinning all our hopes on that cycle,” said Drew. “So it hit us really hard.
“I felt I had to be strong and look after Ann but after three days I was in floods of tears just like her.”
But, despite their sadness, the couple did not give up hope. They decided to have their remaining three embryos thawed. Just one survived the thawing process and she fell pregnant. The couple were overjoyed.
“Again there were floods of tears,” remembers Drew. “I was walking on cloud nine I was so elated initially. But until Ann was three months pregnant I was on edge.”
Ann gave birth safely to the couple’s son Ryan.“We are so grateful for Ryan,” said Ann who was 35. “We’d started thinking it would never happen.”
The couple have nothing but praise for Bourn Hall. “Throughout our journey to parenthood they were brilliant,” said Drew.“It felt like our Bourn Hall consultant, was with us right from the start it was like there were three of us in it together. “He gave us hope and confidence and we got our Ryan.”