Father’s Day was the ‘worst day of the year’ – not any more

Nick from Loughton in Essex had always regarded Father’s Day as ‘the worst day of the year’ after losing his dad when he was a young child. But this year he is marking a new chapter as he celebrates his first Father’s Day with IVF baby son Freddie, who turns one a few days later.

Traditional ‘Alpha’ Male

Nick (37) says: “I had always wanted to have children. I lost my own father when I was five and so for me being a dad was a really big thing for me, I really wanted it.”

Nick and wife Amy had been trying to conceive for over two years before undergoing hospital tests and being referred for IVF treatment at Bourn Hall Clinic in Wickford.

“When we first started trying for a baby we just assumed it would happen like it had for all our friends,” he says. Nick says that he and his friendship group are quite ‘traditional and alpha male’ who don’t like to talk about their feelings and admits that the stress finally took its toll on him.

“I think I felt a bit embarrassed to be honest about us not being to conceive and it is not easy when you are going through it, it causes arguments. Even though the cause of our infertility was ‘unexplained’ and tests hadn’t found any issues with either of us, I still felt like it was ‘my fault’ and that I wasn’t being a ‘provider’ by giving Amy a child, it was really difficult.

“When we were referred for IVF we felt really privileged to have been given one NHS-funded cycle at Bourn Hall, it was an amazing opportunity, and we wanted to maximise our chances of success. I had already given up smoking when we were trying, reduced my alcohol intake and lost two stone.”

Improving chances of pregnancy

Dr Arpita Ray, Lead Clinician for Bourn Hall’s Essex clinics says that making lifestyle changes to improve nutrition and health before trying to conceive can increase the chances of success, but there may be an underlying reason for the infertility, and this is best checked by a health professional.

“Eight out of ten couples will conceive within a year of regular unprotected sex. If it is taking you longer than this, then don’t wait too long to seek fertility advice as fertility decreases for those over 35. It is also important that both partners are checked, and we now offer home sperm analysis tests to make it easier.”

Arpita Ray, Bourn Hall Essex
Arpita Ray, Regional Lead Clinician for Bourn Hall Essex

Unbelievable news

The couple’s IVF treatment at Bourn Hall was successful at the first attempt.

“I was at work when Amy phoned me up and told me the IVF had worked and that we were having a baby, it was unbelievable news,” says Nick.

The couple’s son Freddie was born in June 2023 – and his first birthday falls just a few days after Father’s Day.

“When Freddie arrived, it was the greatest feeling of my life,” says Nick.  “It felt like being a dad was what I was born to do. As I held him for the first time I thought ‘oh my word life has got real now, this is what life is about.”

Father’s Day will be bittersweet; although his own dad will be in his thoughts as always, Nick is also really looking forward to marking the day with Freddie.

Nick and Freddie celebrate Father's Day
Nick and Freddie

Father’s Day will be bittersweet

Although his own dad will be in his thoughts as always, Nick is also really looking forward to marking the day with Freddie.

“Father’s Day has always been the worst day of the year for me, but now after 32 years I think I will wake up on that day and finally enjoy it.”

Nick and Amy recently took Freddie on his first holiday, to Spain, and took him to a beach that Nick’s father used to take him to when he was very young. “I posted a photo of me, Amy and Freddie on the beach on Instagram saying how proud I was to be taking Freddie to the same place,” says Nick.

“I felt like I had come full circle, it was a lovely moment, really nice.”

More information

Read more from the male perspective on infertility in our Men Talk section of the blog.

Bourn Hall encourages men to get a sperm test early in their investigations – this is now available as an ‘at home test’.

Improving your nutrition will improve the quality of sperm and may increase your chances of success

Nick and Freddie

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