Little Jenson is one of Bourn Hall Norwich’s first 1,000 babies. The IVF frostie (frozen embryo baby) celebrated this milestone with the staff of the clinic on his first birthday.
“The fertility consultant at Bourn Hall Wymondham was interested in my history of heavy and painful periods and wondered if I might possibly have endometriosis,” says Kirsty. “He sent me for a hospital laparoscopy.”
Endometriosis is where tissue similar to that in the lining of the womb grows in other parts of the body and can block the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from the ovaries to the womb and is where fertilization of the egg by the sperm occurs.
Laparoscopy is the best way to diagnose endometriosis. Using keyhole surgery, the tubes are viewed with a small camera – this revealed that, whilst Kirsty didn’t have endometriosis, both of her tubes were blocked. NHS-funded IVF treatment was recommended and the couple chose Bourn Hall.
IVF frostie was last chance
When Kirsty and Dan’s first embryo transfer at Bourn Hall didn’t result in a pregnancy they decided to take a break and get married before continuing with treatment.
Their first IVF cycle had produced two embryos – and the remaining one was in the freezer at Bourn Hall.
Pioneering work in the early days at Bourn Hall helped to introduce new techniques in IVF including the introduction of embryo freezing – Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET) are now commonplace for IVF patients and the procedure has excellent success rates.
Kirsty and Dan returned to Bourn Hall after their wedding for treatment using their frozen embryo and Kirsty says:
“On the day of transfer the embryologist called us to confirm that our embryo had thawed successfully and in fact its grading had improved which was amazing! She said it was doing exactly what it was supposed to.”
The couple were delighted when their FET was a success and they found out in January 2020 that they were to become parents.
“Second time around we had not told anyone we were having treatment as it had put quite a lot of pressure on us with people asking well meaning questions,” says Kirsty. “So we had kept it to ourselves. We hadn’t event told my parents and we broke the news to them at my birthday meal after we had our Bourn Hall scan and they were really emotional as it was their first grandchild.”
Kirsty gave birth to Jenson on October 20, 2020. “It was so lovely when he finally arrived. Our family was complete,” she says.
Now, 12 months on, Jenson has just celebrated his first birthday, surrounded by family, including super-proud nan Julie.
Tests revealed cause of infertility
Looking back on her experience Kirsty says that she is glad that she started the ball rolling by going to her GP for advice – as ultimately it led to the cause of their infertility being uncovered by specialist tests further down the line.
“Finding out that the reason we couldn’t conceive was that both of my fallopian tubes were blocked was actually a relief,” says Kirsty. “The ‘not knowing why’ seemed like the worst part. With a fertility diagnosis we were able to move forward with the appropriate treatment which enabled us to have a baby.
“What I would say to other couples struggling to conceive is to push for the tests you need, so you can understand your options.”