When Nicola was just 16 she was told by her GP that she had a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and that she would never have children.
Nicola recalls: “PCOS affects how a woman’s ovaries work and I was told I wouldn’t be able to have a baby. It was almost as if a switch went off in my head and I showed no real interest in children after that.”
… until she met her husband-to-be Terry Gillett who had always wanted children.
Terry takes up the story: “I wanted children but only with the right person and at the right time. I remember telling my Mum that Nicola was the one!”
The couple were amazed when Nicola fell pregnant naturally. Nicola says: “It was unexpected and unfortunately I miscarried but it gave us hope that we could have a family.”
So the couple confirmed their love by getting married and decided that they should try to have a family.
PCOS and fertility
In 2012, Nicola went to her GP for investigations. The tests showed that as a result of PCOS she was not ovulating regularly and that this was affecting their chances of having children. She was prescribed fertility drugs Clomid and Metformin and after no success, the Gilletts were referred for NHS funded IVF treatment and chose Bourn Hall Clinic.
Bourn Hall has a satellite clinic in Wickford where the couple had their initial consultation and scan appointments.
There is a full service Bourn Hall Clinic in Colchester where patients then go for egg collection and embryo transfer. Living in Chelmsford, the Gilletts were ideally located for the new satellite clinic in Wickford, Essex.
First visit nerves
Nicola says: “I remember being incredibly nervous in the build-up to our first visit. I’ve never liked injections and was concerned about needle size. However we saw the clinic on an open day and I was instantly put at ease. The clinic was comfortable and seemed almost homely, certainly not surgical.”
Terry adds: “The staff were supportive and reassuring about the IVF process and explained the whole treatment clearly.”
In September 2013 the Gilletts began their first NHS funded fertility cycle. Nicola says: “The nurse we saw was so helpful, talking us through the process and even getting me to practice injecting a sponge. It was an incredibly well organised process, for example all the injections and medication I needed were delivered to our house.”
15 eggs in total were collected from Nicola at Bourn Hall Colchester. Five were fertilised and one successfully made it to blastocyst stage, which was then carefully transferred into Nicola’s womb.
In December 2013, it was confirmed that Nicola had successfully become pregnant and on 22nd August 2014 Nicola (28) and Terry (29) became the proud parents of Sydney. Terry says: “I am a very proud father. I feel so lucky as our little girl is everything we hoped for.
“I’m now looking forward to seeing Sydney develop into a wonderful woman like her Mum.”
Nicola adds: “My Mum never thought she’d have grandchildren and yet amazingly now has a granddaughter. My Dad makes Sydney lots of lovely things and Terry’s parents are also over the moon as their first grandchild too.”
Terry concludes: “Bourn Hall did what they said they’d do, help us have a family, and the clinic’s staff, at Wickford and Colchester, were there all the way being supportive and helpful.”