Baby Emilia is the icing on the cake – hidden pain of secondary infertility

“Not being able to get pregnant when I already had a child was a very lonely experience,” says Heidi. “It was difficult for other people to understand how I felt because they would take the view that I should be grateful that I had one child and not get so stressed about being unable to have another.”

Heidi and her husband James, celebrated their daughter Emilia’s first birthday this weekend, born seven years after their son Logan. Heidi will be talking about her experiences at a special meeting of the Fertility Support Group on 9th September 2021.

Struggling with secondary infertility

At 26, Heidi had fallen pregnant with ease within months of her wedding, but four years after the birth of her son Logan, she struggled to conceive again.

Heidi admits that as time passed she found the experience of secondary infertility increasingly isolating.

Heidi and her family celebrated two very special birthdays this weekend – her own 35th and the first birthday of their long-awaited second child Emilia. The couple’s son Logan was nearly seven when his little sister was born.

“Logan had got to the age where most of his friends had got a baby brother or sister and their mums would be at the school gates with them and I found this really difficult.

“I turned to social media for support and found a number of secondary infertility groups to join and it was really nice to talk to people who understood what I was going through because they were going through it themselves. This is why I wanted to share my journey at the Fertility Support Group meeting.”

Fertility declines with age and so as a woman gets older the length of time it takes her to conceive may increase and Heidi’s ovulation had become increasingly irregular (her periods had always been regular when she was younger). Also investigations showed that her husband James had antibodies in his sperm which may have been a contributory factor in the couple being unable to conceive.

After initial ovulation induction treatment at Bourn Hall the couple were advised to have IVF.

Heidi finally fell pregnant again after the couple’s second treatment at Bourn Hall following a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) using an embryo frozen after their first cycle.

Daughter Emilia was born on  18th July 2020 – the day after Heidi’s 34th birthday. Her due date was actually 25th July, exactly a year after Heidi’s egg collection and the birthday of the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown.

“For most 2020 has been a challenging year but for us it has been amazing; seeing our family now complete with Emilia’s arrival.

“It has been a joy to see both Emilia and Logan grow up. Our hearts and lives are now really full of love and fun. And seeing her little personality grow has been amazing. We are so grateful for the help Bourn Hall gave us in completing our family.”

Heidi is keen to share her experience of struggling with secondary infertility and will be speaking at the Fertility Support Group meeting being held on 9th September.

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