Couple’s own ‘miracle’ baby born on Christmas Day

For Niki, each Christmas passing, would mark another year gone by without being able to get pregnant.

“Having children is something that I have always wanted and there were nights when I would cry myself to sleep because it just wasn’t happening,” says Niki. “It was really hard going on social media when friends had posted up photos of their pregnancy bumps and baby scans. I was pleased for them but when all you want is to be pregnant, t feels as though everyone else is moving on with their lives.”

But this all changed last year when baby Louis arrived on Christmas Day following successful IVF at Bourn Hall Norwich and was featured in the Eastern Daily Press.

As Niki and Adam live in Norfolk they were referred by their GP for NHS fertility testing at Bourn Hall but the tests could find no reason for their infertility.

Unexplained infertility

Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, Medical Director at Bourn Hall Clinic, says that ‘Unexplained infertility’ is the reason given for around one third of couples seeking IVF treatment in the UK. It simply means that, following investigative tests, no direct cause can be identified.

“Unexplained infertility might be caused by sub-fertility on both sides and sometimes lifestyle changes such as improving nutrition, or medication can increase the chances of natural fertility and we can support couples with advice on this. But it can add to a couple’s stress not to be given a definitive reason for not being able to conceive,” he says.

“I did find it frustrating that we didn’t have a cause for our infertility,” says Niki, aged 33. “We obviously needed a bit of help.”

Niki was advised that she needed to reduce her BMI – which led to a complete change of lifestyle for the couple. As well as counting her calories she embraced regular exercise.

“I did a lot of swimming and went to the gym, going on the treadmill and going to spin classes. I lost two stone,” she says. “I did everything I could to ensure that I was as healthy as I could be,” she says. “As well as exercising regularly, we took vitamins and made ‘fertility smoothies’ ate lots of eggs, avocados and salads.

“Like lots of people during the pandemic we took up walking when the gyms and swimming pools had to close. Walking wasn’t something we had really done before but love it now, we did lots of nice nature trails and walking on the beach. I also took up jogging.”

Getting fertility fit to improve chances

Getting fertility fit can improve the chances of fertility treatment, and once Niki had reduced her BMI the couple were approved for NHS-funded IVF.

“I basically did everything I could to get my body as ready as possible for IVF treatment and pregnancy. I felt healthier than I have ever felt in my life.”

The couple’s IVF at Bourn Hall was successful on their second round.

“Strangely enough my egg collection and transfer were over the Easter weekend,” she says. “When I came round from the anaesthetic, I was told they had only collected three eggs. I thought ‘it’s not going to work’ and cried all the way home.

“I got a call the next day to say two of the eggs had fertilized. One was transferred and then we had to wait two weeks to get the result. I was really scared of taking the pregnancy test in case the IVF hadn’t worked; when I found out I was pregnant it was amazing.”

A little miracle

weight loss for IVF, Adam and Louis“We had our embryo transfer at Easter and Louis was born on Christmas Day. It was very bizarre how it worked out that way! He is truly a little miracle.”

As the family prepare to celebrate Louis’s first birthday on December 25th Niki says:

“Every year I would say to myself ‘next year will be the year’ and last year it was!

“Now I have got everything I ever wanted. Christmas is going to be extra special every year now.”

Couples worried about their fertility can have a free consultation at Bourn Hall with a fertility nurse specialist and also a chat with a nutritionist to help them get fertility fit.

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