Premature Ovarian Failure
“I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure at about 16, after my mum took me to the doctors. She was worried that my periods hadn’t started and I was sent for all different types of tests,” says Elle. “I was told that I wasn’t producing any eggs. I was still young and so at that point it didn’t really sink in. But maybe it was a blessing that I knew what was wrong at an early age, because sometimes when people are trying for a baby without success it can take a while for them to get answers.”
Open about the issue
Elle met Tim when she was 20 and was open with him straightaway about her infertility.
“I have always had a strong maternal instinct” she says. “I’ve always wanted to have a family and I wanted the opportunity to carry a baby but it wasn’t going to be possible through the ‘traditional’ way which could be a really big thing for someone, but Tim has always been incredibly supportive.”
Needed an egg donor
After the couple got married, they approached Bourn Hall to enquire about donor treatment.
“We had our bloods taken and I gave our characteristics – hair and eye colour, ethnicity,” explains Elle. “Then Katie, Bourn Hall’s egg bank coordinator, looked to see if there were any eggs in the bank that would be appropriate. It wasn’t long after that she got back in touch and said she had found a match!
“Everything moved so quickly after that, it is now all a bit of a blur! We had to do a ‘mock cycle’ at Bourn Hall to prepare my body to receive the embryo. I was put on medication to thicken my womb lining and then, when the time was right, the embryology lab thawed the donor eggs. Tim had to go in and ‘do his thing’ so that they could fertilise the donor eggs with his sperm.
“After the embryo transfer, we tried to remain positive but realistic at the same time, IVF isn’t guaranteed to work, but we were incredibly lucky that it worked first time. There are no words to describe what it felt like seeing that positive pregnancy test. It still makes me want to cry when I think about it now. We were in complete and utter shock!
“We went into Bourn Hall for the seven week scan and I just remember the nurse saying ‘there is the heartbeat’ and I had tears in my eyes it was just the most amazing thing.”
“We had a really wonderful experience at Bourn Hall, I am so glad we chose to go there. Katie the donor coordinator and Julie our nurse made sure everything ran really smoothly and all the staff always made us feel so comfortable and relaxed at the clinic.”
Elle says she is ‘eternally grateful’ to her altruistic egg donor.
“I don’t think you can quite put into words the amount of gratitude that I feel for my egg donor,” she says. “It’s an incredibly selfless act that someone does for someone they don’t know.
“I wanted to try and experience pregnancy if I could. It was incredible to be pregnant and feel my baby kicking in my tummy and it was a wonderful thing that an egg donor gave me that chance.
“When our baby was born, I just couldn’t stop saying ‘they’re here, I can’t believe they’re here, our baby is here!
Dedicated Donor Team at Bourn Hall
Bourn Hall now has a team dedicated to supporting patients that need donated eggs, sperm or embryos and also to encourage other to donate their eggs and sperm.
Embracing the story
“There’s never once been anything that crosses my mind like ‘they’re not mine’ or anything that. People quite often say ‘so who do you think the baby looks like?’. And I say, ‘they look like themself!’
“As our child grows up, we will really embrace the story behind how we had them and make sure that they are aware of the lengths we went to have a family, how wanted they were and how loved they are. Our baby is everything to us.”
Names have been changed for confidentiality.