“My whole life was consumed with wanting to have a baby”

“It was the first thing I’d think about in the morning and the last thing at night – it would be on my mind all the time,” explains Chelsea from Suffolk. “I’ve always wanted children of my own, my brother and sister have children, and me being the eldest I kept thinking ‘why’s it not happening to me?’

“As you can imagine, everything you ever think about and every advert on the telly is baby-related. Your whole life is consumed by this one thing.

“And then you’ve got people saying to you ‘just relax and it will happen’ or ‘go on holiday and get drunk’ – it doesn’t work that way. Unless you’ve gone through it you just have no idea.

“Now I’ve got my baby, all of that feeling’s gone now. It’s amazing, really.

“I came off my contraception but for whatever reason I wasn’t falling pregnant,” she says. “It was a couple of years before I went to the doctors and they checked everything, that I was ovulating okay, and did all the necessary tests they could do there. That all came back fine, so they couldn’t find a problem with me.

“They sent away for a semen sample, which they did do on the NHS, and that came back absolutely fine, there was no problem there.”

“Then I wanted to go onto the next stage, but because my partner Nigel has already got children that then meant they couldn’t refer me via the NHS, so I had to go private for further testing at the clinic.

“So, I contacted Bourn Hall Cambridge and started the ball rolling. Then I had further tests with Bourn Hall, checked my egg reserve and had scans and everything like that. They couldn’t find anything wrong, so they put it down to unexplained infertility. There was nothing wrong with my partner and they couldn’t find anything wrong with me.

“The only thing they didn’t check were my fallopian tubes. They said they could test to see if they were blocked, but this would be an additional cost and the recommendation would be the same regardless, so we spent the money on treatment instead.

“We were very fortunate in that our IVF worked for us first time. We had a frozen embryo transfer. And we have got embryos in the freezer; whether we’ll use those or not I don’t know. We are very satisfied and content with our little boy that I’ve always wanted. We couldn’t be happier.”

Balancing treatment and work

“The treatment wasn’t really that stressful. The clinic was very good, sending through the treatment plans via email, and I never had any trouble with my appointments – I was always able to attend and work something out. It all went very well.

“It was quite reassuring to have the telephone numbers and email addresses to contact people if there were any problems or concerns. That was always quite reassuring and convenient.

“To be honest I kept the fertility treatment a secret from everybody. I found it easier to just not say anything. I thought ‘if it doesn’t work then I haven’t got to then go round and tell everybody that it hasn’t worked’. I didn’t tell my employer and I was doing my injections and all my medications in the toilets at work. However, my workplace would have been totally understanding and supportive through it all, but I wanted to keep it to myself.

“You had to stay positive … I used to set reminders; I set my alarm on my phone for medications and everything to make sure it wasn’t forgotten. It was just about being focussed really, and determined, and thinking ‘this is going to work, I am going to make it work’.

Advice to others

“My advice would be: give it a year because everyone’s body is different, and then if you feel like things are just not happening for whatever reason, go and seek some help from a GP, get some tests.

“It’s not something you want to be holding back on if you do need help; even if you are lucky enough to meet the criteria there is a big waiting list for the NHS. I found it a lot easier to keep it private and just have one person, my Nan, that I told. There are other people who would prefer to tell everybody, but for me it was better to be able to keep it all locked in, not under any pressure from anyone else. Just having that one person I could go to and offload to definitely helped me.

“Just remain positive, remain strong, focused, have that ‘I’m going to make this happen’ attitude, rather than just being negative.”

CS246 Chelsea and Nigel body 1CS246