“One chance for a baby”

Hayley, 27, and Sam, 28, a barista from Lincolnshire knew their health conditions would make conception a challenge. But they didn’t give up. Following fertility treatment, they now have a daughter, Amaryllis. This is their story.

Hayley, Sam and baby Amaryllis

Sam and I always wanted children but he has cystic fibrosis, so we’d been told that there was a chance it just wouldn’t happen for us. I have endometriosis which, I knew, would only add to the struggle.

Before we married in 2012 we talked a lot about how to try for a family. I had always believed that I would have children although how we would do it wasn’t clear to me at the time. 

Planning for fertility treatment

We went to see our GP soon after our wedding who told us we were, at that point, too young to be accepted for IVF treatment. He also warned me that, in order to even be considered for fertility treatment, I would need to lose three stone.

At that point my BMI was over 30 and I needed to get it below 30 to have any chance of IVF so I joined Slimming World and hired a personal trainer.

We also stopped drinking alcohol. I stopped eating certain foods like soft cheese, swordfish, pate, - all the things you are told not to eat when you’re carrying a child.

Sam and I were desperate for the IVF to work so we tried to do everything possible to be successful. We only had funding for one round - one chance for a baby. You have so much riding on it.

 Accepted for IVF

 I was 25 when we went back to the GP and we were finally accepted for treatment in August 2015.

 We had lots of tests and the results all came back fine. At that point we still didn’t know if Sam was producing sperm so he underwent a procedure which found out that he was.

His tubes were blocked because of his cystic fibrosis so they would have to surgically remove the sperm. However because of his cystic fibrosis his tubes were blocked. So for IVF to be successful they would have to surgically remove sperm to carry out the IVF procedure.

It was at that time that I started taking medication to prepare my eggs. It was horrible, gruelling and my body didn’t immediately respond as hoped.

I was prescribed more medication and had more scans, at one point driving an hour there and back to hospital every day for scans.

I needed to have hormone injections and take hormone pessaries daily. Then I underwent a scan to check the six of my follicles. It was slow progress, but in April they were large enough and they carried out the egg collection.

They managed to take 10 eggs in total, 8 were mature enough for them to use, 6 were fertilised and 2 of them made it to day 5.

One of those eggs is now our one-year-old daughter, the other is sat in a freezer waiting for us to add to our family.

Positive pregnancy test

Thirteen days after the transfer, on May 14, we got a positive pregnancy test. We could hardly believe it. We were so happy, we cried and cried.

I suffered morning sickness all day, every day, for the first 16 weeks but I didn’t mind. We were just so excited.

 We had an early scan at six weeks. I knew that this was when some people are told their pregnancy hadn’t progressed so we were nervous, but as soon as we saw a beating heart, we were okay. After that all of our scans and appointments went well.

The birth of our baby

Five days before my due date I felt a reduction in our baby’s movement, so they induced me, and Amaryllis was delivered early after a fairly straightforward labour.

We’re keen to have another child and are now just trying to raise the money we need to pay for the procedure, as funding wasn’t available for us for a second child. We’re hopeful Amaryllis will be joined by a baby brother or sister in the next year.

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