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Fiona's Story
Posted October 30, 2005

We believed that as soon as we had completed our honeymoon, we would start trying for a baby and succeed before our first wedding anniversary. How cruel life can be!!

We started trying for a baby in the April and in August I unknowingly fell pregnant. I didn't know due to an extremely long bleed - I didn't even bother doing a pregnancy test. It was only when I missed my next period that I decided to do a test which came back positive. However, our joy soon turned to tears very suddenly when I started bleeding heavily, experiencing pain like I never knew existed and being rushed into hospital for an emergency operation. I had experienced an ectopic pregnancy*. It led to a long road of infertility and IVF cycles.

At the time, I was told that the ectopic had only ruined one tube and that my fertility was not effected. This was certainly not the case and after six further months of trying, we became impatient and went to an IVF clinic that had been recommended.

After being diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, my first cycle proved positive on the initial blood test but the result was low and they wanted to retest in the next two days to ensure that the hormone was increasing, by which stage I was already bleeding and the hormone had vanished completely.

My next two cycles were frozen ones, neither of which were successful.

My fourth cycle was successful, with a good blood result after the two weeks and my husband and I thought, with a lot of trepidation, that maybe we were finally going to be parents. Our success was shortlived however, and the day before my six-week scan, I miscarried. My consultant still wanted to see me for the scan, just in case there was more than one baby and the slight chance that I could still be pregnant. In my heart of hearts, I knew this was not the case and I tried desperately to psyche myself up for the inevitable, but when there was nothing on the screen, I just sobbed.

Fortunately, my consultant wanted to do some blood tests as I was actually miscarrying at that time and he thought that he may get some answers that he would not be able to get at any time. I agreed - I didn't really care! My husband and I went on holiday and made the decision that we had gone as far as we could go, financially, emotionally and physically.

When we returned, my consultant asked to see us with regard to the results. He informed us that I appeared to have a clotting problem, had higher than normal levels of testosterone and anti phospholipid syndrome - all of which went completely over our heads. After long discussions, he explained that my immune system was not allowing an embryo to implant properly and I was getting blood clots in the placenta, causing it to fail early on. His diagnosis let to me being treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) before my next cycle (the one we had decided not to do!) and again immediately after implantation, together with daily injections of heparin to thin the blood.

There is a lot of controversy about IVIG in the UK but it certainly worked for me! It wasn't the easiest pregnancy in the world and I had to be constantly monitored, having scans every two weeks until week 16 and then four weekly until the end. However, I was supposed to be induced at 40 weeks, I was not allowed to go overdue, only to discover that I was already dilating. After all our hassles, I had a very speedy delivery with no drugs at all (1.5 hours) from breaking my waters to delivery. People still say how lucky I was!

We now have a beautiful little boy who is now 21 months old - he is our life and has fulfilled our dreams in every way.

We are considering another cycle at the moment in order to try and give him the sibling we want so much for him but we will only try once. We could not go on the same rollercoaster whilst caring for our beautiful toddler. If it works, we will all be happy but guess what, if it doesn't, we will still be happy.

My only comment to everyone reading this is that it is always worth trying that one last time!

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*Ectopic pregnancy - a pregnancy that develops outside of the uterus.

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