We were so happy, but something was missing, we were really settled into married life and we started thinking about starting our own family. I hated hearing the dreaded question “when are you two gonna start a family”, it was so hard and everyone around me was starting to have babies. I had a borderline hormone disorder which made it incredibly hard for me to lose weight. I had heard about a procedure called a gastric bypass. I went to my doctor and explained the situation and he referred me straight away. It took me just over 1 year to lose the weight I needed to before I would be accepted to have the procedure. I had the surgery in August 2014. It was horrendous, the pain was agony and even though I was prepared, the mental side of not eating anymore was extremely hard to overcome. Through it all I was still happy, and one step closer to the dream.
I went back to my GP and asked about fertility help. The doctor explained that my BMI was still too high after all that hard work and pain I still needed to lose another 4 stone. The doctors discovered I had gall stones after my rapid weight loss. When I had a pain attack it would knock me for days, it was really terrible, but I wouldn’t let this stop me, I had come too far. After I got the last bit of weight off, I got in touch with the Hewitt Centre and made an appointment. I was so excited. I was fighting a new battle but at last they finally accepted me to start the IVF (ICSI) treatment. We were so happy I couldn’t believe it, the letter came with my dates and it was all coming together. However, a few days later I received a letter saying my IVF treatment had been cancelled, I was totally crushed.
My gall bladder was finally removed and I felt so much better. I went to my GP to pursue IVF treatment again and after a couple of months we were back in the Hewitt Centre and it was all systems go. I had every hope in the world. I was taught how to take the different drugs and we started treatment. When we eventually had the eggs removed, they only got 3. On Saturday morning, I got the call, 2 had worked so they gave me the date to come back for transfer. We were advised to transfer both embryos on this occasion so we were over the moon. We went home and talked constantly about all the ifs, buts and maybes. I started to bleed, it wasn’t like the implantation bleed I read about and deep down I just knew I was losing them. I was totally heart broken and it was awful for Alan to see me go through it. Every day, more and more, I knew it was over, when we did the test it was negative, the empty feeling was horrible. The doctor advised us to have a break before doing it again.
3 months later and I was ready to put myself through it all again. On Boxing day, I started taking the first round of drugs. I was on a much higher dosage this time and the experience was much worse than the first go, everything about this time felt different. Finally, we had 5 eggs retrieved. When I came round, I was in so much pain, it was much more uncomfortable than last time, we went home and began the anxious wait. First thing in the morning I got the call that 3 had taken.
A couple of days later I was back this time and they advised to put 1 embryo in, but we asked for 2 and they let us. I did everything totally different this time, I was feeling positive. It was 2 days before I was due to take the test and I starting bleeding, I thought my dreams were over and I cried for the 2 full days. Alan was working nights so I got up in the morning and did the test, but I left it in the bathroom, I couldn’t bear to look at it myself. When Alan got home I told him to look, he came running out of the bathroom crying it had worked, I was pregnant I just couldn’t believe it, I took 3 more tests and rang the hospital to book my confirmation scan.
Finally, we went to the Hewitt Centre and I got on the bed and waited… WAS IT REAL? WAS I PREGNANT? HOW MANY WAS THERE? We could hardly wait, and then the nurse turned the screen and said ‘look you’re having twins, congratulations’. I burst into tears. We told a couple of people who knew what we were going through and that it was a secret until we got to the 12 week mark. We knew I would have to have the twins at 37 weeks, if I got that far so I was hopeful. When I went for a scan at 35 weeks, the bottom twin had turned and was now breech and the upper twin was transverse. It was too risky to deliver myself, I was gutted, I felt like I had failed. I needed so much help to even make these babies, the one thing I could have done on my own was now being taken away from me. I had a couple of weepy days before I pulled myself back together. The date was set for 26th September 2018, I would meet my babies. We didn’t know what we were having as we felt through this whole experience that this was going to be our only true big surprise and it was great. My C-Section took place at 37+1 weeks, Rory and Ralph were born and the wait was over.
The Hewitt Centre changed our life when things seemed impossible, we still somehow found the strength and got through it. We are forever thankful for all the support, love and help from our friends and family and especially all the staff at the Hewitt Centre.
We hope to one day use our last embryo, which is sitting in the freezer waiting for us, it would be fantastic to add to our family.
Never give up, always keep dreaming. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.
Zoe & Alan