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Lisa's story

Journey to Parenthood

Happy couple and baby girl in a field
Lisa, Matthew and Ciara Pattie - Photography By Trish

Getting married 6 years ago, we never dreamt that we would have such a journey to become parents. And a tough journey it was… We often joked about calling it “trying for a baby”, it shouldn’t have been so difficult, but after 1+ years of no joy, it definitely was a case of trying and failing!

After 2 years we were offered tests through the NHS to try and find out if there were any issues and we were told that we had unexplained infertility. We were left with no answers as to what we could do or what it meant. Shortly after, we managed to conceive our first baby, but lost it soon after, and then we also lost our second baby shortly after this. The heartbreaking cycle was here to stay…. Now we felt petrified that it would never happen for us and if we did manage to get pregnant, would they stick?

We decided after a short break, to look into clinics for testing and advice about what our options are. The NHS did not have such funding to have somewhere to get this advice or testing unless we had previously lost 3 babies. You must tick the boxes to meet the criteria before NHS will look at you. We called a couple of clinic’s in the Cambridge area and then found Cambridge IVF.

We felt that, given that it is such a personal issue, we needed to make sure we found the right clinic. We liked how welcoming and understanding they were and very compassionate.

They didn’t make us feel like we were panicking over nothing. We did find that the information evenings were well organized, clear and positive. They went through every option that was open to us and made us feel like it was not out of reach and that we could become parents. Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel!

We decided to go ahead and started the process shortly after choosing Pure IVF package. They didn’t hide that the process may be hard and tough on my body and there were no guarantees, so we were going into this with our eyes wide open but hopeful. The collection was not as bad as I thought, we were very fortunate to have 19 eggs retrieved which was amazing. Then there was the agonizing wait of seeing how many survive. We ended up with 10. Which was brilliant! And then on to the next stage… We thought this should be the easy bit.. We did the transfer and took the medication and all was going well. We turned up to the scan to hear that there was no baby there and I had a missed miscarriage. The heart break carried on for more loss. The support of the Cambridge IVF team was brilliant and they offered follow-ups and counselling for my loss. I felt they couldn’t have done more to help at that time and were always there for advice.

IVF can be such a hard, emotional, exhausting time for a couple. We feel that Cambs IVF really do ride the train with each couple and their level of support is second to none. I could not speak more highly of a medical team. Thank you to Cambridge IVF and the team.

Lisa Pattie

Fast forward and after another loss we decided to try again with IVF and came back to clinic. The ladies were so welcoming and remembered everything. We decided to go for 2 embryos this time to give ourselves a better chance. Dr Tulay clearly explained the risks and success factors to this decision and respected our decision and we moved on. Bev and the team were always so enthusiastic about every visit and supported me when things were not going the way they had planned. It was like being in a family. When we finally had the transfer, I felt that the team was so hopeful and excited this might work. They advised a different drug protocol for after to give us the best chance. IT WORKED!

Couple celebrating pregnancy
Lisa's pregnancy

Turning up to the 7 week scan to see 2(!!) heartbeats on the screen was a sight I never thought I would see. We cried! The team were so happy but Bev did make us aware that one was slightly smaller than the other. She managed our expectations and said that in her experience it didn’t look like the second twin would survive but twin 1 was thriving! We clung on to hope but were realistic that we might only have 1 baby. We went for regular (very regular) scans to monitor progress. Twin 1 continued to thrive but twin 2 was gone. Bev and the team were so supportive and offered additional scans until 12 weeks, at a cost, to put our mind at ease. They gave us the best Christmas present by saying, ‘you can relax now, all is fine! Baby on the way’. It was like we were graduating!

We were so pleased to have our baby girl Ciara on 2nd July 2022 and she made our dreams come true. We took her back to meet Dr Tulay, Bev and the team shortly after (to meet her makers and to thank them for all their support and help over the years). We have nothing but complete praise for the team there and are forever in debt to them for making our dreams come true. We can now put our trying years behind and live a happy life with our little Ciara.

IVF can be such a hard, emotional, exhausting time for a couple. We feel that Cambs IVF really do ride the train with each couple and their level of support is second to none. I could not speak more highly of a medical team. Thank you to Cambridge IVF and the team.

Lisa, Matthew and Ciara Pattie.

Baby with CIVF team
Baby Ciara with Cambs IVF team

Story shared on June 2023.