Annette, 35, a civil servant and Alan, 39, a chartered surveyor from Rhondda in South Wales, had been trying for a baby without success for two years. Tests revealed that poor sperm motility could be the reason. Annette tells their story:
"We didn't really have any treatment choices because of Alan's problems with his sperm, so IVF with ICSI was our only chance of having a baby. After two unsuccessful treatment cycles we changed clinics and after a third cycle our twins Ffion and Lowri, who are now 14 months old, were conceived."
"The whole experience is emotionally and physically battering. I remember sitting at my desk feeling utterly drained and thinking "will I ever get over this?". I didn't realise it was going to be as difficult as it was. But it was all worth it in the end. We have two lovely little girls and despite all the ups and downs I'm now over the moon.
"At first we didn't tell anyone except my mother and work colleagues who knew because I had to have time off work for the first couple of rounds of treatment. But when we were asked at a family party yet again, "when are you going to start a family?", we decided to be honest. Most of our family and friends were supportive. But there were some who said irritating things like "all you need is a weekend and a bottle of wine and you'll be fine."
"Going through treatment brought us closer together. When things were bleak we would think at least we've got each other. That's the main thing."
- "Give yourself time to recover between treatments. I had the second treatment straight after the first and in retrospect, I wish I had given myself more time to recover."
- "Stay positive. Our worst fear was that it was going to fail."
- "Be aware how difficult you may find pregnancy. When I did conceive it was almost: "Okay it worked. Now what?" I didn't enjoy pregnancy and because the twins were born early I found it hard to get close to them. I suppose it was self-preservation - I didn't want to get too attached in case it all went wrong."
- "Get some support. I wish I'd had more support when we first started out. We did get support from family and friends but unless you have been through it yourself you have no real idea how it affects people."
Page last updated: 28 August 2009