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Kirsty's story

Kirsty and Craig have had two sons through ICSI.

We’d been trying for over three years before we were referred for testing, so when we finally got our appointment it was a bit of a relief.

Up until that point it had been such an emotional rollercoaster - constantly wondering if there was something we could or should do differently, and knowing that my biological clock was ticking. During this time I tried everything including acupuncture, taking supplements, following fertility diets, taking yoga classes, positive visualisation methods, reading books and seeking help from social media networks. I became a bit of a fertility expert, but absolutely nothing provided that longed for positive pregnancy test.

Two people sat by a harbour on a bench

I felt like my life was on hold waiting for treatment to start

When my test results came back they found my AMH levels were low and so they accepted us for ICSI treatment. However we were informed that the waiting list at that point was two years. When you’ve been trying to have a family for such a long time and you suddenly find out it’s going to be years before it happens it can feel a bit like your life is on hold. Whilst everyone else was getting on with having first or even second children I felt like I was standing still.

I decided to go for a promotion so that I’d have something to focus on in the meantime, but not long afterwards we found out that changes to eligibility criteria meant our waiting time had been cut in half. We had our first cycle of ICSI and the whole process was emotionally exhausting. They were only able to collect four eggs and from that we had one viable embryo, which wasn’t very good quality. Sadly, that cycle failed. I was heartbroken. It really felt like I’d suffered a bereavement – I’d lost the child I had positively pictured in my mind through each stage of the ICSI process. It was at that point that I completely re-evaluated my priorities.

I thought it was time to give ‘Kirsty the mum’ a chance

Up until that point I’d been working pretty long hours – I’d regularly be in the office from 8am until 10.30pm at night. I was juggling more than one job by myself due to staff absences and always pushed myself to excel for the benefit of my employer and the great work they were doing. I realised that this might be my last chance to have a family and that was what I needed to focus on. I’d given my all to ‘Kirsty the manager’ for such a long time, so I thought it was time to give ‘Kirsty the mum’ a chance. I quit my job and decided to go freelance which was one of the best decisions I ever made as it meant I could manage my own time without feeling I was letting others down, and fit work around my clinic appointments.

Throughout my treatment I’ve found Twitter an amazing source of comfort and support. Here was a global community of women who could completely relate to everything I was going through. They became my own little cheerleading squad, commiserating with me when things didn’t go well, making me believe that every day I was one step closer to being Mum and then celebrating when our second cycle was, miraculously, successful!

The love and support I’ve received has been overwhelming

We now have two little miracles, Rory and Euan, and we know we are so lucky to have them. We still have two frozen embryos in storage but due to our life circumstances we believe our family is complete. This still tugs on my heartstrings, but knowing our embryos can still help couples who are going through a similar journey to ours, offers me comfort, which is why we’re thinking of donating them to research.

Going through fertility treatment has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through but it has also been one of the most life affirming experiences. I will forever treasure the love and support of my husband, my wider family and friends, other people going through fertility treatment and our amazing consultants as they helped me achieve what will forever be the greatest achievements in my life. Just knowing there are so many people who genuinely care about you and are rooting for you 100% makes all the difference.

Review date: 9 November 2020