Mel welcomes Seth after choosing IVF to become a mum

Mel 2

Nanny, Mel, 29, from Reading explains why choosing to be a solo mother by choice has been her best decision, giving her Seth, who is everything to her:

“I’ve been perpetually single. Then three years ago it was confirmed that I had inherited a genetic condition which means if I conceive there’s a very high chance I will miscarry and if I don’t there’s a small chance my baby would have a learning disability. So, approaching my late twenties, worried it may take me a long time to have a baby, I stepped-up dating.

“But then it struck me, I’d just been going through the motions, I like being single! As a nanny for eight years, I love spending my days with children. I realised that I could meet a man later in life, but waiting to have a baby was more risky, and for me having a baby wasn’t optional. So, on a mission to have a baby and to minimise the impact of my genetic condition, I decided my best option would be to save-up for IVF. As a single woman I knew I wouldn’t receive NHS funding.

“Looking at the HFEA website, based on success rates, Oxford Fertility looked like my best option. I also knew a couple who had been successfully treated there. I visited the clinic and meeting the team dramatically changed my future. I learned that my genetic condition would require additional treatment but also meant I qualified to receive NHS treatment.

Looking at the HFEA website, based on success rates, Oxford Fertility looked like my best option.

“The team were amazing. They contacted all the relevant people and arranged everything for me, and before long I was starting my treatment. I spent time with their amazing counsellor, who helped me to think through my decisions. The nurses in the sperm donor team were also great, helping me to select a donor who was right for me. You could tell everybody really cared.

“During the first cycle I only produced one embryo and testing revealed it carried the genetic condition. During my second cycle I produced seven embryos; these were tested and four were healthy! At first, my body didn’t respond to the drugs to prepare my body for the embryo, so we had to stop and start again. But adjusting the drugs worked and an embryo could be transferred.

“Waiting was so hard. The night before my pregnancy test I couldn’t sleep. I hung on until 6am though, as I preferred being in limbo – the longer I didn’t take the test, the longer I could hope I was pregnant rather than know I wasn’t. When I eventually took the test, I thought I could see a line. With my hands shaking I took a photo and sent it to friends for their opinion. Excited replies confirmed, it was positive!

With my hands shaking I took a photo and sent it to friends for their opinion. Excited replies confirmed, it was positive!

“As a nanny I am close to the family I work for, so they knew all about my plans and were waiting to hear my results that morning. They were so delighted for me.

“Although I lost my appetite, my pregnancy went well, but at 14 weeks COVID-19 came-along and I was classed as vulnerable, but I continued working. The family I work for were amazing, and reassured me that my and my baby’s health were most important and so as lock-down tightened I stopped working at 27 weeks. Luckily I live with my parents, so I wasn’t alone. I’d also joined some fantastic online solo parenting groups, who are a lovely support network of people who really get what each other are going through. Solo mothers by choice UK, Solo parents by choice UK and the stork and I, are all brilliant. You can assume you are the only one going through IVF alone, but the groups have thousands of people in them.

Oxford Fertility is like a family. They give you their undivided attention and support, doing everything they can to help you realise your dream of having a baby. I can’t thank or recommend them enough.

“At 36 weeks I developed pre-eclampsia, then my baby was breach and so I ended up undergoing a C-Section. But with my sister at my side I found it strangely calm, and then Seth arrived. He is such a quiet and chilled baby, although nocturnal at the moment! I couldn’t have wished for anything else, he is perfect.

“Oxford Fertility is like a family. They give you their undivided attention and support, doing everything they can to help you realise your dream of having a baby. I can’t thank or recommend them enough.”