In 2009 we went on the trip of a lifetime to Australia; it was at that point we decided to start trying to conceive. I was 26 years’ old at the time. Nothing happened straight away, we weren’t worried though; these things can take a while

After a year nothing had happened so I went to the GP only to be told to ‘just wait and try for longer’. Another year went by and I visited the GP again, and again I was sent away and told to try for longer.

Yet another year went by and a third visit to the GP resulted in me leaving in tears having been told by the doctor that ‘babies are a luxury not a necessity, and it is not everyone’s right to have them’. At that point we lost hope and gave up for a while; we had tried to speak with GPs and been fobbed off numerous times. We were devastated and it took us three years to decide to give it another go.

In that three-year period we moved house and GPs. When we finally plucked up the courage to ask for help again, we visited our new GP. We had investigations which showed my hormone levels were not conducive to me conceiving, and my husband had a sperm analysis which showed he had a very low sperm count with very poor motility and mobility, and not conducive to conception at all.

Despite these results we were fobbed off once more and told to try for longer. We couldn’t believe it, it had been six years and no one was willing to help us, at that point our clinical commissioning group (CCG) was still offering IVF on the NHS.

Finally in September 2015 we went into the GP again and pretty much demanded a referral; the lovely GP asked why we’d waited so long. I could have screamed!! We again had blood tests and semen analysis and scans, even though it was in our notes that we already had issues.

Finally though the GP was satisfied we met the criteria for referral. We were on the path to referral and over the moon about it. That was until we learned that our CCG was nearing the end of a public consultation to scrap NHS-funded IVF in our area. Other parts of Essex had already done so, and our CCG was following suit.

The feeling of devastation was back and it was all consuming, we wouldn’t get to see the consultant and have our referral appointment in time. We’d missed our chance…

We went to the appointment anyway, and to our absolute shock there had been an issue with the date the CCG had set to cancel NHS-funded IVF and they’d extended the cut-off date by one month meaning we had made it by a matter of days. Our consultant was truly amazing and she took one look at all our results and signed the referral documents there and then!!! I burst into tears.

From there our journey continued at our local fertility clinic. After a seminar in December 2015 and more blood tests and scans, we finally started treatment in January 2016. We were in the best possible hands, and trusted them 100 per cent.

The first phase I found pretty tough, the drugs turned me into a grumpy cow: I felt out of control, as if my body wasn’t my own. I just couldn’t shake the mood, my husband was a star and said he understood, and just cuddled me through my moods.

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