Our reason for choosing PGD/IVF

Dear Doctors and Nurses at CRGH,

I promised to keep in touch and let you know how we got on so here goes…

I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and everything is going well so far. I don’t think either of us can believe it is real even though I’m starting to feel a few little kicks and I am growing more and more HUGE everyday.

We recently found out we are having a little boy and we have already called him Alfred after both of Phillip’s Grandfathers.

Most of you probably didn’t know our reason for choosing PGD/IVF but in short, my family share a genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis and my brother has severe Epilepsy and learning difficulties, to prevent him having serious seizures, every day he is taking a large cocktail of medication and life is not easy for him. He also recently had to undergo a huge operation to remove his pancreas as it contained a large tumour caused by his Tuberous Sclerosis. I have mild epilepsy and small benign tumours in my kidneys, heart and brain. My life is relatively unaffected by Tuberous Sclerosis and at times I hardly know I have it. When the genetic doctors informed Phillip and I we have a 50% chance of passing Tuberous Sclerosis onto our child, we knew this wasn’t an option for us and that is when we arrived at your door!

Out of the 13 eggs your wonderful doctors collected from me, 9 fertilised and 9 made it to blast. Unfortunately, 5 embryos were tested and carried the Tuberous Sclerosis gene. The first embryo that you transferred is now our little Alfred. I can’t believe how lucky we are that his embryo took first time and I do think this is partly because of the amazing care I received during my time at CRGH. I can’t count on my fingers how many people warned me that IVF is such a terrible and difficult experience and I can’t say it was easy… BUT your warmth and care every time I came in for a scan, your expert blood taking skills (I really miss them as my midwives leave me bruised and sore!) and the quiet positivity you showed along with your gentle reassurance… these little things made my experience with IVF a positive one and although those warnings I received were warranted I would not hesitate to recommend anyone considering IVF to go straight to your clinic.

I don’t have any great scan pictures as Alfred is a bit of a wriggler and likes to hide in my pelvis during every scan, but I have sent you the best one which was taken at 16 weeks. I have also sent you a photo of Phillip and I on our recent holiday in Cornwall – we are both thankful and grateful that you have helped make our little family possible and I am pretty sure we will be back.

All the best,

Alice & Phillip