Hollie's journey to baby Ellia

In March 2016 my husband Chris and I thought it was time to start trying for a baby (five months before our wedding day).

In January 2017 I was confused I still wasn't pregnant, I had now had a full year of negative pregnancy tests so I visited my GP. My GP sent me for an ultrasound, the result being I was diagnosed with Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). At this point I became obsessed with ovulation kits and infolic supplements.

Following this I was referred to a gynaecologist at Grimsby Hospital where over the next year I had an HSG Xray, blood tests and a laparoscopy. After investigation and finding out that my tubes were not blocked, I was put on Clomid.

Six months went by and still was not pregnant I was then told I will be referred to a fertility clinic of my choice (I was put on Clomid for a further three months), and my husband’s  sperm would be tested too.

I chose Leeds Fertility Clinic, two of my friends had success with their pregnancy with Leeds and it felt like the right choice for me too.

After two years of trying and seeing all my friends get pregnant around me, I was feeling so down. We had our first appointment at Leeds Fertility under Professor Adam Balen and his team in July 2018. I felt like we might have a chance to become parents, but I was worried about going through the IVF process. But after speaking to the doctor, it put my mind at ease but I was quite emotional to hear we only had one try on the NHS. My husband was by my side the whole time.

We saw Professor Balen on the 2nd Nov 2018, he went through everything with us, the plan of what was going to happen and someone we can speak to if we needed to. A nurse then gave me all the medication I needed to start in two weeks (contraception pill, progesterone peccaries, injections day and night and trigger injection, all injected by myself in my stomach.) We had several trips to Leeds for stim scans to see what my eggs were doing.

Two weeks later I got the call to get my eggs collected and my husband's sperm too (30th Nov), I went under general anaesthetic; I woke up with my husband by my side and in no pain at all. 

Then we had to wait five days for our egg and sperm to fertilise, we got a call to say all six had become embryos. We went back to the clinic on the 5th December for transfer, four out of six made it.

The doctors and nurses were so reassuring throughout the whole process and let us take a picture of our little embryo placed in my heart shaped womb. I was laid thinking this could be our little baby.

Chris and I decided to go to Leeds on the 18th December for the pregnancy test, as we had taken so many and all had been negative. The nurse came in and told us we were having a baby, we were so overwhelmed with happiness. We booked in for an early pregnancy scan for 7th January 2019. My husband gave me a present of a Pandora charm of a little baby pram and said that's how confident I was.

Before I started the IVF process I heard so many stories of how hard it was, but going through it myself I thought it was straightforward and found that I was stronger than I thought.

At 34 weeks our baby was born premature (born naturally). We had chosen not to find out the sex of the baby throughout our pregnancy, the birth was even more magical than we ever imagined, then Chris told me we have a little girl. I gave her a cuddle as soon as she was placed on my chest but then taken straight to neonatal. We named her Ellia.

Ellia is now 4 and half months old, we couldn't be happier, three and half long years but she has been worth the wait. She has made our family five generations. I wrote an article in Take a Break magazine about our IVF story and to show that you are not on your own with fertility problems and to not give up.

Thanks to Professor Balen and his team at Leeds Fertility we have our daughter and three more embryos frozen, one day in the future Ellia will have a sibling.

I'm so glad I chose Leeds Fertility, we were blessed it worked first time, we are so lucky, we had so much information and the staff were so friendly and got us through difficult times.

Hollie, Chris and baby Ellia