Dear Friends, family and Supporters,
After years of battling, we are looking for support to give to us a final chance to have a family through egg donation and IVF treatment. We would be eternally grateful for any support you feel you would like to give, no matter how small you feel. Thank you so much for your support, if you would like to know more about our story see below...
This is one of the toughest things I have ever had to do, and the last thing we ever wanted to do, but sometimes I guess we all need to ask for help.
We all grow up with a plan of how we want our lives to be. For me, my number one plan and dream, was always to be a mum and have a family. Despite my academic achievements, being a mum was my goal and purpose in life. Due to my medical condition, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and earlier ovarian surgery, this was never going to be straightforward. After a few false dawns and focusing on my education and career to create a good foundation for my planned family, I finally met my lifelong partner in my mid thirties. Right from the start, our plan was to have a family. 6 months later I had to undergo further surgery to remove one ovary altogether, which reduced our chances further. That wasn't going to stop us. After a few years of trying with no success, and a car accident damaging my back, we paid for our first round of private IVF. We were ineligible for any NHS help, due to me being just over the age limit.
The IVF worked first time, and we were absolutely over the moon that finally we were having our dream family. Sadly, at our 20 week scan, we found out our beautiful baby girl had Edward's Syndrome. This meant that the chances were she was going to die before birth, and even if she survived birth, she would only live hours, days or weeks at the most. Devastated didn't go anywhere near how we felt, but we were determined to look after her in every way possible, and love her with every bone in our bodies until she was ready to go. We had Christmas for her, and bought her presents, and she kept dancing away. Sam died on 16th January at 33 weeks gestation, and I gave birth to her a week later. We spent as many precious hours with her as we could before they took her away, and I lost half of me. I couldn't work for a while as I couldn't face the world.
After Sam died, we kept trying for her brother or sister with the help of whatever fertility support drugs we could get on the NHS, as we couldn't afford another £6000 for further IVF. Two years later and absolutely heartbroken from unsuccessful attempts trying, my family helped us out to allow us to have another chance with IVF at the beginning of last year. We were told our chances were slim because I had precious few eggs remaining, but we could try. The IVF failed and I fell apart. We were told our only chance now would be egg donation, using a young healthy woman's eggs. However, at a cost of £10,000 and owing money to my family for the failed round of IVF, and having had to start back on the bottom rung of the ladder with my career after Sam, we couldn't even consider it. I had already been battling depression after everything we had been through, but trying to accept never being a mum, was beyond me.
Just a few months later, a miracle happened, and we found out I was pregnant. Neither of us could believe it, our miracle baby after all these years! Overnight my depression and panic attacks vanished. I could look at babies again, I could go into supermarkets where there might be prams or families, and not run away when I heard the sound of a baby crying, I became me again and life had meaning. I was going to be a mum! Tragically we lost our miracle baby at 9 weeks, in October last year.
I can't even begin to describe the last few months. I still can't imagine life never being a mum, never having a family, but we have nowhere to turn now. My GP is amazing, but there is nothing they can do to help other than offer anti-depressants due to protocol. We have nowhere to turn financially having already spent £12,000 on IVF.
I work for a charity, and support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enable them to achieve a better life. Asking for help and financial support for them is natural and easy for me. Asking for support for me and us, however, is not something I am comfortable with, despite what we have been through. I have tried every other option. I am even writing children's books alongside my full time job to try and gain an extra income, but the length of time it takes to be published, established as a writer, and earn money through it, is just not quick enough for us with the time we have left. I have read through so many personal fundraising projects before doing this, and decided that maybe just maybe this might be a chance. As I am now in my early forties, I am down to months and not years to achieve the one thing that matters most to us in life. I know we stand a great chance with egg donation, if we could just raise the money to access the treatment.
My promise to the world is that if we can achieve this, achieve our dream family, I will set up a charity to support and help other people in our situation who have hit the same tragic and heartbreaking medical, situational and financial barriers that have prohibited them to achieve the dream of having their own family. I can't bear to think of anyone going through what we have. If you feel that you would like to support us, with any donation no matter how small, I can't even begin to tell you the difference that it would make. The domino effect would be that I would make sure many more people would benefit too.
Thank you so much for reading our story.