I started my NeoFertility journey in 2010, weeks before my 40th birthday. I had taken a career break from my job in Galway, moved to London, met Andy and we got married in 2008. I got pregnant almost immediately, but when my “period” didn’t stop I started to worry. I didn’t even realise I was pregnant and visited my GP, who did a pregnancy test and referred me to the Early Pregnancy Unit at the local hospital. I went up that evening and had to go back every 48 hours to have my HCG levels checked. They were coming down so it was inevitable I would miscarry. This would become a pattern – positive pregnancy test and then a miscarriage at about 9 weeks, and then up and down to the EPU. I became very well known in that hospital, especially as my veins were so poor, and as soon as my favourite nurse would see me, she’d send for the phlebotomist to do my bloods.
I had some awful days, some terrible hospital experiences. I hated my body, blamed myself for what was happening. I couldn’t go shopping because I’d see babies in prams being called by the name I was going to give my baby. I broke down in shops, couldn’t go to family gatherings. I hated birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day – I felt time was flying past me and I was a failure as a woman.
My career break was coming to an end and we decided to move back to Galway. I had just started further investigations in London and was worried about continuing when I got home. I was chatting to my aunt who said she’d seen Dr. Boyle on the Late Late Show and I should contact him. I will never forget that first call. I spoke to Moya in the office and was just blown away by her empathy and compassion. It was the first time I felt that someone really understood what I was going through. She put me in touch with a practitioner not far from where we lived in London so that I could start tracking my cycle before the move back home and my first appointment with Dr. Boyle at the end of September 2010.
When I first walked into Dr. Boyle’s office, I was struck by the number of baby photos and hoped desperately to add a picture of my baby to the gallery one day. Dr. Boyle was so calm and reassuring and literally did everything he could for me to have a successful outcome. I went through surgery, scans, blood tests, food intolerance testing, daily medication, injections, suppositories, tracking my cycle – but I would have done even more to get that baby I so desperately wanted.
I became very well known in that hospital too with all my visits. Unfortunately, there was more heartbreak with three further devastating miscarriages (I had 6 in all). Dr. Boyle said himself that he’d done everything he possibly could for me and I was ready to throw in the towel, when in early 2012 I phoned the office after yet another positive home pregnancy test. Despite a roller coaster first 12 weeks or so (dropping hormone levels and being told that I’d miscarried again), and a very tough pregnancy, we finally succeeded and Rory was born via emergency c-section at 36 weeks, weighing 4lb 11oz. He was tiny, but he was here. I’d gone through so much, emotionally and physically, to have him and we were thrilled.
After about 6 months, we decided to pay Dr. Boyle another visit in the hopes of giving Rory a sibling. I had gotten pregnant so easily before, and I was devastated that nothing was happening for us at all this time. But two years and 19 days after Rory was born, after more scans, blood tests, medication and losing some of the weight I’d gained after not being able to eat while pregnant with Rory, Molly was born weighing 4lb 13oz. This pregnancy pretty much followed the same pattern with sickness and an emergency c-section delivery at 35 weeks. I was 44 and had two beautiful babies.
We are so grateful to Dr. Boyle and the rest of the team at the clinic. So many lives were transformed by the arrival of these two much wanted miracles. They drive us crazy at times, but they are happy, intelligent, funny individuals and I can’t imagine a world without them.
Thank you again, Dr. Boyle, for transforming our lives and the lives of our extended families. The safe arrival of our children has brought immense joy to us, and also to many others, and having told people our story, I’m happy to say has inspired others to keep going. I cannot speak highly enough of you and your team. You were all so caring and interested and compassionate, and refused to give up even though we were running out of options. We will forever be grateful to you.