The Strongest Family Bond!
Issued: 18 December 2015
The Washington family are sticking together this Christmas for the first time thanks to a revolutionary fertility treatment, glue!
Laura and Chris from Cannock welcomed their daughter, Amber, this summer after seeking help from Midland Fertility based in Tamworth.
“We had tried for a family for five years before we were referred to Midland Fertility,” said Laura.
Laura (31) who had been diagnosed with double Fallopian tube blockages had undergone testing with the NHS before putting her faith in the team at Midland Fertility.
However, following the couple’s first cycle of IVF ICSI treatment (where a single sperm is injected into an egg to help with fertilisation), the embryo transfer was unable to go ahead, and all 16 embryos were frozen.
“I had overstimulated,” said Laura, “Which meant it would be too risky to transfer any embryos back to me until my body had recovered from the treatment drugs.”
After a short break, the couple had a frozen embryo transfer which resulted in a positive pregnancy test!
“We were delighted and thankful,” said Chris (31), who was serving in the military at the time. “It was special moments like this that we cherished as a couple as I work overseas and I’m not around for much of the time.”
“We thought we had cracked it!”
Sadly, Laura lost the pregnancy early on, so without delay, the couple underwent another frozen embryo transfer cycle and again, a positive pregnancy test followed.
“We treated this result with caution and my first reaction was not of delight but worry that I would lose it again,” said Laura.
Unfortunately, their worst fears were realised when Laura miscarried for a second time.
“I was gutted for us both and I really needed to be around to support Laura and what she was going through,” said Chris.
During a 12 month break between treatment cycles, Laura continued to have exploratory surgery at her local hospital and to try and overcome fluid that had become trapped in one Fallopian tube.
Tests by the miscarriage team at Midland Fertility also revealed that Laura had a ‘sticky blood syndrome’ known as MTHFR, and natural killer (NK) cells in her endometrial lining which meant her own body would attack embryos, believing them to be a foreign invader. Both these would cause early pregnancy loss.
“I was treated by the recurrent miscarriage team at the clinic and they were hopeful that we could turn our fortunes around,” said Laura.
Despite being treated with a different combination of drugs, two further embryo transfers both produced negative test results.
“We were so confused! We had changed everything and gambled on it working after my procedure so it seemed really cruel.”
During 2014, Laura and Chris bravely decided to give it one last try.
“We decided to do everything possible for this cycle,” said Laura, “including the newest service to be introduced at the clinic, called EmbryoGlue®.”
Midland Fertility used medication to help suppress Laura’s immune system and allow the embryo to implant, along with a specific combination of drugs to counteract her ‘sticky blood’ and low Protein C.
In addition, EmbryoGlue® was added to the embryos before transfer to increase the chance of the embryo bonding to the uterus and for successful implantation.
“There was nothing I wouldn’t do at this point,” said Laura. “I really looked after myself but managed to remain positive throughout. Is there any point not being?”
Two embryos were transferred in December 2014.
“We were due to do our pregnancy test just after Christmas, “ said Laura, “But I just couldn’t stand having Christmas Day, not knowing.”
“I was only a day or two early, but I was overwhelmed with the urge to do a pregnancy test. Chris was home with me and I thought, let’s just see if we can get an extra Christmas present this year!”
It was positive!
“It made our day but we were still so scared it would all be taken away from us again so quickly.”
A six week scan confirmed a heartbeat, and week by week Laura made it to a healthy 12 week scan.
“We found out that we were having a little girl and I remember being so grateful that, after five years of treatment, our dreams were finally coming true,” said Laura.
Amber Louise was born in August making her the very first baby born using EmbryoGlue® at Midland Fertility!
“We can’t believe Amber is a milestone baby!” said Laura. “She is extra special to us and we are spending our first Christmas as the parents we always dreamed we would be. But to know she is going into the Midland Fertility hall of fame is even more amazing!”
“Our success rates for 2015 have been wonderful,” said Heidi Birch, director of nursing services. “Thanks to the new high-tec laboratories and procedure suite at Midland Fertility, the expertise of the clinical team and scientists, and also to the use of new techniques such as Embryoglue®, many couples like Laura and Chris, are spending their first Christmas as a family with their Midland Fertility baby.
“We wish them all a very Merry Christmas.”
Issued: 18/12/15/LJB LU: 6/2/17/JAA