Sonny Jim was conceived thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at Barts Hospital, in London.
We were living in Leigh-on-Sea (in Essex) while undergoing the process. And while I think I would have travelled to Scotland three times a week, if it meant the treatment would be a success, there is no doubt the commute to the clinic did take a bit of a toll.
Juggling a job on a regional newspaper, with the newsroom based in Basildon, but travelling into London to undergo internal scans (always a joy!) and blood tests and egg collection and embryo implantation was not exactly easy. A lot of the appointments were mere minutes long… but the round trip meant it was at least a 3-hour plus process. Which was not simple to slip in before work. It meant I had to tell my boss I was having IVF – and while he was very understanding and good about helping me work shifts around it, I would still have rather not have had to tell him.
And I wouldn’t have had to, if the soon-to-open new purpose-built Bourn Hall clinic in Wickford had been up and running then. So many of the appointments could have been done in my lunch break. It would have saved me a lot of money on train fares. And my husband would have been able to keep me company a lot more. Even the egg collection procedure (for which you have to be sedated and can’t be on your own for 24-hours afterwards) would have been a whole lot less of a headache. You can’t exactly jump on a rush-hour train home after that. Thankfully, my father-in-law is a black cabbie so came and picked us up. But again, for a process that’s so deeply personal, you’re having to rely on the help of others – and I still dread to think what I babbled on about the whole drive home (the sedation did leave me a little trippy to say the least!)
So, I’m so chuffed for all the women who live in this neck of the woods, who are about to embark on their IVF journey. It’s a tough, oh-so-emotional and stressful process, but Bourn Hall are making it just little bit easier. Good luck!
To find out more about Bourn Hall, Wickford, which will have capacity for 1,000 IVF cycles a year with free on site parking, go to www.bournhall.co.uk