It’s thanks to IVF on the NHS that I have my boy

Katy Pearson, scan photo, seven week scan, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK

As a seven-week fetus – our first look at Sonny Jim

TWO years ago today I was sat clutching my husband’s hand at Bart’s Hospital in London.

After nine years of trying for a baby, five years of fertility treatments and a round of IVF, it seemed I’d finally fallen pregnant.

And two days before my 31st birthday we were waiting for a scan to confirm that it was definitely true, for a first look at our baby, to see its teeny little heart beating.

When Sonny Jim’s flickering heart flashed up on the grainy screen, I cried. He looked a bit like a prawn. Or maybe a crocodile. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Continue reading

From a speck on a screen to our darling boy

4D scan, Katy Pearson, baby, baby scan, Sonny Jim, pregnant, #whatkatydid

Another look – Sonny Jim when I was 28 weeks pregnant

When did you first see your baby?

At the 12-week scan? When they were born?

I first saw Sonny Jim before he was even a baby. Before I was even pregnant.

He was a blastocyst – an embryo of about 200 cells. And it was six days after I’d been sedated to have my eggs collected. Doctors had managed to get 14. Of which 11 survived to the next day. By day five we were left with six still growing in a petri dish at Barts Hospital. Two of them were deemed “A grade.” One of them was Sonny Jim.

When I went back to have the “best looking” of blastocysts implanted – two years ago this month – the specialist spun a screen round to face me. See all that blackness she asked, that’s your uterus. Now see that tiny white speck? That’s the embryo.

My little Speckles. Continue reading

New life blossomed despite the lupus that shook mum’s world

Llydia Bannocks, Blossom Primrose, Lupus, #whatkatydid, Essex, Fiona Kennedy

‘That smile gets me through’ – Llydia Bannocks with partner Graham and Blossom Primrose
Picture by: www.fionakennedy.co.uk

Imagine having a condition that masquerades as several other illnesses.

For those living with Lupus – an incurable immune illness, mainly suffered by females – it’s a reality and part of the reason that diagnosis can take so long.

Hairdresser Llydia Bannocks, 37, of Ironwell Close, Rochford was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007, after two years of debilitating symptoms and misdiagnosis.

Llydia recalls: “I suffered everything from severe fatigue and hair loss to extreme pain in joints mimicking flu, an enlarged lymphatic system, intense rashing in the sun, corn beef looking pattern to the skin on my legs…

“I was extremely fit and active prior to my Lupus manifesting. I would go to the gym at least five times a week, work reasonably long hours without breaks and feel absolutely fine. Continue reading

Injections, sedation and tough chats… all in a bid to have our baby

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, IVF baby

A long time coming: Our little Sonny Jim

Two years ago, much of May was spent fretting about having a bit of an awkward conversation with my boss.

After almost a decade of trying for a baby, my husband and I were about to have IVF.

Six rounds of clomid and three rounds of IUI – despite there being nothing medically wrong with either of us – still hadn’t resulted in a baby, so we had finally been referred to Barts, St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

We were lucky. This was before the cut backs the NHS is now suffering. We were entitled to up to three rounds of IVF on the NHS. We didn’t have to face decisions like donating my eggs to fund our own fertility treatment. We just had to think about us. Continue reading

My chat with Lisa Faulkner ‘The most important thing for a child is love’

Becoming a mother was far from easy for actress- turned-chef Lisa Faulkner. She started trying for a baby after she married the actor Chris Coghill in 2005, but the next two years would leave her emotionally and physically drained as she suffered an ectopic pregnancy and several failed IVF attempts.

‘I actually said I’d give IVF three goes, and I ended up doing four. I couldn’t afford any more; I spent all of my savings. But also mentally, I couldn’t go through it again,’ she says. ‘It’s a really tough process.

‘I don’t think people have any idea until they go through it themselves. It’s not just the physical stuff that happens; it’s the emotions and the hormones that are pumping through your body. You’re on this whole trip of desperation for a baby and you’ll do anything. ‘But I was determined to be a mother.’

So, after deciding that they couldn’t put themselves through any more cycles of IVF, Lisa and Chris (who are now separated) adopted a 15-month old girl, Billie, in 2008. Continue reading