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Miracles and milestones

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EMILY and James Vizard had been trying for a baby for more than 18 months when they decided it was time to seek help.

Emily and James Vizard with their children. (24150606)

After a referral from the Medical Specialist Group in Guernsey to Wessex Fertility’s satellite service, they were delighted to become parents to Miles, now two years old, and Thea, who was born in January. The birth of Thea also marked a special milestone for the clinic, being the 50th baby to be born through Wessex Fertility’s Guernsey service.

Emily and James met at school in Alderney when they were just six years old. ‘We were in the same class at school, but when it came to college we went our separate ways for a while. James went back to Guernsey and I went to the mainland,’ said Emily.

‘We then found each other again and we got married in 2010,’ added James.

The couple had already started trying for a baby before their wedding. ‘We had planned to announce that we were expecting at our wedding but it just didn’t work out that way,’ said Emily.

After months of trying, Emily and James went to see their local GP. ‘We were advised by the GP that they wouldn’t intervene until we had been trying for at least a year, so we kept on trying until it had been about 18 months,’ said James.

The couple went back to their GP, who referred them to Guernsey’s MSG, who provided the couple with investigations including a lap and dye test. ‘We then tried six rounds of Clomid, which weren’t successful, before having a break. We then went on to try a further three rounds of Clomid followed by three rounds of IUI treatment, which didn’t work either. We were really disappointed and just wanted answers as up to this stage we hadn’t had a definitive diagnosis.’

The couple’s MSG consultant recommended that they have a consultation with Wessex Fertility, which provides a regular satellite service at MSG.

‘We had been trying for a baby for six years by 2016, when we had a consultation with Dr Sue Ingamells, who recommended a long cycle of IVF.’

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The couple started treatment the following month. ‘As the Guernsey service is a satellite service, we could have everything done at MSG except for the egg collection and embryo transfer, which was obviously a lot more convenient for us. The communication with Wessex was also fantastic, especially with Gillian, which made everything a lot easier,’ said Emily.

They decided to stay in Southampton from egg collection until embryo transfer. ‘It was a bit traumatic in the end because of the risk of bad weather from Alderney to Southampton, which led us to leaving for Southampton earlier than planned, and on the day of egg collection we got stuck in some really bad traffic from our accommodation and we were panicking because we thought we’d ruined our chance of success due to the timing of the trigger shots. But we rang the clinic, who were very relaxed and reassuring and said just to get there as soon as we can,’ said James.

Emily had seven eggs collected, which were injected with James’s sperm in a process called ICSI. ‘It was discovered that I had 100% sperm anti-bodies so ICSI was added to the treatment,’ said James.

‘Up until this stage we were put into the “unexplained” bracket so it was a relief, albeit upsetting, to finally have a diagnosis.’

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The eggs fertilised to form three embryos, one of which was transferred to Emily’s womb. ‘The two-week wait felt so long, I’d second guess every twinge or cramp – I found I spent an awful lot of time googling, which certainly didn’t help. It was strange timing really because it was the start of the Alderney Festival week, which is usually spent with our friends and a lot of alcohol,’ said Emily.

On the first day of the festival, Emily took her pregnancy test, and finally got the news the couple had been waiting years for. ‘We saw it was positive and were absolutely overwhelmed. After six years we were finally pregnant. We couldn’t wait to tell our family, so there were a lot of phone calls at 6am before James went to work,’ said Emily. ‘I think all my mum could manage to say was “that’s brilliant” before putting the phone down because she was so overwhelmed with emotion for us,’ added James.

In April 2017, after a healthy pregnancy, Emily had some complications which led to an emergency caesarean. However, all of the negativity felt by the couple disappeared when they saw their gorgeous baby boy, Miles.

‘As soon as I knew both Emily and our baby were safe, it was the most amazing experience,’ said James.

‘Miles didn’t feel like ours for a good few months after his birth, we just couldn’t believe it, it was absolutely surreal,’ added Emily.

In early 2018, after enjoying some time with baby Miles, the couple decided it was time to try for another baby with one of their frozen embryos. ‘We knew a bit more of what to expect this time, which made it a bit easier,’ said Emily.

Emily had medication to prepare her womb for the embryo transfer, and had another two-week wait to find out if they had been successful. ‘We had come to the conclusion that it hadn’t worked this time and we had used all of our luck the first time,’ said Emily. However, fortunately, that wasn’t the case and Emily was pregnant for the second time, which left the couple over the moon.

‘Once again it wasn’t the easiest birth. I had my midwife appointment in Alderney and I hadn’t been feeling quite right, so the midwife advised I travel to Guernsey early to be checked over. The consultant discovered I had pre-eclampsia and recommended a caesarean, so it was a semi-elective procedure.’

In January this year, a beautiful baby girl, Thea, was born – the 50th baby to be born through treatment at Wessex Fertility’s Guernsey satellite service. ‘It was amazing holding Thea for the first time and again it didn’t feel real,’ said Emily.

‘We couldn’t fault Wessex Fertility – they’re absolutely amazing. It’s not a pleasant journey but having Wessex in Guernsey made it so much easier for us. We didn’t understand the process at all and now we feel like experts. It was so special to find out that Thea was their 50th Guernsey baby too. We’ll always be grateful because we wouldn’t have our family if it wasn’t for them.’

Emily and James are now enjoying life in Alderney with their two miracles.

  • To find out more about the services offered by Wessex Fertility, including prices, visit www.wessexfertility.com or telephone 023 8070 6000.
Helen Hubert

By Helen Hubert
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