We had a couple of false starts with some previous fertility treatment attempts in the UK and Europe. We initially tried IVF and had a stark realization when we saw the low response to stronger medication. After the first round of failed IVF Treatment, the doctors gave us less than a one percent chance of getting pregnant without help from a donor. We then were involved with what seemed to be larger clinics, with a Egg Donor Program in Spain, and the process seemed to be quite complex and difficult to follow. We were unsuccessful, and were eventually referred to Shady Grove Fertility Center.
It was a huge moment to be told that we needed donor egg treatment. It’s one thing to embark upon a course of in vitro fertilization (IVF) knowing how tough the chances are. It’s another thing being told outright that you stand a less than 1% chance of conceiving naturally, and that donor egg treatment really is the only option. Facing up to that truth was huge, as it was very hard to listen to, but we did some research and adapted mentally to a journey that so many like-minded people go through.
A friend had received a very positive experience and journey with Shady Grove Fertility. Such a trusted point of view kick-started our approach, but our first call with Amanda was a revelation. We were hit instantly with the enormous amount of knowledge and commitment from the team; it was instantly reassuring and our long list of questions were all answered with references to examples of so many different cases of couples, who were all in a similar position to ourselves. We instantly moved from a sense of feeling quite ‘different’ to so many other couples, to a sense of feeling normal and simply in need of some medical help to make this process work for us. Everything seemed normal from the team, there was nothing extraordinary about what we were doing, and this put us in a comfortable and stress-free state of mind as we were taking the journey with the team.
The whole donor selection process was handled with such care and thought. The essays that had been written by the donors were so thoughtful and extremely helpful for us to make our decision. We felt in safe hands and had the support of the Shady Grove Fertility team at every step of the way. Nothing was rushed, and we were able to make decisions at our own pace and were kept fully up to speed at every turn.
When we found out Sandra was pregnant, we felt complete joy. We couldn’t believe it. Alfie is coming up to being 8 weeks old now, and we still cannot believe it. We cannot stop looking at him and kissing him. He must be the most kissed baby in the world. We were overjoyed and thrilled. My mom is now a grandmother for the first time, and friends and family are all absolutely over the moon for us. We are so proud and grateful all at the same time.
Our lives have completely changed, more than any other life event. We have this gorgeous little bundle and he is so tiny, but totally dominates our lives, and we love it! We still pinch ourselves now, 8 weeks on.
It was fantastic. Truly fantastic. We cannot speak highly enough of the wonderful people that we got to meet and get to know. This team has given us the most incredible gift, and we just know that it would not have been possible without them. The whole team brought such a commitment and attention to detail to the process. They were machines in bringing everything together to make this happen for us and we still cannot believe it. They know so much about us now and have all kept in touch; they were genuinely delighted to see us realise our dream.
Amanda, Gail, Carol, Dr. Michael Levy—they all made such a difference to us. It would be impossible to leave anyone out. Everyone brought their own unique expertise and knowledge to the process. Everyone had calmness about them and a real sense that they do this every day, for lots of like-minded couples. This went such a long way in taking any stress or anxiety out of the equation. The professionalism and thoroughness made the process such a comfortable one for us, and made a real difference.
I can completely understand hesitation. The U.S. is a long way away and this is an undoubtedly huge commitment to make. Honestly speaking, the geography behind this did not turn out to be an issue in the end for us. We were in constant daily touch via calls and emails, and the process was so thoroughly handled. The team of people at Shady Grove Fertility worked so well together; you can clearly get a sense of this well-oiled machine at work, covering every conceivable detail to maximize your chances of a successful pregnancy. That is their single-minded aim and everything that they do goes into ensuring that you are successful and are supported at every step of the journey that you make with them. They were utterly brilliant people; we cannot thank them enough and we would recommend them to anyone.