A-Z

Lulu ' Interview 05

Age at interview: 40
Age at diagnosis: 31
Brief Outline: Lulu needed IVF to conceive her first daughter, but went on to have two natural pregnancies.
Background: Lulu is a homeopath. She is married with three children. Ethnic background' White British.

More about me...

Shortly after getting married, Lulu and her husband started trying for a family. She was concerned that there might be problems as she had had a miscarriage in her early 20s. Lulu was 31 when she first went to the GP and was referred for tests. They showed nothing up and doctors suggested she start on fertility drugs (Clomid). She did not feel ready at that stage and waited another 18 months, while they moved house, before consulting the GP again. Lulu then took Clomid for a couple of months, but did not like the drug and threw them away. She did get pregnant during that time, but had an early miscarriage. She tried some more Clomid but had a bad reaction to it, so was referred for IUI.  However the first clinic they went too did not seem to them very well set up and only offered a “Cinderella” service (no weekends or bank holidays). They went through three cycles, which Lulu found very stressful.  She and her husband researched and found another clinic, which was smaller and friendlier.  As they had, by this stage, been trying for 5 years, doctors recommended they start IVF. They conceived with their first cycle, although Lulu was very worried as she had had two miscarriages previously. But the pregnancy was supported with progesterone in the early weeks and at it progressed well. Lulu and her husband went on to have two more children, conceived naturally.  

 

Lulu found the two-week wait very difficult but did not want to do a test at home. She had a...

Lulu found the two-week wait very difficult but did not want to do a test at home. She had a...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And then the next two weeks… and that had all been fine. I actually hadn’t found that part of the IVF really too bad. But then the next two weeks was the worst. The waiting for that result was actually really quite bad. I was totally neurotic about it. And I got to two weeks and about fifteen days actually I think it was after the embryo transfer and I was like oh I am not… they said do a pregnancy test at home and I thought I am not doing a pregnancy test. I was in pain so I thought my periods was coming on. No point. No point. I am not going to do anything. So… and then they phoned me back lunch time and said, “Have you done your pregnancy test?” And I said, “Oh, I can’t see the point. I am not going to.” And they said, you know, “Well why don’t you. You do actually need to do and why don’t you come for a blood test?” I said, “Fine okay. I will come in for a blood test this afternoon.”
 
So I went in. So and I drove home and it was a good forty five minutes, fifty minute drive home and by the time I got home there was a message on the answer machine saying, “Can you phone us.” And it sounded so serious. 
 
And I phoned them back and they said, “You are pregnant.” And I just couldn’t believe it. But I couldn’t believe it but I was also sort of tempered by the fact that I had had two miscarriages in my life and that may be this wouldn’t work.
 
And So I went back and said… they gave me progesterone to support it. And said, “Come back at six weeks.” Six or seven weeks. There was a heartbeat, and that was it amazing. 
 
So – and – yes and the consultant said, “Well if there is a good strong heart beat now,” he said, “That is a really good sign.” So – and we actually went back at nine weeks for another scan. And again it was fine. And everything went smoothly. I felt pretty sick. But that was okay and that was fine. 
 
 

Lulu made several changes and used complementary treatments as she started out on fertility...

Lulu made several changes and used complementary treatments as she started out on fertility...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And then I went back to the GP’s here and they referred me again. We went through all the tests again. And again, nothing. Everything seemed absolutely fine. There was nothing, you know.
 
And I was also at this point trying to do things to improve my overall health, like cut back on the drinking, you know. Usual things. People say oh take a holiday, you know, which you didn’t want to listen to and so we kept on trying and then eventually we thought well may be we would give fertility drugs a try and so I think it was at the end of 1999 I gave fertility drugs a go and took Clomid and the first month nothing happened, the second month nothing happen and then the third month I took two or three out of the pills or something like that and I just chucked the rest in the bin. 
 
Well that is probably what of I worried about with the IVF and you know I kind of think you know, but actually for me the two worked hand in hand. The one thing I was in really quite good health by the time, you know, I had my daughter. I had done so much and so had my husband. He had given up smoking, you know, I’d… I didn’t really drink only on special occasions. I drank if I wanted to, but I didn’t you know, didn’t make an everyday habit. So it really helped me get myself in shape, which I am sure helped the IVF. And then I think it helped from an emotional aspect. You know. I did a bit of homeopathy, nutrition. I did a bit of reflexology for kind of relaxation and things. And so I think the two worked really well hand in hand. So I was trying to eat well and that must help. That must help with it when you are coming to… being in good health, both of you. So I found that a tremendous help actually in having that knowledge. So .. and I had to, and that was the other thing I took. I saw a homeopath in London who had done loads of infertility and she gave me all sorts of… I started seeing her about six, nine months before I did the IVF and she had quite a specific programme to put, you know, to put people through and then very specific homeopathic remedies that she would give during the IVF process. So may be that helped, I don’t know. We will never know. But it certainly helped me. I felt like I was trying to do the best for it. And I had done everything that I could so…
 
 

Lulu described how the caring atmosphere of the clinic made a big difference. It felt right for her.

Lulu described how the caring atmosphere of the clinic made a big difference. It felt right for her.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

I think people you know they cared, and I think that is very important. You are not part… that was actually why I chose that clinic, because it was a smaller clinic. It was very small, five members of staff I think. So you knew everybody and whereas I had the opportunity to go to a much bigger one and I just felt, although they had fantastic success rates, you were just a number in a machine and I actually have heard that from a couple of people who have been there. Great, but you are just a part of the… you know, a lot of numbers and for me that is not all right for me.

 

Lulu was not keen on trying fertility drugs but eventually tried a few months of clomiphene (Clomid). She got pregnant but then miscarried.

Lulu was not keen on trying fertility drugs but eventually tried a few months of clomiphene (Clomid). She got pregnant but then miscarried.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And I was also at this point trying to do things to improve my overall health, like cut back on the drinking, you know. Usual things. People say oh take a holiday, you know, which you didn’t want to listen to and so we kept on trying and then eventually we thought well may be we would give fertility drugs a try and so I think it was at the end of 1999 I gave fertility drugs a go and took Clomid and the first month nothing happened, the second month nothing happen and then the third month I took two or three out of the pills or something like that and I just chucked the rest in the bin. 
 
So I thought I have had enough of this lot and I actually got pregnant. And because I remember it because it was about the time of the millennium. But at six weeks, six or seven weeks I had a miscarriage. So… which in some ways it was great because I know I could get pregnant. But it was awful because I knew that you are back to that square one again and I think that is one of the things I will say about infertility is that when you have a miscarriage you back to the beginning again and that is you are back at square one again.
 
Well we thought, well great, we got pregnant, maybe we should give it a bit more time. I might get pregnant on my own. So we left it nine months or so and again nothing happened and went back to the GP and he said, “Give Clomid another go.” He said, “You can do another three cycles of it.” This time I had a really bad reaction to the Clomid. I mean it really. It was like having PMT ten times over and I think I gave it a couple of goes and I just decided that that was really, you know, not for me.
 
So a few months later we got referred again. And you know it was just, you know it was going back through cycles and you know it was going over and over and it never went away. You know my desire for children never went away. And I had started doing some work by this point. I was working and you know doing my homeopathy nutrition which was great and I was really enjoying that and but I could never put that aside, the thing that I did want to have a child.
 
So we went back to the hospital again and this time they said well why don’t you try IUI with fertility drugs. So I was a bit unsure about fertility drugs because the experience that I had had. And they say well you can try Tamoxifen.
 
 

Lulu had told her Mum and a few close friends. But she didn’t talk to her mother-in-law for a...

Lulu had told her Mum and a few close friends. But she didn’t talk to her mother-in-law for a...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

I was always open about it. I mean you know, I mean, my mother-in-law just, you know we didn’t talk to her about it for a while and she just thought we didn’t want children. You know, and actually once, she just made that assumption that we weren’t going to have children and but she was great once she knew about it, she was great, you know, so yes, quite a difficult, it is a really difficult one that, really, really difficult, because you automatically expect people to understand, but people don’t. And not all women do. 

 

Lulu's private fertility clinic offered counselling as standard, which she viewed as a good thing.

Lulu's private fertility clinic offered counselling as standard, which she viewed as a good thing.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

No that was offered as part of the… you didn’t have to pay for it additionally, with the clinic, the private clinic they offered it as part of, you could go as many times as you want you know during that period or even afterwards if you hadn’t. So that was just part of what they offered. And I think that was a really good thing to do. Because sometimes I got to the point where you just think I can’t talk to people about this anymore. And you know and you can’t of think, oh I don’t want to bother with people any more. So it was quite good to have somewhere to go to kind of offload all of that. So yes.

Previous Page
Next Page