We were trying for a baby for a year when we first went to siobhan. I had done ovulation tests so i knew i was ovulating and my periods were regular, so i thought everything was normal with me. I had also had blood tests done by my gp. All came back normal.
Although my periods were regular they weren’t normal. Siobhan gave me herbs and acupuncture and by my next period there was a huge improvement and i was having a normal period. However after another six months we still weren’t pregnant. Siobhan had suggested a number of times that my husband should have semen analysis done, so he did. The devastating news that we got was that there was no sperm in the semen sample. We had the test repeated and the results were the same. We were referred to a urologist for further investigation. As everything physically looked normal and all blood tests were normal, it pointed to there being a blockage or that the vas was not there.
We went to a Dublin fertility clinic and had further tests including TESE – a testicular biopsy to check for sperm. My husband is a carrier of the cystic fibrous gene, which in some cases cause the vas (the pipe that carries the sperm from the testicles) to be absent. The biopsy showed that there was sperm present, which was great news. There was just no way of it getting from the testicles to the semen.
This all meant that we would never be able to conceive naturally, our only option was IVF. In our case ICSI was recommended. This is the same process as IVF, except they physically inject each egg with the sperm after the eggs are harvested. Before embarking on the IVF journey we both went back to Siobhan. We felt that with Siobhan’s help we would ensure that we would be in the best physical shape possible. Also the acupuncture helped greatly with the stress of it all.
They retrieved 14 eggs from me, 12 were mature enough and they were able to fertilize 7. This was a great result. After 5 days we were ready for embryo transfer. There were two embryos ready, so we had both of them transferred. Unfortunately the cells in the other 5 hadn’t divided as they should, so we didn’t have any embryos to freeze.
After the transfer we waited twelve days to find out if it was successful. We got the fantastic news that i was pregnant!
We had a scan in the fertility clinic at 7 weeks to ensure that all was OK and to find out if we were expecting one or two babies. Only one of the embryos had successfully attached. But that was enough for us, we were absolutely over the moon. After two and a half years, we were finally pregnant. I kept going to Siobhan all through my pregnancy and took herbs when needed, especially in the first trimester. Later in the pregnancy the acupuncture helped greatly with back pain.
I have no doubt that Siobhan was a major factor in the IVF being successful first time. Not only through the herbs and acupuncture but her support and advise really helped us along the journey. For us western medicine combined with Chinese medicine has given us the greatest gift.
Update March’14: Our very healthy baby girl was born at full term. Thank you Siobhan for your help in getting her here.
Julie – Kilkenny