One woman’s story with a happy ending

This is the first-hand account of a woman who had long-term fertility problems yet finally had a baby. She took part in one of my workshops. I share it here with her permission. It might be especially helpful to any other women who have auto-immune issues (allergies, asthma and arthritis). The clinic she used in Nottingham sounds very caring and well-run.
“You asked at the time how I managed to finally conceive her after 6 years. Well after 5 IUIs and 3 IVFs, as well as lots of alternative treatments including reflexology, the Foresight Programme, the Marilyn Glenville Programme  and 2 years of heavy chinese herbs and acupuncture with Dr Zhai on Harley St, my partner saw a piece in the newspaper about a clinic in Nottingham called Care who were pioneering a range of new treatments. By this point I was almost 40 years old and had very little faith left. I was struggling to accept the situation and was having panic attacks as I felt so overwhelmed with grief and self recrimination.

We went for a consultation with a doctor called George Nduwke who looked at my health record and said that because I had so many autoimmune problems he wanted to run tests to see if my infertility was was connected (he felt that my underlying fertility was not necessarily the issue). I should say at this point I thought that this had already been ruled out by tests I’d had with a guy called Dr Shehata on Harley St - an expert on miscarriage and autoimmune issues. When George’s tests came back (an advanced version of the ones i’d had with Shehata)  they showed that I had lots of immune issues, my own system was overproducing antibodies which would attack embryos, as well as attacking the hormones that support pregnancy. Also my partner and I have very closely matched immune systems which on its own may not be an issue but could have been a contributing one. I was not metabolizing folic acid properly and my TSH levels were borderline at almost 4.

Before having these tests I had decided not to have more IVF as I wasn’t sure I could cope with more loss and my health was suffering from all the treatments and stress over the years. However when it became clear that the tests had showed up something new and that they had something different to offer I agreed to try again. We got the results in January and did the treatment the following month. I did not wait for months as I had previously, cleaning up my diet, detoxing, cutting sugar and alcohol, although i was pretty healthy and virtually teatotal anyway.  I took 5mg of Folic Acid, a low dose of Thyroxine, Clexane (for a blood clotting issue) and was given an IV drip of Intralipids every two weeks (i would normally have also taken steroids as well but didn’t feel I could manage this cause of my reaction to them and George was happy for me to try without them) and I got pregnant!  I should say that in the previous 6 months my FSH levels had gone from borderline around 9 - 10 to 27! (possibly due to the Chinese herbs which really messed up my hormones for a while or possibly age related).

If you come across women for whom this might be an issue (I have allergies, asthma and arthritis) please do recommend this doctor and clinic. They were amazing - respectful, compassionate and professional. The care I received with them was completely unlike that I had from any of the London hospitals (Hammersmith, Lister and Elizabeth Garret Anderson) or fertility professionals I met. They were the first people to take the time to diagnose my problem and then to treat me in a way that was manageable for me, they were also brilliant communicators, always available to talk to and often called without being asked to check on my progress.

For the first half of my pregnancy I was completely stunned and freaked out by the fact that it had worked. I felt a sense of guilt (why me) and the fragility of it all and the feeling of it being such a close call was quite overwhelming sometimes. [My baby] is now 11 weeks old. All the years of not being able to conceive and the journey we went through to get there still haunts me however [this baby] has brought a peace and happiness to my life that I did not have before and that I am thankful for every day.”

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