Bouncing baby boy brings joy for Antiguan couple, who sing praises of Barbados Fertility Centre
Naomi and Michael Hart (not their real names) from Antigua always assumed that getting pregnant was something you could take for granted. After four years of trying to conceive without success they decided it was time to get help.
Naomi and Michael had been married for four years when decided they were ready to start a family, but after a full year of unprotected sex there was no sign of pregnancy. After a visit to their physician, tests revealed that Michael’s sperm was not being released and therefore their only hope of a baby was through.
At that time, their only option was to head to the States. After finding a clinic in Florida, the couple discovered that treatment was going to cost around $15,000 USD for one cycle of IVF, plus the cost of staying in Florida for a month.
It was a lot of money and a big decision, but in April 2007, the couple headed to Florida for their first IVF cycle, which involved Naomi’s eggs being collected, then fertilized with Michael’s sperm. Sadly, only one embryo was of good enough quality transferred. Like so many couples who undergo IVF, they were convinced that if an embryo had been placed in her womb, a pregnancy would occur. However, the embryo did not take and they had to face the bitter disappointment that the treatment had failed.
Determined that their struggle for a baby would not become the centre of the their lives, Naomi and Michael decided to focus on other aspects of their lives.
Later that year, armed with another $15,000 USD, the couple took another month off work and headed back to Florida to try again, praying that this time they’d be successful.
For their second IVF cycle they used frozen sperm from their first cycle and paid extra for assisted hatching. This time there were three embryos of good enough quality to be placed back in her womb, but sadly, yet again none of these embryos resulted in a pregnancy.
“When we failed the second time it was even tougher than the first.” Naomi remembers. “We just couldn’t believe it hadn’t worked for us again.”
When they arrived home, Naomi felt depressed and angry, but a story in a local magazine about Barbados Fertility Centre caught her eye. Trying not to get her hopes up too much, she decided to give them a call. From the outset she was impressed by the Centre’s success rates and the fact that costs were a lot less than Florida.
“They seemed to genuinely care about the our case and explained that we’d only be required to go on a two-week holiday instead of a full month to undergo treatment.” Naomi explains. The couple also benefited from discounted rates for their accommodation and flights as Caricom nationals.
The couple scheduled their treatment for December 2008 and opted for the Healthy Mind Body programme designed by the clinic to help couples relax.
Again three embryos were transferred and when they leftthey were secretly optimistic: “The holistic approach was really positive and we felt that even if the treatment failed we had enjoyed a really good IVF experience,” says Naomi. “We felt different this time around and I told my husband that I felt it had worked. He didn’t answer as I don’t think he wanted to tempt fate!”
Fourteen days after the transfer, the couple held their breath and took a pregnancy test. The positive line on the test was faint, so Naomi sent Michael to the pharmacy to buy another test. When he came back they decided that they should wait until the following day to try again as they wanted to be 100 percent sure. The following morning, Naomi tried again but her hands were shaking so much she couldn’t read the result! Michael looked at the stick and smiled from ear to ear.
Their son, Glen, was born in August 2009. Naomi says, “He has brought us such joy and was absolutely worth waiting for.”