Sunday 15 September 2019

Irish woman (42) who had miracle twins after six rounds of IVF is now helping others struggling with infertility

Alison pictured with her husband Neil and twins Meghan and Gemma, now 2
Alison pictured with her husband Neil and twins Meghan and Gemma, now 2

Patricia Murphy

An Irish woman who welcomed twin girls after years of struggling to conceive has become a life coach in order to help other couples coping with infertility.

Alison Reede (42) went through six rounds of “emotionally, physically and financially draining” IVF before conceiving twins Gemma and Megan (2) in 2013.

The mum battled with infertility for over four years and has now trained as a Life Coach to provide a support network to Irish couples coping with fertility related problems.

“In my own experience I found that sharing my feelings and disappointments with my family and friends sometimes made everything more painful. Although they were a great support, it was hard for them too watching me struggle, so at times it was easier to say nothing.

“Studies have shown that struggling with infertility for a prolonged period can prove to have the same level of stress and anxiety as those who are coping with a serious illness, and I think it would have been great to have the guidance and support of someone impartial who understood my plight to be a Mum,” she said.

In 2010, Alison, then 37, and her husband Neil were told that they would never conceive naturally, which she said left them devastated.

“We were devastated. My life’s dreams and hopes of starting a family began to drift far away.  The only option I had ever considered was getting pregnant naturally. From the moment we got married we were trying. I felt like a fool because I let myself believe for 18 months that it would happen," Alison said.

The couple went through three IUIs before their first try at IVF, and received a positive pregnancy test exactly one year after their original diagnosis.

“I will never forget the euphoria I felt as the pregnancy test beamed a smiley face at me. The clinic confirmed with a blood test and we were booked in for a 7 week scan. This scan showed a healthy heart beat and it was amazing,” said Alison, who lives in Dromcondra in Dublin.

However, the couple’s excitement was dimmed when Alison was told her baby did not have a heartbeat at ten weeks.

“I had a missed miscarriage. It seemed so unfair after all we had been through. I went home, crawled into bed, cried and waited for the miscarriage to happen. It was soul destroying,” she said.

Although the miscarriage was heartbreaking for Alison and Neil, the couple took a positive in the fact that Alison had been pregnant and tried three further IVF procedures, none of which worked.

After identifying an auto-immune issue ahead of her fifth IVF round, Alsion’s sixth round of IVF proved successful and she was told she had fallen pregnant with twins.

“At the seven week scan this time I was seriously doubting my pregnancy because I had miscarried but my consultant confirmed I was expecting twins.

“Thankfully it was a straightforward pregnancy and even though I was as big as a house part of me didn’t believe it until they were in my arms. The girls are now two and a half and they were worth all of the heartbreak and stress,” Alison said.

The Life and Fertility coach said couples struggling with the stress of not being able to conceive shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.

“The impact of infertility and fertility treatment is so often underestimated. I’ve been through it and I know how hard the struggle can be,” she said.

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