Royston couple speak out about struggle to have a family for National Fertility Awareness Week

PUBLISHED: 11:55 02 November 2017

Lucy and Andrew Peters from Royston with three-year-old son Benjamin and six-month-old twins Chloe and Oliver. Picture: Lucy Peters

Lucy and Andrew Peters from Royston with three-year-old son Benjamin and six-month-old twins Chloe and Oliver. Picture: Lucy Peters

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A Royston couple have spoken out about their struggle to conceive to let others know they’re not alone in National Fertility Awareness Week.

A Royston couple have spoken out about their struggle to conceive to let others know they’re not alone in National Fertility Awareness Week.

The week, which runs until Sunday, aims to get people talking and change perceptions of fertility issues – something which Lucy and Andrew Peters are all too familiar with.

The couple met 10 years ago and the subject of children came up pretty quickly. They married four years later and started trying for a baby straight away, but still hadn’t had any luck 18 months on.

“I had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right,” said Lucy.

“We had months and months of trying and nothing happening and getting disheartened and then other people telling us to relax and not think about it which is virtually impossible.

“It really takes a strain on a relationship, we had read every book on the subject, were eating all the right foods and had even gone organic, we were taking supplements and still nothing was happening. We wondered what we were doing wrong.

“By the time we went to see the GP I was 35 and had reached an age where I thought we really needed to get a move on.

“I had spent years being careful to avoid getting pregnant and so hadn’t expected it to be such a challenge when I actually wanted it to happen!”

When Lucy started opening up to people about their situation she discovered that a number of people around her had encountered problems conceiving or had their children through IVF.

“People tend to keep fertility issues to themselves but once I started telling people about our situation I was surprised at how many people I knew had experienced similar problems,” she said.

The couple’s GP referred them for hospital tests which revealed that Andrew had a low sperm count.

“It can be hard for a man but actually for us we were pleased that we finally had an answer,” said Lucy.

“Andrew tried changing his diet and even wore loose underwear and I was advised to lose some weight to get my BMI down but we still didn’t conceive and so we were told that our best chance of a baby was with IVF treatment.”

Lucy and Andrew had the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection treatment at Bourn Hall Clinic over the county border.

Very few sperm are needed for this particular fertility treatment and it involved injecting Andrew’s sperm directly in to eggs retrieved from Lucy before transferring one of the fertilised embryos to her womb.

The couple’s treatment worked first time but they had an anxious few weeks wait before the pregnancy was finally confirmed after their first scan was inconclusive.

“We were desperate to tell family in time for Christmas if it was good news and so the nurse fitted us in for a scan on Christmas Eve,

“I still get really emotional thinking about it. We went in and on the screen we saw the little flicker of a heart. I remember phoning my mum and sister on the way home to tell them the good news, it just didn’t seem real!”

Son Benjamin was born three years ago after what Lucy describes as a “textbook pregnancy” and he is now a happy and healthy toddler.

When he celebrated his second birthday, Lucy had further treatment at Bourn Hall and was delighted when she discovered she was expecting twins. Oliver and Chloe were born six months ago and Lucy cannot believe how much her life has changed in the last few years.

She said: “I have gone from thinking that I would never be a mum to having three little people in my house. It is completely surprising and I feel really blessed.”

Lucy’s advice to other people finding it difficult to get pregnant is “trust your instincts.”

She said: “I knew that something wasn’t quite right, and it was such a relief when we did seek help because it felt as though we were not alone anymore.”

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