We launched The Fertility Journeys Iniatieve in 2016 to help couples like Joanna and Alan who want to start a family and have come to a point where they a little extra care. We have always been passionate about help men and women start or extend their family and the fact they need medica
Joanna and Alan applied to take part in our Fertility Journey in 2021 in the high of the global pandemic. They were lucky to be selected but like so many other parents to be they had to wait for lockdowns to end and borders to re-open.
Being offered a life changing opportunity to receive free IVF treatment the couple were both excited but not being able to travel left them wondering if they had lost their chance to become parents.
Thankfully the world has started to get back to normal and they have just returned from their first visit to UR Vistahermosa in Alicante and we wanted to find out more about the couple and the journey so far.
We did a quick fire questions and answers to get to know Joanna and Alan
Q: How did you and your husband meet?
A: We were friends of friends, then saw each other at a nightclub, he asked for my number, he called the week after and we went out for our first meal, we carried on going to that restaurant each year until it closed down.
Q: How long have you been together?
A: 19 years
Q: Have you always wanted children?
A: Always! We got married when I was 24 and we starting trying straight away.
Q. Do you both have large families?
A: Yes, my mum has 11 other siblings with two sets of twins, mum being one of them, so I have lots of cousins. Alans mum/dad also has lots of siblings and cousins
Q: How long were you together before you realised you were not getting pregnant?
A: We tried for 1 year, then I called the doctor and saw our GP, they sent me for bloods to check my hormone levels which showed my levels really low and I had scans/ultrasounds which showed low egg reserve
Q: Do either have you have any underlying issues ie PCOS, low sperm count etc.
A: No, I just have low egg reserve and starting early menopause when I was approx. 33
Q: What is was like finding out you had been selected to receive treatment at with Vistahermosa?
A: We were so overwhelmed, we were gobsmacked! My husband even thought it wasn’t real and might have been a scam, he couldn’t believe we had won something so amazing, we never in a million years thought we would be that lucky!
Q: How have the clinic and staff how they treated/looked after you.
A: They have been brilliant, Marta has been so friendly and gives us so much information, nothing is to much trouble for her. I am a worrier and email her constantly and she always comes back to me.
Q: Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic put everything on hold so this must have been a strange time for you both. How have you coped?
A: We were devastated that we couldn’t start the treatment ASAP, covid has been so stressful, we both work in our local hospital so we have been constantly busy. We wanted to fly over to the clinic when Spain went on Amber, but it didn’t work with our working schedule. But now we have been able to get an idea of a date we can fly, I have ordered all our medication and we are finally ready to book our flights, and we are so excited, it all feels real now!
Q: With COVID still a huge part of our lives knowing you will have to travel to Spain must be unnerving for you. How do think this will affect how you feel about travelling for treatment.
A: We are worried about catching covid before we go or even catching it while over in Spain, we are going to be scared being near lots of people but we need to do this as we need to start our IVF journey. If we don’t go now I worry when we can go back over.
Q: I would imagine this is now an exciting/scary time for you both. Has this had any affect on your relationship?
A: We are a very strong couple thank god, we have been through IVF for years and years, so we know how to manage our stress levels. We try to talk about things when they get stressful and throw ourselves in to work to keep us busy. We also have a little Dog Lola who has got us through so much over the years, she helps us a lot when we get stressed or upset.
Q: What affect has the whole IVF process had your relationship and with your friends/family.
A: Every time we say to family we are starting ivf again they worry as they know how hard its been on us when they have failed. They are supportive but they worry.
For more Information about our Fertility Journeys visit https://fertilityroad.com/fertility-journeys-project/