UK couple Carrie and Justin prepare to head to Estonia on their Fertility Journey

June 13th, 2024

“We’re so over the moon with this news!”

Carrie Carfrae and Justin Smith were overjoyed to be chosen for the latest Fertility Journey Project. The couple will head to Next Fertility Nordic in Tallinn, Estonia, later this summer for egg donation IVF.

Carrie previously underwent IVF with her former partner, but a personal tragedy brought her world crashing down.

Carrie explains: “I had IVF in my mid-30s with my ex-partner. We did two rounds on the NHS, and they didn’t work. In between these, my sister Lydia was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She died in May 2020.”

Carrie and her sister, Lydia

“She left me some money in her will to try privately with IVF. We did get blastocysts from those cycles, but then my partner and I split up. So even though those embryos were frozen, we didn’t use those, which was really difficult for me to deal with.”

Carrie, now 43, said the following years were “incredibly difficult” until she met Justin.

The couple met when they worked at Production Park in Wakefield, England, a purpose-built studio facility used for major film, TV and commercial productions.

“Justin ran the big bar and restaurant there, where I used to go and get my lunch, and we used to chat,” Carrie recalls. “That’s how we met each other.”

She added: “I had been so down since my sister died, but meeting someone like him has completely changed my life. He’s wonderful.” 

“Justin is 10 years older than me and has never had children before. He had a really difficult upbringing, as he went into care when he was three years old.” 

“So I think that makes him want to give a child an amazing home even more, because he never had that.” 

“We have both been through our tragedies in life, but in very different ways. It’s drawn us together, and made us want this happy family.”

Fast forward two years and the couple live together in a beautiful cottage in a small village just outside of Wakefield, and Carrie has changed careers and now works for a copywriting agency, which counts supermarket giant Asda as one of its clients. With the couple’s impending treatment at Next Fertility Nordic, Carrie says: “I feel like everything in my life is coming together.”

Tallinn holds a special place in Carrie’s heart, as she has fond memories of holidaying with Lydia in the Estonian capital.

“To get this opportunity in Tallinn is really special. This feels right. I remember we had such a lovely holiday, just the two of us, a few years ago,” she says.

UK couple Carrie and Justin prepare to head to Estonia on their Fertility Journey 1

Carrie and Justin met the Next Fertility Nordic team during an online consultation last week and they are already feeling positive about the journey ahead.

“I’ve had a couple of meetings with them now. Everyone at the clinic is so friendly and we’ve met all the team, the embryologist, the donor coordinator.”

Carrie added: “I sent photos of me and my sister to match with the donor, because it is important for me to have that resemblance to my sister.”

Thankfully, the clinic has already managed to find a suitable donor for the couple, and she will start treatment in June.

Carrie and Justin plan to fly out to Tallinn in August or September for a frozen embryo transfer.

Carrie added: “We’re really, really happy together, and we just want to be parents now.” 

“This is just an amazing opportunity for us.”

Picture of Laura Cooke
Laura Cooke
Laura is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about fertility, egg and sperm donation and IVF. She has previously written about the subject for publications including Men's Health UK and Stylist.

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