In Sunshine and In Shadow Quote Pin Image

Sunshine After Shadow

Author: Lauren Coleman

This is the post I never thought I’d be lucky enough to write. James and I are thrilled to announce we’re expecting a baby in November.
My heart aches knowing this pregnancy announcement may bring pain to some. However I am also aware sharing experiences can bring hope to others.
I have deliberated how much to share as part of this post wondering whether to save for a later date, but infertility, IVF and loss are part of the story that has led us here today. While assisted conception will not define me, my husband or my offspring, I think it’s extremely important to talk about what has previously been a taboo subject.

To some, reading this may feel familiar as I have blogged anonymously for several months as Jane over on RMF. James and I both send heartfelt thanks for the support so many people gave us during this time. It is testament to this wonderful community that you welcomed a stranger into your fold and the advice was absolutely invaluable. While it’s slightly odd to refer to myself in the third person, my alter ego Jane is braver and more self-aware than I, and I found writing as her to be extremely cathartic. I have explained my reasons for blogging anonymously and hope you understand why James and I chose to take that route.

In 2014 we began to talk about starting a family. I came off the pill in May 2015 and while everyone around us seemed to easily fall pregnant, we unfortunately joined the 3.5 million people in the UK affected by infertility, that is the inability to get pregnant after a year of trying.

In December 2016 I headed to my doctor to begin fertility investigations and in February 2017 we were dealt a devastating blow when our GP informed us biologically it would be impossible for us to conceive, even with the use of IVF.

The diagnosis was the condition azoospermia – the absence of sperm. We had already read up on the condition and thankfully had more knowledge on the subject than our GP. The condition can be genetic or as a result of illness but some cases are due to blockages which means sperm can be retrieved through an operation. We pleaded with our GP to refer us to a urologist and he finally agreed. However when I called to check on the progress two weeks later we realised no referral had been made.

At this point it really felt it was James and I against the world.

I had always thrived on managing two roles; one for Rock My Style and my job in the corporate world. However towards the back end of 2016 my role in the office shifted significantly. Throwing the diagnosis into the mix I no longer had the brain capacity or emotional energy to juggle the responsibilities. Painting a smile on my face in the morning became exhausting and I felt as though I was drowning. It became clear that I needed to prioritise one area in my life over my career, and that was my husband, our relationship and our family.
When I handed my notice in the relief was immense. My acupuncturist later analysed the results of my infertility investigations she concluded the significant drop in my hormone levels from January to March were no doubt due to the reduction in stress levels. At the start of the year I would not have qualified for IVF funding as my hormone levels were too high but by the spring they had dropped to a level where we could be assessed for funding.

James underwent a series of genetic tests and in June it was deduced the azoospermia was likely to be due to a childhood illness such as mumps. The urologist asked my date of birth at the appointment and when he realised the next day was my birthday, his face fell, as he knew we weren’t going to have much to celebrate. We left the appointment with the knowledge it was highly unlikely a surgical sperm retrieval operation would reveal any sperm, with odds of less than 10%. We began to research the donor route and on the advice of the urologist James cut down his caffeine intake.

The week I left my role in the corporate world we filled in all the paperwork required for IVF. Six weeks later James headed to New Zealand for work and while he was on the other side of the world we received a letter to confirm we had been approved for one cycle of funded IVF. I met him at the airport to share the news and as you can imagine it was a very emotional reunion.

In Northamptonshire, a funded NHS cycle is actually carried out by a private provider; Care Fertility. Our August appointment rolled around and James was asked to provide another specimen. Great, we thought, another opportunity to be told once again that our only route was donor sperm. The consultant leafed through all her paperwork running through the information she had on our file and then she dropped a bombshell casually into the conversation; ‘And so, yes we found a small quantity of sperm in your sample’.

James nearly fell off his chair and I burst into tears. We have no idea if sperm had been present all along or if the drop in caffeine was a factor. We were told private providers spin and wash the sample, but the NHS unfortunately don’t have the resource to do this. While we would still need to use IVF and the ICSI procedure (where sperm is injected into the egg) to get pregnant, we wouldn’t require a donor.

In September we flew to Italy to celebrate our friends’ wedding and amongst a suitcase filled with fancy frocks and high heels I carried needles, medication and a sharps bin. In a hotel room in Turin we started our first cycle of IVF and I began the nightly injections to take my body into a medically induced menopause ready to artificially stimulate my egg production.
The first cycle sadly ended in a chemical pregnancy, the term used to describe an early miscarriage before six weeks. Our embryo stopped developing at four and a half weeks turning our positive pregnancy test to a negative. Eight days later our little lost soul finally left my body in a painful bleed. We were heartbroken.

We were advised to wait for two more bleeds before beginning another cycle. January was quite an eventful month what with breast screening and international interest in my bookcase. In fact the night I published my response to the backward book trolls, James called me upstairs to hand me my first injection. Our second round had started.
Nearly 50 injections later I found myself back in theatre where the medical team removed nine eggs from my ovaries. Legally, only mature eggs are allowed to be injected with sperm and so only five of the nine were able to be introduced to the sperm.
The next day we received the call to say just three of the eggs had fertilised. To say the next few days were tense were an understatement and by day five, only one embryo remained. In February I had a grade-one, top quality embryo transferred and waited two weeks to see if the procedure had been successful.
We were due to test on the Tuesday morning but as our parents and siblings knew the date of the official test day we decided on a whim to test on the Monday night. I had been very nauseous for the past three days and so we were pretty sure we were going to get a positive result. (Well James was, I’m a born worrier and was convinced it would be negative!) For 12 glorious hours we were the only two people in the world who knew we had a little one on the way. We put Fleetwood Mac on the record player and twirled around the kitchen in a euphoric bubble.

I’m still utterly terrified every day, scared we will lose our little miracle, but overall I feel like the luckiest person in the world and am marvelling at my changing body and the new life within it.

I’m sure I’ll take up some of our Monday and Wednesday family slots at some point to share my experience of the first trimester, (let’s just say whoever came up with ‘morning’ sickness needs a good talking to), my capsule summer maternity wardrobe and all the nursery plans. For now though I’ll leave you with the words that have given hope during the last cycle; ‘When nothing is certain, anything is possible’. And I truly believe that’s the case.

{Contributors}
Author
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman

186 thoughts on “Sunshine After Shadow

  1. Wow.. what a heart warming story, sensitively put. Congratulations to you both! I often wondered about ‘Jane’ and how she was getting on. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes swimmingly. And the sickness finally stops!

  2. Oh Lauren, so much of your story rings true for me, and although I only know some of what you and James have been through, it’s enough to know you’ve had one hell of a time.

    When baby is here, all of this will feel like a distant memory; but every second of hope and heartbreak will have been worth it… it doesn’t matter how they come to us, it just matters that they get there in the end. You have such a wonderful adventure ahead!

    Wishing you, James and your little one all the love and happiness. You deserve it. So happy for you!!

    1. Thank you my love. It’s only when I look back on it all I realise how much we’ve been through and I’m sure you mentioned the same.
      Lots of love to you, Lee and E x

      1. I’m sure this reply will get lost amongst the millions, but yep – I’m with you there. Every knock and blow almost becomes your every day life and you just deal with it… Because to stop and reflect at that point would probably tip you over the edge. I wouldn’t wish that trauma on anyone and I’m so f**king delighted that you have won this fight! As time goes by, it’s easier to look back on and you’ll realise what a warrior you are.

        Life always finds a way (I think I just quoted Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, and I’m fine with that).

        You’ll be an amazing Mummy my dear xx

  3. Congratulations this is such lovely news. I had a feeling you might be Jane, I can’t rememver what it was now but there was one particular sentence in one of Janes posts that made me wonder…
    we were in a similar position to yourselves and I strongly believe that lifestyle changes helped the quality of my husbands sperm, we had icsi and luckily we were successful on our first round, our now nearly 4 year old is flat out in bed and I need him to get up in 5 mins!!
    The next few months will still be a rollercoaster for you! Sending you the very best of wishes for a happy healthy pregnancy and beyond xx

    1. Thank you Claire.
      Lisa and my sister used to do a bit of de-laurenisation on the posts but it’s hard to write as someone else so I did think people would realise!
      Writing as Jane made me have to collect my thoughts and compose myself which was especially helpful in keeping my cool through the process.
      Huge congrats on your successful ICSI. I hope you managed to get him out of bed! x

  4. Huge congratulations Lauren!! We too struggled with infertility and had various assisted attempts at getting pregnant before going on to have four gorgeous babies all conceived naturally, so as you say, anything is posssible. I feel so thrilled for you, will be wonderful parents xx

    1. Oh Kirsty, how incredible to go on to conceive naturally, and four times too! Must have been such a long road to get there though x

  5. Oh my goodness, I’ve never wanted to give someone I don’t know a hug so much! Congratulations, I am absolutely delighted for you!

  6. Congratulations Lauren, amazing news for you and James.

    I didn’t clock Jane might have been you until your announcement on Instagram last night. It got me wondering.

    Super happy news to start the week

  7. Congratulations Lauren!
    I am in tears reading your post, I’m so sad to hear what a tough road it’s been for you. While I haven’t experienced infertility myself I know first hand that pregnancy after miscarriage is a rollercoaster of emotions and I’m sending lots of love and luck your way. As Karen said above, in time it will all be a distant memory and once you meet your baby you’ll know it was all worth it xx

    1. Thank you Charlie, and so sorry you had to go through miscarriage too. It makes you realise how precious life is and how you can’t take anything for granted. x

  8. Lauren I’m so over the moon at your good news. So beautifully written. I’ve always thought you were a lovely person by the way you write I love your house and your updates…I’m over the moon for you and James, congratulations xx

  9. This brought a tear to my eye Lauren. I am so so completely delighted for you, hearing all you have been through.

    We had a pretty terrible time having our children and whilst it was so bloody awful (to put it mildly), when my eldest was born I just looked at him and thought ‘I would have waited forever for you’. Every sadness, every heartbreak, every disappointment lead us to him which allowed me to make peace with what had passed.

    (Not to trivialise it or minimise the significance of such struggles but goodness me, what a silver lining the baby is when it arrives)

    Wishing you nothing but joy from here on in x

    1. Thank you. I still can’t believe it’s happening to be honest. When I think of what some people have to go through to get this point I feel so lucky we only had to endure two rounds of IVF. And then I hear about someone who got pregnant on a one night stand and think, maybe not!
      I’m so glad you got your happy ending x

  10. Oh Lauren, I’m so happy for you. After reading your insta post last night I started thinking about Jane and whether it might be you – I’m so pleased for you and wishing you all the best over these next months of pregnancy! Xx

  11. Fleetwood back is THE BEST way to celebrate. I’m so sad to hear what a difficult time you’ve had, but thrilled at the outcome. Now about that awkward garden room – I’m thinking PLAYROOM! 😊 This child is going to inhabit one seriously stylish space…..

    1. Ha ha Philippa, that’s the plan! Playroom/Guest Room so I can put my parents in there and they don’t have to have the sleepless nights when they come down but can be surrounded by plastic tat instead! x

  12. Your journey is very similar to our own, it bought tears to my eyes. And yes, I was terrified every day of those nine months but have just fed my 13 month old son his breakfast and we are off to spend the day with friends. It took us 13 years to bring this little chap into our lives ❤️

    1. Oh Annie, what a journey for you.
      Have a wonderful day with your son and your friends today. It really makes you appreciate the little things x

  13. Congratulations, I am so happy for you, reading this has made me so emotional!
    Thankyou for opening up with your story, it’s a subject that isn’t spoken about enough xx

  14. Oh Lauren. That’s made my day. Amazing amazing news!

    We were also ICSI because of my husbands azoospermia (caused by a genetic condition he has). He was told at 18 he would never have children and I had two miscarriages in a previous relationship. We thought it would never happen for us.
    Two goes at IVF later (one fresh and one frozen-counts as the one cycle the NHS allowed us) and we had that wonderful moment where the stick says the right thing. We now have the most beautiful 13 month old and have decided to count our blessings and leave it there. We never thought it would happen and right up until the moment they held him up to show me a big part of me didn’t believe I was really having a baby.

    Such a miracle pregnancy is a lovely bubble to be in. My husband and I were never closer-instantly made into a little family and anxiously euphoric about every little kick, twinge and stage we found ourselves at.

    It’s the best adventure and thank God someone out there made this possible for mums like us.

    Congratulations doesn’t seem like a big enough word but it’s all I have so-congratulations. xxx

    1. Emma, we’re the same and feel if we’re lucky enough to get to November we will count our blessings.
      I had a good talk with my acupuncturist the other day as the anxiety makes me feel I need to reach the next milestone rather than taking each day as it comes. She made me realise I have to enjoy this as this could be my only pregnancy.
      Huge congratulations to your family on your 13th month old. xxx

  15. What wonderful news to wake up to this morning. I had no idea you might be Jane. I’m glad you have your happy ending. Like Karen said, how children come to you doesn’t matter in the end, it’s just that they are there.

    The only appropriate maternity clothing for someone who had morning sickness the whole way through for both (and nausea before was a sign here too) is a vest and pants in this weather. I used to have to lie on the floor as the bed felt like too much movement. If it gets too bad, as someone who had HG, take drugs if you need them.

    1. Thanks Rebecca, it’s been so hot this weekend!
      We had our NIPT with a Fetal Medical Consultant and she recommended drugs too. Thankfully I’m starting to feel a bit better so I’m really hoping it lifts soon.

  16. So utterly delighted for you Lauren, as an avid reader of both blogs I hadn’t twigged you might be Jane at all! Take good care of yourself 😘

  17. Lauren you are one inspirational lady
    Congratulations to you and James , enjoy the rest of this journey and thank you for sharing this very emotional blog.
    So much love
    Lynne xxx

    1. Thanks so much Lynne and so sorry we didn’t get to see you at the weekend to celebrate x

  18. “She made broken look beautiful
    and strong look invincible.
    She walked with the Universe
    on her shoulders and made it
    look like a pair of wings.”

    That’s one if my favourite quotes and it seemed appropriate here. What a time you’ve been through lady, sending all the love in the world.

  19. Congratulations Lauren and thank you for being so open about the process – reading about Jane’s story gave me a much needed insight into what friends are going through and I hope has made me a more supportive friend. The discussion about how to break a pregnancy announcement was especially useful.
    Wishing you a very uneventful pregnancy! The worry won’t ever stop now but that’s motherhood for you…

    1. So I’ve heard Katie. It’s a whole new world for me!
      I’m glad you found Jane’s posts helpful x

  20. Oh Lauren. Such fabulous news – I’m delighted for you. I hope the nausea eases soon and you sail through to November. It will be here before you know it!
    Congratulations xxx

  21. I’m a “loss mum” and parent to a rainbow baby (I spoke about Alexandra and Ophelia on RMF) and your post made me all happy totes emosh. The fertility lottery is just massively unfair and I think we all need to gentle to each other. As this page does 🙂

    Seraphine, Tiffany rose and Isabella Oliver are the brands to go for if you need a maternity outfit for a posh doo. I could never really get on with ASOS!

    Xx

    1. I remember you well Claire and everything you have been through. You are an inspiration lovely lady.
      I’ve got a few weddings coming up that I need posh frocks for, though I’ll be a bridesmaid at 7 months which made for interesting dress shopping! x

  22. An incredible and inspiring post, so brave and so strong. The best news!! Huge congratulations!! xxxx

  23. Lauren it’s brought tears to my eyes. Simply couldn’t be happier for you lovely lady. Congratulations

    1. Thank you my love. Hope all is good with you and you’re enjoying the new job. Lots of love x

  24. It’s a wonderful thing that I, and all these other people can feel genuine happiness for someone we’ve never met. Wishing you every happiness in the coming months. Xx

    1. Stacy I feel exactly the same. It’s so wonderful to have so many people congratulate us. This little community rocks x

  25. Huge congratulations to you both, after desperate and traumatic time, it’s absolutely wonderful that those months and years and hours (where the possibility of becoming pregnant are never far from your thoughts and actions) have turned to joy. The medical intervention of IVF is one of the many miracles that are made possible through the NHS, and, of course, private medicine, and which we take so much for granted it’s easy to overlook that it doesn’t provide a ready-made solution for everyone, neither is it an easy option for whoever opts to take it. Our journey, over 18 months and 18 years ago, didn’t end how we wanted, and took us and our lives on another path. This post has reminded me of our very difficult times; hopes and expectations, dreams and imaginings, plans and possibilities sucked away from us. My husband is reconciled to this, and, whilst I know that our relationship is indisputably stronger from what we have been through, part of my soul harbours a deep ache for the child I never had.

    1. Anita I am so sorry to read this and I send lots of love and hugs your way.
      These difficult times can rip apart relationships and so to hear your marriage with your husband is stronger is such a blessing. I hope you will always be gentle with yourself x

  26. Oh my goodness Lauren. Sending the most heartfelt congratulations to you and James. And thank you for trusting us as readers to share your news, despite the way the Internet has treated you recently (the books debacle). I had no idea you were on this journey, and awfully when I looked at you through social media I genuinely thought you had made a choice to hold off having a child and concentrate on other areas, I now feel awful for assuming and am reminded of the fact social media does not portray reality, and that we should always be kind to everyone always because we never know what struggles they are experiencing. I hope you are feeling well and can enjoy the pregnancy soon, what an adored little one yours is already, how lucky he or she is to have such devoted and determined parents. Xx

    1. Hi India, to tell you the truth I spent much of my twenties desperately wanting to want children but the desire wasn’t there. Then a few years ago I suddenly began to feel incredibly broody and I was very lucky that James felt the same.
      Don’t ever apologise for assuming. It’s very easily done!
      x

  27. Lauren this is so lovely to hear. Congratulations! As someone who has been through it I totally understood your feelings when writing as Jane. I was lucky enough to fall pregnant on our first ivf round but then had serious pregnancy complications where I lost all my amniotic fluid and was told our baby had just a 20% chance of surviving. We thought this could be our only chance of pregnancy so we carried on and have got the most gorgeous six month old son. I feel unbelievably lucky to have the ending I do, and wish you all the very best with the rest of your pregnancy. Although it’s hard to stop worrying try to enjoy it x

    1. Thank you Jen, what an incredibly stressful and scary time you must have had. I’m over the moon everything went well in the end. Huge congratulations x

  28. What a kind supportive bunch you are. Having been on maternity leave – and appreciating every minute of every day I spend with my baby girl, nothing has made me happier than Lauren’s news. She and James will make the most wonderful parents.

    It makes me so proud to dip in here and read such heart felt and thoughtful comments, long may it continue.

    x

    1. The comments have been so wonderful Charlotte. Big hugs to you and Iris (and Mabel and James too obviously ;)) x

  29. Lauren I am so so pleased for you! ICSI, IVF, it’s soul destroying.Chsrlie and I field literally every rest going and we’re continuously told even ICSI wouldn’t work for us (bad sperm..sadly any eggs) the whole thing is so tough emotionally and physically I have so much respect for all the other amazingly tough women out there who have had the treatment.we only got 2 low grade eggs by morning of day two, 7 and 8 cells, and doctors never like to put in two but they told us neither was likely to take so we really should..hello Frilly and Gigi!!
    I need to point out the guy who invented ICSI , George Nwzube was the one who carried Out the Procedure, so we have our own little twin Georgina 😜 to remember him by.. like you and James, Chsrlie and I have been together forever and we picked out Francesca’s name when we were 19,so years of dreaming.. I have said this before but what an exceptional mum you will make,me and my girls will have to come play in your magical garden next summer! We aren’t. Extra lucky and these babies are extra special xxx

    1. Rochelle, I had no idea Gigi was named after George Nwzube. That’s amazing! We’ve actually spoken about the baby’s middle name being named after one of the embryologists who looked after us. They are the most incredible people!
      You and the girls (and Charlie) are welcome to come up to our garden anytime you like. Loads of love to you all x

  30. Oh Lauren such happy happy news! How wonderful to hear this little sunshine babe is on the way.

    And I had no idea or suspicion or anything you might be Jane you clever thing! Really glad it helped you to write and 100% sure it helped so many to read it.

    Can’t wait to follow your onward journey- and solidarity with lying on the bathroom floor retching all afternoon/evening. It does pass… honestly!

    1. Thanks so much Lucy. It’s been at least a week since I’ve been weeping on the bathroom floor so I’m definitely making progress! x

  31. Congratulations Lauren 😊 I didn’t read rock my family, so don’t know the backstory, but your happiness shines through in this post. I hope your pregnancy is as stress free and enjoyable as possible. You always come across as such a lovely and gracious person in your posts, and this is one no exception.

  32. This is the most wonderful news Lauren. I’ve always thought (as if I know you, sorry about that it’s prrrty weird!) that you seem like you’ll be a great Mum! Congratulations to you and James.

    1. Awww thanks Francesca. I’m terrified to tell you the truth but I hope I find my groove x

  33. Huge congratulations!!! Beautifully announced Lauren – I sobbed the whole way through! As someone currently struggling with infertility, you’ve given me hope, thank you!! I’m also in Northamptonshire and looking into acupuncture – would you be willing to share the name of your acupuncturist? xx

    1. Hi Rebecca, absolutely – I use Liz Jeannet for my first cycle who is based in London but travels to Olney twice a week. I loved her very practical, nutritional based approach but unfortunately she wasn’t able to support me during my second cycle due to illness.
      Liz recommended I use Simi Godagama who is based in Milton Keynes for my second cycle. Her approach is very different but I’ve found both very beneficial.
      Best of luck with everything x

  34. Amazing news, congratulations to you both! Pregnancy and trying to conceive can be incredibly hard, I was totally naive before I started on this journey to motherhood. It will totally be worth it in the end xx

  35. Congratulations to you and your husband. I was rooting for ‘Jane’ and think you’re very brave sharing your story. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and I look forward to reading more about it x

  36. Lauren I am in tears after reading your account. I’m thrilled for you both! My ICSI miracle baby is going to be two in August (she is currently stood beside me watching her bath fill up and laughing at the plastic dolphins floating within). We had 3 rounds and 2 losses and I relate so much to all the emotions you described. Also had a wedding where I had to go and inject in our room before the meal was served, refusing alcohol while people whispered that I must be pregnant (oh how I wished they would be right!)

    I completely get the not wanting to announce for fear of upsetting others simiently in the same boat. You are right to share and celebrate though-hope breeds hope. I wish you a boring and uneventful rest of preganancy 🤣

    So much luck, breathe and enjoy it xx

    1. Thank you Lou and congratulations on your little bundle of joy too!
      A boring and uneventful pregnancy would be perfect 🙂 x

  37. Have come back to post my congratulations here, after being unable to find the words when I first read your post this morning. I too was welling up a little as I read it (and some of the other lovely comments).

    Like others, I just want to give you an enormous hug, in recognition of all that you’ve been through. I hope that from here on in the process is uneventful in the best way, that you are able to relax and enjoy being pregnant and that your little one arrives safely in the world come November. xxx

    1. Thanks so much Rebecca, it’s been a very emotional day. Thank you for the enormous hug, it’s gratefully received! x

  38. Congratulations!!
    My husband and I struggled for 7 years to get pregnant and in March we welcomed our baby daughter. The whole pregnancy I worried it was too good to be true and as a result didn’t enjoy a moment of it a regret I have now. So try and enjoy every day. I’m so truly happy to hear these stories of success.

    1. Thank you Kirsty. I feel so very lucky so I’m definitely trying to enjoy each day. x

  39. Just made me cry! So happy that you are pregnant and going to join me on this rollercoaster ride of parenting xxxx

    1. Thank you gorgeous girl. I know you don’t like the ‘s’ word so sorry for the overzealous use of it 😉

  40. Yes Lauren!! This is fantastic, I’m so very happy for you! Sending lots of happy positive vibes and best wishes for the next 6 months. As a recently new mum I know full well that it’s near impossible not to worry your way through the pregnancy, and I can only imagine the additional worries that your journey to this point must bring. But our brains are large and capable of several simultaneous thoughts! So my advice would be to accept that you’ll worry but try also to marvel at the amazing thing your body is doing, and try to take plenty of pictures of yourself! Even if you don’t feel like it – I felt so nauseous and bloated throughout I shied away from the camera and now only 3 months later I genuinely find it hard to remember what I looked like! Hope you feel better soon – try not to kill the millionth person that suggests you try a ginger biscuit 😉 Xx

    1. Jenni, your ginger biscuit comment is brilliant. I’m wondering if ginger works for anyone at all?!
      Thanks for the reminder on the photos. I haven’t taken any yet so must do that! x

  41. Huge congratulations Lauren, I’m so happy to read this news! (But so sorry of course that you have had such a tough time) You will make a lovely mummy 🙂 I hope your nausea lifts soon, mine lasted until 20 weeks and it’s tough but once it goes it quickly becomes a distant memory and of course it is all worth it x

    1. Thanks so much Sarah. It’s reassuring to have a pregnancy symptom every moment of the day but I’m looking forward to the sickness lifting. As you say though, it will be so worth it x

  42. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s such a wonderful thing to choose to share something so personal as it really does help others and I am so pleased everything worked out for you. I am lucky that I never had to go down the IVF route but I did have assisted conception with clomid and the rollercoaster of emotions that came along with it. Whilst I count my lucky blessings every day to be pregnant I do feel that I am so much more anxious because of the journey it took to get here, there feels like there is a lot of pressure that I have put on myself to ensure everything is fine and also I suppose a slight lack of trust in my body. Which is crazy, as whilst trying I thought the only emotion I would feel was happiness and gratitude. I didn’t see myself as the anxious type! Would you say acupuncture is helping with your anxiety? Also on a lighter note, I am really looking forward to seeing your summer maternity capsule wardrobe post!! xx

    1. I’m the same Annie, I wouldn’t have thought of myself as the anxious type but I know I put a huge amount of pressure on myself.
      Acupuncture has really helped me and while I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the needles – it’s forced me to carve some time out for myself each time to take a break and to also talk 1:1 to someone. It might be that acupuncture isn’t right for you but something like pregnancy yoga might help. I highly recommend finding a way to take some time out each week x

  43. Ahh, totally just welled up while sat at my desk – I’m so thrilled for you guys. What absolute superstars you are. Massive congratulations xx

  44. PS I would love to go back and read ‘Jane’s articles’ all over again but can’t figure out how to see more without having to trawl through. Any suggestions?

  45. Congratulations Lauren. Such lovely news to read this morning. Looking forward to following the rest of your story! X

  46. Wow, look at all of the love on here today! So happy for you Lauren.

    I noticed in the earlier comments that you said that in your twenties you wanted to feel broody but that feeling didn’t come until later. I would love to hear more about this, as I think you hear very little about not feeling certain about having children – articles I have read are either people who really want kids, or women up in arms that people expect them to have children when they don’t to start a family. I am naturally a maternal person, but have never felt a strong urge to want to have a baby, but at 35 time is not on my side. I would be interested to hear other people’s views.

    1. Just to say I never felt broody either, yet I also always knew I wanted children. For me, like so many others it came down to when fit in best with work and our lives. I think, had I waited to feel broody or for “the time to be right” I’d still be waiting. I always thought we’d have the perfect forever home yet we brought our baby home to a one bed flat in Central London. I was 31 which was “young” by my NCT cohort standards.

      I’ve actually felt more “pangs” (which I guess is broody) for another baby since we’ve decided not to have any more. Now, second time around (at 35), everything feels more bittersweet. Now I get serious envy when I see women with babies and I get serious green eye when I hear about friends who are pregnant. I just LOVED being pregnant and having babies so much (despite the constant nausea). It felt like it was the first time I was actually doing what I was supposed to be doing so now having made a decision, no more, its hard.

      Although, silver lining, I’m seriously looking forward to getting a bit of me back.

      Hope the rambling helps.

      1. Thanks Rebecca. It is really helpful to hear other people’s experiences. The little ones in my family always flock to me when I see them. That’s probably a good sign, right?!

        1. I feel exactly the same as Rebecca! I never had that overwhelming feeling of being broody or wanting children but always knew I wanted them at some point. If I waited until I felt ready I never would have started! Knowing I had PCOS and the chances of conceiving naturally were diminished we started trying before I was “ready”. The possibility of not having something totally changed my mindset and I became a woman obsessed, the most broody woman on the planet! Everything’s worked out and I am now completely over the moon to be pregnant but I look back and wonder why I waited so long as if I had left it any later it might have been more difficult to conceive. People used to say “there will never be a right time” and for me it was true so Im pleased i just got on with it instead of waiting for that feeling or right time. Not everyone is born with that broody urge to have a baby asap and that’s totally fine!

          1. Thanks Annie and congratulations on your pregnancy. I’m glad to know I’m not alone with the ‘unbroody’ feeling x

    2. Hi Claire, I completely agree that there seem to be two camps and up until about five years ago I didn’t fit in either of them.
      I think people used to find it quite odd that I got on well with kids and adored my niece but didn’t want to start a family. To tell you the truth it made me feel uncomfortable too. It didn’t make any sense at all why after such a happy upbringing and the fact my parents were still together but I had no urge.
      I was never offended when folks asked if I wanted a family which seems to cause outrage for some people. I don’t see why it’s okay for someone to ask you if you’re married, where you live but not be able to ask you some other demographic information. Being asked WHEN you’re going to start a family is another question though!
      When the broodiness did hit is was absolutely overwhelming and so I can’t comment on how it must feel to have to make the decision. I am now very passionate about preserving fertility thought so you do have the option if the time does come. I was talking to a male friend about how in our parents time they probably only spent a few years partying and drinking heavily before starting a family. For our generation is can be more like 20 years! It’s bound to have an effect on reproductive health. Wishing you all the best with whatever decision you choose x

      1. Thank you Lauren for taking the time to reply so fully when you have so many lovely messages to reply to. Sending you lots of love for the coming months x

  47. Huge congrats Lauren! Sounds a really stressful journey but hopefully now you’re going to have a smooth and happy one!!
    X

  48. Oh wow I’ve never been so touched by an article on here or been so happy for a strangers baby announcement. Congratulations to you both!

  49. I’m so glad jane got her happy ending! I know from experience how tough a process IVF is to go through and that’s without having had a failed attempt. But I also know that I’d do it a million times over to have our three bundles of craziness here now! I do think that going through that process made me a better mum- said not in comparison to others who conceived naturally, but for myself. I think I treasure things more having had to fight for it- even now while baby ted is creating a crushed up custard cream and milk pie on my new garden table while I type this!! Even on the longest, grumpiest days, they are still our little miracles, brought here with a helping hand from science (well the big two anyway, number three was more about complacency!)
    Such a special time for you and your lovely family- enjoy every second! Can’t wait for playroom inspiration xxx

    1. Thanks Rachel and for all the all support you gave me blogging as Jane. You’ve been an inspiration x

  50. Congratulations Lauren! What wonderful news, an very inspiring for lots of people (myself included)

    I am just about to start my first round of IVF or ICSI on Monday (injections currently stacked and taking over my fridge!!! I’m sure you’re familiar with the sight!  ). You’re completely right about how important sharing experiences of assisted conception are. Of course there are lots of unknowns to worry about – I’m trying my best to channel as many out right now so I can attempt to just focus on the day to day – but there’s also a lot to be positive and excited about too, because as you have witnessed yourself, science is pretty mindblowing!

    Your point about work is really interesting.. I too am used to working in a very corporate, fast paced environment, but I am really, really struggling to stay totally focused at the moment. If the first round is unsuccessful which as in most cases a few rounds are needed, I am going to have to think of ways to manage work better long-term I think. We’ve also just been asked to join a national egg freeze trial, which again has just knocked us for six for some reason… I seem to have lost the ability to make any kind if decision!

    I think part of the fear of opening up about going through IVF/ICSI is that you can’t control other people’s reactions.. you could be in a really good place going through this, but other people’s lack of awareness or unintentional insensitivities can floor you – I think this is why a lot of people go off the grid while under treatment.

    Wishing you all the happiness – enjoy your pregnancy 

    xxx

    1. Best of luck Miss Worrier and please take each day as it comes. It’s an overwhelming experience but when you do start it feels good to be doing something so productive.
      I spoke to Charlotte and Adam and my boss at my other job very early on in the process and it was very helpful to have the support of my line managers so I hope you’re able to do this too.
      I’ve included links above to my old posts if you get a chance to look through. The comments were incredibly helpful.
      Keep hopeful and I hope you’ll come back soon and share your wonderful news x

  51. Congratulations to both you and James Lauren! What lovely news. One of my closest friends has a similar story to yours and is now mum to a precious 18 month old boy. Far too little is spoken about IVF and the physical and emotional turmoil it places on the couple’s going through it. So happy that you have a little Coleman on the way and looking forward to hearing all about your pregnancy xxx

  52. This had me weeping onto a sleeping baby this morning – I am so happy for you two. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your pregnancy once the nausea wears off! (And I cannot wait to hear your playroom/nursery plans…!) xxx

    1. Oooh the pressure is on for some excellent baby decor! Thank you for your kind words x

  53. Yay! I’m so pleased for you and like other commenters feel quite emotional about your news. I completely understand why you choose to write anonymously as ‘Jane’ and can only thank you for opening up about your journey and trusting us enough to come clean. I hope the rest of your journey is sickness and trouble free.

  54. This has me in tears! I’ve followed “Jane’s” story and wondered how she was getting on. Such wonderful news. Wishing you a healthy pregnancy from here on in x

  55. A massive congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your story! I know how difficult it can be, I have recently gone through PGD (a type of IVF to rule out a genetic condition). It is a slow, difficult journey for many reasons but I am now pregnant, after round two and due at the end of the November! I can’t believe how lucky we are to get to this point and am so grateful to the NHS for helping us! I can’t wait for the maternity posts and nursery ideas. I am still getting lovely comments on a Zara jumper you recommended in the past :). Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy and I hope the nausea subsides, it’s really not much fun! xx

  56. Yep, I’m going to join those wiping away a tear at my desk so happy about the news of someone I have never met!!! This is so beautifully written Lauren, and I wish you and James all the best for the next few months and beyond!!

  57. Cried my eyes out reading this. I’m lucky enough to have two gorgeous boys both of whom I conceived very easily so your journey isn’t something I’ve experienced for myself. Making me appreciate them today just that little bit more.
    Congratulations, and I hope you arrange your baby’s books as you damn please when he or she arrives!

  58. Congratulations Lauren! This is the first time I have posted on here but I am a regular reader (and follower of you on Instagram!) and I was so pleased to hear your news that I couldn’t not congratulate you! I hope your pregnancy goes well and you manage to enjoy it amongst all the worry! xxxxx

  59. Congratulations Lauren (I also had no idea you were Jane!) I am now 25 weeks pregnant with our little IVF miracle. We have something quite rare which causes a communication failure that involved some experimental treatment, as we have plenty of eggs and sperm that are good quality they just don’t activate when together.

    I hate to say it but I think you do worry more if you have struggled so hard to have a family like we did (this was our 2nd now self-funded cycle and 4 years). Every milestone feels like a massive achievement and I still keep wanting to pinch myself that it is really happening. But try to relax and enjoy it, as our sonographer said at the 12 week scan, you now have as good a chance as anyone and you deserve to enjoy it!

    1. Oh big, big congratulations Sophie.
      I totally agree that every milestone feels like a huge achievement. We were discharged from the fertility clinic at 7 weeks and it felt absolutely massive to be able to go back into NHS care!
      I hope you are managing to relax and enjoy too x

  60. Lauren Many Congratulations to you and James! I’m utterly thrilled for you both. I wish you all the best with your pregnancy – it’s scary (and I imagine doubly so after what you’ve been through) but if you haven’t already you’ll soon feel the little kicks that will make you smile daily. X

  61. So many congratulations to you and James. I have long thought you were marvellous Lauren, especially after handling the whole book debacle with such grace and dignity. Now knowing you had even more going on behind the scenes, I think there’s no doubt that you’re already a supermum! Hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy – in my experience, the middle bit was the best with the sickness gone and energy levels rising again! Sending you huge congratulations and very best wishes xx

    1. Stephie, bless you, but you are most definitely supermum! Sending lots of love to you and your amazing family x

  62. Congratulations Lauren! Thank you for sharing your story in such a beautifully written post.

  63. We cannot wait to meet our gorgeous little nephew in November. You’ve faced this adversity as you always do- with resilience and brave hearts. We love you lots xxx

  64. I’m absolutely thrilled for you both Lauren! 🙂 A lovely account of your story so far and so honest too. I think many people will identify with your comments and journey. Enjoy your pregnancy and I bet it’s so lovely to be able to share your news now.

    Reading through your post is quite emoitional. I was referred for IVF treatment in 2015 (incidentally at the very same Care in Northampton!) after numerous tests and investigations we were told that the infertility was unexplained. A couple of weeks before I was due to start the IVF process my husband left me completely out of the blue. I was gutted.

    However, I’m a strong believer that tough times make you who you are today and I’m very pleased to say that I’m now 22 weeks pregnant naturally with my amazing new partner. When the test came back positive I couldn’t believe my eyes and certainly didn’t believe it was true until I saw the little beating jelly bean on the screen! You never know what is round the corner. I’m super excited for our little girl to arrive and our next adventures together as a family. I think your quote “when nothing is certain, anything is possible” sums it up perfectly. Enjoy the coming weeks of your own adventures 😘

    1. Gosh Lucy, I cannot imagine what you went through in 2015. Huge congratulations on your happy ending and I wish you all the very best for the rest of your pregnancy x

      1. Thank you and you too! I’m looking forward to hearing all your updates and news on here, especially your plans for the nursery! We are starting to decorate ours now 🙂 x

  65. So utterly thrilled for you both. You’ve certainly taught me a thing or two and by the looks of it I’m not the only one. Enjoy! Morning sickness and all! ❤️❤️

    1. You know I couldn’t have done this without your constant reassurance and no-nonsense approach. You have kept me sane on more than one occasion! Love you millions x

  66. oh this made me well up. I was feeling for Jane and now knowing it is you, Lauren, makes my heart ache even more for what you had to go through. I’m glad you found a way to help you through it (blogging as Jane e.g.). But most of all I am so incredibly happy for you for the tiny human growing inside of you! I wish you all the best!

    1. Ahh Anja, thank you so much for all the support you gave me on Jane’s posts. Sending lots of hugs x

  67. Massive congratulations! It’s so lovely to hear your news, especially after the struggle you’ve had to get here. Look forward to reading all about the next exciting stage in your journey xx

  68. I felt every emotion reading this – what a journey & what a precious little gift! Congratulations to you & your husband. Your longed-for baby will be loved beyond measure xx

  69. Congratulations to you and James. What a truly amazing story. Wishing you all the very best X

  70. Congratulations Lauren – such wonderful news. I remember reading Jane’s articles a few months back and wondering what had happened and so I’m so pleased to hear your good news. I hope you’re nearly through the worst of your “morning” sickness!
    My husband and I went through three rounds of IVF ICSI (3 egg collections and 4 transfers) and finally saw our first positive pregnancy test in January (I’m currently 20 weeks and our baby is (fingers crossed) due in September). For our last cycle, we decided to throw all our eggs (so to speak) in the proverbial basket and make a number of medical and lifestyle changes – I took a 4 month sabbatical from work (I work in a very stressful corporate environment), saw a nutritionist and changed my diet, had our embryos genetically screened and took steroids as part of my treatment (as an immune suppressant). I’ve still no idea what ultimately made the difference this time round (or if IVF is really just a numbers game) but am so thankful we are finally expecting (as I often feared that would never happen).
    However I think the pain of the first three failures is still very much with me and although I know I need to try and enjoy this pregnancy (as it may be my only one), it is so hard to relax into it after the journey we’ve been on. I think I really won’t believe this is happening until our baby arrives. Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy and I look forward to hearing how you’re getting on!

    1. Jenny I’m so pleased you were able to carve out some time to throw your all into it and get such an amazing result. Huge, huge, huge congratulations.
      I’m not sure the heartbreak we experienced after our first cycle will ever leave, even with the incredible joy we feel now, so I know exactly where you’re coming from escpecially when you’ve had to go through this three times.
      I wish you all the best for the rest of your pregnancy x

  71. Huge congratulations Lauren! Wonderful news, my husband also had azoospermia, unbeknown to us he had a mild form of cystic fibrosis. We did ICSI, it was incredibly tough, I got OHSS and we had to freeze our one remaining embryo, we were so lucky and our daughter will be having her 4th birthday party this weekend! I’m so happy for you both, hope to have a very smooth pregnancy, I know only too well how terrifying it is but look after yourself! Xx

    1. I had extremely mild OHSS Angela and it was nasty so it must have been so tough getting to the stage when you had to freeze your little embryo. Over the moon she made the thaw and it was successful. Happy Birthday to your little miracle x

  72. I am so very pleased for you Lauren – I don’t even know you and yet when I read that you were ‘Jane’ and that you are now pregnant I got all teary!

    I wish you lots and lots of luck – morning sickness is hideous, and I found it quite debilitating and nothing worked to make me feel better (sorry!), but it does eventually pass and of course it results in a beautiful miracle at the end!

    xxxxx

  73. Thank you for sharing your story. I read it in floods of tears. I must confess to very nearly ‘unfollowing’ on Instagram when I first saw the post that you were expecting… At the beginning of February I miscarried our baby girl, our first baby and little miracle since, for different reasons to you, we had been told that the odds of conceiving naturally were very slim. I’m still not dealing well with the loss. I wrongly read that post at a time I was in a particularly bad way and was resentful at yet another person announcing their pregnancy and taking for granted how easily it had come to them, but I realise now of course that I was wrong and judged you unfairly. A friend of mine – who never particularly wanted children – told me today that she is 13 weeks pregnant and it has hurt me to the core. I wish it didn’t and that I wasn’t in this place of resentment and I’m telling myself that it will pass. Everybody deserves to be happy, whether their pregnancy is a smooth, easy process, or tougher. But reading your post has made me stop and think and realise that you should never make judgements when you don’t know other people’s stories. Your story also gives me hope. I’m very happy for you and your hubby and I’m sure you will go on to have the happy family you so obviously dream of and deserve. X

  74. Delighted for you, James (and Jane)!!!! I found “Jane’s” posts really insightful and helpful as I have dear friends going through infertility problems and you gave such great advice re how to be the best support to them. So thank you! Huge congratulations to you and looking forward to hearing more about your pregnancy journey xo

  75. I have only just got round to reading this post and have been in tears. I too often thought of Jane and how she was getting on. Huge congratulations to you and James, I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy for someone I don’t know. What a difficult, challenging time you have been through and the strength, both mentally and physically, you and James must have needed to get to this point is incredible. You and your families deserve this happiness. All the best for a smooth pregnancy and I look forward to hearing all about it x

  76. Hi Lauren,

    I know you probably won’t see this but have only just read the post and am so thrilled for you. You deserve every happiness and I’ve often thought of ‘Jane’ and her fertility journey. I had my first baby 7mths ago and, although undeniably tough at times, it has been an absolute joy. I’ve read RMS since the beginning and truly wish you all the luck in the world. Looking forward to reading your future posts!

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