Sam and Alan Canaway, from Portsmouth, were getting ready for Sam’s fourth embryo transfer in February when the Cowplain clinic they were using was forced to close due to coronavirus.
The latest blow to their plans to start a family came after seven traumatic years of GP appointments and hospital fertility treatments.
The pair, who started trying for a family in 2013 and have spent in the region of £20,000 on IVF as a whole, were devastated and anxious about when they would be able to get another chance for a baby.
Vendor manager Sam, 38, said: ‘We were really disappointed that we had to stop as it felt that for the first time since we had started fertility treatment we were almost doing it on our terms. We were so close to the end goal.
‘We were very disappointed and also anxious as we didn’t know when we’d get the opportunity to start again.
‘We felt we couldn’t plan anything, that life was put on hold. We were really gutted.
‘It was also quite a daunting time as we didn’t know how treatment would be impacted by the coronavirus when it started again.’
The couple had eight embryos frozen in November last year at the Cowplain clinic, a Wessex Fertility satellite clinic.
Sam started the medication to prepare her body for embryo transfer in February after she and Alan, a 43-year-old self-employed gardener, returned from a holiday to New York and Las Vegas early this year.
Sam said: ‘We had a total of three unsuccessful IVF cycles which was so traumatic.
‘After our third cycle we decided to have a bit of a break.’
Sam added: ‘I said to Alan, “lockdown is imminent and the clinic will probably have to cancel the IVF cycle” but he said, “let’s see what happens”.
‘Unfortunately, my treatment had to stop due to the coronavirus.’
Months later in April, the couple were contacted by Wessex Fertility to start treatment in May but they were apprehensive.
Sam said: ‘When the clinic contacted me about starting, we were in two minds whether to do it or wait as there was so much uncertainty but I was reassured by the information provided by the clinic.
‘It was scary and upsetting as we were still, to a degree, in a state of lockdown, and the clinic informed us that I might have to go to appointments on my own, without Alan.
‘We were really upset about that and a few tears were shed. Fortunately, Alan was able to attend.’
Sam and Alan’s embryo transfer took place in July and two weeks later they got what they had been waiting for - a positive pregnancy test.
Alan said: ‘We are super excited about our baby’s arrival.
‘We feel like we have waited so long for this so it is an extra special time for us and our family.’
Sam added: ‘After such a rollercoaster of a long journey, it is a feeling of relief and total elation. I hope our story gives hopes to others on the same path.’