I am delighted to announce that my wife and I are expecting our first child! This is especially exciting because 2018 also marks our 10th wedding anniversary and now the arrival of our first born child, we cannot possibly be any happier or more excited for the coming year.

12-Week-Scan

Baby Jones is expected to join our family on September 5th 2018.

The journey

We are especially excited because for no particular single reason we have been unable to conceive naturally ourselves, instead this baby is entirely due to the amazing science of IVF and the incredible care and knowledge of Leeds Fertility and the NHS, in particular Harrogate District Hospital.

We got married in 2008 and like many other newly wed couples we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of some mini Jones', in fact we decided we were going to take that step in 2009 under a year after getting married. For almost a decade we have started each new year wondering if the coming year would see our house at last become a home for a newborn baby, and we are so excited that 2018 is finally the year.

The process of IVF and everything that leads up to the referral is incredibly personal, and emotionally charged, and really quite stressful. We've found it to be at times very difficult and trying, and at other times very encouraging and positive. We've been very lucky that we were able to secure NHS funding for IVF treatment, some areas of the country thanks to the "postcode lottery" nature of fertility treatments are not lucky enough to have this so we're immensely grateful.

We are even more lucky that not only did we secure NHS funding (for one cycle only we should add) but we were successful on that first cycle. We started our IVF treatment only 3.5 months ago, and the process has been fraught with nerves and stress, and so many needles and drugs, but every worry and sleepless night is worth it for the little bundle of joy we're soon going to welcome into the world.

One thing that we both know is that we absolutely couldn't have got through the last months without the love and support of our families and friends around us. We have very much appreciated every phone call, message, visit, prayer, and positive thoughts we have received. IVF is a very private experience to go through, and something many (thankfully) don't have experience of. We have been truely thankful to people for not constantly asking questions or trying to get information out of us but at the same time still offering love and support even when they didn't know or understand the practical or emotional impact that IVF has. We especially thank those who knew about our journey and for letting us wait until this 12 week mark to announce our happy news like many 'normal' pregnancies.

Another special thank you is warranted for those family members we spent Christmas with, anyone who goes through IVF has an agonising wait from transfer of the embryo to finding out if you've become pregnant. We had our transfer on the very last day the clinic was open before Christmas, and went in for a blood pregnancy test on December 28th, this meant that Christmas was a very stressful and emotionally difficult time, wondering if it had all been for nothing, we dared not hope, but we also dared not lose hope. We thank you for putting up with us if at times we seemed distracted or not as into Christmas perhaps we ordinarily were, if you wondered why, now you know! We can't wait to celebrate next Christmas with our new baby.

Baby's first home video

Another unexpected advantage of IVF is that we have possibly the coolest home movie ever of our baby. Please enjoy a truly unique home video, a timelapse of our baby from a single cell to a 5 day old blastocyst.

IVF and the whole science is truly incredible and has changed our lives. We cannot even begin to express how grateful and humbled we are by all those who research and provide IVF and related treatments that make it possible for those who sadly cannot naturally conceive to start their own families.

As the author Arthur C Clarke said:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."