Updated: Feb 26
I would like to thank Richard Innes for reaching out to me after my PGD blog post, and i am honored to use the #imnotdrunk blog to tell his experience of having the PGD process.
I found it interesting to read the opinion of someone else, i hope you do to!
The following post is the views and experiences of Richard,
“Deciding to start a family via the IVF PGD avenue was not a difficult decision for us. My mum has HD and therefore I am at risk of developing the disease but I do not see a benefit in knowing if I have it or not and my fiancé didn’t feel like she wanted to know either. What we were certain of if there was a possibility of avoiding passing this disease to our children without us knowing my fate then we were 100% behind that. We had a fairly lengthy and quite frustrating wait to begin treatment but finally got started in July this year. The first few weeks of injections etc were not too difficult after the fear of the first one has passed, or so I am told! My fiancé was incredibly brave going through this part of the process and never complained once as we headed towards egg collection day. This is when things do get difficult though as there is nothing that can be done by us to help the process once the eggs have been collected and my “sample” deposited! We were disappointed to be told that only 7 eggs could be collected mainly due to following American forums who were declaring egg collection numbers often in excess of 20. We felt deflated as only having 7 we knew there were so many hurdles ahead of the little eggs. We got the news the next morning that from the seven collected only four we good enough quality to be fertilised the night before. We did get some positive news that morning though and from the four all four had survived the night. Realistically four was not a good number and our chances of success in this cycle were low as we were only on day one and had to get them to grow and develop until day 3 for the embryo to be sampled to analyse which genes they had and then on to day five (transfer day). Bear in mind that I did not want to know if I am a carrier and therefore were going to disregard any of the embryo’s that carried either chromosome from mum so in our heads the absolute best we could hope for was for two of them to be suitable for transfer. That was also a long shot as most do not make it all the way to day five. On day three we were told all four were still going strong and they had all been sampled. The results of the analysis were not available until the morning of day five and we had to be at the hospital by mid morning and had a three and a half hour journey ahead of us so we had to set off on our journey not knowing if we had any embryos suitable for transfer at all. That was the quietest journey we have ever taken together at the end of the what felt like the longest wait ever (although it was only five days). We eventually received the call with an hour and a half to go….from the four Embryos all had survived and three were suitable for transfer and were of as high a grade we could have wished for. The relief and excitement we both felt is difficult to explain at that moment. We were not quite there yet but we were so much closer and could begin to envisage a positive outcome ahead. The embryo transfer was very clinical but straight forward and we were able to see it in the womb although it was only microscopic…quite incredible! And then the wait begins again…we have ten days to wait to see if the little one has stuck around and to know if we are pregnant!! All the waiting over so many weeks is quite a strain and I struggled and so I encouraged a home pregnancy test kit but it was negative! We were sad but encouraged that we were told it was too early to know. I think the negative test did though prepare us for the reality that we might not be pregnant. Our blood test in the hospital was positive!! We are now 20 weeks pregnant and baby is due to arrive in April. It is a long and quite a difficult process at times (mainly down to all the waiting and uncertainties) but has been worth it to ensure our children will be HD free and I’m immensely proud of my fiancé for going through all this for our family. This may be the best chance we have of removing this horrible disease forever.”
Thank you Richard !! It is not easy speaking out about personal experiences but it means a lot to so many that you did!