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Biological Clock Puts Laurie On A Mission To Become A Solo Mum

When Laurie Ledger-Hardy found herself unexpectedly single in her mid-thirties after the break-up of a long-term relationship she didn’t start looking for a new partner, instead she began researching a suitable fertility clinic to find out about the possibility of becoming a solo mum

“I always knew I wanted to be a mum and that became my priority, not finding a partner, because at 35 my biological clock was ticking and I didn’t want to find myself suddenly too old to have a baby,” she said.

“Girls don’t get taught to reflect on their fertility and what might impact it, but if you’re not already a mum by your thirties it isn’t a bad idea to get your fertility checked out – that’s if motherhood features in your life-plan - because you don’t want to find you’ve run out of time and have regrets.”

After “a lot” of research into local fertility clinics, Laurie, who is now 37, lives in Bristol and works as a clinical psychologist for the NHS’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, chose the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM).

“My choice was partly on the basis of personal recommendations I’d received, and also because BCRM stood out as having the best success rate for IVF locally, which I knew would likely be my route to becoming a solo mum,” said Laurie.

“I was also reassured because they treat NHS patients as well as private patients.

“I started off by having their ‘Fertility MOT’ in October 2021, with some surprising results: it showed that my ovarian reserve was good – which meant I would have plenty of eggs available for fertilisation – but later tests showed both my fallopian tubes were blocked for an unknown reason.

“This meant I wouldn’t have conceived naturally anyway.

“In fact, having this initial investigation would have been a good investment even if I’d had a partner, because we might have wasted a lot of time wondering why I wasn’t conceiving in the usual way.

“Clearly I was going to need fertility treatment to conceive a baby whatever the circumstances, and discovering this probably sped up my decision-making to proceed alone.

“I took a few months to weigh up my options – it’s a big step, deciding to go it alone – and then I started looking at potential sperm donors from the stock held in the BCRM sperm bank and Cryos International.

“Because I’m likely to be bringing my child up on my own I was keen they should look like me, so I decided on a donor whose profile showed him as having similar colouring and ethnicity to me.

“I also decided to have a look at the extended profile they hold of the sperm donors, which lets you research his health and educational status as well as the results of the emotional intelligence questionnaire he had completed. This gives an insight as to how the donor scores on things like empathy, flexible thinking and agreeableness.

“It’s likely that Kasper will want to know about him when he gets older, and that’s fine by me. I plan to be open about his route to conception and have found the donor conception network a very useful source of support.

“My IVF treatment went well. I had a short medication programme to stimulate my ovaries and it wasn’t too bad giving myself the necessary injections once I got used to it.

“Prior to IVF, I spent 3 months focusing on improving my egg quality through diet and lifestyle changes. I don’t think women are taught about the factors that can influence their egg quality. It takes round 3 months for your eggs to mature.

“I had 15 eggs extracted and the team froze three good quality embryos.

“I was so lucky – I got pregnant with the first Frozen Embryo Transfer in October 22. I had a serious complications in pregnancy but loved being pregnant – and my gorgeous son Kasper was born on 19 June.

“I’ve still got two frozen embryos at BCRM, so who knows what the future holds?

“But for now, I’m just enjoying my maternity leave and making the most of this precious time with my lovely baby.”

BCRM has one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK and is involved in innovative research covering a range of fertility issues.

Take a look at how to get started https://www.fertilitybristol.c...

Media coverage of Laurie's Mission: