Consultant will be ‘Dr Magic’ forever
After the birth of Carly and Steve Gibbens’ second IVF baby, they had the chance to introduce their first IVF baby – by then two years old – to the BCRM consultant responsible for his creation, and they told him her name was “Dr Magic.”
Carly said: “Amanda Jefferys gave us two babies when we weren’t sure we’d ever have any, and she supported us through a really challenging time in our lives. For us she’ll always be Dr Magic.”
Carly and Steve, now 33 and 37, married in 2014 and started trying for a family in 2015.
Both Bristol born and bred, Carly was working as a dental nurse at the time and Steve is a business development manager.
Carly said: “When there was no sign of a baby by 2017, and I’d reported heavy periods and stomach pains to my GP, we were given a specialist referral and I went to see fertility specialist Amanda Jefferys who, after a laparoscopy, diagnosed endometriosis.
“I had two operations for the endo in 2018 and in November of that year we started our first round of IVF under Dr Jefferys at BCRM (Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine).
“We had a positive pregnancy test but sadly lost that baby. Then things were delayed for a while because I became poorly with an infection, but in February 2019 we were ready to try again.
“However, I was not responding to the preparatory drugs as I should have been because the endo was causing problems again.
“We had a pause until April, but when Amanda was working with us to prepare for the next round of treatment she realised my fallopian tubes had been compromised: I had hydrosalpinx – a condition which causes the end portion of the tubes to become fluid-filled and swollen and is another complication of endo.
“Ultimately this meant I had to have another operation to remove the fallopian tubes, which was a devastating choice to make.
“I had that operation in the summer of 2019, and in the meantime we’d had a third round of IVF and had two embryos frozen.
“In September both frozen embryos were transferred into my uterus, and although the lab rated them as ‘poor grade’ – only classed as B/C – happily one of them took, and on 29 May 2020 we were thrilled to welcome Archie into the world, our beautiful 8lb baby boy.
“We loved being parents so much we were keen to add to our little family soon, so we returned to see Dr Magic again and, since we had no frozen embryos left, in August 2021 we started our next round of IVF prep.
“The second time around it was more straightforward. We had a high-grade embryo transfer at the end of September and on 5 June 2022 baby Brody was born – a gorgeous 8lb 3½oz brother for little Archie.
“We are beyond appreciative for the support we’ve had from BCRM. Amanda Jefferys had to support us to make some really difficult decisions to enable us to have our boys. She has been so supportive and easy to trust, and actually she’s just been a massive part of our lives for so long.
“In fact, the whole team at BCRM are lovely people. We had especially invaluable support from Carrie Lomax and Anne Dickerson too.
“Finding out I had endo was awful, but the signs had been there for a long time and I suffered for a while thinking what I was experiencing was normal, while in fact it was so far from normal.
“I need not have suffered for as long as I did, so I would encourage women to consult their GP if they feel something isn’t right.
“We are forever grateful for our lovely boys. We know we were lucky to have such a good outcome. The journey wasn’t easy, but we felt well-informed and fully supported by BCRM every step of the way, and that did help make the whole thing a lot easier.”
BCRM www.fertilitybristol.com is the longest established fertility clinic in Bristol, helping people from throughout the South West and Wales with fertility treatment for both private and NHS patients. The clinic is involved in innovative research and has one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK.