BEFORE GABRIELA – Failed IUI and IVF cycles and multiple recurrent miscarriages

When we started dating, I told Geoff that we would not be able to have children as I had been sterilized 7 years earlier. Then, when I was 42, we had a miscarriage. We spoke to a consultant about getting my sterilization reversed, and because of my age, he was prepared to reverse the sterilization as I was at risk. One of the clips had come off, so I’d had an ectopic pregnancy. But we also learned that I would not receive IVF on the NHS.

I remember thinking I was okay with that; I had fallen pregnant once and would surely fall pregnant easily again. I attended the EPU every month for 3 months, and each month, the nurses were sure this would be my month as I had “ovulated with bells on.” But it was always followed by an AF (Aunt Flo—Menstruation).

Several times, I was late, but no +ve, or there was a +ve, but 2 weeks later, -ve. After 3 years, we decided to look into a private fertility clinic. We thought this would mean they would investigate why I did not stay pregnant and would miscarry 2 to 4 weeks after a positive pregnancy test. 

We met with the team, we did all the preliminary tests, and they said that I was very fit and healthy even though I was almost 45. They agreed to treat us, so we met the Consultant. And that is where we fell for the glib, easy talk that they could get us pregnant. I did say, but I have no problem getting pregnant. My problem is staying pregnant, and his words were, “We will do all that we can to ensure you stay pregnant.”

The test showed that I had the AMH of an 18-year-old, and all the scans showed a large number of eggs, up to 20. On our first cycle, we had 8 eggs suitable for fertilizing; 3 fertilized, but only one made it to the embryo. On implantation, we believed our new life with the baby would begin when the clinic team said we would leave the clinic pregnant.

Twelve days later, we were over the moon with a positive pregnancy test. But sadly, we lost this one as well. We were devastated, absolutely crushed. We surely thought this was it, our only chance. We had paid so much money and believed the doctors knew what they were doing, but looking back, we realized we fell for their sales pitch. They had not investigated why I could not stay pregnant, and here we were, having paid out thousands of pounds but still in the same position we were always inNO BABY.

At our next appointment, the team wanted us to try again, but I was still deciding about spending thousands of pounds again, and I was due to fly to a conference in Spain. I was sure I had conceived before the flight, but this was my usual issue. My job required me to fly at least once a month. I came home from the conference to a BFN (Big Fat Negative).

The next thing we were offered was a round of IUI. This experience left me incredibly frustrated with the team. They told me when they wanted to perform the IUI, and I said that I would not be ovulating at that time; I would ovulate at least 48 hours later. They pushed through, and I was correct about the timing of my ovulation, so again, another BFN.

I wish I had dared to say no. At this point, I was nearly 46, and we decided not to throw any more money into trying to get pregnant. Instead, I would retire from work. Geoff and I had spent our married life on airplanes that met at the airport. In fact, on one occasion, he flew in from West Africa as I was at the airport to fly to South Africa. We met in my departure lounge.

When I turned 46, I stopped working and concentrated on charity and church work. A year later, we discussed it and decided we would no longer try to get pregnant; we were 47 and 53. Although I was still having regular periods on the dot, we had to give up and accept that it would not happen for us.

This was hard. I felt sure I would have a baby. But I had to accept that I could no longer go through this roller coaster every month. We could not keep continually putting our lives on hold in case we fell pregnant. But then something happened next that was euphoric.

Geoff left for work, and I realized my period was late. I did a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I immediately called the general practitioner and went to see her. She confirmed a positive test and arranged an appointment for the next week at the early pregnancy unit since she felt I might be at risk of an ectopic pregnancy despite my tubes being clear 5 years earlier.

So now I had to wait for the early scan appointment. Before the appointment was due, I received a call from the unit to say they would not scan me at 6 weeks as it was too early, so they canceled my appointment and made a new appointment for 2 weeks later. Then came the devastating feeling the Thursday before the appointment that I was no longer pregnant. I called the GP, and she said to hang on and go for the appointment.

The scan showed no baby. We were gutted, and I was receiving this news on my own. Geoff was away at work, and it just reinforced our decision to stop trying to get pregnant.

For the next 4 years, we did not try or have any late periods. I did ask God now and then to stop my periods if you would not give me a baby. When I turned 52, a bad car accident caused a brain injury. I always believed I would be healed, and 3 years later, God popped the idea of a baby back into my consciousness. He told me my healing was in his hands but that I had to do what He told me to do. And not only would I heal, but I would have a baby girl named Elisha. So first, I had to start by increasing Magnesium in my diet to improve neural transfer and decrease my migraines. This worked, so I began to research getting pregnant naturally. I put in over 40 as I did not expect to find any searches over 50.

Doing this search brought me to Gabriela Rosa and her online programs. I felt drawn to this amazing lady and all the work I could see on her website. We completed the 50-page questionnaire and made an appointment.


During our conversation, Gabriela said there was no chance of us getting pregnant due to how high one of my results was. I chose to ignore this, for we had been promised a baby. Instead, I focused on reading everything I could to see if we could change our results.

A few months later, I realized the information I had submitted before had been the medicine dose, not my results. When we spoke to Gabriela this time, she invited us to join The Fertility Breakthrough Program™ since we were open to donor eggs if necessary. We received and read all the papers, but Geoff’s contract fell through, and he was out of work. We had to put our application on hold.

As we couldn’t join the program, I created a spreadsheet with all the Fertility Score questions, 11 Pillars, F.E.R.T.I.L.E. Method®, and any other info I could glean from the website of all the things we could change in our minor factors.

We radically changed our lifestyle and eating. I started making my own cleaning and personal products. We lived like we were pregnant to get pregnant. My health improved, and I listened to Gabriela’s talks and podcast interviews every time I went to the gym. It was profoundly motivating and inspiring to have her voice in my head like that.

My mental and physical health improved, and my periods remained regular. When we were finally able to join the program, I knew this was it: I would have my baby girl within the year before my 58th birthday. My great-gran was 57 when my Uncle Charlie was born, and my friend, who is 70, his mum also had him when she was 57. This was my turn.

We would be able to find out any minor factors we had not addressed and have all of Gabriela and the team’s knowledge to tell us finally what we didn’t know we didn’t know. We arranged for all the baseline blood and hormone tests and other tests, giving the team their baseline for where to go next to provide us with the baby of our dreams.

We were pleased that we had already incorporated many dietary and lifestyle changes, but we could do a few more things to improve our health and environment. Right away, we discussed IVF due to my age, the age of my eggs, the previous miscarriages, and the fact that I wanted to be pregnant in 6 months or it all stopped.

I had already contacted fertility clinics abroad to see if anywhere would treat a 57-year-old woman. I had settled on a clinic, and we had discussed a tandem cycle using mine and a donor’s eggs. We were accepted pending Geoff’s tests and my test results. Geoff’s were not easy to source, but we got there.

Geoff’s results were not good. His sperm could only be used for ICSI. My baseline scan showed no issues with my womb or lining, but I had no eggs. So, we had to shift to the donor egg and tandem sperm with the donor as a backup.

I felt as though, for three months, all I did was attend the clinic for more blood tests and scans, but the results showed Gabriela’s team what essential changes needed to be made as things progressed.

It was great having one-to-one contact with the team so regularly; I felt I had so many questions to ask, but the team was always reassuring, answered all our questions, and gave us everything we needed to continue implementing the necessary changes and improvements to the treatment protocol.

I felt two very different things during this period:

  1. I was finally back to being myself, very laid back, and able to take everything in stride. 
  2. The fear that with every new test or scan the fertility clinic asked for would come a reply: You can’t come for IVF.

But I knew this could not be the case. God had promised us a baby girl named Elisha, and she would be born in 2020. But it is still natural to fear that it’s all wrong. I kept repeating, “I believe in Your promise, I will have a baby girl.”

There are no such things as secondhand miracles; whether God chooses to heal you or give you a baby naturally or He uses a Consultant to operate or a professor to use ICSI, the result is still the same—a miracle.

Finally, we were told all tests were done. We just needed to wait for my period and cycle to align with the donor’s. But my period never came. A baseline scan showed I needed to bleed, so I was prescribed progesterone, which did not make me bleed. What now, I thought. I had to wait and see still nothing, so I was advised to have another scan, and if my lining was below 3mm, we could go ahead.

We had 10 eggs collected, and all 10 were fertilized—5 with Geoff’s sperm and 5 with donor sperm. The result was a great vindication for me. We got 3 embryos from Geoff’s sperm and 2 from the donor, and all 5 were 5AB embryos.

The embryologist advised us to transfer all 3 embryos, and we would still have the other 2 embryos frozen. We did the transfer, and 7 days later, I did a pregnancy test. It was positive! Although we were pregnant and saw a heartbeat at 5+6, we did not believe it until we heard it at 17 weeks.

We have the greatest thank you once again to Gabriela and the entire team. Geoff and I are so grateful because I truly believe that the advice, encouragement, and support of the whole team helped us get pregnant and have a very calm, uneventful pregnancy with no symptoms.

Despite having a C-section, which was not in my plans, I recovered very quickly, and I am sitting here on my organic wool and cashmere mattress with my beautiful 9-week-old daughter in my arms. Elisha is finally here. We waited 16 years for her, and it was all worth it.