“Seeing other couples celebrate their pregnancy while we were struggling was heartbreaking”


Struggling to conceive, Kristie Sicolo, 35, and Oli Dickson, 33, got married and decided to see a family doctor, who diagnosed her with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — a condition that affects the way the ovaries work and which can affect fertility

Kristie Sicolo with twins Imelda and Noah with husband Oli Dickson with Arthur
Kristie Sicolo with twins Imelda and Noah with husband Oli Dickson with Arthur

A couple who have been trying for a baby for years recall their heartbreak at watching others celebrate their baby scans while awaiting their own miracle.

Kristie Sicolo, 35, and Oli Dickson, 33, fought to conceive and got married and decided to see a family doctor, who diagnosed her with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects and affects how the ovaries work can fertility.

This meant her pregnancy journey would be more challenging than most.

World Infertility Awareness Month falls in June and Kristie and Oli shared their story in hopes of inspiring others.

According to this, at least one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving within a year to the NHS.

Kristie Sicolo and Oli Dickson underwent IVF treatment twice to have their three babies


Delivered/Kristie Sicolo and Oli Dickson)

Kristie told the Mirror: “I didn’t realize there would be fertility issues until my official diagnosis in 2016. I’ve had pretty long breaks between cycles and pretty painful periods.

“When we got married we went to a GP and that’s when I was diagnosed with PCOS.

“The alarm bells started ringing and I was panicking. We immediately started the process of starting a family.”

Kristie was prescribed two different hormone medications in hopes of conceiving, but after 18 months, as a pediatric nurse, she and her husband were told IVF was their only option.

She added: “The GP recommended me a medication that I’ve been on for a year that should help with my cycles and help conceive naturally.

According to the NHS, around 1 in 7 couples may have trouble conceiving


(Getty Images)

“It was still unsuccessful and I was put on another drug for six months.

“It didn’t work and after jumping through all the hoops the only option was to have IVF.”

For Kristie, she described the emotional challenges of going through the process.

She said: “It’s so emotionally challenging because you can’t control it and it’s someone else’s hands. The first part of the process to get the eggs was the most stressful.

“You have to take medication and that was quite uncomfortable – I got sick.”

The couple, from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, learned they had three strong embryos – three chances of having a baby.

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Speaking of the moment they found out Kristie was pregnant, she said, “I took the pregnancy test and it was positive and we immediately went to the store and bought another five tests.”

When it came to some of the biggest challenges they faced, Oli said: “If you’re in the hospital before we’ve started the IVF stuff, you’re in the same room as pregnant women and I found that difficult.”

Kristie said: “It was quite emotional as we tried to imagine you having to sit in an area where people are being scanned and come out with their scans.

“We used to get angry and it’s just pure torture. All of these people find out they’re pregnant when we didn’t know if it would ever happen to us.”

Kristie and Oli are overjoyed after starting their family


(Getty Images)

Oli and Kristie are now parents to three healthy babies – Arthur, who was born in January 2020, and twins Imelda and Noah, who were born in October 2021.

Kristie said: “I know it’s not always that easy. Our lives have changed completely after years of wanting a family so badly that we now have three children under the age of three.

“If we can offer hope to others who are struggling with fertility, we want to do that. We want to spread positivity because I’ve been looking for positive stories throughout this process.

“You are not alone when going through IVF.”

The couple also praised the TFP Oxford Fertility Clinic that supported her through the process.

Kristie said: “When we did a round of IVF with the NHS and then privately we were treated the same way and didn’t feel like they were trying to make money.”

Oli added: “We weren’t treated any differently, I was hesitant at first because it can be a rabbit hole where you spend thousands and thousands – we were very lucky.”

Kristie added, “When you have so many negative experiences from not getting pregnant that you stay positive when it actually starts to take hold.”

dr James Hopkisson, Medical Director at TFP fertility group, told The Mirror: “One of the biggest issues or challenges for any couple looking into fertility treatment is where to go for the best fertility advice.”

He advises that couples who have been trying unsuccessfully for at least six to 12 months should either speak to their GP or seek an expert fertility assessment.

He added: “There are a range of fertility treatments that we can offer, from ovulation induction to IVF. In many cases it may not be necessary to switch to IVF and having a balanced view of treatment options is crucial.”

He continued: “A lot of people think that IVF is a panacea and a guarantee of having a family. Unfortunately, IVF is often unsuccessful and comes with physical, emotional, and financial costs.

“There is no equal access to IVF in the NHS across the UK, a postcode lottery remains. CCGs use entry criteria to ration IVF, some based on good evidence, others on social criteria and some to optimize success.”

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