Biography - Sheila Lamb
Hi! I’m very glad you found my website but I am sorry that you are needing to find books about infertility and the challenges that go with it.
I and my husband went through ‘unexplained infertility’ (UI) for six years – this included scans, blood tests, investigations and a lot of emotions, before our first intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycle, which wasn’t successful. We moved onto an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycle with pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS). We had one chromosomally normal embryo that was transferred, and after a tortuous two-week wait (TWW), I had my period. We took a break for a couple of years to try naturally as technically nothing was wrong – I had regular acupuncture and took Traditional Chinese herbs, (TCM), we changed our diet to mostly organic, tried to reduce our stress levels and cut down on alcohol When I still wasn’t pregnant at 45, we started to consider, and actively looked into, donor egg (DE).
We found a Spanish clinic that had an English fertility nurse and we did our first DEICSI cycle in the November. And guess what? I got pregnant! Briefly. I had a miscarriage at six and a half weeks – though the technical term is ‘chemical pregnancy’.
I went into research overdrive, looking into miscarriages and repeated implantation failures, and came across the idea of natural killer cells and blood clotting issues. As I had previously been a qualified nurse and midwife, this train of thought made sense to me. I had the basic tests for NK Cells, Factor V Leiden and blood clotting issues and was so sure something would come back abnormal. But they didn’t; all were within normal range. However, our miscarriage consultant agreed that on our next donor egg cycle he was happy for me to take the medication as if I did have an issue. We discussed this with our Spanish clinic and they were happy to work with this.
We used a different donor, started the meds, went to Spain in the April, had two, two-day old embryos implanted, (none to freeze unfortunately). The fertility nurse was sure one was a girl. And guess what? I got pregnant! And stayed pregnant. In January 2011 we welcomed our miracle, rainbow daughter into the world. Yes, the fertility nurse was right!
The two areas I really struggled with were finding jargon-free, understandable medical information and emotional support. Even though I had been a midwife years previously, I didn’t know much about infertility, and most of the website seemed to be written by medical people for medical people. It was pretty frustrating, and I’m sure that’s how you often feel. There is no one cause and no one treatment for infertility, like most diseases and illnesses.
Secondly, everyone has similar emotions when it’s a struggle to get pregnant, but because infertility and loss are still taboo subjects, we don’t always know this. There wasn’t much support pre-2010 but thankfully there is so much more these days, and you can find which is best for you – Instagram, Podcasts, YouTube, Webinars, Facebook Groups, books or working 1:1 with a fertility coach, mentor or counsellor.
These two reasons are why I started writing books. I am passionate about supporting people who are experiencing now what I once experienced. I am also very keen, like many others, to inform the wider world about infertility, fertility treatment like IVF, and miscarriage, especially the emotional side. All these subjects are taboo and they really shouldn’t be, because it isn’t the person’s or couple’s fault that they are struggling to have a baby. They should be supported and understood by those who love them, but people who haven’t personally gone through infertility, just don’t ‘get it’. When a baby is born following a little help from science, like IUI or IVFs, they grow up with parents who are quite rightly proud of how they were conceived, and this should be celebrated.
See the ‘Book’ menu to find out more about ‘My Fertility Book – all the fertility and infertility explanations you will ever need, from A to Z,’ and my ‘This is’ series of books, which are short stories about real-life infertility warriors who share their emotional experiences of different areas of infertility – from trying to conceive to pregnancy after infertility and loss.
If I can help in any other way, other than through my books, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
May your dream of becoming a parent come true very soon