The main reason for my participation in the Genesis Research Trust cycling events is the loss of my daughter Lily. Together, with the struggle through fertility treatment that not only myself and my husband had to endure, but our friends and family also. Such is the stress involved we lost a few friends along the way.
Below you will find a brief account of a series of events leading to our tragic loss. These are the catalyst, the driving force behind my involvement in these Challenges.
Autumn 2000 my husband and I decided to start a family. Things didn’t quite go according to plan and before long we found ourselves in the hospital waiting room in 2001. Various tests over the next year or so revealed nothing untoward and so with optimism and youth on our side we joined the NHS waiting list for a cycle of IVF. Giving us around 18 months to try and get our heads around the journey which lay ahead.
Cut to 2010 and 5 emotionally draining IVF cycles over a 7 year period, we finally had a positive result, it had worked… just. At every single stage of the treatment, the results were borderline; the egg collection only gave us 4 eggs, of these only 2 eggs were graded as usable, of these 2 eggs only 1 fertilised in the lab overnight. So we really did have this one last chance, this was it!
10 days later the blood test returned a less than perfect result which indicated that the treatment had failed. Having been here 4 times previously we’d braced ourselves for this. Unfortunately we still had to endure another trip to Leeds and another blood test, just to confirm. This time the results had improved and the staff congratulated us asking us to go back in a few weeks for a scan! Dumbfounded I requested another blood test so we returned to Leeds yet again. The blood test was positive and the ‘levels’ were progressing nicely. It had only gone and worked! 10 traumatic years and all of a sudden everything looked rosy.
I am really going to cut this long story short, but the complications continued despite Lily showing positively in all the scans. I was hospitalised 3 times with abdominal pain. None of the consultants could pinpoint the cause of the pain and I was monitored constantly, eventually released… still in pain.
Saturday 1st May 2010, only days after being released from 2 weeks in hospital, I awoke at home with severe abdominal pain. My husband called an ambulance immediately and I was rushed to A&E. A lot of what happened next need not be shared, but we lost Lily when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I spent another 2 weeks in hospital, almost a week of which was on the Intensive Care Unit. A 10 year struggle had ended in disaster and heartbreak.
The paramedics and consultants have since told us, I was 5 minutes away from losing my own life, but this was and continues to be little comfort.
Nearly 7 years down the line, following very different Christmases, Birthdays and Anniversaries to ones both of our families were expecting, I am proud to say, I threw myself into raising money for this very special Charity by signing up for my first challenge in 2011, ‘Cycle Vietnam & Cambodia’, raising £4800 for the Genesis Research Trust. In 2013 I also completed ‘Cycle Sri Lanka’ and my husband kindly(?!) signed me up for ‘Cycle Madagascar’ this September (2017).
To join Rachel in Madagascar and cycle with amazing ladies just like her click on the button below
To donate to Rachel’s Madagascar 2017 fundraising and for updates on her fundraising and training progress click on the button below