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As we embark on the next stage of our fertility journey, it’s important to remember that finding the right clinic and doctor is crucial. When we first started out on our fertility journey, we were so naïve. Blindly walking into the first fertility clinic on recommendation of a friend. We did zero research, didn’t ask about success rates, we didn’t even attend an open evening nor ask others about their experience of the clinic!

After three failed cycles, it finally hit us that we had other options. The emotional, financial and physical burden we had been carrying was taking its toll on us. It was then that our eyes were opened, and we finally started looking for the Doctor and clinic that was right for us.

As we nervously drove to Clonskeagh and passed though the gates of SIMS, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of embarrassment. The large silver SIMSIVF sign on the gate made me feel inadequate and like everyone would know why we were there.

As I sat nervously in the waiting room of the fertility clinic, surrounded by other couples going through similar struggles, I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious. We all seemed to be trying our best to avoid eye contact and keep to ourselves, as if there was an unspoken rule not to talk to one another. The embarrassment and shame I felt in that moment was overwhelming, but I was also excited and hopeful.

Sitting across from our new consultant, I couldn’t help but wonder if this meeting would be like all the others. In the past, I found myself nodding along, pretending to understand while feeling more and more overwhelmed. To my surprise, this meeting was different.

As soon as we met doctor Lyuda, we knew we had found the right doctor for us. Our gut instincts were telling us that she was the one. She treated us as people first and patients second. She spoke to us candidly and with real empathy, understanding our past experiences. I really appreciated her straight-forward approach, it is something I respond well to and respect. She didn’t make any unrealistic promises, but she did promise to work with us and do everything she could to help us become parents. We left the meeting feeling positive and hopeful, just like we did when we chose our wedding venue.

Throughout our treatment cycle, Dr Lyuda was always open to listening to my (sometimes mad)  ideas about new research. She listened to me, was open to holistic treatments, and always had a clear individualised protocol for us. She made the emotional journey of fertility treatment easier for us with her straightforwardness and kindness. She truly cared about our journey to become parents and it was evident in every appointment, as she always made time for us and explained the process clearly. We weren’t a number to her.

It’s hard to put into words how much Dr Lyuda means to me. What do you say to the person who has given you the gift of motherhood? As I write this, I find myself tearing up, struggling to find the right words to express my gratitude.

Throughout our journey, Dr Lyuda has been there to support us, through failed cycles and fighting to ensure I got the care I needed when I went through a heart-breaking miscarriage. Now as we are preparing for our final FET this Spring 2023 with UNQLIFE and SIMS IVF Dublin, she is once again there for me. Providing a clear plan and reminding me that we are a team.

I know that choosing a clinic or doctor is personal and subjective. What works for one person may not work for another. Take time to research different clinics and doctors, but also trust your instincts and go with your gut. The journey to parenthood is hard enough and you don’t need to deal with added stress or feeling uncomfortable or unsupported.

Trust your instincts – trust me, when you find the right fit, you will know it!

Doctor Lyuda is more than a doctor to us, she is a true partner in our journey to become parents, and our future plans to extend our family.

For that, I will forever be grateful.

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