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"Genuine care and compassion at EFREC"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Reproductive Health (Simpson Centre)

(as a service user),

For over three years I attended EFREC for unexplained infertility, after I suffered a miscarriage and had trouble conceiving. I underwent 8 rounds of IVF (plus one round that was cancelled at the last minute due to COVID), and it was an exceptionally difficult time of our lives for me and my husband. But the care we received by the nurses, doctors, counsellors and support staff helped us get through. Every single interaction we had with one of the staff there was one of kindness and real, genuine, care and compassion. 

We suffered another miscarriage in our first round of IVF and when subsequent treatments failed, the nurses were always so kind to us and always offered further support. I took advantage of the counselling service with Ruth, and honestly, I don't know how I could have got through those three years without her support helping me get through the disappointment of each failed cycle and find the strength to start the next one when I was ready. Her support was invaluable and I don't know how I could have got through those years without it.

With each appointment, the nurses were kind, patient and caring, and showed they understood how challenging it was to go through repeated cycles of IVF. They sat with me and offered me tissues when I cried, they joked with me and made me laugh, they acknowledged the challenges of the journey we were on. One day, nurse Jane Clyne asked me "How are you really?" and honestly, it was the kindest thing anyone had said to me in a long time. With IVF we tend to put on a brave face and get on with life despite the physical and emotional rollercoaster of repeated, often back-to-back cycles. No-one really understands what you're going through, or else they feel too awkward to address it. 

There were so many moments of kindness through those years but I wanted to acknowledge Jane Clyne for her unfaltering kindness, Kirsten for always being so cheerful and smiley, Adriana for keeping my spirits up during 7am bloods, Ciara for checking in on me every time she saw me in the clinic, Ruth Philips for the outstanding counselling that she provided and Dr Shakur for always telling me the truth, while acknowledging that it wasn't always easy to hear. I always had full faith and trust in everyone at EFREC and truly believe they always had my best interests at heart, and did everything they could to make my treatment successful.

IVF sadly didn't work for us, but in February this year (much to our complete surprise) we conceived naturally and are due to welcome a little girl next month. While IVF wasn't successful for us, we'll never forget the part that the staff at EFREC played in helping us create our family and we will be forever grateful. 

Thank you.

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Response from Justine Craig, Director of Midwifery, NHS Lothian last month
Justine Craig
Director of Midwifery,
NHS Lothian
Submitted on 25/10/2021 at 09:27
Published on Care Opinion at 09:27

Dear ospreykm46

Thank you so much for your beautiful and poignant words.I will make sure that your message is passed on to the team in EFREC, I know that your feedback the experience you have shared will mean a great deal to them. You and your husband have had such a long and difficult journey and I am was very happy to read that you are expecting a daughter. Congratulations to you both on your pregnancy.

With very best wishes to you and your family


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