Musicians Harry and Izzy Judd have always been open about their desire to have kids. However, with Izzy having polycystic ovary syndrome, the pair struggled to conceive for two years before deciding to try IVF.
Despite the first round working, Izzy went on to have a miscarriage on Boxing Day 2015. They decided to take some time out before trying IVF again, but the second time the pregnancy was successful and their daughter Lola was born in January 2016.
And now Izzy has spoken openly about her experiences of fertility, miscarriage and IVF for the first time.
Speaking on Lorraine, to promote her book on the subject, Izzy revealed that she'd "always" wanted to be a mum, and had never contemplated the chance she might struggle to conceive.
I always, always wanted to be a mum. Ever since I was a little girl, it was absolutely what I thought would just happen. You spend all your teenage years worrying about not getting pregnant but then when you want to, it doesn't happen. My journey started when we thought we'd get pregnant after we got married. It just didn't work out that way. And what followed were very, very lonely months, and monthly cycles of disappointment. In the end we did turn to IVF.
Izzy said that her miscarriage was particularly difficult because she'd began "projecting" about the future the instant she discovered she was pregnant.
I had to give myself time before going back for the next round [of IVF] to truly grieve over what I'd just lost. Because the moment you get those two lines on a pregnancy test, you're a mum. You're already projecting ahead, you're daring to dream – which is why I gave the book that title. It's that feeling of hope.
And she went on to explain that because of her miscarriage, she refused to allow herself to get her hopes up during her second pregnancy until her baby was born.
It was a case of just getting through each day. Harry was my counter. We just got through each point – the day it happened, the 12 week scan. It was only when Lola was born that I could feel relieved. She was here! I remember just looking at her and thinking I would have waited forever to meet her.
Izzy also revealed that she treated IVF as a mindful process, doing all she could to relax.
I felt that the doctor's job was to look after my body, but my job was to look after my mind. So I looked at holistic approaches, acupuncture, gentle exercise and nutrition. I looked at IVF from a very different perspective.
And she added that adopting a more positive mindset led to "magical" moments during the IVF process.
I think people see IVF as three letters that are incredibly frightening. And actually, there's something truly magical about IVF if you can switch your mind to think of it slightly differently. I know it's really tough, but there were moments, like when we got to see Lola as an embryo on the screen. It was a moment between Harry and I that wasn't the way we thought it'd be, but there she was and I remember Harry turning and going: "It's a girl!" And I don't think people think of IVF in that way.
Izzy also tried visualisation – especially when she discovered she was pregnant with Lola.
At that point [she found out she was pregnant] I did so much visualising. I felt like I was the roots of a tree grabbing into that embryo for dear life. And I'm very lucky. It did work for me both times. Tragically the first ended in miscarriage, which was devastating. But then we were lucky enough to go on to have Lola.
And she concluded by advising anyone experiencing fertility struggles or undergoing IVF to find somebody they can talk to, in order to ease the emotional load.
When I was going through it I found it very, very difficult to talk to anybody. And I think it's really important to find somebody – not necessarily your partner – to talk to. It's a very lonely time and when you carry it all yourself on your shoulders it can be even harder.