In this episode, Zoe speaks with Nina Willer, a diabetes specialist midwife and a type 1 diabetic herself. Nina opens up about her own journey to conceive, including her struggles with infertility and delves deep into the implications of diabetes in pregnancy and motherhood.
- Nina met her husband at work in a surf shop before she became a midwife and now it has gone full circle and they work together again!
- Nina developed her diabetes when she was 21, having looked at a lot of research she believes that the cause was an already existing pre-disposition to diabetes and then a parasite that made her ill after travelling in Ghana, was the trigger.
- When Nina and her husband decided they wanted to start trying for a baby, Nina had to make a pre-conception plan due to her type 1 diabetes.
- They then began starting to conceive but after not falling pregnant they went for fertility testing and started on 6 months of Clomid.
- Nina and her husband had their first cycle of IVF, they were very open about this and told everyone as they wanted to have people behind them to support them in their fertility journey. But sadly, by day 5 the fertilised eggs hadn’t developed as they should but were still advised to have them implanted which did not result in a pregnancy.
- They learnt a lot from the first cycle and went ahead and had a second fresh cycle, on day 3 the fertilised eggs were still developing, they froze one egg and inserted two, but the two inserted did not result in a pregnancy again.
- On the third fresh IVF cycle, the eggs stopped developing on day three again. It was a really hard time for Nina and her husband, it was their third and final cycle. They decided to still have these eggs impanted but were told they would not result in a pregnancy.
- Nina and her husband knew they needed to take a break from IVF, so they went away and started to focus on other things. But, miraculously they became pregnant from their third an final cycle. They still expected this pregnancy to end in miscarriage but incredibly it didn’t and this pregnancy is no Nina’s five year old!
- The pregnancy wasn’t straight forward due to Nina’s type 1 diabetes but she was looked after incredible well and she had her healthy baby at 36 weeks via planned C-section.
- In 2019, Nina and her husband wanted to try again for another baby so decided to try a frozen cycle of IVF. It was an experience Nina found very difficult, she calls it the worst IVF experience she had and sadly it didn’t work.
- Several months later, they had stopped trying to get pregnant so were very surprised to find that after trying for 10 years they were pregnant! They had their miracle baby , delivered by one of their closest friends, 9 months later!
“For a while I was a little bit angry at the diabetes stuff”
“We did six months of Clomid and that’s a really hopeful time for a lot of people as you suddenly think, I’m making eggs and I’m making loads of them!”
“We’re so lucky, the NHS has treated us very, very well”
“One of the many things I find fascinating about type 1 Diabetes is that the glucose levels can tell us a lot about what’s going on”
“It felt like I was having a miscarriage in a way, I had known that embryo for 5 years, that was my other child”
ABOUT THE GUEST
ABOUT THE HOST
Devoted mother of two (and a big hairy dog), UK trained midwife, doula and personal trainer, specialising in pre and postnatal fitness.
Zoe was born in the UK and before moving to Dubai in 2013 and worked as a midwife in central London, both in a birth centre and a very busy NHS hospital.
Although late to the scene, Zoe is an aspiring athlete having won numerous triathlons and representing Great Britain where she placed within the top 10 on the world stage.
With her husband James, the couple will soon be launching their cloth nappy company, Bop & Bee, where they hope to inspire families to swap a few disposable nappies a day for the more planet friendly option of cloth.
Zoe’s goal is to share her knowledge and experience, tell real life stories, manage expectations and open up those often difficult conversations.
Zoe’s own motherhood journey has been full of twists and turns as she put everything on hold and went through numerous miscarriages and rounds of IVF.
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