‘IVF gave me my miracle baby but left me bedbound in pain with uncontrollable rage’

Jade Devenish struggled with infertility for years and went through IVF to give birth to her miracle baby, Layla-Rae (Image: Jane Devenish)

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A mum who gave birth to a miracle baby after three and a half years of trying has relived her hell as she went through IVF treatment.

Jade Devenish, 31, from Dorset, was working in cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic when she noticed her periods were becoming erratic.

Around the same time, she and her partner Ian were trying for a baby. But after months of false hopes and negative pregnancy tests, Jade realised it wasn’t happening naturally.

The air stewardess and her partner Ian, a professional boxer, spent the next few months having fertility tests – but after a few false alarms, there was no explanation for their struggles.

Jade Devenish and her partner Ian had been trying for a baby for several months before going for fertility tests
(Image: Jane Devenish)

“So many people experience fertility issues, and a lot of them never find out why,” Jade told The Mirror.

After doctors were stumped by Jade and Ian’s situation, they were offered IVF treatment on the NHS. But Jade admits she knew hardly anything about it.

“I had no idea how IVF worked. I actually thought it meant you were having someone else’s baby, I was that uneducated,” she said.

Some of their close family were equally baffled by the concept.

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“One of our family members said: ‘Oh, you’re going to have a test tube baby!’” she recalled. “We laugh about it now because there was so little understanding of how it worked.”

After brushing up on how IVF worked, Jade assumed she knew what was in store – but there were some nasty surprises along the way.

“When my medication arrived to stimulate my eggs, I didn’t realise I’d have to inject myself. I thought I’d just have to swallow some pills,” she recalled.

As Jade injected herself with hormones every day, she began to find herself having uncontrollable mood swings.

“It made me feel horrendous. I was all over the place. No one warned me about that,” she said.

Jade and Ian were given the chance to have IVF on the NHS, but Jade says she wasn't prepared for the side effects
(Image: Jane Devenish)

“One minute I’d be laughing hysterically and the next I’d be screaming and crying uncontrollably.”

She recalled one terrifying incident while she was driving with Ian and her mother-in-law in the car.

“I indicated left to change lane, and some idiot in a van started beeping at me,” she said.

Snacking on McDonald’s chips and a milkshake while the driver taunted and abused her, Jade pulled over the car and grabbed her milkshake cup.

“I got out of my car and walked across the road to his van window. I was just screaming and crying.

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“As I walked towards him he started winding up his window. Then I launched the milkshake at the window.

“All of a sudden I stopped and thought: ‘Oh my God, what is happening to me’?”

Turning back to see her stunned partner and mother-in-law in the car, Ian calmed her down and took the wheel before driving home.

“He sat with me and cuddled me while I cried for 20 minutes. No one prepared me to feel like that,” she recalled.

Jade was working as a cabin crew member for Virgin Atlantic when she realised she wasn't getting pregnant
(Image: Jane Devenish)

Sadly, Jade and Ian’s first attempt at IVF was unsuccessful, so they tried again as soon as they could.

After implanting more embryos, Jade had an agonising two week wait for a blood test to see if the transfer had been successful.

“I woke up the day of the test and felt so down. I didn’t want to get out of bed,” she said.

“Ian was in Tenerife on a tour so I was on my own. I just called my friend in tears and told her I didn’t want to go in for the test.”

Then Jade remembered she had a cheap pregnancy test in her bag she’d bought in a budget store a few days earlier.

Jade had to inject herself with hormones every day to stimulate her eggs
(Image: Jane Devenish)

Hauling herself out of bed, she went to the bathroom to take it. And when she saw the result, she was gobsmacked.

She sent a photo of the test to her friend and called her back.

“She just cried on the end of the phone and said: ‘Babe, you’re pregnant’,” Jade said.

Then Jade called Ian to tell him the good news.

“His dad was with him and I could hear him saying: ‘Go on my son’, on the end of the phone,” she laughed.

Nine months later, Jade gave birth to her daughter, Layla-Rae, who arrived happy and healthy.

“She was perfect and more than enough but we knew pretty quickly we wanted to try for a second baby,” she said.

The second cycle of IVF set Jade and Ian back £6,000 and in January this year, they decided to try again.

This time, Jade was prepared for the mood swings and injections – but there were more side effects in store.

Gorgeous Layla-Rae arrived happy and healthy after years of Ian and Jade trying for a baby
(Image: Jane Devenish)

After having her eggs harvested, Jade was diagnosed with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, known as OHSS.

The condition causes too many eggs to form in the ovaries, which makes them swell. In severe cases, it can be fatal.

“I was really swollen. When I walked, I could feel a vibration in my ovaries. I went for my egg collection and had a hot water bottle on my tummy.

“As I walked into the clinic, I was hunched over in pain.”

Jade was given an anaesthetic before having her eggs collected, and was sent home once the procedure was complete.

“When I got home and the anaesthetic wore off, I was bedbound. I just couldn’t walk, it was really bad,” she said.

Jade and Ian were overjoyed to welcome Layla-Rae into the world
(Image: Jane Devenish)

“I made Ian walk me to the bathroom so I could be sick. He was literally carrying me because I was in so much pain.”

Jade spent the night vomiting over the toilet, unable to speak or walk because of the pain.

The next day, she took herself to urgent care, where she was admitted overnight. After a few days of treatment, she was finally allowed to go home to Ian and Layla-Rae, now three and a half.

After her ordeal, Jade decided not to go through with her next embryo transfer and instead opted to wait for her body to heal.

“If this had happened to me the first time around, I’d have pushed for the transfer to happen as soon as possible. But this time I’m listening to my body,” she said.

“Women shouldn’t go through with the transfer if they’re in that state.”

Jade’s now waiting for the right time to do the transfer when she’s feeling mentally and physically fit. In the meantime, she’s running an Instagram account, @themindsetmumma, to help other women on their fertility journey.

She also runs a YouTube channel and is organising brunch events for women in a similar position to meet up and talk about their issues.

“I want other women to know: You’re not alone. Don’t let anyone invalidate how you feel. The whole process is tough.

“It’s normal to feel angry and upset when you see someone else falling pregnant and you’re struggling.

“It’s important to find a community so you know other people are going through the same thing you are.”

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