Stella's Story: What I wish I had known

Gaia Member Stella's story

Stella and Toby are Gaia Members who are currently on the second round of their Gaia Plan. Stella, who understands the challenges of going through treatment, shared her advice on everything she wished she'd known at every step of her journey so far.

Preparing for IVF treatment

Any day is a good day to start focusing on fertility friendly nutrition and supplements. Not only can it help with IVF, it’s great for overall health!

Trust the process and all of the turns in the road. Not all direction changes are negative - they can lead to exactly where you need to be at that moment.

Knowledge is power, but always just adapt and only take on what can fit in with your daily life. Be kind to yourself and try not to change your life completely for the sake of IVF.

Always remember to take care of what you need emotionally and physically. It can be an all-consuming path, and it's important is to nurture yourself and make little dates with yourself to do things you love along the way.

Surround yourself with loved ones that can be of great support to you. It’s always great to educate people around you on the journey and how they can help you and others.

Choosing a clinic

Do your homework. When it comes to choosing a clinic, it's important to have a positive feeling about the clinic you end up going to.

You’ll want to know that your clinic understands your individual needs and circumstances. Make sure they offer the treatment option you need, the location works for you, and that they are transparent in their pricing, so you know exactly what you are expected to pay. All clinics have live birth success rates, but sadly, they are usually dated. Feel free to ask your clinic for more up-to-date success rates based on your age and treatment type.

Finally, reviews are always worth looking into. It's important to hear from others about their experiences at the clinic.

For more info, check out Gaia's page on how to choose a clinic.

Getting tested

It can be overwhelming when you dive into the world of fertility testing. Be sure to ask your chosen clinic what testing they offer and what they recommend doing before you start treatment. Most commonly, AMH and, if needed, a semen analysis are a first port of call. Do what feels right for you, with the advice of professionals.

During treatment

Try your best not to compare your individual protocol with others. There are many variations that are all chosen based on personal factors. Take your treatment day by day. Each stage is a step forward, and if at any point, you don’t proceed, know that it’s for the right reasons. There is not a one size fits all solution, and every setback will help inform what your best treatment options will be.

IVF treatment can seem very overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Reach out if you need support or advice. We are lucky to live in world where social media exists and can be used in a positive way for the IVF community.

The two week wait

I think I can speak for almost everyone that the twoweek wait is one of the hardest parts, mentally and physically, during your IVF cycle. It can be overwhelming, and, of course, the cocktail of added hormones can make you feel out of sorts. This is your time to plan and recognize what you need - what will make YOU feel better. Exercise self care! Trust your body is doing everything it needs to support you and welcome the embryo on board.

I always love to plan lots of lovely things during my two week wait, like seeing loved ones and spending time with the friends that have that infectious energy and laugh.

Finally, try to stay present. Of course, it's not easy. You'll go through waves of wanting to test early, but it’s so important to listen to the advice of professionals. If you are in this journey with a partner, remember you are both traveling down this road together and will experience similar emotions, so squeeze each other a little tighter.

Testing day

It’s finally here…

All the efforts and energy come down to this very moment. Of course it’s scary, because we wish, pray, and cross everything we possibly can to see a big fat positive. But know that no matter the outcome, you have done everything you can, so be proud of yourself.

My personal testing experiences have sadly been negative. Of course, it’s heartbreaking, but I always trust in myself and know I’ve done everything I could. The negative is not a result of my actions. It just sadly was not my time. I don’t know when or how, but I know I’m destined to be a parent, and I trust in the process and path I’m on.

A happy update to Stella's story

As of May 2024, we're over the moon to share that Stella and Toby are expecting their first child.

Written by
Stella Payne
Stella is a Gaia Ambassador and the founder of Navigating Fertility, a face-to-face support group for people going through their own IVF fertility journeys. She and her partner, Toby, have been proud Gaia Members since 2022.

How can Gaia help?

Whether you’re exploring fertility treatment for the first time or have been there before, Gaia is here to help you plan and pay for your IVF treatment.

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Learn about the costs of IVF

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So far I am very happy with Gaia
So far I am very happy with Gaia, I am about to have my first try of IVF with them, I have found them extremely helpful and all the staff I have delt with have been so kind and friendly. I would recommend using Gaia.


Published 2 Oct 2023
Gaia makes the world a happier place
Gaia are so friendly, welcoming and kind! We were so so excited to hear about Gaia when we attended a open evening at Bourn Hall Wickford. It is the most amazing gift that Gaia can give to a person/persons, they put fertility treatment...

Mrs Sarah Prince

Published 17 sep 2023
Gaia is my family too!!!
I haven't started my treatment yet but till this point I'm very happy with Gaia family. I don't have words to express my gratitude and I'm sure with their help I will have my baby soon. The communication have been excell...


Published 8 jul 2023
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