BBC’s Simon Reeve has spoken out about his journey to becoming a parent after being told he was infertile
The worldwide adventurer and his wife Anya have a ten-year-old son, Jake but to conceive Simon has to overhaul his lifestyle.
He said the couple had been trying for some time before seeking help.
The 49-year-old was shocked to be told by fertility experts that there was a problem with his sperm
It was a huge shock for him and Anya, then 37 and 38, respectively.
Simon said in an article he wrote for the Daily Mail: “I would not be able to have children. It was the starkest of messages: I could hardly take it in.
“I was told I had lots of sperm but their morphology was terrible. We had never heard of the term before.
“Your sperm is deformed,” said the headmistress-type fertility specialist. “They will never be able to break into Anya’s eggs.”
He was told that his sperm was going around in circles.
But he also had to admit that he didn’t live the healthiest of lifestyles, which needed to change.
Despite his plans to overhaul how he ate, slept, and working less, the fertility specialist said it would not help
She said she didn’t want to give the couple false hope. Nevertheless, Simon made the changes needed to help improve his sperm’s health.
He began military boot camp-style workouts, bought loose-fitting underwear, and even sat in a rubber ring to help his swimmers have as much space as possible. After a few months, things started to look up. Simon’s sperm showed signs of improvement and he was told he could become a father.
Simon counts his wife as the one who had the faith it would work
He said: “Anya said ‘we are not giving up – change is always possible.’”
The couple had tried every alternative therapy, a nutritionist, and avoided plastic as much as humanly possible. They were told Simon’s sperm was strong enough to try naturally, but due to Anya’s declining age and fertility they were advised to have IVF as soon as they could.
The couple went through the process of IVF and created five embryos, but just one went to the blastocyst stage
This tiny embryo was the little survivor that implanted and nine months later, Jake was born, to the couple’s absolute delight.
Simon said: “I was flooded with joy and hope to the extent that it felt overwhelming.
“The strength of love for Jake was unlike anything I had experienced before.
“For all my deep relief in the gifts that travel can offer, no experience around the planet, before or since, can match the power or thrill or beauty of becoming a parent.”
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