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April 24, 2020

Our family: Alex and Nicola

Alex: "Life has thrown lemons at us and we made lemonade"




Listen to Alex's podcast and his opinion on his IVF journey so far.


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Covid-19 has been tough on everyone. It has been especially tough on people preparing for IVF treatments as fertility clinics across the country have had to close down temporarily. 

In our previous blog, we heard Nicola Manashe talking about her IVF journey when the lockdown started. We’ve now caught up with Alex Reid, Nicola’s fiancé, about his view of their journey with HSFC being temporarily halted, his thoughts and feelings.


Alex’s thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the lockdown

Although a shock and disappointment to start with, Alex said that, at the beginning of the lockdown, not continuing the IVF journey was frustrating. But, he adds, there was also some kind of a “relief. “What happened in the world with Covid-19 is a scary time. Businesses had to shut down. I am nervous for baby Reid. I had a gig booked on which I am not sure will go ahead, and having a child means we have to provide for. As much as we want baby Reid, we have time to contemplate, sit back and reflect on what’s going on. Because it’s a scary time, it’s nice for us to not have baby Reid inside Nicola’s tummy, because it would be a big concern. “

Alex has a very positive attitude towards the whole situation: “We’ve taken the lemons that life has thrown at us and made some lemonade.”


How is Alex spending the lockdown?

Nicola told us that she has been on a big cleaning drive, spending her free time tidying up all her cupboards. How is Alex spending his time at home? 

“Who isn’t going crazy in lockdown? As much as I love my darling, I drive her crazy, that’s what she keeps telling me. It’s nice to be with a tidy person, but I get told off just for breathing,” Alex says, laughing. Then he continues, “Now seriously, I’ve never been busier. I am looking at all these projects, nagging odd jobs, I tidy up files in my computer, I read. As I try to record this, I’ve Nicola in the background banging, screaming and shouting at me just for breathing” (our note: we couldn’t hear anything!). “I suppose that’s the way in lockdown with your loved one. As much as she wants to kill me, I cuddle her, and she ends up with a smile. Kill them with kindness.”

What about the mess he makes? “I love Nicola. We’re going to have baby Reid and baby Reid is going to give her a lot more mess than daddy Reid, I can tell you that!”


How is Alex supporting Nicola at this time? And how do they support each other?

Alex leaves his jokes aside and has nothing but praises for his fiancée. He says, “Nicola is the most supportive, wonderful woman I’ve ever had in my life. She gives me great advice, I’ve done things maybe rushed, and she is the voice of reason, she’s got valid points”. They’ve learned what works for them. They’ve been together for 7 years, and Alex says that “I also pick her up when she is sad. I can be the voice of reason too. We are kids, we play fight. I also do respect her opinions.” Alex hopes they will never lose their childlike playfulness.

He wants his business to flourish (Alex is involved in health and fitness industry and he is also running bootcamps). With the training, Alex feels that they are motivating and inspiring people. “I feel like I found my purpose, and the only thing to add to my purpose is baby Reid.”


Alex’s message for other men on a similar IVF journey

Last November Alex was told that he was infertile (20k sperm count). He worked hard to overcome his male fertility issues, “I changed all of my ways, I researched thoroughly my diet, herbs, life style, how to increase my fertility.” Alex noticed that some of the herbs he took were not good for fertility and stopped them. He started Chi Cun and Yoga. “I’ve stopped taking lots of caffeine tablets which are not good. I have a beer once in a while.” Everything he did was in order to create baby Reid. “I used 80/20 rule, 20% naughty, 80% good, trying to increase my sperm count.”

All his efforts to improve fertility paid off. In February the sperm count increased to an unbelievable 77 million. This meant a much higher chance of success rate.

Alex also believes that meditation helped him. “With the power of our minds we can heal ourselves. So, I’ve decided to be extremely positive”.


Nicola and Alex’s advice for other couples whose fertility journey is similar to theirs

Alex and Nicola know that things can get a teeny bit difficult for couples undergoing IVF treatment to be dealing with the additional stress of the current situation when locked-down together.

“Don’t get sucked in to the lockdown with that person!” laughs Nicola.

“She’s doing it without me, I don’t need you! I think you do!”

Alex continues, “We’re laughing about it. We have this banter almost daily. Don’t take things so seriously. I’m really enjoying lockdown. I love her and she loves me. Stop being soppy, Alex!”

Alex’s advice for couples? “It’s time to take time out from the pressure of IVF which is very stressful. Just relax! Enjoy the time together…or don’t! I probably get hit with a saucepan over the head now!” Alex jokes.


Alex’s hopes for the future 

“I hope Nicola and I never lose that childlike playfulness and have that curiosity on what’s life all about. I would like my business to flourish and keep acting. I feel like I have found my purpose, and the only thing to add to that purpose is baby Reid.”

 Alex simply says at the end of his interview: “Nicola said to me that people are taking for granted the fact that they have a baby. I take for granted that we will have a baby”.

We absolutely love Nicola and Alex’s positive attitude. We cannot wait to welcome them back to Harley Street Fertility Clinic to continue their IVF journey, so we can give them their precious baby. A baby definitely made with love, and a bit of science help from our one and only Dr Venkat.