Fertility treatment delays amid COVID heartbreaking for some hopeful N.B. parents


Fertility treatments are known for being emotionally and physically draining, but some hopeful parents in New Brunswick going through the rigorous process during COVID-19 say the cancelled appointments and longer wait times are nearly too much to bear.

Hillary and Luke Newman have been trying to conceive for five years.

After years of testing and waiting, they were taken on as patients in August 2020 at Conceptia Fertility Clinic in Moncton, N.B. The couple was told they would get a call in 2021 about starting in vitro fertilization (IVF).

But despite COVID, the call came sooner for the Saint John couple than expected.

"When we were called before Christmas, we just thought it was such a great Christmas gift," said Hillary Newman.

"We let our parents know on Christmas Day. A lot of tears were shed."

They were expected to start treatments Jan. 21, but 24 hours beforehand, three zones, including Saint John and Moncton, went into red.

The appointment was cancelled.

"This is a process that has so much waiting in it, without COVID that, you know, just adding additional wait is really, really hard on the heart," said Newman.

Chloe and Kyle Foulkes also live in Saint John, and can relate.

Since 2017, they've been trying to have a baby and were told 12 hours before their IVF appointment in November 2020 that a change to orange meant they'd have to reschedule.

"We had been preparing for for about three months with lifestyle changes, diet changes, supplements," said Chloe Foulkes.

"So, yeah, that was pretty heartbreaking."