Model Jools Oliver always knew she wanted a family, but also suspected it would not be as simple as it sounded. “Even when I was 17, I thought there might be a problem and that I’d have trouble conceiving because my periods were irregular,” notes Jools, now mom to daughters Poppy Honey, 7, Daisy Boo, 6, and Petal Blossom Rainbow, 3 ½ months.
After Jools married celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in 2000, the couple started trying for a baby without success. Soon after, the pair decided to have testing done to see what the problem was. “I was quite quickly diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which meant that I wasn’t ovulating each month like normal,” she explains. Despite the diagnosis, Jools was unfazed by the road ahead.
“You hear horror stories and you think it’s going to be hard, but I didn’t care. I just wanted a baby.”
Jools made the decision to take the drug Clomid, which stimulates ovulation. “I had all the side effects,” she remembers. “Dizziness, panic attacks, blurred vision.” However, she was “determined to get the thing done. It was awful, but I just thought: ‘Keep going.’ I’m sure any couple that has been through fertility treatment understands what I’m saying.”
Even more paralyzing than the side effects was the fear that Clomid wouldn’t work. “I think I spent lots of time panicking and that made the effects of the drug worse,” she admits. “It was a hard few months and there was so much pressure on us both. It was especially tough for Jamie because he was working. It’s not a nice way to try to get a baby really.”
After months of trying, the couple learned that a baby was on the way. An overjoyed Jools “fell in love” with the doctor that helped her and Jamie achieve their dream. “I suppose I’m just another patient to him,” she muses, “but if I go back to the hospital for a check-up and see him, I always think about what he did for me. He probably does it every day, but for me it was a miracle.”