When Michael’s mum sadly died from Covid in November 2020, the couple nearly gave up; it had been her dream to see them as parents and their grief was intense.
Marie says it was a heart-breaking time: “We had five miscarriages and Michael said ‘we can’t do this anymore’, but I knew it was what his mum would have wanted.
“We didn’t get our hopes up as we didn’t want to feel hurt and upset again, but when the pregnancy test for our final round of IVF was positive, we felt it was a sign, mum’s gift to us.
“The nurses at Bourn Hall IVF clinic were very supportive. ‘Although it is heart-breaking to lose someone you are very close to’, they said, ‘another door opens with a gift of life.’” They were right and the couple welcomed their son Frankie into their lives in September 2021.
Two miscarriages after natural conception
The couple’s journey had first begun in 2016, when they became pregnant naturally, only to miscarry a few weeks later. Marie remembers that she tried not to think too much about the loss, but then she kept getting pains. The consultant at Ipswich hospital thought there was a cyst in her fallopian tube and examined her (the fallopian tube takes the egg down to the womb where it is normally fertilized).
Devastatingly, it was found not to be a cyst but a baby. Marie had been carrying twins. The tube was removed, and the couple were deeply upset.
Marie had a second miscarriage four months later, but this time the pain was so unbearable that when she got home from work Michael took her straight to hospital and she was rushed through to surgery. It was another ectopic pregnancy, and the second fallopian tube was removed.
Both of my fallopian tubes had been removed
Marie woke up after the surgery to find her family around the bed, as she had nearly died in the operating theatre through the amount of blood she had lost.
“I was so worried that I couldn’t have children, when all we wanted more than anything in the world was a baby,” she says. “I had a long chat with the consultant who did my surgery, he explained that he had no option but to take out my fallopian tube, he was very helpful and gave us the option of referring us for IVF and said that we would get three free rounds on the NHS.
“At the time I said to my husband ‘I cannot do this’. I had lost all faith and hope and felt I had let everyone down.
“But with time I felt more determined. I said to myself ‘I am going to give my husband a son or daughter and all our parents a grandchild’. So, after a couple of months, I got back in touch with the consultant and asked if we could be put on the list for IVF; we were given several options, and we chose Bourn Hall in Colchester.
IVF gave us hope
“We started IVF in 2018, and everyone at Bourn Hall was so lovely and helpful, and gave us so much hope and encouragement. The first round was unsuccessful, but we felt determined that IVF would work for us.
“Then on our second round, I fell pregnant on both a fresh cycle and a frozen cycle but lost both. We couldn’t work out why. We did have a lot going on as my husband’s brother died, which was very painful and stressful, as we were the ones who found him.
“We took a break for a little while for my body to heal and for us to have time to grieve.
“We then started our third and final round of NHS-funded treatment. I didn’t fall pregnant on the fresh cycle but did on the subsequent frozen cycle – and lost it again.
“The team at Bourn Hall were so helpful and gave us information to go away and think about.
“We still had one frozen embryo in the freezer but with Covid we had to wait and put treatment on hold.
If we don’t do this I will always wonder ‘what if’?
“My husband has been my rock and supported me all the way along our journey, but he couldn’t bear to see me hurt and upset again. But I thought, if I don’t do this, I will always wonder ‘what if?’. I just wanted that feeling of being pregnant, being able to feel a baby move inside me and most of all I wanted to be a mummy, and my husband to be a daddy.
“So, we got a quote for the last IVF cycle and I also asked for the Embryo Glue which you do not get on the NHS, but I felt it might make a difference.”
“We started the final round. Then we lost Michael’s mum, which was heartbreaking, as all she had wanted for us was to become parents.
This pregnancy was successful, and Marie and Michael now have a little boy, born following an emergency C-section as Marie’s waters broke early – “Frankie really couldn’t wait any longer!”
Frankie is a ‘gift from heaven’
Marie says: “We definitely recommend Bourn Hall as everyone is kind, lovely, caring and so, so helpful. We are both so over the moon with our little miracle baby, he really is a gift from heaven.”
Michael adds: “It was a long, daunting journey; I felt like giving up several times, as it was very draining and very emotional for both of us. But it was very worth it. I’m not superstitious at all but I lost my mum to COVID and then our baby popped up. I’m very glad we didn’t give up, as we would not be without him; he makes us very very happy, he is such a handsome happy little baby, our little smiley, and I know my mum and brother never met him but are watching over all of us. Frankie makes us melt every time we look at him; he is so loved and he has made our little family complete.”