£70,000 baby- Couple who remortgaged their home to afford five rounds of IVF to have their miracle tot
A couple who tried for a baby for seven years have revealed they spent more than £70,000 conceiving their miracle tot – including remortgaging their home.
Amanda Mitcheson, 48, from Doncaster, Yorks, and husband, Nigel, 51, were left devastated when they struggled to conceive naturally.
After being told there was a lengthy waiting list for IVF, the couple decided to take matters into their own hands.
They made the drastic decision to re-mortgage their £600,000 home in order to fund five rounds of treatment – including one lot of treatment in the USA.
It took five attempts before the couple successfully fell pregnant, using a donor egg – but tragedy almost struck again when Amanda went into labour seven weeks early – and their baby boy’s life hung in the balance.
But their baby boy, Max, was a little fighter and after four weeks in hospital, he was allowed home.
Now, at three years old, he is at nursery and hitting all of his milestones.
Amanda, a stay at home mum, said: “After everything we had sacrificed to have a baby it felt amazing to finally hold Max in our arms.
“We want to share our story to show other couples who are struggling to conceive never to give up hope.
“We never imagined we’d be remorgaging our beautiful home but it was all worthwhile in the end.
“I never knew I had a low egg count until we started trying, I even lost four stone to better my chances of conceiving naturally.
“But nothing worked so we started looking at private options abroad.
“I needed an egg donor and we were put on an 18 month waiting list however the cut off age was 43 and I knew my time was running out and so we looked at different options in the US.
“There was no waiting list and we were able to choose the donor off a website.
“The more attractive the ‘package’ the more expensive the eggs were, the donor we chose was a surgical assistant with no family history of anything wrong, her eggs alone were $7,000.
“As well as re-mortgaging our dream home we had incredibly generous gifts from both sets of parents to fund the trip, we couldn’t have done it without them.
“We were devastated when it didn’t work, and used the rest of the money we had to pay for four more attempts here in the UK, each round cost £3,500.
“When Max finally arrived we were over the moon, Nigel and I are completely besotted by him, we try not to spoil him but it’s hard not to when we waited so long.
“We’ve decided to share our story now to encourage other people to never to give up hope.
“At times we never imagined our baby dream would actually happen but look at us now.”
Amanda and Nigel began their search for an egg donor in Florida in order to speed up the process of having a child of their own.
She added: “I didn’t meet Nigel until I was 32, in our first few years together we travelled, bought a home and focused on our careers.
“I was 39 when I first went to the doctors, he said that if I wanted a baby I needed to have one now but it wasn’t as easy as that.
“I knew that the older you get the more difficult it is, and looking back I wish I had started trying much earlier.
“After numerous tests it was found I had no egg reserve, it could have been age related, but it could have been something that had always been there.
“At that point we were desperate and just couldn’t wait any longer and looked for an egg donor in Florida but sadly that didn’t work for us.”
Whilst Amanda and Nigel had been planning their trip to America there had been a big push to get more egg donors in the UK and the couple finally reached the top of the waiting list.
Amanda said: “Each round of IVF in the UK cost £3,500, but it was all of the extra costs that added up too.
“And it’s only when you have three failed attempts do they test you further to see if there are any other underlying issues.
“The tests were extortionate, one blood test cost £1,100.
“I found out that I had Natural Killer Cells (NK), my body was attacking anything foreign that entered and so was rejecting the donor eggs.
“I was also diagnosed with anitphospolipd syndrome, which would have meant my chances of carrying a baby full term would have been slim.
“As well as taking a concoction of drugs, I was placed on an intralipid infusion that I took once a month for nine months, it cost £245 each time.
“Realistically we knew we only had one more attempt left, it was our fifth time trying but miraculously it worked.
“But at six weeks I suffered a massive bleed, it happened on a Friday and I had to wait until the Monday to go to the clinic, we thought we had lost the baby and spent the weekend mourning the loss.”
Amazingly, their baby was fine and a scan revealed that Amanda had suffered a ruptured blood clot under her placenta and was monitored for the rest of her pregnancy.
She added: “At seven months I started getting pains in my chest but assumed it was heartburn.
“The next day I went to the doctors and I was sent straight to the hospital.
“I had an emergency C-section and Max arrived seven weeks and three days early, he weighed just 3lb 15oz.
“Our hearts broke once again when doctors told us that he might not make it, he had collapsed lungs and was taken into special care.
“After everything we had been through we couldn’t bare losing him.”
Thankfully Max pulled through and four weeks later the new parents were able to bring him home.
Amanda said: “We gave up so much to have Max and we would do anything for him.
“Even though we had a donor egg, Max’s personality is exactly the same as my own and our bond is just like any mother and son.
“If one day he wants to find out who the donor was then I would be more than happy to help him find her, she gave me the ultimate gift and I’ll be forever grateful.”
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