A mum-of-four selflessly donated her eggs to an online blogger she’d never met – after offering via FACEBOOK.
Blogger Jules Furness, 35, bravely shared the heartbreak of a second failed IVF attempt with husband Steven, 34, in an online vlog watched by thousands.
The emotional clip was seen by mum-of-four Amber Wilde, 28, who felt an instant connection to the family having had four children with the help of a sperm donor.
She immediately contacted Jules via Facebook messenger and offered to donate her eggs – despite never having met her or spoke on the phone.
The message said: “This might be wildly inappropriate and please accept my apologies if so, but if altruistic egg donation would make IVF more affordable to you and you’re not horrified by my weirdo genetics I’d donate in a heartbeat.”
A year on, Amber’s eggs were artificially combined with Steven’s sperm at a clinic, producing two healthy embryos in November.
At least one of the eggs is due to be transferred to Jules in January and the couple hope to welcome their second baby into the world next year.
Grateful Jules, from Ipswich said: “It was just an incredible thing for someone to offer.
“We wondered if it was really real, because it was just such a fairytale.
“It’s hard to sum up but we are just so grateful she has given us the chance of another child – and our son the chance of a brother or sister.”
Amber, who has four children with partner Kirsty, 28, added: “I had been following her IFV journey for a number of years and like so many others had watched her videos.
“When her last round of IVF failed I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who wished they could help or do something to make it better.
“But I knew I could so something. I had done IVF before and while I knew it wasn’t easy, I know what to expect, know my body reacts well to it, and it seemed like the natural thing to do.”
Jules has premature ovarian failure which means her ovaries don’t release eggs.
She essentially began experiencing the menopause aged 15 and was prescribed HRT and always knew she wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally.
Jules and Steven, an airport technician, were accepted onto the NHS donor egg list in 2010 and got to the top of the list after a year and a half wait.
An anonymous donor gave two eggs which were transferred to Jules in 2012, but were not successful.
“Sadly the eggs were not high quality but you just have to take what you are given,” said Jules, a blogger for Channel Mum.
“We didn’t get pregnant. We felt like that was the end of the road for us.”
The determined couple turned to adoption and were matched with their son, now a toddler, who joined the family as a baby.
A year ago the “broody” couple started thinking about increasing their family but couldn’t have NHS-funded IVF due to already having a child.
Faced with a £10,000 bill to go private in the UK, they paid £3,500 to try IVF in Prague in October last year.
Sadly two implanted eggs failed and Jules recorded a video documenting the negative test weeks later, which was watched by more than 9,000 people.
“I wanted people to see the real face of what IVF can look like and show what it’s really like,” said Jules.
“It was a hard decision to make but we felt it was important for people to see that it doesn’t always work and that if that happens to them they aren’t the only ones.”
Amber, a fellow video blogger for Channel Mum, spotted the post due to their link via the same blog, and sent her best wishes in a Facebook message.
The mum has twin girls, aged one and twin boys aged three, with partner Kirsty, a full-time mum, thanks to the help from a single sperm donor.
Without hesitation she fired off a message to Jules offering to help her out by donating eggs.
Amber said: “While I was pretty spontaneous with my offer we definately both gave it much more thought over the coming months.”
Overwhelmed Jules said: “At first I couldn’t really take it in but then we started messaging back and forth about that ‘what ifs’ and the ‘are you sures’.”
The pair exchanged messages and phone calls before the met up for the first time at Amber’s home for a picnic in London in May.
It was the first time the ‘other halfs’ had spoken and the family hit it off straight away, recording a video that was posted to Channel Mum.
After six months of appointments and counselling, ten of Amber’s eggs were retrieved, seven were fertilised and two healthy “perfect” embryos were produced.
They will be tested further over the coming weeks and the plan is for at least one to be transferred to Jules in January.
The process is being funded by the Furness family and costs £13,000 for up to three attempts – which is refunded if none are successful.
Amber joked: “It will be up to Jules of course but in my head I only produce twins so I’m sort of wishing twins on her.
“I feel hugely positive about it.”