A mother has told of her joy at finally having her first child following a 10-year IVF struggle – costing a whopping £70,000.
Teresa Greenhalgh, 46, and her husband Tony, 53, met in 2002 and soon began trying for a baby in a bid to beat the ticking clock.
But after failing to conceive naturally the desperate pair ploughed £70,000 into six rounds of IVF treatment over a decade.
The IT contractors, from Wrexham, north Wales, gave up holidays abroad and both worked 70-hour weeks to fund the expensive treatment.
But incredibly Teresa – who was told she’d never conceive – finally fell pregnant and gave birth to baby Adelaide.
The proud mum said she “couldn’t be happier” and all the heartache was worth it.
She said: “We feel so blessed to finally have a child together.
“Doctors kept telling me to consider surrogacy or adoption, but I wouldn’t hear of it – I was sure I would fall pregnant eventually.
“Over the years we have sacrificed holidays abroad and worked 70-hour weeks to fund IVF – and now holding Adelaide in our arms makes it all worthwhile.”
Teresa – who says she had ‘always wanted to be a mum’ – tried for a baby from the age 26 for five years with her first husband, without success.
However, she never sought help and the couple broke up when Teresa was 31.
In 2002 she met Tony, then 39, who has daughter Lauren, 21, from a previous relationship.
Then 33, Teresa – who discovered she has polycystic ovaries – said she and Tony started trying for a baby six months into their relationship.
She said: “We loved each other and knew there was no point hanging around.”
After two years they had not conceived naturally and in October 2005 Teresa had her first round of IVF at a private clinic at a cost of £8,500.
“We spoke to our GP about IVF on the NHS but the waiting lists were long, and we didn’t want to waste time so we went straight to a private clinic,” she said.
Though the treatment was initially a success, the pregnancy was ectopic.
After a second round of unsuccessful private treatment a year later Teresa was advised to consider adoption or surrogacy.
“It felt really cruel to tell a woman who was only 33 she’d never be a mother and in all honesty, it was like a red rag to a bull,’ says Teresa.
“We wanted a child that was genetically ours and after being told I’d never be a mum I felt determined to prove the doctor wrong.
“I just felt in my gut I could have a baby of my own.”
Over the next five years the pair underwent another three rounds of treatment at a cost of £8,500 each – which failed every time.
They stopped holidaying abroad, and started working 70 hour weeks to earn extra cash.
“We even commuted further distances to be able to carry out the best paid IT contracts,” said Teresa.
“By then, my brother and two sisters all had children – and as much as I loved my nieces and nephew, they were also a reminder of what I didn’t have.
“I couldn’t bear being around friends who had children, it was too painful.”
At the age of 41, Teresa decided to have break from IVF, only starting treatment again at 43, when she discovered The Zita West clinic in Marleybone, London.
“I wanted to be able to tell myself I had tried everything I could,” she said.
“I didn’t want to live with regrets and thoughts of ‘if only I’d tried one more time’ if it didn’t work.”
The couple were put under the care of world renowned Dr George Nduwke.
New technology at the clinic revealed a problem in Teresa’s immune system that meant her body was rejecting the embryos as foreign beings.
Teresa had £15,000 worth of treatment, including an intravenous infusion of egg protein and soya oil called Intralipids which is used in women with immune abnormalities.
She also had an endometrial scratch – a procedure used to enhance the chance of implantation through a minor scratch to the womb lining.
“Previously I’d been sent straight down the route of IVF and it felt like I was on a conveyor belt but this time I also saw a nutritionist and made radical diet changes, including cutting out all alcohol and processed foods, had acupuncture and even stopped using tampons, as advised by Zita,” she said.
In June 2013, embryos were implanted into Teresa and two weeks later, she discovered she was pregnant.
She recalls: “People assumed I would be thrilled to be pregnant, but I was terrified of something going wrong.
“I just wanted our baby to be born, and was on tenterhooks throughout the pregnancy.”
After spending another £3,500 having the embryos tested, the had a normal pregnancy and Adelaide Louise Greenhalgh was born in March 2014.
Teresa said: “It felt like we were holding a miracle in our arms.
“All those years of trying and all the money we spent was worth it for that moment.
“All those awful dark moments – and there were so many – they just melted away in a moment.
“We made sacrifices to get there, but it was worth it.’
Zita West, founder of the Zita West fertility clinic – a midwife who has looked after celebrities including Kate Winslet and Sophie Wessex during their pregnancies – said: “We get good results from looking at treatments both in terms of what can be done medically and holistically.
“We are all thrilled to have helped Teresa become a mother.’