Cli McBratney, 32, and her husband Andy, 35, were desperate to become parents. But after three failed attempts at IVF and years of waiting – they thought it might never happen. The couple had one round on the NHS and spent £26,000 on two private attempts but they couldn’t afford any more. So when her dad Jim Burt, expire from mouth and throat can-cer, aged 52, in April 2017, he left them the money they needed for one more attempt..
And amazingly, this round worked for the couple, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, giving them their little boy Jesse. Positive that Jim had worked his magic from beyond the grave, Cli said: ‘I definitely think my dad played some role in the IVF working, wherever he is.
‘I’m not religious at all, but the way it’s all fallen into place really has blown my mind. ‘Before my dad expired he said he would do whatever he could to give us a child and he stayed true to his word.’.
The couple started trying for a baby soon after they married on 17 August 2014 but a year later, Cli still wasn’t pregnant and they booked an appointment at Belfast Fertility. Following tests, including an ultrasound, doctors discovered Cli only had one functioning ovary, while Andy was found to have a low seminal fluid count. They already had savings and decided to have private IVF treatment, costing £13,000, so they wouldn’t have to wait to move up the NHS list..
Sadly, the first round failed. Cli explained: ‘You think IVF is simple and that the doctors are doing all the hard work for you and it’s going to work. ‘Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth and we learnt that the hard way.’ They decided to try again, this time going for NHS-funded IVF treatment. So, after nine months on the waiting list, in June 2016, Cli had another of her eggs fertilised by Andy’s seminal fluid at Royal Victoria medical institute, Belfast..
She explained: ‘I’d only been able to produce one viable egg this time and I couldn’t help feeling from the get-go that the odds were stacked against us. ‘When we found out the pregnancy hadn’t taken it was still sad, though. I guess a part of you hopes your body will work in weird and wonderful ways and it will all work out.’ Three months later, the couple were left even more hurt when Cli discovered her father was terminally ill of mouth..
She continued: ‘I remember thinking that if I could get pregnant, a grandchild would give my dad so much more to suffer for. ‘That’s when I knew we had to try IVF again.’ They managed to scrape together another £13,000 but this time the opted to go to fertility clinic, Sims IVF, in Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, after hearing of friends who had twins after going there. In February 2017, they went through the now all too familiar IVF process once again..
Sadly, it was unsuccessful for the third time and they decided to give up on their dream of becoming parents. ‘It was hard,’ Cli said. ‘Every time we’d see a child on the street we’d cry. We ended up drowning our sorrows a fair few times.’ Just two months after their third failed IVF attempt, Cli was left heavy hurt again when her father expired on April 23, 2017. ‘I told him about the failed IVF and he was really upset,’ she said..
‘He was so determined he would do whatever it took for us to have our baby.’ And Jim managed to help even after he had expired, leaving his daughter £15,000 specifically for one last picture at IVF. So, in November 2017, following a much-needed time in Bali for two weeks, Cli and Andy returned to Sims IVF to start the treatment. She said: ‘The clinic suggested using a seminal fluid donor as a back-up plan this time.
‘They also suggested Andy go on a course of Proceive fertility supplements to boost his seminal fluid count.’.
Three months later, in February 2018, doctors fertilised five of Cli’s eggs – three from donor seminal fluid and two from Andy’s seminal fluid. And, following further tests, they found the embryo fertilised with Andy’s it was the most viable, so this was the one they used to proceed. This time, during the dreaded two week wait for news, Cli was certain the pregnancy would take, saying: ‘I just knew that Dad would not allow me not to fall pregnant. ‘I was so confident this time around that I bought two balloons for my mum and Andy’s mum that Mother’s Day – which said, “You’re going to be a grandmother,” on it.’.
Amazingly, on Mother’s Day March 11 last year, Cli and Andy found out she was pregnant. ‘I got up at 5 am and I did the test and it said it was inconclusive and I told Andy, ‘she said. ‘I told him it hadn’t worked but he wouldn’t believe it and 10 minutes later I did another test and it showed the same thing. ‘But then Andy had another look and it had worked, as soon as he told me we tear open, jumping up and down on the bed. ‘It was so early in the morning we couldn’t even tell our nearest and dearest but that one moment – seeing it positive – blew our minds..
‘It was absolutely amazing and we were so happy.’ And on October 10, 2018, Jesse was born by emergency C-section, a half weeks early, at Ulster medical institute, in County Down, Northern Ireland.
‘We were a bit worried as he was a few weeks premature, but he was born fit and healthy,’ she said. ‘It’s been brilliant ever since and there have been no issues whatsoever. ‘I know I’ve got to say this but he really is fantastic. He’s the most gorgeous boy.’
This Article Was First Published On metro.co.uk