Our dreams have come true after years of heartbreak: OPINION

Cheryl Gibbs and husband Matt are having their first baby.
Cheryl Gibbs and husband Matt are having their first baby.
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I’ve been writing this column for more than 11 years, and for all that time I think I’ve been pretty true to myself with what I said I would do – and that’s always write an honest and open account of our lives.

However there is one thing, one part of my life, that I’ve not written about and that’s our struggle to have a baby.

Some of you may have guessed already.

It’s clear, especially if you’re a regular reader, how involved Matt and I are with my sisters’ children. 

But there was always something missing – and that was a child of our own.

We had been trying for about 18  months when we decided to look into undergoing IVF.

There seemingly wasn’t anything wrong with either of us and in some ways that made the whole process worse. 

If there was something wrong, they could fix it, but there wasn’t.

We were told it was ‘one of those things’. Let me tell you, hearing that didn’t make us feel one little bit better.

To cut a long and emotional story short, we started the process of IVF with Wessex Fertility last December, but by January they realised that I had a hydrosalpinx on my right fallopian tube – basically it was blocked and I had to have surgery to remove it.

It was another big blow – removing one of my tubes halved our chances of ever having a baby naturally, even if that prospect was rather slim.

 nonetheless we went forward with the operation and I recovered, but it obviously delayed the process of IVF longer.

And that’s the thing about IVF that no one really prepares you for. Everything takes such a long time and your body has to do so much to get ready for a baby.

It’s a wonder to me that anyone falls pregnant naturally. It’s truly amazing what your body has to do and with IVF you have a variety of medication, including self-injecting needles into your tummy, to help get you there. 

But I’m thrilled to announce that after two and a half years of trying our first round of IVF worked and we’re pregnant with our first child!

We are now nearly 15 weeks and our baby is due February 19, 2020. Of course, our baby would be due on leap year

We know we’re lucky – our story should give others hope

Infertility is a funny thing, you go through an enormous range of emotions. 

Perhaps the most overwhelming is sadness that it has happened for everyone else around you and not you. Unless you’ve been through it, it is hard to understand.

We were shocked to see those two red lines on the pregnancy test and for the first time in this fertility journey we actually felt lucky.  We know IVF usually takes several attempts and we are over the moon it happened for us first time.

There’s nothing I can say that will make someone else’s journey any easier or less painful, but I hope that sharing my story will give others a little bit of hope.

I haven’t eaten all the pies, I’m growing a tiny human! 

They say you shouldn’t tell people until you’re 12 weeks pregnant because, in theory, that’s when you’re out of the danger zone –though I don’t think you’re ever truly out of it. 

Since finding out I’m growing a tiny human I’m more anxious than ever. 

Before the 12 weeks we told close family as I felt like I had to explain my weight gain. At nearly 15 weeks I don’t have a proper bump yet, I just look like I’ve let myself go a bit. 

I’m now wearing baggy clothes in black for its slimming effect.

When it becomes obvious I’m pregnant I’ll wear figure-hugging outfits that show off our bump. But until then I just look like I’ve eaten too many pies, which isn’t too far from the truth…