My Face­book baby

Mother won round of IVF in on­line com­pe­ti­tion... and af­ter treat­ment worked, now she’s got a baby girl!

Scottish Daily Mail - - The Brexmas Election - By Rosie Tay­lor

SMIL­ING with her sixweek-old baby in her arms, Katie Foster is thrilled her daugh­ter has ar­rived in time for Christ­mas – thanks to a com­pe­ti­tion she won on Face­book.

The HR man­ager, 37, and her hus­band Jon, a doc­tor, re­ceived a free round of IVF af­ter they were named the win­ners of the con­test she en­tered on a whim.

The cou­ple, from Stafford­shire, al­ways knew they would need help to have a fam­ily as Dr Foster, 35, was born with a fer­til­ity con­di­tion which made con­cep­tion dif­fi­cult.

They were el­i­gi­ble for only one round of NHS-funded IVF in their area – de­spite of­fi­cial guide­lines rec­om­mend­ing cou­ples should re­ceive three rounds – and sadly their first at­tempt in 2015 was un­suc­cess­ful.

The cou­ple paid £16,000 for a fur­ther two rounds of pri­vate IVF which even­tu­ally re­sulted in the birth of their first child Eli­jah, now two.

But although they des­per­ately wanted an­other child to com­plete their fam­ily, they were wor­ried about spend­ing an­other £8,000 on IVF when their chances of con­ceiv­ing had de­creased over time.

Mrs Foster said: ‘There was a lot to con­sider when it came to spend­ing the money. As we had a child now, I had gone part-time at work and we had the added costs of child­care. Our chances of con­ceiv­ing were not great so we didn’t know if we could go through the heartache of try­ing and it not work­ing.’

But then a friend tagged her in a post pro­mot­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in April 2018 which was giv­ing away a free round of IVF and Mrs Foster en­tered. The con­test, be­ing run by fer­til­ity ad­vice web­site IVF Bab­just ble, was of­fer­ing eight free rounds of IVF funded by the Fer­til­ity Part­ner­ship clin­ics in the UK to mark the 40th an­niver­sary of the treat­ment.

As­sum­ing she would not win, Mrs Foster for­got all about it un­til she re­ceived an email three months later, say­ing she had been picked from thou­sands of en­tries.

‘I thought some­one must be spam­ming me and it couldn’t be real,’ she said. ‘I just didn’t be­lieve it. It took a few days and the clinic phon­ing me to con­firm be­fore it sunk in.’

The cou­ple were of­fered treat­ment through Nur­ture Fer­til­ity, part of the Fer­til­ity Part­ner­ship group, and chose to have it in Bur­ton-on-Trent – at the same clinic which had helped them have Eli­jah.

Mrs Foster had to take sup­ple­ments for a few months be­fore start­ing treat­ment on Box­ing Day. She feared it would not work as the cou­ple were only able to pro­duce one em­bryo of be­low-av­er­age qual­ity and, af­ter it was im­planted, they faced an anx­ious fort­night’s wait be­fore Mrs Foster could take a test to see if she was preg­nant.

‘I was re­ally, re­ally sur­prised to get a pos­i­tive re­sult be­cause I thought we couldn’t be lucky enough to have won the com­pe­ti­tion and then for this one round of IVF to have worked. We were so elated to find out I was preg­nant,’ she said.

Af­ter a straight­for­ward preg­nancy, baby Abi­gail was born at Stafford Hos­pi­tal in Oc­to­ber weigh­ing a healthy 8lb 5oz. She is now set­tling into life at home with her big brother who ‘ab­so­lutely loves’ hug­ging and chat­ting to her.

Mrs Foster said: ‘We joke about her be­ing our “free baby”. Ob­vi­ously she was very much wanted and we would have found a way to have her some­how but to “win” her was

‘I just couldn’t be­lieve it’ ‘De­lighted to help’

amaz­ing. We couldn’t wish for a bet­ter gift for Christ­mas and can­not thank the clinic and IVF Bab­ble enough for mak­ing our dreams come true. Words can’t de­scribe how it feels to have com­pleted our fam­ily.’

Dr Nick Raine-Fen­ning, med­i­cal di­rec­tor at Nur­ture Fer­til­ity, said: ‘My­self and all the team are de­lighted we played a small part in Katie and Jon’s jour­ney and we’re hon­oured they trusted us to help build their fam­ily.’

Thrilled: Katie Foster with baby Abi­gail and son Eli­jah, two

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