Menopausal Woman Gives Birth To Her First Child At 48 After Struggling To Conceive For 15 Years

A woman who spent 15 years trying to conceive has finally given birth aged 48 after going through five rounds of failed IVF, one ectopic pregnancy and even the start of the menopause.

Fiona McCluskey, now 49, from Edinburgh, and her husband Darren, 47, began trying for a baby on their honeymoon to Jamaica in 2004 but as the weeks, months and years passed – it became apparent that something was not quite right.

The couple had blood and hormone tests and were advised by medics to try IVF, which they spent £50,000 on.

After five unsuccessful rounds of IVF – one of which resulted as an ectopic pregnancy – Fiona’s chances of becoming a mum becamse increasingly slim when she began experience menopause symptoms aged 45.

But she didn’t let her hopes and dreams of becoming a mum fade away and received specialist treatment in Barcelona, Spain, which involved a new protocol to start her periods again.

The couple were over the moon when their sixth and final round of IVF was a success and they welcomed Ella-Jane in May 2019.

Fiona said: ‘We never thought this would happen to us; sometimes I wish I had started trying for a baby sooner, but I am grateful that I finally have my little miracle.

‘After two years of trying naturally, we went to the doctors who discovered I had a low ovarian reserve and needed IVF – we got the first round free and then paid for another on the NHS but they were both unsuccessful.

‘It was devastating, but we were able to pick ourselves back up and continue trying.

‘We used our life savings and work bonuses to fund the treatment, but it was all worth it for our bundle of joy.’

In 2010, the couple went to a private clinic in Glasgow for Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ISCI) – an assisted reproduction technique used as part of IVF treatment.

She said: ‘I got “pregnant” which was great news, we were thrilled, but medics discovered it was a biochemical pregnancy which was heartbreaking.

The couple were forced to put their dreams of becoming a family on hold in 2011 after both being made redundant.

But after meeting a Spanish doctor at a fertility event in Glasgow they travelled to a Barcelona IVF clinic in 2014 where they began trying again.

Fiona adds: ‘During our three year break, I continued to exercise, eat healthily and take vitamins, go to acupuncture – I even went to hypnotherapy sessions but they didn’t work.

Once we both settled into new jobs, we began saving again and flew to Spain for another round of IVF and it was successful!

‘We couldn’t believe it – our dreams had come true but at eight weeks, I had severe cramps during my train journey home from a work appointment in Birmingham.

‘When I got back to Scotland, I was bleeding and we went straight to the hospital to be told it was an ectopic pregnancy.

‘I was absolutely totally heartbroken, but I found some comfort knowing I could carry a baby.’

In 2015, she endured more heartbreak as another round failed and then she began to experience ‘horrible’ hot flushes, and her GP gave her a menopause diagnosis the following year.

She thought ‘it was over’ but the clinic in Barcelona introduced her to a new protocol and the pill to start her periods again.

In 2018, two embryos were transferred and a pregnancy test revealed, following the agonising ’14 day wait’ Fiona was pregnant aged 47.

She said: ‘I was absolutely over the moon but still couldn’t quite believe it – I was smiling from ear to ear and so was Darren.

‘My parents were ecstatic as they finally got a grandchild in their late 70s.

‘Ella-Jane is a gem, our rainbow baby and she was totally worth the wait – I can’t even remember my life before her – it is like she has always been here!

‘It can be hard at times as I am not as young as I used to be but I am fit and regularly work out and keep myself healthy.

‘And we’re so very grateful and lucky we met the Doctor from the Barcelona clinic.’

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