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An IVF baby and two surprises for Norfolk family

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 July 2018

Natasha Williams with her family, husband Chris, and Isabella, five; Summer, three; and Luca, two. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Natasha Williams with her family, husband Chris, and Isabella, five; Summer, three; and Luca, two. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The world's first test-tube baby celebrates her 40th birthday this month. Louise Brown was the first of more than six million IVF babies worldwide, including many born to overjoyed families in Norfolk and Suffolk,

Natasha Williams, of Smallburgh, near Stalham, feared she might never become a mum.

She and husband Chris were keen to start a family as soon as they got married but after five years of trying she still wasn’t pregnant.

Many of the causes of infertility have no symptoms and it was only when Natasha and Chris went for hospital tests that they found that Natasha had several conditions affecting her fertility.

She was diagnosed with endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, fibroids, a damaged right ovary and was not ovulating.

Following fertility treatment at Bourn Hall Natasha becoming pregnant and the couple were thrilled when their long wait to be parents ended with the birth of Isabella.

But the story does not end there because when Isabella was 18 months old Natasha discovered that she had fallen pregnant naturally.

“I had booked a doctor’s appointment because I thought my fibroids and endometriosis were coming back. It turned out I was five months pregnant and had no idea!” she said.

Their second daughter, Summer was so eager to join the family she was delivered at home on the bathroom floor, by Chris, after a labour of just 11 minutes. Then, on Summer’s first birthday, Natasha discovered she was pregnant again.

Third child Luca is now two years old, Summer is four, and Isabella is six.

“I firmly believe that if I hadn’t had IVF we wouldn’t have any of our children,” said Natasha. “I don’t know whether the IVF corrected my body or triggered something or whether surgery I had which involved clearing out some of my fibroids and cysts helped but I always tell people to never give up hope because miracles do happen and we have got three of them to prove it.”

Louise Brown was born on July 25, 1978, in Oldham, as a result of the work of gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and research scientists Robert Edwards and Jean Purdy.

Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe set up the world’s first IVF clinic in Bourn Hall, Cambridgeshire.

IVF treatment involves stimulating the ovaries to increase egg production. The eggs are collected to be fertilised with sperm and the resultant embryos are developed in the laboratory for five days before being frozen or transferred to a woman’s womb.

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