Determined Mom, 54, Welcomes Miracle Baby After 25 Years Of Failed IVF

By Haider Ali in Feel Good On 9th June 2023
Image: Daily Record

After 25 years of unsuccessful IVF treatments, a devoted mother gave birth to her miracle child.

Before giving birth to her daughter Daisy Grace, Helen Dalglish of Glasgow's Dennistoun had a startling 21 unsuccessful efforts to become pregnant. These attempts cost her approximately $124338 (£100,000) in total. After experiencing years of heartbreak, the 54-year-old woman spoke to the Record about her delight and how she never lost up on her ambition of becoming a mother.

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Image: Daily Record

She said: “When you get that little miracle at the end, you forget about the 25 years.

“I was looking down and the bump was getting bigger and I thought ‘Am I dreaming?’

“Even now looking at her I can’t believe I’m a mum. It’s surreal,” The Daily Record reports.

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Helen went to Cyprus while she was in her 20s and began trying for a child at the age of 28 with her then-husband.

They shortly thereafter relocated back to Scotland, where they received the diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" after examinations revealed no complications.

Helen claimed that although tests in Cyprus had identified a potential problem with the location of her uterus, doctors in Scotland were unconcerned.

Image: Daily Record

Before attempting IVF, the couple tried four intrauterine insemination procedures in which sperm is injected straight into the uterus.

Despite creating top-notch embryos, they were only qualified for one free round of treatment through the NHS, and over the next 20 years, they would experience a string of unsuccessful, privately-funded efforts.

Helen, though, could still visualize her child.

Image: Daily Record

She said: “Sometimes it got too much emotionally, physically, and financially. Sometimes we stopped for a year or two. Because they said it was unexplained we thought ‘We’ll do some yoga, meditation, alternative health, because there’s nothing stopping us. Maybe it’ll just happen if we forget about it."

“Everyone that fails you’re absolutely devastated. It’s like death. I would get down for a couple of weeks but then I would pick myself up and say ‘Right, if you want this baby, get your act together’.

“I tried to forget about the failed ones as if I’d started from fresh.”

Helen began to worry that the medical team was "hitting a wall" since every time they attempted to place her embryos back into her womb, the operation was excruciatingly painful.

For upcoming procedures, she requested to be sedated, but the outcome was still unfavorable. Helen made the decision to switch clinics after hearing a Scottish specialist class about infertility more nearly ten years into her IVF treatment.

She was devastated to learn that the specialist believed all of her previous embryo transfers had been "wasted" and that her womb was dangerously tilted.

Helen subsequently became pregnant three times but had terrible miscarriages each time.

She said: “By that point, I was 41 and 42 and they just weren’t sticking. I would get to around nine or 10 weeks (of pregnancy).

“What kept me going was I just kept seeing this baby. I tried to switch it off sometimes and said ‘Stop punishing yourself and putting your body through this.’ Sometimes I would try and accept it, but then I couldn’t.”

Helen came to the conclusion that using donor eggs was her only remaining hope to become a mother. However, after successfully developing 10 healthy embryos, she learned that they had all died.

She said: “I decided I wasn’t going to do anymore and tried to get over it but it kept coming back up. That’s when I found Dunya.”

By this time, Helen and her current partner had relocated back to Paphos, Cyprus, and they had made the decision that Dunya Fertility Centre in Kyrenia was their "last chance saloon."

She said: “I wasn’t going to do the very last treatment. My father had been seriously ill at home back in Scotland and he passed away. My mum said I should do another. Before Dad passed away he said to her ‘What can I send you from heaven?’ and she said ‘Please send her a baby’.

“That gave me the extra wee push, in the end, to go for it.”

When they performed genetic testing on their embryos, the couple's first try ended in failure, but they were astonished to become pregnant on their second attempt with the clinic.

Two weeks after the couple received their positive pregnancy test via email, a doctor performed a trial run of the transfer surgery to make sure he could enter Helen's womb properly.

Helen said: “The two of us burst out crying and screaming. My mum thought it was negative but it was tears of relief and happiness.

“I think my dad must have had something to do with it.”

During her pregnancy, Helen acquired diabetes and pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure, but she grew more certain that she was going to give birth to her child with each passing month. In September, at the age of 53, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

She said: “When we came home I burst out crying. It felt like 25 years of grief trying to escape and caught me at a moment where I wasn’t expecting it.

“It’s absolute heaven. She just keeps getting better.

“She seems the most placid, laid-back, happy baby. It’s almost like I waited so long and now I’m being spoilt. I was very near the deadline at 53. I think at 55 you can’t do any more.

“I would like to thank all the staff and doctors and everyone at the clinic. She’s a little darling and worth waiting another 25 years for.”

Helen's doctor, Dr. Alper Eraslan of Dunya IVF, stated that Helen's tenacity would serve as an example to others.

He said: “Even though it can be both psychologically and financially burdensome sometimes, with our support, knowledge, and experience we are aiming to help women who want to have a healthy baby.

“We are so happy to see women like Helen finally getting the chance to have their own children, and we will continue to do our best in helping other couples achieve this dream as well.”