"We owe the world to GCRM and IVF Babble. We cant thank them enough, and never will be able to. They have given us perfection."
A couple who struggled with fertility issues for years have welcomed their first baby boy after winning a competition to receive a free round of IVF treatment.
Della McGill, 36, from West Lothian and Ryan Cunningham, 39, from Belfast welcomed healthy baby Callum on 11 July and say the long journey to parenthood has all been worth it.
The delighted new parents entered a competition run by leading fertility magazine IVF Babble and received the life-changing treatment at The Fertility Partnership’s Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine (GCRM).
The competition was launched as part of celebrations to mark 40 years of IVF in collaboration with The Fertility Partnership, the leading providers of IVF in the UK. A free round of IVF was donated from each of its eight clinics across the UK and baby Callum is the first baby to be born as a result.
Overjoyed Della said: “We owe the world to GCRM and IVF Babble. We can’t thank them enough, and never will be able to. They have given us perfection.
“We can’t believe Callum is ours; that we don’t have to give him back to anyone. I’m so used to holding someone else’s baby, handing them back, so their mum can wind them or whatever is needed. Now it’s me who is being given Callum to take care of, as I know him best.
“We’re looking forward to visiting my family in Scotland, to introduce them to Callum in person. That includes the amazing team at GCRM Glasgow. We can’t wait to show them what they helped to create for us.”
Della and Ryan had been trying to start a family for years. After suffering a dangerous ectopic pregnancy in 2016 which resulted in surgery to have a fallopian tube removed and a further ectopic pregnancy in 2017, the couple decided to go down the IVF route to make their dreams of parenthood a reality.
A further set-back came when after waiting a year for treatment, their NHS cycle failed. The couple then decided to self-fund their treatment and chose GCRM in Belfast, calling on friends and family to help finance their treatment.
But just as they were about to start the treatment they heard that they had won the IVF Babble competition when their names were drawn by the world’s first IVF baby Louise Brown.
Della said: “Despite the long journey we have been on, all through this process, we quietly both felt it would work, but didn’t want to say anything. From Ryan applying the day before the competition closed, to discovering we would be treated at GCRM Glasgow after previously setting our hearts on its sister clinic in Belfast, it just felt right.
“Everyone at the hospital had heard about our story. We’re very happy to share our experiences, as the more people talk about their struggles with fertility, the easier it will be for others to follow.
“I’ve been encouraging everyone I know who is struggling with fertility to enter the IVF Babble competitions, as I can’t think of a more life-changing competition. It gave us our little miracle.”
Callum entered the world at a healthy 7lb 12oz, with a head of thick dark hair and is now settling into his new home with mum and dad.
IVF Babble co-founder Tracey Bambrough said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear the news of baby Callum’s safe arrival. To know that we have helped a couple experience the one thing they wanted more than anything is just incredible and I know how much it means to them.
“Infertility is such an emotive topic. If you are struggling to conceive it completely consumes you and can leave people feeling totally bereft. To be just a small support to people in those dark times with the website has been so fulfilling but to now actually be involved in helping couples become parents is truly amazing.”
Krystyna Joyce, Group Brand Manager for The Fertility Partnership said: “We’re delighted to support IVF Babble and its competitions, and so pleased about Callum! Through this initiative we’ve also helped other winners to become pregnant and look forward to hearing their baby news soon. It’s so rewarding to be able to help people achieve their dreams of a family.”
For more information about IVF Babble visit www.ivfbabble.com