Successful IVF couples return to hospital for celebration

Twins Thomas and Lily, with mum (left) Victoria Hendy-Taylor and friend Rebecca Haigh.
Twins Thomas and Lily, with mum (left) Victoria Hendy-Taylor and friend Rebecca Haigh.

A special celebration recognised the life-changing effects of IVF treatment for couples struggling to conceive.

The party, held by Calderdale Royal Hospital’s Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) team, reunited parents with the ACU doctors and nurses who helped them to become families.

Kate Bell and Rachel Hawthorn were able to conceive with the help of IVF treatment.

Kate Bell and Rachel Hawthorn were able to conceive with the help of IVF treatment.

More than 300 mums, dads and their little bundles of joy went along to the party and enjoyed a bouncy castle, face painting and a baby ball pool.

Victoria Hendy-Taylor shared the fun with her nine-month old twins Thomas and Lily.

Victoria had three embryos implanted before her 41st birthday and was initially told she was pregnant with one baby, but then her next scan revealed baby Thomas.

“It never really sank in. I thought I was expecting one – a small one – and was patting my tummy and willing the one to grow,” Victoria said.

“During the next scan they picked out the heartbeat and said ‘there’s your baby’ then they said ‘and there’s baby number two’.

“We were all shocked and delighted beyond words.”

Kate Bell and Rachel Hawthron, from Hebden Bridge, enjoyed the celebration with their three-month-old daughter Iona.

Rachel said: “Lesbian couples can find it difficult to get the information and support they need to start a family.

“But as soon as we came here we felt comfortable and were given the information we needed to help us start the journey.

“We know many friends who have tried different ways and there is no right way for everyone. I would highly recommend the care and support here.

“We have always felt included and well informed about our treatment.”

Kate added “We had had several attempts and if this had not been a success we may have given up. Iona is simply amazing.”

The party is held annually by the ACU team who recently launched a specialist email - FertilityCHFT@cht.nhs.uk - for couples to contact experts directly.

All questions are treated in confidence and are answered by fertility consultants and specialist nurses.

Speaking about the party, sister Helen Marvell said: “It’s always a pleasure for us to arrange this party because we know our families enjoy coming here so much.

“It’s fab to meet up again and to see them all again and see how their little ones are growing up.”

Consultant Martin DeBono, added: “Everyone at ACU is a team and that team includes our staff and our families.

“We go through it all together so the party is a real celebration for us all.”