Saturday 21 May 2016

Infertility: Faith, Hope And Determination

This is the story of Ruth Martin and her struggle to fall pregnant as told by her older sister Leah. For more detailed information on her journey of dealing with infertility, her finding ways of taking control and the diet she adopted, please click on the following links:

Felix - 10 days old

I’d like to introduce you to Felix James Martin, born 25th April 2016, here he is at just 10 days old. What a beautiful little boy he is and loved immensely already. He is the product of pure faith, hope and determination, named Felix, which means “The Lucky One”, because he is nothing but lucky, he’s the miracle baby. He is his parents wish, hope and dream and eventually after many years that wish came true in such a way that they could have never imagined.

Have you ever been excited for an upcoming trip of a life time or family celebration? And you wished the time would just pass so you could go on your trip or attend the celebration. Well imagine waiting at least 6 years, all along not knowing if it will ever happen. Would you continue to make plans for the trip or event? Could you stay positive about your plans? Would you keep looking for new solutions to make it happen? Except the thing that you want is so much bigger and life changing.

Ruth & Paul's wedding day 11th April 2009
Ruth and Paul Martin have been together for 11 years and married for 7 of those years. Their road to becoming parents has been a long one, but they have done it with a positive attitude. Ruth is my sister and although she is the younger of us, she has been a huge inspiration to me and so many around her. And Paul her husband has supported her and lifted her when she has struggled to keep her spirits up. Although it would have been so easy to let her situation get her down, Ruth has stayed positive and a support to those around her.

Leah on her wedding with Ruth by her side - 23rd Aug 2014

When I was getting married Ruth said to me “Maybe the reason I haven’t got pregnant yet is because I needed to wait till you could have a baby Leah”. We married in 2014 when I was just short of 37 and until that point I’d never met anyone who I’d come close to wanting to spending my life with. I hadn't given up hope on meeting someone, falling in love and hopefully eventually having a family, but in the back on my mind I wondered if it would happen.

When I fell pregnant 6 months after being married, taking into account my sister had been trying to fall pregnant for longer than I’d known my husband, I wanted Ruth to be one of the first people I told. Not because I wanted to rub it in her face, but because I wanted her to hear it from me, because I knew this would be difficult for her, but I also knew she would be really happy for me. Over the years of trying, she has questioned what’s wrong with her, why can’t she get pregnant? As the doctors weren't giving her any reason as to why she wasn't. So to have a sister tell her she was pregnant only made her questions herself even more.

But although this was extremely difficult for her, Ruth was one of my biggest supporters. And I know if you asked others they would say the same. I received regular messages asking how I was doing and I never once felt like I couldn't talk about what I was going through. After all, me being pregnant was something to be celebrated.

Throughout my pregnancy I hoped that what she said before I was married would come true. I was having a baby, so it was OK for her to have one too. She no longer had to wait for her older sister to become a mum. At one point I thought it could be possible, she was getting closer to starting IVF. If things went to plan and she fell pregnant first time we’d be pregnant at the same time and our babies would be just months apart in age. But then there was another setback.

She had gone to Manchester for an examination, to be told she would need to go the following day. When she went the following day, the situation had worsened and IVF wouldn't be possible at that time. It broke her heart once again, that things weren't going as planned. After some investigation they found polyps, so they would need to be dealt with before IVF could start.

An appointment was booked for a biopsy where they would take a sample of the polyps and if there weren't too many they would be scraped away. When I heard this news my first thought was, this may solve her problem with falling pregnant and she may be able to fall pregnant naturally. And hopefully it would happen while I was still pregnant. Ruth also had hopes for falling pregnant naturally. She wrote in her journal, “I hope to fall pregnant naturally before the end of the year”. This was her way of trying to use positive thinking to reinforce her hopes and dreams.

When she went for the biopsy there were too many polyps to scrape away, so an operation was booked to have them removed. The operation was booked for October and I was due my baby in November, so the chance of her being pregnant at the same time as me was slim to none. I was so upset for her. And the chance of her falling pregnant naturally before the end of the year was also gone. She was told she would need to wait until at least January before trying to get pregnant.
It turned out that the doctor had forgotten to take the biopsy at her appointment, which turned out to be for the best. Unbeknown to her and the doctors she was actually pregnant at the time of her biopsy. If they’d taken the biopsy, this would have probably resulted in a miscarriage. And if they’d been able to scrape away the polyps this most likely would have also ended in miscarried. After years of trying this was the first positive pregnancy test they had received and if things had gone as planned at her appointment she may never have known she had been pregnant. This baby and pregnancy was nothing less than a miracle, their soon to be miracle baby.

Me 39 weeks, Ruth 19 weeks
It shouldn't have been possible, but Ruth had fallen pregnant naturally, before the end of the year and while I was still pregnant. Here we are when I was around 39 weeks pregnant and Ruth approx 19 weeks pregnant.

After trying for so long and having had so many doctors and hospital appointments she was put down as a high risk pregnancy. And despite all our worries Ruth had a relatively smooth pregnancy. There were times when she was sick and didn’t have as much energy as normal. But the energy she had while pregnant was more than most other people who aren’t pregnant, because of the fitness levels she kept up. It seemed the problems she’d had getting pregnant were behind her and she was healthier than ever and so was her baby.

Ruth and Paul decided now they had a baby on the way it was time to step onto the property ladder and buy their first house. With that came a new location as they weren't tidied to any one place because Paul works from home. They had a date in mind of when they wanted to move by to give them time to get set up and settled before welcoming a little person to come live with them. Well that date came and went, but eventually just one month before their baby was due they moved house.

Ready to move

Now it was a mad rush to set up the nursery, register with a doctor and set up midwife appointments. There was some difficulty with getting registered at the doctors before the baby was due even though Ruth being heavily pregnant. But the midwives at the hospital were amazing and made sure she had all the appointments she needed to get the best care for her and her baby. Because they were new to the area various tests were done, including blood tests. Because of these tests which wouldn't have been done had she not moved to a new location, Strep B was discovered. This isn't routinely tested for in the UK despite the major problems that can occur to the baby if left undetected. Luckily and by some miracle it was found and Ruth could now have the care she needed to bring her baby into the world.

After many years of waiting for the chance to become a mum she was booked in to be induced on Sunday 24th April, 10 days after her due date. And on Monday 25th April 2016 at 12:14pm, weighing 9lbs, 4oz they welcomed Felix into their arms.

Since Felix was born Ruth has shown nothing but courage as she’s faced motherhood. She was worried that being a mother wouldn’t come naturally. I’m the one who has had a ton of experience with babies and children over the years, having worked with children and cared for my younger siblings, unlike Ruth who had only once before changed a nappy and called our mum to ask for help because she thought she’d put it on back to front. But she has taught me so much about the care and love needed for your baby and the selflessness of a mother. I’m so very proud of her.

Felix and Tommy
I am very excited that our boys get to grow up together and hopefully become the best of friends, especially as now we only live a 30 minute drive from each other.

I know some peoples journey to becoming parents won’t end quite as happily as Ruth and Paul’s, but dreams do come true. The main thing is, they lived the life they had and didn’t become bitter towards those who had what they wanted. Instead they celebrated with friends and family and now we celebrate with them.

Written by Leah Munden (Home Family Life)
Photos by: KLM Photos, Rebekah Key Photography, Love Photography by Lana Davies and photos from Ruth's and Paul's personal collection


  1. My heart breaks for anyone experiencing infertility. I'm so glad that Ruth's story had a happy ending, can't wait to hear part 2 of her journey.

  2. I can so relate to this. My first husband and I experienced infertility, we actually went to a fertility hospital in Manchester too, perhaps the same one, and luckily we were blessed with our eldest and his brother, who we subsequently lost at full term. Infertility is heartbreaking, I'm so glad that Ruth had a happy ending. #fabfridaypost

    1. I'm sorry to hear you lost of baby at full term. I can't imagine how hard that would be. But lovely to hear you were able to have a baby, it really is heart breaking for couples who long to have a baby.

  3. Oh what a beautiful story, I'm so happy they got their beautiful bundle after so long. My coworker was told she would never have children. After over a decade of heartbreaking failure, including IVF failing, she had resigned herself to being childless. On he last round of IVF, she fell pregnant, and now has a beautiful 5 yr old girl! xx #fabfridaypost

    1. How wonderful for your coworker to be able to get her happy ending after all those years.

  4. Infertility can be so heartbreaking. It took my husband and I 4 years and many miscarriages with both of our children and no reason was ever found. It was hard at times when a few of our friends met their partners, got married and had children all within the time frame of us trying for our first but we were over the moon for them and loved giving out cuddles to the new babies. We know we are the lucky ones and that are many out there who don't get their happy ending, I'm so glad your sister got hers x

    1. Thanks for your comments and so pleased you got your happy out come too. It really is hard not knowing why something isn't happening.

  5. What a wonderful ending to the story. Infertility can be so heartbreaking. One of my close friend was also experience this and I was pregnant at the time. It is great that Ruth had the greatest family and friend supports. I'm so glad Ruth had her Felix and what a beautiful boy he is. xx #FabFridayPost

    1. Thanks for your comments. I've shown my sister all the comments and it's brought tears to her eyes reading them.


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