A Belfast couple who suffered two ectopic pregnancies and have struggled with fertility issues for years, are finally expecting a baby after winning a free IVF cycle
Della McGill, 36, and Ryan Cunningham, 39, entered IVF Babble’s free IVF giveaway last year and, among the 6000 people who entered were one of 15 lucky couples to win.
Now, following treatment at GCRM in Glasgow, Della is 30 weeks pregnant and says it is a dream come true.
She said: “It just feels like fate, the way the whole thing happened. We are so lucky to have won and it really feels like it was meant to be.”
Della entered the IVF Babble competition after it was shared on an IVF support group on Facebook and she encouraged partner Ryan to enter too
When it was announced that the draw had been made and neither Della or Ryan had received an email they accepted that they had not won.
But when IVF Babble reported that several winners had not stepped forward to claim their prize something told Della to keep checking.
“I kept asking Ryan if he’d checked his emails properly and whether he’d double checked his junk folder and he kept saying that he had.
“One Friday night we were at Bingo and I saw another post from IVF Babble which said if the final winners didn’t come forward by Monday morning they would re-draw. At that point I was hoping that would happen so we would have another chance to win! But I asked Ryan to check one last time and we used the search tool to find all emails from IVF Babble.
“The first thing to pop up was a newsletter, but underneath that there was another email. It said we’d won. It was just unbelievable.”
It had taken Della and Ryan years of trying to conceive and 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 the £15,000 package.
Della said: “We were waiting for our first consultation when we incredibly won the competition. Even more unbelievably we were first offered a clinic in London but due to another couple dropping out we were offered treatment at GCRM in Glasgow, the sister clinic to the one we had already chosen. I’m originally from West Lothian so had my whole family close by.
“All of this topped off with actually becoming pregnant, it’s like a lottery win.”
The competition was launched by IVF Babble
Founded by Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall-Page, women who had struggled with their own fertility issues, IVF Babble has gained over 20,000 subscribers and an army of celebrity advocates in the 2.5 short years since its launch.
Tracey Bambrough said: “We are absolutely delighted that Della and Ryan are expecting their first child following treatment. To know that we have helped a couple experience the one thing they wanted more than anything is just incredible and we wish them all the best in their journey as parents.
“So far we have donated 23 IVF cycles, with the incredible help and generosity of leading fertility clinics, and we plan to continue running competitions with clinics across the country and internationally.
“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.”
Della continued: “The work IVF Babble are doing is wonderful, since discovering them I’ve pointed so many people who are trying to conceive in their direction. The information and support is so useful and comforting and the celebrity aspect really helps to take the stigma of infertility away. It makes you feel that we’re all in the same boat, just everyday people going through the same things.
“Ryan and I are so grateful that thanks to IVF Babble and the fantastic work of the GCRM we are now pregnant, everything has fallen into place.”