A Sleaford couple is ‘over the moon’ after they welcomed twin baby boys after years of surgeries and a failed fertility treatment
Emily and Stuart Hopkins have been on a mission to have children for years, but Emily’s endometriosis left them unable to conceive naturally.
She was diagnosed with the debilitating disease a few years ago and has since had numerous operations to ease her condition and pain. Endometriosis causes uterine tissue to grow in other parts of the body, including the stomach, intestines, kidneys, and even in the brain. When a woman undergoes menstruation, this tissue cramps swells, and bleeds, causing excruciating pain. Many women with endometriosis struggle to get pregnant or cannot conceive naturally at all. However, Emily and Stuart are now the proud parents to Michael and Matthew, who were born in March of this year.
Emily explains that she has had issues with menstruation for years
“Me and Stuart have known each other for years, but we didn’t get together until 2014. I had had some issues with my menstrual cycles and with past boyfriends before being with him. However, it got a bit difficult to be quite intimate. It turned out I had endometriosis and severe scarring.”
After her diagnosis, doctors told the couple to continue trying to conceive. Over time, it became clear that they would need medical intervention to start their family. “Things started to get a bit more difficult, and we saw various fertility consultants in Lincoln and Grantham. After two years of trying we thought we needed to go for NHS IVF.”
Their first round of testing resulted in bad news
“It was horrible, we went to a clinic in Gainsborough where they tested my FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) levels, and they said they weren’t high enough to get funding.”
Stuart lobbied for Emily to be allowed to take the tests again, and her FSH levels were high enough to pass. However, she soon developed polyps in her uterus, which prevents embryo implantation.
“I had the polyps removed, then in a scan in October 2018 found I was leaking fluid out of my tubes and I had to have an operation to stop it. They said they might have to remove my ovaries, and I told them to save the left one if they could.”
The doctors did indeed have to remove her right ovary and clip off her left
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “I was over the moon they tied my tubes because we could now start the IVF without the fluid leaking. We had around seven eggs that were frozen, they picked the best one and had it implanted in May 2019.”
Their first round of IVF was unsuccessful, but she soon got better news. “The second time I had them implanted, I took two weeks off work, and I knew this time it had taken. We still had to wait for the test to show it was positive, though. Five days later I was bleeding quite a lot and I thought, ‘oh great’. I thought it had gone before it’s even started.”
She and Stuart thought that her pregnancy was about to end, but they were about to get good news
“We were both thinking the baby’s gone, but then the woman said she could see one baby, clear as day. You could even see the heartbeat. My husband said he saw something, and the woman said there’s another baby tucked away in the corner. It was one of the best days of my life – we went in with nothing and came out with two babies.”
Emily did have a difficult pregnancy and was showing signs of preeclampsia when the doctors decided to deliver her boys via a C-section. The delivery was touch and go. “I had quite a substantial blood loss – I lost three-quarters of my blood.”
One of her babies struggled more than the other. “Michael came out screaming, but Matthew was quieter, so I knew something was wrong. But being able to hold them both together, I can’tdescribe it.” Matthew bounced back, and both babies went home with the couple just a few days later.
We wish Emily, Stuart, Matthew, and Michael all of the joy in the world!