Denise Phillips is no stranger to IVF. After going through nine rounds of IVF to conceive her now six-year-old daughter, Beth, she became a beacon of hope to countless women around the world
Denise documented her trials and tribulations whilst going through IVF, and finally welcomed her daughter to the delight of those following her story.
Now, Denise is back in the spotlight as she cradles her newborn baby, a son called Jude. The 36-year-old from Kildare was diagnosed with unexplained infertility back when she was 28. She was more shocked than anyone to find out that she was six months pregnant at the beginning of 2021. She only found out about her pregnancy when she became concerned about her ‘chubby’ belly.
She’s now over the moon with six-week-old Jude, her miracle baby she never thought she could have naturally. “Sometimes I just look at both of them and say to myself, ‘How did I get so lucky?’” She knows that her situation is extremely rare, and she counts her blessings every day.
“Because I am from the IVF community, I am so extremely grateful for what I have, and I am always conscious of being present with my children because there are so many people out there still fighting to have children.”
“A year or two after I had Beth, I said, ‘I could die happy now because I have become a mother.’ I don’t take a second of it for granted because I live every second of my life with gratitude. Jude is another miracle in a completely different sense from Beth.”
She was sceptical she could ever love another baby as much as Beth, but she is absolutely in love. “I can see why people say you can’t imagine the love you will have for your boy. I am completely infatuated with him – I could look at him all day.”
“You do worry; I thought, ‘How am I going to love someone more than I love Beth? I couldn’t possibly.’ But then Jude came along, and you realise you have endless amounts of love – like every other parent, I would literally die for my children.”
While she knows she is unbelievably lucky, Denise is now tasked with balancing the needs of a newborn baby with those of an energetic six-year-old. “I am not giving Beth as much time as I did before because I am breastfeeding, and then there are constant nappy changes and night feeds.”
She also shared her struggle to deliver Jude while she had Covid
“The Delta variant hit when I was 39 weeks and I got it extremely bad. It infected my placenta − if the placenta gets infected obviously your baby can’t get nutrients or oxygen, so it is quite dangerous. I was on a drip to bring my temperature down; I was very ill. So, I just told myself I needed to get my baby here safely and then I could allow myself to be sick after,and that’s what I did.”
She was ready to switch to formula if necessary, but she was able to breastfeed even through her sickness. “I wanted to show people you can get through anything in life. I also wanted to show people how sick I was so that if they were on the fence about the vaccine either way, that they could make their own informed decision.”
She recovered, and now she is revelling in her time with her family. We couldn’t be happier for Denise, and we wish her, Beth, and baby Jude all the best