Claire and Tony Dunn, the second couple to successfully conceive after treatment funded by The Birmingham Post, always knew their twins, Roxanne and Kenzie, would be special, as they told Health Reporter Emma Brady...
"I can't believe the last time we left our house it was just the two of us, and when we came back we were a family."
Claire Dunn is still adjusting to life as a new mother after spending ten days recovering from an emergency Caesarean section at Walsall Manor Hospital on April 25.
The 33-year-old office sales manager - who lives at Shire Oak, Walsall Wood, with husband Tony and the twins - had previously been told the only way she could have a child of her own would be through surrogacy or adoption.
Mrs Dunn had already suffered an ectopic pregnancy in January 2005, following a privately-financed course of IVF treatment, when she was rushed to hospital. She lost the baby following emergency surgery.
Three weeks later she heard about The Post's campaign highlighting the need for improved access to fertility treatment on the NHS and offering four couples a cycle of fertility treatment.
Staff at Midland Fertility Services (MFS) clinic in Aldridge, Walsall, suggested Mrs Dunn took Viagra to help thicken her uterus lining before implanting two of the frozen embryos created by her original treatment.
MFS believe the twins are the first in the world to be born as a result of the sex-aid drug.
Cradling her ten-day-old daughter in her arms, Mrs Dunn said: "I can't believe how far we've come since then.
"I was convinced we were having two boys, as we never knew the sex of the second twin, but when I was told it was a girl tears streamed down my face and Tony was filling up as well.
"Then when Kenzie arrived a minute later it was fantastic, we'd got our dream, with a little help from you [The Birmingham Post].
"After everything we've been through, after being told we'd need a surrogate to make this happen, to then get everything we've dreamed of is just so amazing."
The non-identical twins were born by Caesarean section after Mrs Dunn went into early labour.
Roxanne was born at 12.20pm, weighing 4lb 10oz, and Kenzie was born a minute later, tipping the scales at 5lb 10oz.
But the couple's joy was short-lived as Kenzie was whisked away to the intensive care unit when doctors discovered he was having difficulty breathing.
Tony, aged 36, said: "He had some fluid on his lungs, which isn't uncommon, but he also had gastroenteritis so he had to spend five or six days in an incubator before he was moved to another specialist unit for two more days.
"It was nearly eight days before we could pick him up, hug or kiss him in case we gave him any germs - and that was tough.
"The staff at Walsall Manor were absolutely fantastic but it was a great feeling when we were able to leave the hospital together, and to come home as a family."
As they sat down to feed the twins, wearing pink and blue outfits, Mrs Dunn added: "If we hadn't heard about this campaign we would probably still be a couple, rather than a family.
"I've been on the NHS waiting list for fertility treatment for two years and I've still heard nothing. There must be loads of women out there in similar situations who can't afford to go private."
The Birmingham Post launched its campaign last January, urging all Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) which did not offer one cycle of fertility treatment to meet the April 1 2005 deadline set by former Health Secretary John Reid.
Following guidance issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in 2004, he had called for all PCTs in England and Wales to offer at least one cycle to women under 40.
Although most trusts now offer one cycle, many are applying strict age criteria, which excludes many younger women to concentrate on women over 35. ..SUPL: