A Worcestershire couple are expecting twins after a successful cycle of IVF treatment awarded as part of The Birmingham Post's Funded Fertility Treatment For All campaign.
Lydia and William Stark, who live in Worcester, have endured months of hormone injections, scans and anxiety in the hope of realising their dream of becoming parents.
Medics at Midland Fertility Services (MFS) in Aldridge, Walsall, confirmed both babies were healthy during the couple's 12-week scan on Thursday. The twins are due in April.
The couple, who married in 2002, are the first of four couples who received treatment funded by The Birmingham Post and MFS to successfully conceive.
Retail manager Mrs Stark had been diagnosed with endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes in her early twenties and, in 2003, the 29-year-old was told she would not be able to have children.
Mrs Stark, now nurturing her growing 'bump', said: "Getting the funding and treatment through The Post and MFS has given us the chance to be parents we never thought we'd have.
"We would qualify for NHS treatment but so few women actually get funded through our PCT that we would have to wait at least a year, if not longer, to get to the top of the queue."
She also confessed to having done "several" pregnancy tests a week before receiving her official results at the fertility clinic.
Mrs Stark said: "We both felt very emotional watching the scan, seeing them flapping around. We could see all their fingers and toes, which was brilliant because before all we could see was a couple of dots and their heartbeats." The couple, who do not yet know their babies' gender, are now looking forward to preparing for the twins arrival.
Mr Stark, aged 31, a teacher at South Bromsgrove High School, admitted they had not wanted to tempt fate by buying any clothes or cots.
The Birmingham Post launched its campaign in January urging primary care trusts which did not offer funded fertility treatment to meet the April 1 deadline set by then Health Secretary John Reid.
Following guidance issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in February 2004, he called for all PCTs to offer at least one funded IVF cycle to women under 40. In the Midlands, only 30 per cent of couples with infertility problems were able to access NHSfunded fertility treatment.
To date two couples, who received a cycle of intra-uterine insemination (IUI) and a course of IVF treatment, have been unsuccessful.
A third couple, Mr and Mrs D, have had a positive pregnancy test after a frozen embryo transfer and are due to have their first scan next Monday.
Lydia and Will Stark kept a diary after starting a cycle of IVF treatment as part of The Birmingham Post's Funded Fertility Treatment For All initiative.
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