London – Gazing adoringly at their twin boys, Ruth and Mick O’Malley can hardly believe their 18-year quest for a family is finally over.
The couple were told soon after they got married in 2002 that they would never be able to conceive because Ruth had damaged fallopian tubes.
That devastating news started a long and tortuous IVF journey that had the happiest of endings – with the twins being born on Mothering Sunday.
On five occasions over 15 years they began the IVF process.
On the first four attempts they did not get as far as the insemination stage. A series of problems, including issues with medication, a cyst and fibroids – growths in the womb – meant the IVF process never really got going. But with Ruth approaching her 40th birthday and hope fading, they tried a fifth time.
She said: “We finally got everything right. The medication was right, the cycle was right. Everything just clicked into place.”
She said the stop-start IVF was “absolutely gruelling with all of the injections and hormones, but I would do it a million times to get to this result”.
The process was carried out on the NHS at a clinic in Hull.
Ruth said she and her factory worker husband, 53 walked around a park in “a daze” when the pregnancy was confirmed. A fortnight later they discovered she was expecting twins. “That was a shock,” she said. “We never actually believed that one would work.”
Care assistant Ruth gave birth by caesarean section at 37 weeks at Scunthorpe General Hospital near their home. Thomas weighed 5lb and Brendan 5lb 3oz.
“It was the same hospital where I was told in 2002 that I couldn’t have children,” she said. “I was 22 at the time.”
Ruth, who will turn 40 later this month, said both boys are “fantastic.” She said: “They are both doing really well.
“Because of the coronavirus people can’t come round and visit and couldn’t come to the hospital. It’s like your dream has come true and you want to share it but you can’t yet.”