A couple has welcomed a pair of twins who are two years apart due to IVF.
Karen and James Marks had their first child, Cameron, two years ago and have just had their second child, Isabella.
The two children are considered twins as they were conceived on the same day, at the same time through from the same batch of embryos, but were implanted years apart.
Karen, 33, a full-time mum from Taunton, Somerset, gave birth to Cameron on September 1, 2018.
They then kept the viable embryos frozen so they could add to their family later, and Isabella was born on September 15, this year.
Karen, who is married to company director James, 35, said: ‘We are delighted to have a boy and a girl, although any healthy baby would have been wonderful for us.
‘Some days I think after all the years of trying that I must be dreaming, this can’t be my reality that not only do I have one beautiful baby, but two.
‘We have our wonderful son, but I’ve never wanted him to be an only child.
‘Cameron absolutely adores her. He’s a super proud big brother and is always asking for cuddles.’
The couple, who married in 2014, feared they might never have a child after Karen failed to get pregnant and was diagnosed with fertility issues.
Karen said: ‘We tried for a year to conceive naturally and nothing happened, so we went to the GP and they ran some tests.
‘There’s no specific reason, I don’t ovulate regularly so that’s the main thing, but other than that there’s no reason – we don’t have any conditions.’
In total, the couple had five embryos and sadly had a miscarriage last year after Karen got pregnant.
With three embryos already used up, Karen and James plan to use the last two to have two more babies, making all the kids quadruplets.
‘At worst case, Cameron will be six when the last one is born, but it could be later – they don’t have an expiration date as such,’ said Karen.
‘It feels pretty crazy to have twins born two years apart. It’s weird – lots of people have said they didn’t realise they were twins. It’s bonkers.
‘They’re not identical twins. Isabella was almost an identical twin because her embryo split.
‘Any of the two remaining embroys could split to be identical twins or triplets themselves, in which case we might end up with sextuplets.’
Karen was given funding for one round of IVF on the NHS in 2017 at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine.
Baby Isabella was born at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, weighing 7lb 4.5oz, and Karen said she never hesitates to tell people her children are IVF babies.
She added: ‘Infertility never leaves you. Pregnancy announcements can still be painful, especially when someone has seemingly conceived easily.
‘It’s a battle and a journey, and while part of me believes there’s a reason we had to go through it, we’ve met so many wonderful people along the way.
‘If you’ve exhausted all other options, then crack on and go for it. IVF is fine. Don’t put it off or avoid it. It’s the most likely fertility treatment to work, and it did for us.’
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