It's a special Mother's Day for one Trimley St Martin mum, celebrating it for the first time after five miscarriages and a seven-year fertility journey.

Marie Ford, 36, and her husband, Michael, became parents for the first time in September 2021 with the birth of their son, Frankie.

But it was a long road to hold him in their arms, with five lost pregnancies and the death of two close relatives bringing them close to giving up.

Speaking about the many challenges she and her husband faced, Marie said: "It has been very emotional, but I am so glad we have our little man - he fills us with joy every day."

East Anglian Daily Times: Frankie was born in September 2021 and Marie describes him as a 'gift from heaven'Frankie was born in September 2021 and Marie describes him as a 'gift from heaven' (Image: Marie Ford)

The couple began trying for a baby in 2016 and became pregnant naturally but miscarried a few weeks later.

It was then discovered she'd also had an ectopic pregnancy - where a fertilised egg implants outside of the womb - and one of her fallopian tubes had to be removed.

Four months later, a second miscarriage was diagnosed as another ectopic pregnancy and her second fallopian tube was removed, meaning it would be impossible for the couple to conceive naturally.

For Marie, waking up in hospital surrounded by family, having lost so much blood she could have died in surgery, was made all the more difficult with this news.

She said: "I was so worried that I couldn't have children, when all we wanted more than anything in the world was a baby.

"I had a long chat with the consultant who did my surgery and he explained that he had no option but to take out my remaining fallopian tube.

"He was very helpful and gave us the option of referring us for IVF and said that we would get three free rounds on the NHS.

"At the time I said to my husband: 'I cannot do this'. I had lost all faith and hope and felt I had let everyone down.

"But with time I felt more determined.

"I wanted to give my husband a son or daughter and all our parents a grandchild."

After a few months of recovery, the couple asked to be put on the list for IVF, choosing treatment at Bourn Hall in Colchester.

Marie did fall pregnant with each free IVF cycle over the next two years, but had a further three miscarriages.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Ford family suffered five miscarriages before Frankie arrivedThe Ford family suffered five miscarriages before Frankie arrived (Image: Lara Marshall Photography)

The death of her husband's brother prompted a painful break - to allow Marie's body to heal and give the couple time to grieve - but it was the loss of Michael's mother from Covid in November 2020 that spurred them on to have one last shot at IVF treatment.

The decision wasn't easy, Marie explained: "We had five miscarriages and used up all our NHS funding for IVF treatment.

"Michael said we couldn't do this anymore, but I knew it was what his mum would have wanted.

"All she had wanted for us was to become parents.

"My husband has been my rock and supported me all the way along our journey, but he couldn't bear to see me hurt and upset again.

"But I thought, if I don't do this, I will always wonder, 'what if'?

"I just wanted that feeling of being pregnant, being able to feel a baby move inside me and most of all I wanted to be a mummy, and my husband to be a daddy.

"We didn't get our hopes up, but when the pregnancy test for our final round of IVF was positive, we felt it was a sign, mum's gift to us.

"The nurses at Bourn Hall were very supportive, they gave us so much hope and encouragement."

Frankie was welcomed to the family in September 2021 and Marie is looking forward to celebrating her first Mother's Day with him.

"We are both so over the moon with our little miracle baby; he really is a gift from heaven."