Family celebrate their little miracle

By Rebecca SheppardTWO proud parents whose longing for a baby almost ended in tragedy have been celebrating their little boy's first birthday.Blaydon was born to Melanie and Dean Farmer on May 30 last year after the couple had undergone three years of IVF courses and life-threatening complications.

By Rebecca Sheppard

TWO proud parents whose longing for a baby almost ended in tragedy have been celebrating their little boy's first birthday.

Blaydon was born to Melanie and Dean Farmer on May 30 last year after the couple had undergone three years of IVF courses and life-threatening complications.

The family from Maldon celebrated yesterday the day that they had thought for so long would never arrive as their little son turned one year old.

A bouncy castle party was thrown for Blaydon with about 35 members of his family and friends coming along to see the famous little boy.

For Blaydon was also the happy ending of the Anglia Television series, Maybe Baby, which followed his parents' battle to have a baby.

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Mrs Farmer, 33, said: "I still look at him and can't believe it. The first four months after he was born I was still a bit shocked. It's taken a long time to get over the fact that he's mine.

"I'm really enjoying motherhood - it's everything I thought it would be and more. People who saw the programme come up to me and congratulate us. It's a small community and everyone knows everyone.

"We taped the whole thing and people keep borrowing it off us - it's something to look after for the future."

Little Blaydon is like any other happy and healthy one-year-old. He has started to crawl around and pull himself up, recognise his parents and even sleeps well. He is also into everything, which has required some action to protect the contents of the couple's kitchen.

Mr and Mrs Farmer decided to go to a fertility clinic in 2000 as they were unable to have children naturally.

Mrs Farmer fell pregnant a year after they started fertility treatment, but eight weeks through the pregnancy she was taken to hospital suffering from enormous pain.

Doctors discovered she had a twisted ovary that had gone gangrenous and had to operate straightaway to remove it.

Sadly, the foetus died after it developed a fatal condition, but a month later Mrs Farmer underwent her fourth course of IVF treatment with only one ovary.

An egg was placed inside her, but her hormones overstimulated and it ruptured. She was taken to hospital, where she developed peritonitis - a life-threatening condition caused by the inflammation of the highly-sensitive membrane lining the abdominal cavity.

Mrs Farmer survived the condition, but lost two stone in weight and was determined to continue with the IVF treatment, eventually becoming pregnant with Blaydon.

Giving birth also presented its problems as Mrs Farmer had an adverse reaction to being induced and needed an emergency caesarean.

The operation revealed the peritonitis had caused her organs to stick together, hampering the doctors' efforts to get to the baby.

Finally Blaydon was born, but Mrs Farmer then had to go into the operating theatre again under general anaesthetic so her organs could be sorted out.

But despite the traumatic time she went through to have her baby son, Mrs Farmer has not ruled out the possibility of having more babies.

She said: "I have two embryos already fertilised at the Bourn Hall clinic. There's a one in four chance that they will not defrost properly.

"We are not going to try to do it until next summer as we want to enjoy Blaydon first before we go through the stress of it all.

"You have to go through the drugs phase first and they then put the egg in on the day it is defrosted. At least we would have the chance."

rebecca.sheppard@eadt.co.uk

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