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Bristol Centre For Reproductive Medicine: Welcome to the world baby Isabella

In the August edition of The Bristol Magazine, we told the story of Karen Marks from Taunton and her joy at expecting a longed-for second baby after undergoing IVF at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine. The wait is now over with the birth of her beautiful daughter Isabella Grace

She may have felt a long time coming, but baby Isabella Grace has most certainly arrived. The 7lb 4.5oz cutie was born on 15 September to proud parents Karen and James Marks, and sister to a ‘smitten’ two-year-old brother Cameron.

Karen, who was diagnosed with fertility issues in 2015, was given funding for one round of IVF on the NHS in September 2017.

During minimally invasive egg retrieval procedure surgeons collected 15 of her eggs which were fertilised with James’s sperm in BCRM’s labs in September 2017.

Cameron and Isabella

The process created five viable embryos and their son Cameron was born the following year. “We are delighted to have a boy and a girl,” said Karen, who was under the care of BCRM’s Dr Alex Price. “It means the world to 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.

“There is a bond between siblings you can’t always find with anyone else, you can talk about literally anything and everything and have your entire lives full of memories together.

“Cameron absolutely adores her. He’s a super proud big brother and is always asking for cuddles.”

Karen says she never hesitates to tell people that her children are IVF babies and says she never forgets how lucky they are to have them.

“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.”

Karen urges couples who may be struggling with fertility issues to think about IVF.

“If you’ve exhausted all other options, then crack on and go for it,” she added. “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.

“I can’t speak for every clinic, but at BCRM I always felt the nurses and doctors REALLY care about you. They want what you want and they go through that journey and the ups and downs with you.

“They support you, give you advice, a caring and listening ear, a hug whenever you need. It’s like being part of an extended family.”

And Karen and James’ journey may not end with baby Isabella as they have two remaining frozen embryos at BCRM.

“Hopefully we will have more children,” said Karen. “I’ve always wanted four!”

The Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine has world class facilities and technology that treats both private and NHS patients.

BCRM is involved in innovative research and have one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK.

Anyone wishing to register for a Virtual Open Evening webinar or book an initial consultation appointment can email BCRM at info@BCRM.org.uk or call 0117 3018605 or visit: fertilitybristol.com/.