Interview: Twin blessing for couple who longed for children

A COUPLE who feared they would never have a baby are enjoying a double celebration after their last throw of the fertility dice.

Yogita and Rajan Herar, both 35, despaired of ever having a baby together but say they have just enjoyed their most memorable Christmas ever after Yogita gave birth to twin baby boys.

They were getting to the point of considering adoption after years of fruitless efforts and racking up costs of 25,000 when they struck lucky with a special IVF treatment.

Yogita said they had "pretty much decided they wanted a family as soon as we got married five years ago. I think it was about a year later that we went for fertility advice at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI).

"We were told that our only chance was IVF. We weren't expecting to have to have IVF but once we got our heads round it we started on it pretty much straightaway – we were so desperate to have a family.

"Our first attempt was about three years ago and I have had six attempts in total. It was sixth time lucky. I have had six embryos put back in total but I lost them all, they didn't implant, my body was killing the embryos, so we left BRI for a fresh start elsewhere.''

They had heard good things about a fertility clinic in Nottingham and decided to try their luck there.

Yogita said: "The doctor, George Ndukwe, held my hand and told me there was absolutely no reason why I shouldn't get pregnant. I felt reassured."

The couple had ICSI where sperm are injected into the eggs, Prednisolone steroid therapy and Viagra which is used to help blood flow to the lining of the womb.

First though, a blood sample from Yogita had to be taken and sent to Chicago for special tests.

She said: "The doctor said there had to be a scientific reason why the treatment had not been working and he gave us a lot of confidence.

"In October, 2009, they put the embryos back in and several weeks later we did a pregnancy test in the early hours at home and for the first time in my life I was pregnant, I was in shock.

"After each cycle it was scary thinking what the results would be. We were just over the moon. We were both very emotional. We were at home together, it was some ridiculous time in the morning, we couldn't sleep – we knew we were going to test.

"I had tears of happiness and joy in my eyes as I turned to Rajan and said: 'You are going to be a father'. I remember the words. We rang the clinic and told them and I still had to continue injecting myself during the pregnancy.

"That's when we got the next shock when we were told we were going to have twins – we just looked at each other – we weren't expecting that. In this country the maximum number of embryos you can have put back is two – the chances of two sticking are slim but they had. I gave birth on June 3 at BRI.

"It was a nerve-wracking time all through the pregnancy I was hospitalised twice for bleeding and they were both born five weeks prematurely – Kaiyan was 4lb 15oz and Riyan was 3lb 15oz. Riyan was admitted straight into intensive care for 10 days – he was bringing up blood – and we spent the first three weeks in hospital. There were special family rooms so husbands could stay over which was good.

"Both our families were thrilled – it had been a long time waiting for them too. It's just been a rollercoaster of emotions – your hopes go up and then go out of the window, it's really tough. Just injecting the drugs is quite emotional. Rajan used to mix all the drugs and inject them into me.''

Rajan, who works in the family-owned post office in Shipley, said: "It's definitely made us stronger and brought us closer together. We had to put everything on hold – you have to be very systematic about it all. It's a big thing – fertility treatment – you have to be prepared to being knocked down and pulling yourselves up again."

Yogita, a freelance IT contractor, said: "I'm sure we would go through it all a million times over – we are just so indescribably, joyously happy! George is definitely our hero, our miracle worker. We took them back to see him and to say thank you. He was thrilled, he loves seeing babies that he has been involved with.

"This was going to be our last go otherwise it was adoption. We thought there's plenty of other children that could do with our love but thankfully this worked and we have two beautiful little boys. It just never occurs to you that will have problems conceiving – at school there were so many warnings about not getting pregnant – you just don't know it is going to affect you until you start trying.

"And it is a very private thing – you don't want to tell too many people. The stress is enormous but we decided to talk now to give other couples hope that it can work for them. It used to really upset me when people said 'it will happen for you' but now I say the same thing. It worked for us because we went to CARE Fertility in Nottingham and found out about these other blood conditions I had and George's marvellous medicine.

"We were lucky that we could afford it and all good things come to those who wait.''

Rajan of Pudsey, Leeds, added: "I took George a couple of bottles of brandy down when we went to see him. He protested but I told him it would be coming out of the kids' pocket money when they are old enough. I told him he has a lovely job – the best there is – making other people's dreams come true.''

Medical director, Dr Ndukwe, said: "This has been a fabulous conclusion and I am so pleased I was able to help them. There is always a reason why embryos fail to implant and a proper investigation can be offered.

"All we have done is to carry out a detailed investigation to try to understand why the embryos were not implanting.

"The problem was that Yogita had a very high level of natural killer cells so we sent some of her blood to Chicago to be tested and I treated the problem."

How the ivf system works

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is now a medical common place. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing eggs from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg is then transferred to the woman's uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

The first test tube baby was Louise Brown, who was born in 1978. Robert Edwards, the doctor who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010.

The major complication of IVF is the risk of multiple births. This is directly related to the practice of transferring multiple embryos at embryo transfer.