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Two Essex youngsters who were both ‘miracle babies’ enjoyed an early Christmas treat with their proud mum on Sunday when they went to meet Father Christmas for the very first time at his grotto at the Wickford At Christmas Street Fair.
This was a day that Vicki Woods thought might never come. Her son William, aged 4, was born after his parents had IVF at Bourn Hall Clinic after being unable to conceive for a number of years.
Vicki, who lives in Chelmsford, still remembers vividly the pain she felt when she thought she may never be a mum.
“Struggling to conceive was heart breaking, it felt as though everyone was getting pregnant apart from me,” she says. “When friends told me they were pregnant I would be really pleased for them but then I would go home and cry. It was really difficult.”
Imagine her surprise when less than a year after William was born, Vicki discovered that she was pregnant again – naturally – and little sister Evelyn, now aged 3, was a delightful addition to the family.
“I am so fortunate to have my children and to see their excitement at meeting Father Christmas has been wonderful. Today has been really special, it is a memory I will cherish,” says Vicki.
Joining Vicki, William, Evelyn and Father Christmas was Angela Leach, Fertility Nurse Specialist with Bourn Hall Clinic in Wickford – which has sponsored Santa’s appearance at the event for the third year running.
“It was heart-warming seeing William and Evelyn meet Santa today,” said Angela. “Christmas is all about families and at Bourn Hall we understand that it can be a particularly difficult time for those who are struggling to conceive.
“The street fair, Christmas lights and Santa’s appearance always bring a bit of early Christmas magic to Wickford and it feels lovely to have helped make that happen again.”
Wickford At Christmas is organised by a committee of volunteers, and the street fair and events attract 5,000 visitors to the town centre. The event raises funds towards the installation, repair, running and storage of the Christmas lights for Wickford.
Bourn Hall provides NHS funded IVF treatment and has recently launched a brand new Fertility Diagnosis and Ovulation Induction treatment service which is free for those referred by a GP (even in areas where IVF is not funded).
GPs are able to refer patients directly to Bourn Hall for fertility testing after they have been trying for a year to conceive.
For further information go to www.bournhall.co.uk/fertilityblog/free-fertility-diagnosis-in-six-weeks/