A CAREER woman of 47, who never got round to having a baby, has forked out £20,000 on IVF to become a first-time mum at 47 – after she began to go through the menopause.
Marketing guru Lisa Forster and her fiancé Michael Owen, 49, were told she had “left it too late” when they started trying for a baby in 2010.
The couple from Newcastle, who had been together since 2006, discovered Lisa’s eggs had started to deteriorate because of her age.
As her age made her ineligible for NHS funding, Lisa underwent two rounds of IVF privately in the UK, which both failed.
But the determined couple refused to give up and finally found out they were expecting after jetting off to South Africa for two more rounds of IVF.
Elated Lisa was so overwhelmed by the positive result of her first pregnancy test that she took FIVE more just to be sure.
While admitting it was strange hearing the much younger ages of the other expectant mums in the hospital waiting room, Lisa said she never let herself worry about the risks of having a baby later in life.
First-time parents Lisa and Michael were overjoyed to welcome their baby girl Izobel Owen into the world the day before Father’s Day on June 18, 2016.
Now Lisa, who is loving being a mum and says she never begrudges the sleepless nights because she feels so lucky, is encouraging other women of all ages not to give up on their IVF journeys.
Lisa, from Newcastle, said: “I always thought I would have a family one day but then I never really got round to it. Life was so busy and I guess we just put it to one side.
“But when we did start trying I found out I had left it too late and I couldn’t have children anymore because of my age.
“I wasn’t really upset by the news, I just remember feeling determined. Michael and I have always been believers in the idea that if you want something enough and you fight for it, you’ll get it.
“We had two rounds of IVF in the UK but they weren’t successful at all. It was really disheartening being told there just weren’t any signs of life.
“We would go in to get the embryos transferred to be told there was actually nothing to transfer. It was really hard to go through that. But we kept going and decided to fly to South Africa as they use different IVF drugs.
“It was an expensive endeavour and when the first go failed again it did leave us feeling quite deflated.
“One of my friends who had also been having IVF actually found out she was pregnant at the same time we found out it hadn’t worked.
“It is devastating when everyone seems to be getting what they want and we just couldn’t get pregnant – but we agreed to give it one more go.
“When we found out I was pregnant it made all the time, money and emotion so worth it.
“I tested much earlier than I was meant to and Michael was actually away for business in China. I called him straight away. He was quite reserved, he was too afraid to get excited.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe we were actually going to have a baby. I was so excited, I tested every day just to make sure it kept showing up positive. I took six and I still have them.
“All through my pregnancy, Michael just stayed really reserved. I don’t think he could quite believe it was actually happening after all that time and disappointment.
“But from the moment Izobel was born he was absolutely besotted. We were both over the moon.
“Michael is such a brilliant dad. He really looks after us – even if he has only changed about three nappies.
“I am loving being a mum. I never complain about being tired or not getting any sleep – even if I do have a few more wrinkles – because this is what I signed up for. We finally have our dream family.”
In South Africa, Lisa was offered different IVF drugs to those used in the UK and the mum believes this is why they were successful the fourth time around.
When the happy couple found out they were expecting, there were actually two embryos but sadly one lost its heartbeat at six weeks.
Throughout her pregnancy, Lisa had to go for frequent scans due to the complications that can occur with an older mum and with IVF.
Izobel was induced at 39 weeks as her mum’s cervix was short and the doctors were worried that she could be stillborn if Lisa went to full-term.
Despite worries she would be small, miracle baby Izobel was born healthy and weighing 7lbs.
Since bringing her little bundle of joy into the world, Lisa has started running a mums’ fitness blog called No Excuse Mums.
The former fitness instructor is determined to keep fit and healthy so she can be a good role model for Izobel and so she is around for as much of her daughter’s life as possible.
While one toddler to run around after might be more than most couples their age would want to cope with, Michael and Lisa would love to have another child.
Two more of Lisa’s embryos are being kept in South Africa and the mum says she will definitely have them implanted before her 50th birthday.
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Lisa said: “We did have to go for a lot of scans while I was pregnant because of the risks with my age and IVF but I tried not to worry.
“It was strange being sat in the waiting room and hearing the ages of other mums. Most of them were born in the 90s and late 80s but I was born in the 70s.
“I think Michael was a bit scared at every scan. It didn’t help when we went for the six-week scan and one of the babies didn’t have a heartbeat. It was so heartbreaking.
“When Izobel arrived there are just no words to describe how amazing it was to meet this little person. I couldn’t stop asking if she was okay. She was perfect.
“She has thrived so much since she was born. Sometimes I just catch myself looking at her – this little one we never thought we were going to have.
“She is here and she is this brilliant little girl. I can’t quite believe how lucky we are.
“I want to do everything I can to make sure I am a good role model for her and I don’t want to be one of those old mums who can’t play or run around.
“My fitness has become a real priority. I want to make sure I am around for as long as possible.”
Mum, of 32, who was told she can never have kids even with IVF gives birth to four naturally in less than a year.
Another mum of 47 recently stunned doctors by giving birth to a baby they thought was CANCER.