Tats My Boy!

Sam Rhodes celebrates his first Fathers’ Day this year and to mark the occasion, had his new sons’ footprints tattooed onto his arm!

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Xander was born in August 2014 to Sarah (31) and Sam (32) Rhodes of Birmingham, making this the couple’s first Fathers’ Day.

After trying to conceive for more than three years, and following an unsuccessful IUI cycle at their local hospital, Sarah and Sam were referred to Midland Fertility for further help in 2012.  The couple, who both work in the mortgage sector, also received NHS funding for their treatment.

Investigations showed that the couple would need intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment to maximise their chances of success.  ICSI is a fertilisation technique that selects a single, healthy sperm and injects it into a retrieved egg to assist in successful fertilisation.

An ICSI treatment cycle involves weeks of self administered injections and regular appointments at the clinic.

“Sam was great throughout my treatment,” said Sarah.  “He was very supportive and was at all appointments as this was as much his best chance to become a dad as my chance of becoming a mum.”

The couple’s first treatment cycle resulted in 11 embryos which were all frozen at the time as Sarah’s endometrium was breaking down and a transfer may have resulted in a negative outcome.

“I felt like I needed to be strong for Sarah as we were initially disappointed that the transfer couldn’t go ahead.  We understood why and just wanted our best chances of becoming parents,” said Sam.

A single embryo was returned transferred to Sarah’s uterus in March 2013 and two weeks later, the couple was delighted to get a positive pregnancy test.

Two weeks after that, a six week scan at Midland Fertility revealed a strong heartbeat – but then no heartbeat was detected at their NHS 12 week scan.  “We were just devastated at the news. It was particularly painful after our happiness of having the positive pregnancy test,” said Sam.

After a short break from treatment, Sarah and Sam felt ready to try a further frozen embryo transfer cycle.  Another positive test followed, and, again, the six week scan showed a single heartbeat.

“We were really pleased with the result but this time I was petrified every day until I started to feel him move.  I couldn’t really relax and enjoy being pregnant for some time,” said Sarah.

But, after a trouble-free pregnancy, Xander was born at Good Hope in October 2014 making this year Sam’s first Fathers’ Day!

“I had my tattoo of Xanders footprints on my arm just after he was born.  I felt it was the best tribute I could make to my son who I had waited so long for.  His footprints would be on my arm  forever and when he grows up, he will be able to see how tiny his feet were!”

The Rhodes family will be spending Fathers’ Day at home this year as a family for the first time.

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