River of Joy!
Issue date: June 2016
This Fathers’ Day, Richard Allsopp will celebrate being a dad for the first time, thanks to Midland Fertility. It was a day however that he almost didn’t survive to see.
Stephanie (32) and Richard (36) from Aldridge knew they wanted a family and started trying to conceive after they married in 2012.
After many of their friends got pregnant in the next couple of years, Stephanie decided to seek help from their family GP.
“I was diagnosed with blocked Fallopian tubes,” said Stephanie. “It was highly unlikely that I would ever get pregnant naturally.”
Following such bad news, the couple were referred to Midland Fertility for investigations, funded by Walsall CCG.
“We were ready to start a cycle of fertility treatment when I realised my period was late,” explained Stephanie. “I did a pregnancy test, just to rule it out, and when two lines appeared I was gobsmacked.”
But the couples’ joy was sadly short-lived when Stephanie suffered an early miscarriage.
“Our hearts were broken and after everything we had been through to get this far, this was devastating but I knew I had to step up and be strong for Steph,” said Richard.
After some time out to recover and no luck conceiving again, the couple returned to Midland Fertility. Stephanie sailed through a cycle of IVF treatment, taking the daily injections and regular scanning in her stride.
One embryos was transferred and the couple began an anxious two week wait to see if they were pregnant.
“I must have done six or seven tests,” said Stephanie. “They all kept coming up positive despite a small bleed that I had experienced. We couldn’t wait for the first scan!”
Stephanie and Richard began to look forward to being a family of three for the first time and relaxed into a trouble-free pregnancy.
Tragedy struck however when Stephanie was 26 weeks pregnant.
Richard, a construction worker, had an accident on a building site when his legs were crushed by a lorry.
“If a colleague hadn’t stopped the vehicle I would have been killed,” said Richard. “It was such a stressful time with my injuries and I was worried about the effects on Stephanie and the baby.”
Richard spent many weeks in hospital and had been allowed home to continue his recovery when Stephanie’s waters broke, six weeks early!
“It was complete panic and as Richard couldn’t walk or drive, I had to get him in the car then drive myself to the hospital,” explained Stephanie.
River-Nicole arrived weighing in at a healthy 5lb 14oz.
“This was honestly the best day of my life! It was a double edged sword because River-Nicole was six weeks premature, we didn’t know how healthy she was going to be. When I saw her face for the first time, I melted. I was so proud of Steph for delivering our beautiful daughter under such stressful circumstances,” said Richard.
Richard continues to be a wheelchair-user since the accident eight months ago, but has managed to stand unaided for a few seconds.
“River has made such a difference to our lives and has she been such a motivation for Richard throughout his recovery,” said Stephanie.
The Allsopp three will be spending this years’ Fathers’ Day appreciating every second together!
“I never thought this day would come and being a father has totally surpassed my expectations In a weird way, the accident has been a blessing as whilst I’m off work rehabilitating, I get to share everyday with my beautiful family!”
“A first Fathers’ Day is always a special occasion, but especially when a couple has been through so much before they became a family.” said Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director at Midland Fertility. “We send best wishes to the Allsopp family and to all first-time dads and granddads on their special day.”
LU: 20/5/16 LJB