December 4 2013 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Friday, September 27, 2013
She is the beaming bundle of joy who is a “special gift” for her proud parents after a harrowing four-year ordeal.
And the mum and dad of little Grace Dorothy Drew are so grateful for their delightful daughter that they are giving their own present to bereaved children across Norfolk following her Christening.
After trying for four years to conceive, Marty and Michelle Drew, of Peregrin Road, Sprowston, were diagnosed by doctors as having “unexplained fertility” so took the decision to undertake IVF.
But this was just the start of the couple’s journey, who described the process as “invasive, emotional and challenging”.
Mrs Drew, 34, said: “When I was told the reason I could not get pregnant was ‘unexplained’, it did not seem right really.
“Having IVF was the only option to us and it was a very emotional time as you are so near but so far. We wanted to try to have a baby as naturally as possible.”
After being awarded IVF funding in November 2011, the couple, who met during a concert in Norwich six years ago and married in 2009, began treatment at the Bourn Hall Clinic, Cambridge, but their first attempt failed.
“It was really crushing and really sad,” Mrs Drew said. “We were absolutely gutted and looking back I did not realise how much the whole thing had got me down.”
But in July 2012 the couple tried again.
“We never lost hope and the next day we received a phone call to say, out of 10 eggs, one embryo survived,” she added.
“We were asked to come back the following day and surprisingly one more embryo had developed overnight – both were returned to my womb.
“Two weeks on we found out we were pregnant and a scan revealed one amazing little heartbeat that had fought and survived.”
“The happiness was indescribable. I had thought for so long that I was going to be unable to do the most natural thing a woman could do and then it happened.”
Grace Dorothy Drew was born on March 27 this year and the couple praised the support of their church - Wroxham Road Methodist Church.
Inspired by the journey they had been on together they decided to help others by raising funds for local children’s bereavement charity, Nelson’s Journey, at Grace’s christening on July 28.
Mrs Drew explained: “We wanted to teach her the importance of giving to others less fortunate so we looked for a local charity to donate a gift to and came across Nelson’s Journey.
“It seemed very fitting considering our journey and Grace’s journey and a donation of £410 was made in Grace’s name to help a counsellor work with a bereaved young child.
“Every child is a gift but this little life was so appreciated. Having Grace is like your family’s love living on forever.”
Sophie Berry, senior funding and marketing officer at Nelson’s Journey, said: “We were contacted by Grace’s parents soon after her christening and were touched that they had chosen to think of us at such a special occasion.
“We know what a special gift Grace is to Michelle and Marty and are so grateful to them for choosing to request donations towards our charity. Their valuable contribution of £410 will help us in supporting bereaved children and young people living in Norfolk.”
Mr Drew, 47, a freelance music teacher at MD Music Tuition, said he found it “upsetting” to see his wife go through invasive procedures and become ill from prescribed medication but added that communication and being in a strong relationship was what got them through the process.
He said: “We look forward to telling Grace of this gift later in her precious life.”
The couple presented the cheque to Nelson’s Journey on September 9.