IVF siblings Martha and Jude celebrate world’s first test tube baby’s 40th birthday

Left to right: Sophie Simms, two; Aiden Mullinder, four; Louise Mullinder (née Brown), 40; Fletcher

Left to right: Sophie Simms, two; Aiden Mullinder, four; Louise Mullinder (née Brown), 40; Fletcher Stonestreet, three; Martha Weavers, three. Picture: Bourn Hall Clinic/StillVision Photography - Credit: Archant

After four years of trying and two miscarriages, a couple from Brundall are today the proud parents of two IVF babies, three-year-old-Martha and five-month-old Jude.

And today they joined the world's first 'test-tube' baby Louise Brown to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Ms Brown also unveiled a memorial to Jean Purdy, who helped establish Bourn Hall as the world's first IVF clinic and has seen 20,000 babies born, including Martha and Jude.

Their mother Julie Weavers, 39, explained how she and her husband Marty had been trying for a baby for years without success.

'We got married when I was in my early thirties and started trying for a baby immediately,' she said. 'I had always imagined I would have children and I was really aware of my biological clock ticking and felt I was running out of time.'

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Testing revealed that Julie had blocked fallopian tubes, which is a common cause of infertility; the hospital scraped the tubes and told them to keep trying. Still nothing happened and after a further consultation they were referred for IVF treatment.

'I was gutted when we were told that IVF was our best option,' Mrs Weavers added. 'I had said that I would never have IVF but it was because I didn't really understand anything about it. But now there was no option.'

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But IVF treatment worked first time and she gave birth to Martha. Conscious of her age, they returned less than a year later to try for a sibling for Martha.

To their distress two further cycles ended in miscarriage.

'It was just heart-breaking and awful,' Mrs Weaver said. But investigations found she could have hydrosalpinx, a condition which can sabotage pregnancies by fluid from blocked tubes leaking into endometrial cavities.

After having her fallopian tubes removed she had 'one last go' with IVF. While she fell pregnant she remained cautious. 'Once you have had a miscarriage you just panic that it will happen again,' she said.

The pregnancy went without a hitch and in February of this year she gave birth to son Jude.

'It took me so long to have a family that I want to be at home with them,' added the new mum-of-two.

'We had some dark times but the fact that we kept going with the IVF was worth it now that we have two lovely children.'

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