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THE pounds 100k TWINS; IVF couple wait 25 years for a baby...then two come along.

Byline: Dan Sales

MEET the pounds 100,000 babies - twin boys born after 25 years of pregnancy treatments.

Neil and Monique Ward yesterday showed off Ben and Walker after becoming parents for the first time.

The twins, who were born a month prematurely, are nothing short of a miracle for the couple, who once thought they would never be able to have children.

But against all odds, their last shot at happiness paid off.

BenandWalkerweredeliveredbyCaesarean section at Stafford District Hospital on December29buthaveonlynowarrivedattheir Stafford home.

Relief

Ben was born first at 5.01am, weighing just 4lb 2oz, four minutes before Walker who was 5lb 6oz.

And despite the pounds 100,000 cost of the pregnancy, the couple have no regrets.

Nurse Monique, 56, said: "They're our little miracles, both perfectly healthy, and neither of us can believe they are really here.

"I was admitted to hospital on Boxing Day with high blood pressure and my liver started retaining too much salt.

"It meant I had to have the Caesarean. We all had to stay in hospital over the New Year, so it was a relief when we finally got home."

The couple's quest for a baby started after they got married in May 1985 and they tried to conceive naturally.

Butaftersixmonths,theywentfortestswhich showed Neil, 46, had a low sperm count.

In 1986, they started a process on the NHS where sperm is put directly into the uterus through a catheter but eight attempts failed.

They realised IVF was the best option and they ploughed a total of pounds 12,000 into three fruitless attempts.

In 1990, they went to a pounds 1000-a-day Harley Street expert and four years later, started expensive IVF with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection at a cost of pounds 5000 a treatment.

They remortgaged their house to pay for four rounds which all failed.

In November 2008, donor eggs and sperm were put directly into Monique's uterus at the IVIFertilityClinicinValencia,Spain.Butafter a month, it was clear it had not worked.

Including travel and other expenses, the failed attempt had cost around pounds 17,000.

Five months later, they tried the same treatment, costing nearly pounds 10,000.

On May 30, it was confirmed Monique was expecting twins.

Engineer Neil said: "I am so proud of Monique. It has taken so long and we have spent a lot of money but just looking at the babies makes me realise it was worth it."

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DOUBLE TOTS: Ben and Walker, whose births thrilled the Wards, above right
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 14, 2010
Words:418
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