IT was a three-year emotional rollercoaster but it was worth all the heartache and worry.
Because now Sharron and Nathan Blake have the most precious thing in their lives – the child they had always dreamed of together.
It took five failed pregnancies and thousands of pounds-worth of IVF treatment before baby James finally came into the world.
Yesterday, Sharron and Nathan, of Honley, took James – who is now two-and-a-half – to a party to celebrate with the people who made it all possible.
The Blakes received care from the assisted conception unit at the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax under the leadership of consultant gynaecologist Martin deBono.
Sharron, 42, told the Examiner: “We’re very lucky in Kirklees that Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust are so good and I honestly think that if we had lived elsewhere we might not even have James today – they are just fantastic.”
Sharron, a former analyst, said staff at the unit supported she and Nathan every step of the way.
She said: “They’re not miracle workers – IVF only has a success rate of about 30% – but they support you through the whole thing and personalise your treatment because not everybody is the same at the end of the day, we all react differently to treatment.
“I told the consultant that I trusted him to tell us if we were wasting our time but we were happy to continue however small a chance there was and go for it.
“If after that he thought we couldn’t go on we would have to deal with it when that day came.”
IVF is just one of several techniques available to help couples with fertility problems to have a baby.
It involves surgically removing an egg from the woman’s ovaries and fertilising it with sperm in a laboratory.
The fertilised egg, or embryo, is then placed back into the woman’s womb to grow and develop.
After five failed pregnancies Sharron and Nathan – who runs family engineering company Blake Engineers – had started to wonder if they would ever have a child.
Sharron said: “I don’t think people realise that IVF is not really the happy-ever-after you might think and that it can take over your whole life.
“I had to resist the urge to trawl the internet because it can become quite obsessive.
“We just tried to concentrate on ourselves and I think we were very lucky because people we’ve met have gone through a similar process elsewhere and I have to say they haven’t had the support and experience that we have had at Calderdale and Huddersfield.
“Life doesn’t stop for your treatment, you’ve still got to go to work, and life goes on so you’ve got to just take it one step at a time.”
Sharron was at work when she took the phone call from the nurse to say she was pregnant.
Shortly after her 40th birthday she gave birth to healthy baby James.
She said: “It’s just a wonderful feeling – to go through five failed procedures and then it work out is just fantastic.
“My pregnancy couldn’t have been better – I didn’t have any morning sickness or back ache.
“And James is an absolute delight – he’s just such a happy and lovely boy.
“We’re obviously biased but wherever we go we always get people commenting on how happy he is."