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Monday, 06 July 2015

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‘Million-to-one’ Barrow baby celebrates her fourth birthday with family

A BARROW couple defied all the odds to become parents twice over.

Ellen and Jonathan Mather have two beautiful daughters thanks to IVF treatment.

But it nearly cost Mrs Mather her life.

After suffering an ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilised egg develops outside of the womb) in 2008 the couple conceived again in 2009 but the pregnancy proved difficult.

Mrs Mather’s fallopian tubes had been removed during her previous pregnancy complications but she was convinced she was suffering a second ectopic pregnancy.

“I asked what’s the chance of it happening again?,” said Mr Mather, 31, a support worker.

“We were told there was more chance of winning the lottery three times in a week.”

Mrs Mather was pregnant with twins but unbeknown to medical staff, one of the embryos was growing in the scar tissue of the removed fallopian tube.

“Deep down I knew I was having an ectopic pregnancy,” said Mrs Mather.

She was admitted to A&E at nine weeks in intense pain where she was seen by Vincent Bamigboye, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Furness General Hospital.

“Before I had gone down to theatre Mr Bamigboye thought I had twisted ovaries,” explained Mrs Mather.

“My ovaries had swollen so much, so the ectopic pregnancy was hidden quite well.”

Mrs Mather was bleeding internally and by the time she reached theatre her blood levels were dangerously low, despite having received blood transfusions.

“The ectopic had already ruptured by the time I got to theatre,” she said.

“At that time I was given a one in 50,000 chance of being alive.”

She was in theatre for five hours, with Mr Mather facing the agonising prospect of losing his wife and unborn children.

“When they opened her up they could see the membrane with Katie inside and they were going to take everything out,” recalled Mr Mather.

“Mr Bambigboye said he wouldn’t have given a million to one chance of the baby surviving, let alone Ellen. He didn’t tell us about that until much further along when we found out we were having a girl.”

Instead of removing the womb in theatre Mr Bambigboye managed to save both mum and one of the twins. A scan the following day picked up a heart beat.

“Mr Bambigboye said he had never seen anything like it in his whole career,” said Mr Mather.

Katie was born prematurely at 35 weeks by Caesarian section. She arrived on January 19, 2010, weighing 6lbs 1oz.

Mrs Mather, 33, a team manager, said: “They asked Jonathan if he wanted a bucket because he was crying so much.”

After a nightmare pregnancy Katie’s birth was a blessing and the couple’s bright, happy daughter, who loves swimming and Disney princesses, celebrated her fourth birthday a week ago.

But Mrs Mather’s hopes for her family didn’t end there.

Their IVF treatment plan at CARE Fertility in Manchester involved six cycles, in which she also shared some of her eggs to help other couples.

When Katie was two the couple started trying again.

“I had a couple of embryos frozen. You only get a three-year span and we were coming up to that,” explained Mrs Mather. “I had two failed IVFs before I got pregnant with Emily. It was third time, last time with Emily.”

Mrs Mather was carefully monitored throughout her pregnancy under the care of Mr Bambigboye.

The pregnancy went well until 37 weeks when Mrs Mather developed pre-eclampsia. Emily was born by emergency Caesarian on March 8, 2013.

“It’s all been worth it,” says the proud mum. “It was tough at the time. Jonathan took some persuading after the second time round but he did say that if it wasn’t for me we wouldn’t have Emily. I’ve got a few nice scars but a couple of trophies to go with it.”

The couple are indebted to Mr Bambigboye and the staff at Furness General Hospital.

Mr Bambigboye said: “I only played a small role so it is the hard work and dedication of all the nurses, doctors, midwives, and others that led to such a positive outcome for Ellen and her family. “On behalf of myself and my colleagues, I’d like to thank Ellen for her kind words, and wish her, Katie, and the rest of the family, all the very best for the future.”

Have your say

What a lovely story....some sadness but mostly smiles :)

Posted by Nicky on 30 January 2014 at 10:18

s a friend,of both Ellen and johnathen,this couldn't have happened to nicer people. When I say I'm a friend it was the professional side that I came in touch with them.my son lives in the unit that they both work in. As a man with learning difficulty Ellen is the manager and Johnny is his care worker,and I have learned by watching the two of them that there are no better ,kinder people that I could trust with the well being of him. In this dayof a self,self,self societyit is heart warming to read about two people that really make a difference good on both of you ,and keep up the good work fgh ron green

Posted by ronald thomas green on 29 January 2014 at 22:02

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