A BURNLEY couple are set to celebrate 'a perfect Christmas' with their baby daughter who they thought they would never see.
Gemma Walton and her partner William Holmes endured eight years of gruelling IVF treatment as Gemma could not conceive naturally as she has polycystic ovaries.
The couple, who have been together 12 years, almost gave up hope after suffering heartbreak when Gemma miscarried following one of the treatments.
But a change of treatment brought joyful news and she fell pregnant last Christmas.
Gemma, 28, who works as a support worker for Alternative Futures, which helps people with learning disabilities, said: “I have polycystic ovaries which meant I wouldn’t be able to become pregnant normally.
“Over the years I went through several courses of IVF at a hospital in Leeds but each time it ended in failure.
“After one of the courses I became pregnant but miscarried after around six weeks. It was awful. Every time we went through a full range of emotions.
“From optimism and being full of hope to the pain and realisation that the treatment had failed again and we were back to square one.”
The couple’s fortunes changed last year when after researching other clinics Gemma contacted CARE Fertility in Manchester.
Her treatment and drugs protocol were changed before another IVF treatment and Gemma found she was expecting a baby last Christmas.
“It was touch and go at first,” said Gemma.
“When I did the pregnancy test it was the faintest of blue lines and there were some early complications but my little one was strong and things progressed normally.”
Little Olivia Rose was born in Burnley Hospital on August 23, weighing 8lb 2oz.
“She’s everything I wished for, beautiful and ever so good. Every time I look at her I know the journey we went through was worth it, ” said Gemma, a former Gawthorpe High School pupil.
Gemma, William and Olivia have invited their entire family to share their special Christmas at their farmhouse home in Glen View Road, Burnley.
Former Ivy Bank High School pupil William, 30, who is now a self-employed builder, summed up his feelings.
“It’s a day we thought we’d never see,” he said.
“It’s been a long and difficult process but we’ve finally got our perfect little girl.
“Every time we had a setback there were many, many tears and I think it shows the strength of our relationship and our bond that we’ve stuck together.
“I think I cried for a week when I first held Olivia and I only have to look at her now and I feel tearful.
“I’d advise anyone who is in a similar position to explore all the possibilities and never give up hope.”
Mr Rashmi Patel, the consultant who helped the couple conceive also added his best wishes.
He said: “I am delighted we could help Gemma and William have a baby. Everyone at CARE sends their best wishes and we hope they enjoy their first Christmas with Olivia Rose."