Family Thais: After four failed IVF attempts and 14 years of trying, couple finally conceive after exotic trip… and give birth to twins
When Alix Raven-Sarai and her husband Saran had been trying for a baby for 14 years without success they were at their wits end.
They had already had several unsuccessful attempts at IVF, had tried fertility drugs and had even had their hair strands analysed for deficiencies in their diets.
As a last ditch attempt they decided to travel thousands of miles to Thailand for their fifth attempt at IVF – to see if the sun, sea and sand would help.
Hard-earned happiness: Alix Raven Sarai and her husband Saran with their twins Tyler and Liza who wee born in July after 14 years of trying for the couple
Amazingly being away from the stresses of life in the UK proved to be the answer – as Mrs Raven-Sarai fell pregnant with twins.
She gave birth to twins Tyler and Aliza in July – and says it was worth travelling thousands of miles to get her babies.
Mrs Raven-Sarai, who lives in Baildon, West Yorkshire, said: “We had been trying so long for a baby with no success that we really didn”t know what to do next.
“We”d had three courses of IVF treatment in the UK and nothing had worked. I didn”t have a successful pregnancy in any of the three courses.
“So we thought about going somewhere which was incredibly relaxing to see if that would help.
“It was a long shot, but it worked. We were both so relaxed and calm and that must have helped.”
The couple, who own an estate agents, married in September 1996 after they had been together for eight years.
Exotic break: Alix and Sarin in Thailand on the holiday which brought them so much joy
They started trying for a family straight away, but after a year nothing had happened.
Mrs Raven-Sarai said: “We went on honeymoon and I”d hoped I”d come back pregnant, but I didn”t. And then the months went by and I still didn”t fall pregnant.”
The GP put her on the fertility drug Clomid and still nothing happened. Then they went on a programme that analyses strands of hair to see if anything was deficient in their diet.
Mrs Raven-Sarai said: “We were willing to try anything that worked. So we even had our hair analysed to see if we were deficient in any types of food that was stopping us from conceiving.
Where it all began: Alix and Saran first tried for a baby shortly after they were married
“We took vitamin supplements, cuts out alcohol and only ate organic food. This still didn”t work, but we just had to carry on trying.”
The couple underwent their first course of IVF treatment in 1998, but it didn”t work.
She said: “We had pinned all our hopes on the treatment working. We thought it would be the answer to our prayers. But I didn”t fall pregnant and it was devastating.”
They then had a second course of IVF and this time she fell pregnant but miscarried just a few weeks later as the embryos hadn”t implanted properly. A third attempt at IVF then also failed.
Mrs Raven-Sarai said: “We decided to have a break from the IVF as we had been through such an emotional time with it, and we put treatment on hold but carried on trying naturally.
“Then in 2006 I lost my parents and I decided that life was passing us by. I wanted to have the bond with my own children that I”d had with my own mother.
“It was so difficult when I saw family and friends with babies. I was so desperate to be a mother and to see other mothers was so upsetting.”
The couple decided that the stresses of life in the UK may be proving detrimental to Mrs Raven-Sarai falling pregnant.
So they decided on a radical solution – to travel thousands of miles to a fertility clinic in Thailand.
She said: “It is very stressful living and working in this country and we thought that being in such a beautiful relaxed place as Thailand may prove to be the answer.
“My brother lives there for six months of the year so we went to stay with him and went to a fertility clinic there.”
The couple underwent their fourth IVF treatment at the Thai clinic in September last year. It didn”t work, but a few months later they had their fifth try with the remaining frozen embryos and amazingly Mrs Raven-Sarai discovered she was pregnant.
Tears for my twins: When Alix took the phonecall to inform her she was finally pregnant she said, “I was so overcome that I started to cry down the phone”
She said: “We knew it was going to be our last chance at having children. We had decided we couldn”t go through any more treatment so we were going to look into adoption.
“We had the treatment and then returned home to the UK. I called the doctors a couple of weeks later and they told me I was pregnant.
“I was so overcome that I started to cry down the phone. I just couldn”t believe it. After 14 years of trying for a baby I was actually pregnant.”
Mrs Raven-Sarai”s pregnancy went smoothly until she was 32 weeks pregnant. The couple were staying in Devon when her waters broke.
She gave birth to the twins seven weeks early at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Tyler weighing 3Ib13, and Aliza weighing 4Ib11.
Two weeks later they were flown by Sheffield Children”s Hospital air ambulance up to Airedale Hospital in Yorkshire, and they were allowed home after a further two weeks.
The babies are now doing well. Tyler had to have an operation to insert a balloon into his heart valve to try and stretch it and he will need a further operation when he is older.
Mrs Raven-Sarai said: “We are just so thrilled to have them home. Tyler will have to have a heart operation when he”s older but they are both doing fantastically well.
“We travelled thousands of miles to have our babies, but it was definitely the answer for us.
“It finally ended our 14 year battle.”