Katie Pope, 23, from Derby gave birth to a surprise baby at just 15. She then suffered two ectopic pregnancies and failed IVF in a bid to be a mum again. Here she shares her story...
"I stared at the piece of paper in my hand. It said positive. The words just screamed out at me. How could I possibly be pregnant. I was only 15 and still at school. I couldn't possibly be a mum.
It had been just one accident, one slip up with my boyfriend Simon. I'd never imagined that I could possibly fall pregnant. It had been him who'd suggested doing a pregnancy test. The thought had never even entered my head.
'I don't want anyone to find out
,' I muttered to mum. How was I going to cope at school with everyone knowing I was pregnant? Were they going to call 'slag' out to me in the corridors?
I told just my close friends at school, but soon everyone knew. I did think about having an abortion, or having the baby adopted. I didn't know whether I was ready to bring a baby into the world. But mum was supportive and promised she would help.
I was due to give birth in October, so I could be ready to start college again in the January. I wanted to be a nurse, and I didn't want anything to stop me from following my dream.
I gave birth to Edward in October 2004, weighing a healthy 7Ib, 5oz, at Derby City Hospital. People had warned me that it was going to be painful, but nothing could have prepared me for the 36 hours of labour.
Eventually I managed to push Edward out into the world. I was exhausted, but as I held him in my arms, a wave of love came over me. This baby was really mine.
Once I settled into a routine, it was easy. It seemed strange to be changing nappies when my other friends were talking about music and boys, but I loved being a mum. Simon and I split up when Edward was six weeks old. It had all happened too quickly. But we stayed friends and he's a good dad to Edward.
When I was 18 I met Brett Hart. Tall and good looking, I'd bumped into him in a local shop. He knew who I was as he knew a good friend of mine. He took my number and asked me for a date.
We became a couple and 18 months later, I decided that I wanted another baby. Brett, 31, a labourer, was keen to be a dad too, and a month later I fell pregnant. 'This is easy' I laughed to Brett. But then just a few weeks later I started to have pains in my stomach. I went for tests at the hospital and it showed I had an ectopic pregnancy. My egg had become lodged in my fallopian tube. It was life-threatening.
I had to be rushed in for emergency surgery, and doctors had to take away one of my fallopian tubes, but the doctors reassured me I would still be able to get pregnant.
A few months later I fell pregnant again, but the same pains came back again. I had another ectopic pregnancy and yet again I had to be rushed in for emergency surgery, and this time doctors took the other fallopian tube. It wasn't fair. I'd fallen pregnant so easily as a 15-year-old schoolgirl, now I couldn't be a mum naturally.
'We'll find a way,' promised Brett, hugging me afterwards and wiping away my tears.
So six months later we went to a fertility clinic and started a course of IVF. I donated some of my eggs to other childless women as part of the process as it made it affordable for us to have.
Two embryos were put back into my womb and I waited excitedly for the results. I was so sure it was going to work and I could be a mum again. But two weeks later the clinic rang with devastating results. I wasn't pregnant. I was devastated, but I was determined to try again, so we went for another cycle of IVF and I donated my eggs again.
But it failed again. Edward kept begging me 'mummy, can I have a brother or sister. All my friends have.' I felt so guilty that I couldn't give him what he so desperately wanted.
We changed clinics and found CARE Fertility in Nottingham. 'Lets hope its third time lucky,' I whispered to Brett as we started our third course of IVF.
Two embryos were put back in and I just felt different straight away. 'It's worked this time, I just know it,' I said excitedly to Brett the following day. A few days later I did a test and a faint line showed positive.
I did another 20 tests over the next two weeks just to make sure and then at six weeks I went for a scan. There was our baby, with its tiny heartbeat flickering.
Edward was so excited when I told him. He came to every scan with me and watched excitedly on the screen. He stroked my bump as it grew and would chat to the baby through my stomach, telling him he couldn't wait to meet him.
I gave birth to Tyler in December and Edward ran to meet me in the hospital ward with a grin from ear to ear. He adores Tyler and he's so protective over him. I had such a battle to get pregnant, but it has been worth all the heartache to finally see them together."
Words: Lucy Laing at Worldwide Features
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