A COUPLE who suffered two ectopic pregnancies and a failed round of IVF are finally expecting their first child after winning a competition for free fertility treatment.

Della McGill, 36, is now 30 weeks pregnant following a cycle of IVF at the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine (GCRM).

She and her partner, Ryan Cunningham, a 39-year-old courier from Belfast, were among 6000 entrants to a competition run by fertility magazine IVF Babble.

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Ms McGill, from Broxburn in West Lothian, said: “It just feels like fate, the way the whole thing happened. We are so lucky to have won and it really feels like it was meant to be.”

The couple have spent years trying to conceive, including suffering a dangerous ectopic pregnancy in 2016 which resulted in surgery to remove  one of Ms McGill's fallopian tubes.

A further ectopic pregnancy followed in 2017, after which the couple decided to pursue IVF instead to make their dreams of parenthood a reality.

They faced further heartbreak, however, after waiting a year for the fertility treatment only for their first IVF cycle to fail.

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The couple then decided to self-fund their treatment with an IVF cycle at the GCRM in Belfast, calling on friends and family to help finance the £15,000 package.

In the meantime, Ms McGill, an employment support officer who helps people with disabilities and health conditions into work, took a chance on entering the IVF Babble competition after it was shared on an IVF support group on Facebook. Her partner also entered.

She said: “We were waiting for our first consultation when we incredibly won the competition.

"Even more unbelievably we were first offered a clinic in London but due to another couple dropping out we were offered treatment at GCRM in Glasgow, the sister clinic to the one we had already chosen.

"I’m originally from West Lothian so had my whole family close by. All of this topped off with actually becoming pregnant, it’s like a lottery win.”

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The competition allocated a free round of IVF to 15 lucky winners.

Initially Ms McGill and Mr Cunningham did not appear to be among the names pulled out in the draw.

However, when IVF Babble reported that several winners had not stepped forward to claim their prize Ms McGill had a hunch they might have missed an email.

She said: “I kept asking Ryan if he’d checked his emails properly and whether he’d double checked his junk folder and he kept saying that he had.

“One Friday night we were at Bingo and I saw another post from IVF Babble which said if the final winners didn’t come forward by Monday morning they would re-draw.

"At that point I was hoping that would happen so we would have another chance to win But I asked Ryan to check one last time and we used the search tool to find all emails from IVF Babble.

“The first thing to pop up was a newsletter but underneath that there was another email. It said we’d won. It was just unbelievable.”

To date, IVF Babble have given away 24 free cycles to competition winners, with more underway.

Tracey Bambrough, who founded the publication after her own fertility struggles, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Della and Ryan are expecting their first child following treatment.

"To know that we have helped a couple experience the one thing they wanted more than anything is just incredible and we wish them all the best in their journey as parents.

“Infertility is such an emotive topic. If you are struggling to conceive it completely consumes you and can leave people feeling totally bereft.

"To be just a small support to people in those dark times with the website has been so fulfilling but to now actually be involved in helping couples become parents is truly amazing.”