A couple desperate for a baby sold things at nearly 100 car boot sales to pay for their priceless little bundle. Mum, Kirsty Morgan, 27, from Hereford, shares her story...
Eyes fixed on the little, white stick, I waited anxiously for the result to appear. Then seconds later… Negative.
‘Not again,’ I sighed, deflated.
It was 2009 and me and my fiancé, Kyle, then 25, were trying for a baby. Things just didn’t seem to be going our way though. Two years on in June 2011, Kyle and I tied the knot.
‘Maybe we’ll make a honeymoon baby,’ I winked.
Yet, a year on I still wasn’t pregnant. And Kyle and I were exhausted from trying! We went to see our GP and were referred for tests. The results revealed Kyle had a low sperm count.
‘You have less than one percent chance of conceiving naturally,’ the doctor told us.
He recommended intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). It’s a fertility treatment, which involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg. We qualified for a free round on the NHS.
So in January 2014 we had the treatment. But a few weeks later, a pregnancy test was negative.
‘It’s not fair,’ I cried, heartbroken.
We looked into IVF, but due to our postcode we didn’t qualify for it on the NHS. Instead we’d have to fund it ourselves, but it cost £8,000.
‘We don’t have that kind of money,’ I sobbed to Kyle.
We decided to put having a baby on hold. But the following year in February 2015, I was feeling broody again.
‘Let’s try and fund the treatment ourselves,’ Kyle suggested.
There was no guarantee IVF would work and it was a lot of money to gamble. We agreed a baby is priceless though.
So to raise a bit of cash, we held a few car boot sales. We sold some of our old things like TVs, clothes, books…
Before long we’d made a few hundred quid.
‘Not bad,’ I said. ‘But we’re going to need a lot more than this.’
So I set up a fundraising page on Facebook and asked people to donate things for us to sell.
It’s for our baby Morgan fund, I wrote.
It didn’t take long for donations to start pouring in. Kids’ toys, old prams, DVDS, furniture… Every night Kyle and I would drive around in our Renault Megane collecting peoples’ unwanted goods.
Then at the weekend, we’d load up the car and hit the boot fairs – along with Kyle’s parents Angela and Danny. Then in April a woman contacted me on Facebook. She’d seen our fundraising page.
Have you thought about IVF treatment in Athens? she asked.
She explained it was cheaper and cost about £3,500. She knew somebody who worked for a clinic and could put me in touch. I was stunned. Kyle and I hadn’t even thought about treatment abroad.
‘What do you think?’ I asked him.
He agreed it was worth looking into. So I researched the clinic online. I wanted to make sure it was legitimate and that there was a high standard of care. I even spoke to people who’d had IVF there.
I had a great experience, one woman reassured me.
After a lot of research and thought, Kyle and I agreed to go ahead. By now we had loads to sell from peoples’ generous donations. So week after week, Kyle and I pitched up a stall at boot sales.
Some weekends we even did three! On Saturdays we’d start selling at 6am, then pack up at 12pm and head to another boot fair in the afternoon. Then we’d spend all day Sunday at another.
The early starts and long days were exhausting. But Kyle and I really enjoyed it! Even when it poured with rain, we’d huddle in the car and drink hot chocolate from a flask.
We put up a huge banner, explaining our IVF plight. We had collection buckets around the stall too. I was overwhelmed by the support.
‘How much for this, love?’ one man asked about an old table.
‘£5,’ I replied.
‘I’ll give you £10,’ he winked. ‘It’s for a good cause.’
Slowly our IVF fund crept up. And four months on in August, we had enough. We’d raised over £4,000 to cover the treatment, flights and hotel. Kyle and I were thrilled and weeks later we boarded a plane to Athens.
‘This is it,’ I beamed, excited.
After the treatment, we flew home the following week. But I had such bad stomach cramps, I went to hospital.
‘You’re pregnant,’ a doctor revealed.
Kyle and I couldn’t believe it.
‘It’s finally happening,’ I cried.
A week later in September a scan revealed we were expecting twins. But just weeks on, we were told one of the babies had died. I was distraught. But I stayed strong by thinking about our other baby.
‘Hold on little one,’ I kept telling my bump.
Then finally in May this year, our son Alyus was born weighing 5lb 6oz.
‘He’s perfect,’ I cried, emotional.
Holding him in my arms felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe I was finally a mum. And it still hasn’t sunk in!
Kyle and I still have a garage full of donated items to sell. So we plan to pack up our boot and do a few more fairs this year. Then we’ll donate the money to another couple funding for IVF.
Kyle and I did nearly 100 boot fairs in total. We gave up every weekend for months and sold bargains in the rain, cold and sizzling heat.
But some of the best gems come from boot fairs… And my boy is the most precious treasure of them all!