Clair McGlynn, 39, Cheshunt, Herts, refused to give up on her quest to become a mum...
Sitting in bed next to my boyfriend Sam, I pointed at the laptop screen.
‘How about this one?’ I asked him.
We weren’t choosing our next Netflix series or a holiday destination, but a sperm donor.
We’d been trying for a baby for five years, and now I was trying to persuade Sam that this route was worth exploring.
Tests had shown that Sam wasn’t able to have children. Only, he didn’t want to use a donor – he wanted the baby to be ours genetically.
And I didn’t want to consider adoption. I wanted so badly to carry my own child.
I prayed every day that we’d find a compromise. We were in love, after all. But it was no good. My yearning for a baby was too strong.
Three months later, when Sam was away with friends, I made the heartbreaking decision to leave our shared home.
I moved back in with my parents Wendy, 58, and Jim, 62. It was so sad, but I still had that overwhelming urge to carry a baby, to be a mum.
So I went to the GP. But…
‘As a single woman you don’t qualify for IVF,’ I was told.
Next, I went to a fertility show at an exhibition centre in London, where I came across a clinic local to me.
‘We help single women have babies,’ they said.
Was this my chance?
I booked a consultation in October 2012, and had tests.
But doctors had bad news.
‘We’re sorry, but your hormone levels are low, which means you would have trouble conceiving,’ one said.
This twist of fate felt like a knife in my gut.
‘You have a less than 20 per cent chance,’ the doctor added.
But I’d come this far…
‘What are the other options?’ I asked defiantly.
The answer was to use donor sperm and donor eggs.
The embryos would be implanted in my uterus, and the babies would grow inside me.
It was my only chance. I’d have a pregnancy bump, deliver my babies, cradle them in my arms and call them my children.
In the run up to the procedure, I decided my body would now be a temple.
I even went on a retreat to Portugal to detox, read loads of spiritual books, and meditated.
Mum was my rock, coming with me to every appointment.
The first attempt in May 2013 was abandoned due to complications with the egg donor.
I was devastated, but not defeated.
Eventually, in November 2014, I tried again, using money from selling the house that Sam and I had shared.
Two embryos were implanted.
Twins would be amazing!
I thought hopefully, praying with all my heart they’d both survive and develop.
This time, my body soon felt very different. I had sore boobs, tummy pains…
Could it be..?
My friend Carley, 32, came round and sat with me while I waited for the home test result.
And, a few seconds later…
‘All these years, and I’ve done it!’ I cried, overcome with joy.
At seven weeks, I had a scan, and there they were – the twins I’d dreamed of conceiving.
My miracles. Finally.
My pregnancy was amazing. It felt like it was meant to be.
In August 2015, I was taken into hospital to be induced. Only, three days later, still nothing had happened.
‘We need to do an emergency Caesarean,’ doctors told me.
So off I went to theatre, my sister Lisa, 40, coming in to be there with me for the op.
After gas and air, I felt so woozy, I was barely able to hold my new daughters. But I did – just for a moment.
I’d already chosen the names Faith and Hope.
Faith arrived first, weighing 6lb 1oz, then Hope at 5lb 13oz.
Twenty minutes later, we were all in Recovery, and that’s when it truly sank in. I held the girls, speechless with wonder.
Now they’re almost 2, and have very different characters.
Hope’s a feisty little thing, while Faith’s calmer. They’re walking and talking, they love colouring and counting.
Every time they call out, ‘Mummy!’ my heart soars.
I believe Faith and Hope were my destiny.
Having them wasn’t easy, but the journey was worth every emotional second.