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IVF dad says the reason he was born was to be his baby's father

Although they were united by their desire to have a baby, the mixed Thai/British heritage of would-be parents Jarmmy and John Greenwood gave the couple a broader-than-average perspective when they were researching how to approach their IVF treatment.

The couple, who now live in Taunton, met in Thailand in 2015 at a wedding anniversary party where John was a guest and Jarmmy was the party planner. They married in 2017 then relocated to the UK and settled in Taunton.

At that time Jarmmy was 33, John was 43 and they were keen to start a family straight away.

Software architect, John, said: “After more than a year of trying without success, Jarmmy had some diagnostic tests that revealed blocked fallopian tubes. We also learned I had a low sperm count.

Fertility MOT

Male fertility tests

“Obviously we were very disappointed, but we were led to understand we could still conceive if we used IVF and, after some research, we decided to try BCRM because the published medical statistics showed them to have the best success rates amongst the fertility centres in the South West.

“We had all sorts of questions, and the team at BCRM was able to answer them all and gave us the confidence to proceed.

Starting your fertility journey

“We decided to buy a two-cycle package and couldn’t believe our luck when Jarmmy became pregnant after just one cycle - we felt like we’d entered ‘baby heaven’.

“Life had never been better, and we started to think about names, looking at baby clothes in the shops, and spent our evenings thinking and planning about life after the baby was born.

“But we didn't know that sadness was around the corner: Jarmmy miscarried at just seven weeks. I'm not ashamed to admit we both cried that day.

“After that, we had a decision about what to do next. In the end, it was my dad who influenced us most. He reminded me of the great happiness he and my mum had from their children and many grandchildren – my nephews and nieces.

“Jarmmy felt the same. By looking back at our family trees, it helped us to look forwards to what could possibly come to be, so we decided to use the second cycle of IVF we had paid for.

PGT Genetic testing

“This time we also decided to use the genetic testing available at BCRM. This test can minimise the risk of miscarriage by enabling the selection of the healthiest of the embryos created in the lab. It’s not terribly common in the UK, although it’s common practice in Thailand for would-be mums in their late 30s or 40s, so Jarmmy was very pro.

“She became pregnant again immediately, and we were so happy but cautiously so, in case history repeated itself.”

Jarmmy said: “I was very grateful for the counselling provided by BCRM. I worried that my body was going to let me down, and their support gave me confidence and lifted me when I felt anxious.”

Happily, the pregnancy progressed well and on 5 December 2023 Jarmmy gave birth to a baby son weighing 3.9kg at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

His delighted parents named him Robert, after John’s dad who sadly passed away before the birth of the baby he had encouraged the pair to keep trying for.

John Greenwood said: “We would very much like to encourage other would-be parents who are struggling to conceive not to fear IVF.

“BCRM do fantastic work and Jarmmy and I sincerely hope that other couples who find themselves in the position we were in can eventually experience the same joy their team gave us with the birth of our son.

“There are highs and lows on a fertility journey, and maybe sometimes there will sometimes be grief and disappointment, but please believe me when I say that all of this is very much worth it. Our son is so beautiful and we love him so much.

“I feel the reason I was born was to be his dad.”