'Our baby is our joy - and we wouldn't have him without a donor'

West Lothian couple back pleas for more egg and sperm donors as they say baby boy has 'changed their lives for the better.'

A couple who had a baby through IVF after struggling to get pregnant for a year have urged people to donate eggs and sperm to help ‘bring joy’ to other families.

In March 2022, Laura McCabe 39, and Stacey McCabe, 37, received the life-changing news that Laura was pregnant after having IVF alongside a sperm donation. Nine months later, Laura gave birth to a healthy baby boy called Mason. 

Laura and Stacey, from Linlithgow, longed for a baby and began researching sperm donors in 2018.

Laura, who already has a 16-year-old son, Mark, eventually became pregnant using donor sperm and IVF treatment at Edinburgh Fertility Clinic.

She said: “Mason is the most beautiful little guy. Even when he was a baby, he was such a happy child and was always smiling.

“He’s added so much to our lives and to the lives of our families – everyone wants to see him all the time.” 

Stacey, a sales director, added: “He’s amazing, he’s changed our life for the better. He’s so good.

“He brings a joy for every single person in the family. Everyone wants to see him, be with him and play with him.”

Laura and Stacey.

Before getting pregnant, Laura and Stacey had six rounds of unsuccessful donor sperm intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment throughout 2021. IUI is a fertility treatment that gives sperm a chance at fertilising an egg.  

Laura added: “I was getting worried that time was against us but we tried to remain as positive as possible. The staff at the Edinburgh Fertility Centre were brilliant at supporting us.

“Although it was really disappointing and I felt like my body was letting me down, Stacey and I always treated ourselves after an unsuccessful treatment. It really made us stronger together.”

After unsuccessful IUI, the couple decided to move to IVF using donor sperm. Two months later, Laura and Stacey received good news from the Edinburgh Fertility Centre.  

Stacey said: “We were both shaking when the clinic phoned us and we were absolutely overjoyed when we heard Laura was pregnant. After such a long process we were in disbelief, it didn’t feel real.”

Fertility experts in the Lothians have urged more kind-hearted people to become egg and sperm donors to give other people the chance of becoming parents. 

Clinicians from Edinburgh Fertility Centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh joined the national campaign to recruit more donors.

One in six couples experience fertility problems in Scotland and more than 200 people currently need donated eggs and sperm.

Laura and Stacey are urging people to consider donating eggs and sperm to help those who desperately want their own families.

“If you’re even thinking about it, do it. You’re changing someone’s life. Without it we wouldn’t have Mason,” Laura said.

Simpson’s Centre for Reproductive Health calls for more egg and sperm donors.

“I’m too old to consider egg donation, but if I’d gone through this ten years ago, I’d have done it so someone else would have benefited from it. I’d give my left arm to give a little back.”

Stacey added: “It’s the most selfless thing someone can do, to honour such a joy for a family.”

Dr Karolina Skorupskaite-Carlyle, consultant in reproductive medicine and surgery at the Edinburgh Fertility Centre, said that more donors were key for them to be able to continue their work. 

She said: “We work with people every day who desperately want to experience the joys of parenthood, but in some cases they cannot conceive using their own eggs or sperm, for a variety of different reasons.

“Donors have the ability to give them the chance of that happiness. Donating eggs or sperm is a very special altruistic act, which can change peoples’ lives. 

“Donation treatment can be appropriate for both heterosexual and same sex couples. I have supported many couples who never thought they would be able to have children and it is a privilege to be a part of their journey.” 

Dr Skorupskaite-Carlyle advised that donors must be aged 18–35 and have a body mass index of less than 30 to donate their eggs or aged 18-45 to donate sperm.

Donors must also be non-smokers, generally healthy and be able to provide a biological family history.  

Visit eggsandsperm.scot to find out more about becoming a donor. 

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