Sunday 20 October 2019

Irish couple conceive baby Leo on final IVF attempt after ‘arduous’ six-year adoption process

Fred, Orla & Leo
Fred, Orla & Leo
Fred, Orla & Leo (1)
Baby Leo was born in 2014
Leo and Orla pictured after his birth

Patricia Murphy

An Irish couple have conceived a baby boy after undergoing an unsuccessful six-year adoption process and a heartbreaking struggle with infertility.

Fred and Orla Rainert from Sandyford welcomed baby Leo (1) in 2014 on their final IVF attempt following an “exhausting and arduous” adoption process and several failed IVF attempts in the past.

The couple were in the midst of adopting a child from Russia when the country’s laws changed to offer financial support to families who might have otherwise placed their newborn up for adoption in the country.

“I think adoption was always on my mind even before I met Fred. I planned on adopting and we thought about adopting very soon after we got married without knowing that we possibly couldn’t have children anyway,” said Orla speaking to TV3’s Adoption Stories.

Leo and Orla pictured after his birth
Leo and Orla pictured after his birth

“We went down the IVF route and that was a very tough time of our lives really. I think you go through the grieving process during IVF because each set back is a grief because it reminds you," she said.

Speaking to the documentary series, Fred said: “Unfortunately after six years of renewing our documents our declaration was going to run out in October 2013. We knew by then that that was it.

“It was the end of the line for us, I knew it.”

The couple had begun the fostering process, in the hopes that they might be able to offer a home to a child in need.

However, after completing the course, Fred and Orla received a letter from the fertility clinic in which they had undergone IVF more than six years previously.

The clinic informed the couple that they had eggs remaining and requested their guidance as to what to do with them.

Baby Leo was born in 2014
Baby Leo was born in 2014

“I just couldn’t let them go,” said Orla.

“We went along and sat with the doctor and decided to go for it one last time. Between January and March we started the drugs and implantation took place in March,” she said.

The pair were delighted when a pregnancy test on Mother’s Day 2014 revealed that Orla was pregnant with the couple’s child.

“I had done a pregnancy test on Mother’s day and I was pregnant with my first baby and I was overjoyed.

“One of the happiest moments of our lives was doing that pregnancy test. It was terrific. It was scary and happy,” she said.

Fred and Orla welcomed baby Leo soon afterwards and revealed that he has brought such happiness and brightness to their lives.

“He’s beautiful. When he arrived wailing and bawling, they put him right up to Orla’s cheek and just as their cheeks touched he stopped crying,” said Fred.

Orla said: "I cried my eyes out because he stopped crying and I haven’t stopped crying since. He’s just gorgeous and such a lovely little boy.

“He’s a little performer. He’s a Drama King. He’s very cheerful and affectionate. We love-bomb him.”

New parents Orla and Fred revealed that they would certainly foster in the future, but admitted the adoption process was one of the most stressful points of their lives.

“The adoption process felt like the longest, most arduous exhausting thing ever. It made us question our ability to be parents,” said Orla.

Fred revealed that he couldn’t go through the adoption process again.

“The adoption was like a SAS assault course and the pregnancy process would be like going shopping in Dundrum.

“To go through all the hoops and HSE stuff again, I couldn’t go through five years of that. But fostering is always something we’d love to do,” he said.

TV3's Adoption Stories airs next Tuesday on TV3 at 8.30PM

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