'I begged the doctors to let me finish the IVF cycle -- and nine months later I had a son'
Antoinette Thurlow (50) from Dublin had her first child, William (14), with her salesman husband Bill (50) when she was 37, using IVF. She says: "I got married at 22 and my husband and I decided pretty much immediately to start trying for a baby, but after three or four years it hadn't happened. We went through medical tests but no one could tell us what was wrong.
"When we were in our 30s, we moved to Canada for a time and went through the medical system there but again without any joy.
"It was only when we came back to Ireland and got accepted into the IVF programme at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin that I felt a glimmer of hope. After 12 years of trying, we decided this was our last chance. Half-way through my treatment, the doctors felt I wasn't producing enough eggs for it to work, but I begged them to let me finish the cycle and nine months later I had a son.
"I hadn't expected to be having a child in my late 30s and I'd always hoped to have more than one but I am so delighted with the way everything worked out. My age didn't cause complications with the pregnancy, and given how long I'd been trying, it wasn't my age that was to blame for me not conceiving earlier.
"I was afraid that people might see me with William and think I was his grandmother but there are actually a lot of mums the same age as myself at his school, so it hasn't been a problem.
"I've always been very open about the fact that we used IVF and I feel very lucky to have had a child and grateful that there was the option of IVF available to me."