A couple who refused to give up their dreams of a family after being told they would never have their own children are now celebrating the arrival of their first baby.
And overjoyed mum Allison Rhodes says her beautiful daughter Olivia is living proof miracles can happen.
Allison and her partner Nigel Rothery were told seven years ago they could not have children. But undeterred, they continued to try.
As well as the heartbreaking disappointment they endured every month, in 2011 Nigel underwent major heart surgery.
But their despair turned to elation when the couple discovered Allison was pregnant while on holiday in Tunisia last year.
Allison, 32, of Liversedge, said: “I was poorly just before my holiday. My grandma, Joan Handford, said I was pregnant as she’d had the same symptoms when she was younger – but I said how could that be possible?
“On holiday certain smells upset my stomach. I did a test just in case and two lines appeared but it was all in Arabic! I asked a maid to explain it but she couldn’t speak English – she pointed to one line and shook her head, then pointed to two lines and pointed to her stomach. I couldn’t believe it. I just sat and cried.”
Allison said for the rest of the holiday she and Nigel, 34, tried to take it all in.
She said: “At the scan I was crying so much I couldn’t see the baby! We decided not to find out what we were having – we’d been waiting for so long, what difference would another few months make?”
Allison said Olivia was due exactly two years after Nigel’s operation to correct a hole in his heart. But she arrived three weeks early at Dewsbury and District Hospital after a labour of just one hour and 45 minutes.
She said: “We’d chosen Alfie James for a boy and Freya Louise for a girl but she didn’t look like a Freya, so we chose Olivia Faye. She is the first granddaughter and our fourth generation.”
Allison said she had always wanted her own children and was devastated when told she probably couldn’t conceive naturally.
She said: “We were told not to give up but the doctors said it would be a miracle. Every month we were hoping but it never happened. It was heartbreaking.
“Being a mum is everything I hoped for and much more. I’d like a football team but we don’t have the room!”
And she urged couples in the same situation to keep trying. She said: “It’s very difficult, but don’t give up hope. It can happen – and we’ve got proof.”