By Monica Gibson

A NEILSTON mum who overcame a cancer scare and diabetes diagnosis during a nine-year-struggle for a baby is urging other families desperate to conceive never to give up after the birth of her “miracle boy”.

Laura Carroll and her husband Gordon started trying for a baby when she was 24.

Despite her relatively young age, it took the former Eastwood High pupil almost a decade of patience, perseverance and eventually IVF treatment before the couple were able to welcome son Grayson into the world earlier this year.

Laura, now 34, told the Barrhead News: “Gordon and I had been together for five years and he is five years older than me so we were really keen to start a family.

“At that time I had a few problems, I had the early stages of cervical cancer and I had to have an operation, then you have to wait before you can start trying to conceive – even still, nothing was happening.”

The couple were both assured by doctors in a fertility clinic that there was nothing wrong with them, and the determined duo did, ate and drank everything recommended to improve their chances.

But their efforts appeared in vain as Laura failed to fall pregnant – leaving them mentally and physically exhausted.

However, Laura said she tried not to lose heart.

In March 2016, the couple finally secured an appointment for IVF treatment eligibility.

Laura and Stuart were given a “once over” by the doctors and began treatment in September.

Laura said: “We were overwhelmed.

“Suddenly from everything going so slowly, it was moving so quickly.”

For her treatment, Laura underwent a course of pills followed by injections, with a first transfer taking place on November 8 last year.

Laura recalled: “You’re meant to have a 10-day wait before taking a pregnancy test but after five days I knew something was happening inside my body.

“It was something I had never felt before and I thought this is it.”

During pregnancy, Laura found out she had gestational diabetes, was classed as high risk and had scans every two weeks from 26 weeks.

Laura was booked in to be induced on August 18 but Grayson David Carroll eventually arrived safe and well the next day.

Despite the complications and uncertainty of IVF, Laura and Gordon are adamant they would go through it all again.

Laura added: “I can understand how it can be a lot more difficult if you have failed attempts but we just tried to stay positive throughout the whole process and that would be my message to anyone who is going through IVF.

“People aren’t able to always get IVF on the NHS for various reasons so these wee babies can end up being so expensive emotionally and financially but if you want to be a parent then don’t give up.

“Grayson is our wee miracle boy and I feel incredible lucky.”

This month marks the 40th anniversary since the first successful IVF treatment and Susan Seenan, from Fertility Network UK, is keen to raise awareness that sometimes luck is required.

Ms Seenan said: “This year is a deeply significant one as we commemorate 40 years of IVF – celebrating the babies born as a result of this life-changing technology, and remembering everyone whom IVF could not help.

“We are focusing on men and their experience of infertility because all too often they are left out of the fertility equation.

“We are also highlighting how inequitable access to NHS fertility treatment is in the UK.

“Sadly, for many, it is your postcode and your pay packet, and not your medical need, which are now the key determinants of whether you will be able to try IVF.”