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Editor's PicksHealth‘I’ve had 7 kids but only met 2’ A selfless mum’s mission to help women have babies

‘I’ve had 7 kids but only met 2’ A selfless mum’s mission to help women have babies

Tears prick Kelly Parsons’ eyes as she reads the thank you letters from the couples she helped to have children.

Incredibly, in the space of just 11 months, the dental nurse donated nearly 50 eggs — allowing three childless couples to start a family.

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Mum Lucy with daughters Emily and Charlotte

Kelly’s eggs have become twin girls, twin boys and a baby boy who is yet to be born.

What’s more, her daughter Charlotte, 11, is so inspired by her mum’s generosity that she wants to donate her eggs when she grows up.

The gruelling procedure left Kelly, 35, with agonising bruises as she injected herself twice a day to stimulate her eggs.

But Kelly, from Morden, South London, says: “Despite the pain, it was worth it. To have the urge to have kids and not be able to must be heart-breaking. I’m only a little part of making these babies.

“I am sure the parents will probably curse me in the middle of the night when they have to do bottle feeds.”

After Kelly and her husband Dean, 41, a train dispatcher, had Charlotte in July 2003, they couldn’t imagine having more kids. But five years later, Kelly started suffering from migraines.

Believing it hormonal, doctors told her to stop taking the contraceptive pill. Then, in 2008, Kelly was shocked to find she was pregnant. Although not planned, she and Dean were delighted.

But sadly their happy news was short-lived as Kelly lost the baby at 12 weeks.

“After the miscarriage I was devastated and realised I did want another child. Luckily, Dean felt the same so we started deliberately trying.”

Unfortunately, she miscarried a further two times, all around the 12-week mark, and feared she would never be able to have another child. Then, in April 2010, Kelly found out she was expecting again.

She says: “I didn’t want to start celebrating because we’d already been through so much loss. Every day for the first 20 weeks, I took a pregnancy test to check I hadn’t lost another baby.

“The £140 I spent was a fortune, but worth it for my peace of mind. But when we had the sex scan and found out the baby was healthy, I started to relax.”

In January 2011 Kelly went into labour and gave birth to Emily at St Helier Hospital in Surrey.

She adds: “Holding Emily in my arms after everything we’d been through was just so overwhelming. I felt so lucky to finally have her.”

Almost two years later, in October 2012, Kelly was watching TV when she stumbled across a life-changing programme.

She says: “There was a woman who had cancer and she was talking about how hard it was to conceive. I really felt for her, especially after everything we had been through with Emily.”

In that moment, Kelly says something changed in her and she knew what she had to do.

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Lucy with husband Dean and their girls

She says: “I wouldn’t wish what we had been through on anyone. I had to help other women.”

It was then that she made the decision to start researching egg donation online. Finding a website called Altrui, she filled in an online profile detailing the kind of couple she wanted to donate to.

She says: “I wanted the eggs to go to a husband and wife so that the kids would be raised in a similar environment to our family.

“Dean wasn’t totally on board but because I have supported him through so many crazy things, he knew it was my turn.

“You can only donate your eggs until you are 35, and because I was 33 at the time I felt like the clock was ticking.”

A few days later she had a call to say there was a couple who matched her criteria.

But she felt everything was happening too quickly and so she decided to put the process on hold.

Kelly adds: “Finally, in January 2013 I received another call from the clinic, which said it had a couple who fitted the bill perfectly.”

Kelly says: “I underwent fertility testing at King’s College Hospital, London, and doctors told me I was ready for the procedure.”

Taking a tablet every day for a month to stop her having a period, Kelly then started ovary stimulation.

She says: “The agonising procedure involved injecting myself twice a day to stop my eggs being released and to stimulate my ovaries, making them produce more than the usual one egg a month.

“In the September, I was given a trigger shot so all 14 of my eggs could be released — 48 hours later I went into hospital and had the eggs harvested.

“I was knackered but so happy I’d done it. A week later I got a call to say five of them had been fertilised and two had been implanted into the mum-to-be.

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Lucy wanted other women to experience the joy of motherhood

“From then on I was on tenterhooks. Although I knew nothing about the couple, I really felt a connection to them.”

Two weeks later, doctors told her the procedure had been successful and in May 2014, the couple welcomed twin daughters into the world.

She says: “After the first donation, I felt like this chapter of my life was closed. Although I was incredibly happy and proud of what I’d done, I couldn’t face going through it again. But Dean saw how happy it had made me and started pushing me to do it again. He was so proud.”

So before the twin girls had been born she found herself starting the injections again. This time, 16 eggs were taken and 11 fertilised, with two implanted.

The happy couple gave birth to twin boys in October 2014. Wanting to bring joy to one more couple, Kelly decided that as she was turning 35 in 2015, it was her last chance.

So she donated 17 eggs in August last year. The woman is due to give birth to a son. Controversially, Kelly has told Charlotte that she has brothers and sisters out there.

She also chose for the kids to be able to contact her daughters when they’re 18. She says: “Charlotte is so excited by the thought she might get to meet her brothers and sisters one day.

“The people I’ve helped have been through the menopause or cancer. Imagine having that urge to become a mother but not being able. Life can be so cruel and I’m thrilled I could bring happiness to other women.”

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