A South Shore couple has taken the desperate step of asking the public to help fund IVF treatment.
Jennifer Schofield, 42, and her husband Jonathan, 38, took to the internet to appeal for donations for IVF treatment, after a traumatic stillbirth in 2011 left Jennifer unable to conceive a baby naturally.
Jennifer, who lives in Stocky Dale Road, said: “You never get over something like that.
“We were so happy when we found out I was pregnant, because we wanted a brother or a sister for our son Nathan to play with.
“Then, six months into my pregnancy, I found out my son had died inside of me. I was given the choice between carrying him to term or having an induced labour.
“I decided to have the induced labour, because I didn’t think I could bear having people ask ‘when is the baby due?’ and knowing that he was dead.”
Jennifer, who works as a nurse at the White Gate Health Centre, gave birth to baby Daniel Jack Schofield on June 16, 2011, at Victoria Hospital in Blackpool after an intense 21-hour labour. He weighed just 1lb 9oz.
She said: “It was horrific.
“At first I didn’t want to hold him because I didn’t want to know what he looked like. But the nurse said that if I didn’t I might regret it, so I did.
“I’m so glad I did.”
Jennifer and Jonathan tried for over a year to have another child, but had no success. In desperation, they turned to the NHS for IVF treatment, but were rejected because the couple already have one child from their eight-year marriage, five-year-old Nathan.
But Jennifer refused to give up on her dream of having another child.
She and Jonathan forked out thousands of pounds for three rounds of private IVF treatment, at the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool – before reaching out to the public on the charity website GoFundMe.
She said: “People say that, since we already have a child, we should be grateful for what we have.
“But it’s difficult when you’ve have that chance of having another child and its just ripped away from you.”
Now Jennifer says she wants to inspire other women who have gone through the trauma of stillbirth to speak out about their own experiences.
“I thought if I told my story, people would realise that stillbirth is never talked about.
“People feel uncomfortable talking about it. I wanted to talk about my son and mourn him, but Jonathan was very quiet about it and didn’t want to talk about it.
“It’s been a pressure on our relationship, but it’s made us stronger.
“It’s going to be hard for us to go through a pregnancy again. We don’t want to go through another stillbirth.
“We’ve already used six embryos. We have four left and if we don’t take them, they will be destroyed.
“When the embryos are gone, it will be closure for us whether it’s successful or not.”