AFTER trying for a baby for seven years, Helen Laurence had been told by doctors she would never conceive without IVF treatment.
The 31-year-old ME sufferer underwent one course on the NHS which failed and, unable to afford the £4,500 cost of going private, she and her husband, Andi, began to fear she would never become a mother.
But now they are overjoyed after she became pregnant naturally – against all the odds and almost a year to the day after the IVF failed.
“It’s a miracle,” said Mrs Laurence, whose infertility was exacerbated by her ME and is now 22 weeks pregnant with a baby boy.
“When I looked at the pregnancy test and saw two lines, I was just in shock. We had been devastated when the IVF failed, as we had been told it was the only way I would get pregnant.”
Her husband, a self-employed car restorer, said: “I was downstairs, ready with a box of tissues for tears. When she told me the result was positive, I have never run up the stairs so fast.”
However, the couple said their pregnancy joy had been overshadowed by worries about their City of York Council accommodation in a one-bedroom terraced house in the Leeman Road area.
The property has a damp problem which has exacerbated her chronic fatigue and debilitating headaches, sometimes leaving her bedbound.
The lack of a second bedroom would also leave nowhere suitable for the baby to sleep.
She said the council had offered to move them into temporary accommodation for several weeks while the damp was addressed, but the stress of two moves as the birth approached would have led to further deterioration in her health.
She said her doctor had asked for them to be prioritised for permanent re-housing, but the authority had refused because they had been tenants for less than a year and were therefore not “secure tenants”. It also said it could not find evidence of “exceptional housing need”.
Steve Waddington, of Housing And Community Safety, said there were currently more than 3,950 applicants on the council’s waiting list for approximately 500 available properties per year, so strict policies were needed to prioritise those in most need of housing.
He said all medical evidence in respect of the Laurences had been carefully considered.
He said: “Introductory tenants are not eligible for a transfer unless there is an exceptional housing need evidenced since moving to the property.
“This would be where the tenant was no longer able to occupy the property on health grounds or access key facilities within the home. The manager could not find any evidence that this applied in this case.”