By Mollie Tracey
A couple who planned a shot gun wedding in two weeks to qualify for free IVF finally have their dream twins.
Proud parents, James, 34, and Olivia Doherty, 37, were told in 2015 that James was infertile and they’d need IVF if they wanted children of their own.
Their only option was IVF however each round of treatment would set them back £6,000 each time.
But the couple – who relocated to Germany in 2011– were told that their insurance would cover the costs if they were married.
Not wanting to waste any time, and desperate to become parents, the couple planned their wedding and tied the knot two weeks later.
Sadly their first two attempts of IVF were unsuccessful however, refusing to give up, James and Olivia made drastic changes to their lifestyle before attempting for a third time.
Thankfully they were finally successful and after saving themselves £17,000, Max and Mathilda arrived on November 16.
James, who is from Dublin, Ireland, said: “Max and Mathilda are perfect and we are so grateful that our health insurance offered to cover the bill if we were married.
“As a couple we never thought we would have any issues, but after a year of trying we visited a fertility clinic and that’s where I found out I was infertile.
“It was a pretty tough time for us, I had always wanted a family but Olivia wanted one more than anything and I was heartbroken that I couldn’t provide that for her.
“So when we found out that our insurance would pay for IVF as long as we were married, we jumped at the chance to make it happen.
“I called my mum and told her that we were getting married in two weeks’ time.
“At first I think she was a little shocked but we had been together for 9 years already and there was no way we were going to split up.
“We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and so it made sense and we didn’t want to waste any time, we knew that we weren’t getting any younger.
“In Ireland it’s typical to have a huge wedding but ours was the complete opposite and we only invited immediate family.
“After getting married we started IVF treatment also immediately, sadly our first two attempts were unsuccessful but when we found out Olivia was pregnant on the third attempt it was the best day of our lives.
“Twins Max and Mathilda are our whole world and we are so thankful to the people that made this happen.”
After realising that James was infertile, the couple found out that their health insurance in Germany would cover the cost of IVF – but only if they were married.
He added: “We knew we couldn’t let the opportunity pass us by.
“Oliva did an amazing job at arranging our wedding in such a short amount of time, we said our vows at a registry office and had our reception at a botanical garden in the city.
“We were married in the December and by May we had begun the process for IVF.
“When our first two attempts failed it was very stressful for both of us, our relationship was pushed to the limit.
“Before trying for a third time we decided to make some changes to our lifestyle, we began to exercise and ate a lot healthier.
“We also changed our clinic and found that the hormone Olivia had previously been taking was way too strong for her body.
“We found the experience at our new clinic to be much more personal and I felt so much more confident this time around.”
Finally the couple received the news that they had been waiting for and were thrilled to find they were expecting twins.
James said: “Even though we were trying with two eggs we never considered we would have twins, and so we were completely shocked when we found out.
“It was such a huge weight lifted off our shoulders to know they were ok.
“Olivia went into labour 10 weeks early and so it was quite a shock when the twins arrived, but they had the best neo natal care and within six weeks we were able to take them home for Christmas.”
Thanks to their insurance and the policy that was in place, James and Olivia saved around £17,000.
He added: “I have now started a blog, scantilydad.com, as I want to share our journey with others in an attempt to get rid of the stigma surrounding men’s fertility issues.
“Men are embarrassed to talk about their infertility, but they shouldn’t be, I had always been physically quite strong and then being told I was infertile was of course a shock at first.
“But it’s so important to never give up on your dreams.”