Woman gives birth at 53 after fertility treatment fails for 25 years

Helen Dalglish, who gave birth to a baby girl after 25 years of failed fertility treatments, says her late father helped from heaven.

 Illustrative image of a pregnant belly.  (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Illustrative image of a pregnant belly.
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

After 25 years of unsuccessful attempts and fertility treatments, which cost no less than $125,000 Helen Dalglish gave birth to her first baby at the age of 53.

Even now when she looks at her daughter, Daisy, she finds it hard to believe that it finally happened

The new mother from Glasgow, Scotland, went through 21 failed rounds of IVF, at a cost of almost $124,500 before finally becoming pregnant with her daughter Daisy, who was born in September 2022.

Dalglish, who started trying to conceive in her 20s, admitted she began to lose hope after spending so many years of her life trying.

"Even now when I look at her I can't believe I'm a mother," she added. "It's surreal."

Dalglish was living in Cyprus with her then-husband when she first started trying at the age of 28. They eventually returned to Scotland when the couple was diagnosed with an "unexplained fertility problem" because tests could not find the source of Dalglish's infertility.

 Illustrative image of a baby drinking from a bottle. (credit: PEXELS)
Illustrative image of a baby drinking from a bottle. (credit: PEXELS)

25 years of trying for a baby

The couple underwent a first round of free fertilization through the UK's National Health Service. When that failed, they devoted the rest of their savings to fertility treatments, later discovering that the embryo transfers had failed because Dalglish has a tilted uterus. Nevertheless, she continued to try fertility treatments even trying egg donation, having three severe miscarriages.

As exhausting as the trials were emotionally, physically and financially, Dalglish says she always knew she was meant to be a mother.

"What kept me going was that I kept seeing my baby in my mind's eye," she says. "I tried to ignore it, sometimes I would say to myself 'stop punishing yourself and putting your body through all this', because every attempt that fails, you are devastated. It's like death," she continued. "I would fall into depression for a few weeks, but then I would pick myself up and say that if I want to, I have to continue, and reset."

Only after Dalglish and her current partner returned to Cyprus did she finally get to see a positive pregnancy test, with the help of a new fertility center, on the north coast of the country. After their second try with the clinic, she was able to carry a baby to term.

"I wasn't even going to do the last treatment," she admitted.

Her father was seriously ill at home in Scotland, and he passed away, however, at her grieving mother's request, Helen stayed and underwent the additional treatment.

"Before Dad passed away, he asked Mom what he could send her from heaven, and she said, 'Please send Helen a baby,'" Dalglish recalls through tears.

When they learned of her positive pregnancy test, the new mother and her partner burst into tears.

"My mother thought it was negative when she heard us crying but they were tears of relief and happiness," she said. "I'm sure my dad had something to do with it."

Although it was a difficult pregnancy, with diabetes and pre-eclampsia, she knew she was going to meet her baby, and she indeed gave birth to Daisy Grace in September.

"This is after 25 years. It hit me when I least expected it. It's absolute heaven, and she's the most peaceful baby, relaxed and happy. It's almost as if because I waited so long, now I'm being pampered."