A couple who tried for a baby for seven years are celebrating the birth of a daughter thanks to a pioneering new technology.

Ian and Rebecca Bloomer said they hoped the birth of baby Evie would inspire other childless women wanting to get pregnant not to give up hope.

The childhood sweethearts, from Cwmbran, South Wales, had wanted a baby since they married in 2001.

But tests revealed that Mrs Bloomer, 28, had endometriosis, a condition which was making it difficult for her to conceive.

Desperate for a child, the couple attended the IVF clinic at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Mrs Bloomer's first attempt to get pregnant failed but, in August last year, the hospital began using a new technology to freeze unused embryos through "vitrification".

This method, offered to the Bloomers, gave the embryos a better chance of surviving the freeze so they would be available again as soon as the couple were ready to try again.

Mrs Bloomer fell pregnant almost immediately using one of these embryos and became the proud mother of a healthy baby girl on 23 July.

She said: "We were willing to try anything really, we'd both always wanted children.

"It's overwhelming. I'm still staring at her now thinking 'wow, she's ours - it's actually happened for us'.

"I hope that if anybody going through treatment sees us and sees Evie it gives them one last little bit of hope to go for it.

"It's been a real emotional rollercoaster. There's been ups and downs, but you get through it and, to have Evie now, you forget what you went through. It makes it all worthwhile."

Evie was born at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, weighing 7lb 10oz and she is steadily gaining weight.

Mr Bloomer, 32, a repair and maintenance engineer, said: "I still can't believe it. We waited so long and now she's actually here.

"We chose not to know if we were having a boy or a girl until she was born. She's the first girl born on either side of the family since Rebecca."

Mrs Bloomer said: "It would be nice to have a little brother or sister for Evie, but at the moment we are just treasuring every moment we have with her."

Lyndon Miles, head of embryology and andrology for IVF Wales, said: "The first published study on babies born from vitrification shows no adverse effects of the technique and there are no implications to Evie's health as a result of the vitrification process.

"I'm delighted we have been able to help Ian and Rebecca."

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