‘I was ‘too fat for IVF’ after son’s stillbirth – but love made me drop 6 stone’

Care assistant Cherie Lupu was heartbroken when the baby she had carried to full-term was stillborn .

She turn to comfort eating and piled on the pounds with her weight reaching 21 stone.

But when she and her husband, Marian, started trying again for a family they were devastated not only that she had fertility problems but that she was "too fat for IVF ".

Cheri was just 20 when her beloved son, Jayden, was tragically stillborn.

She split up with his dad and met now husband, Marian, in 2015, when they both worked at a takeaway.

They became instant friends but Cherie was offered a position as a holiday rep in Mallorca.

The whole time she was away she missed Marian and when she returned they became a couple and married in October 2017.

They knew they wanted a family but Cherie was diagnosed with fertility problems.

She was horrified to be told her body mass index (BMI) of 47 meant she couldn't have IVF.

The highest it can be to qualify is 30. 

Cherie, now 29, of Wallasey, Wirral, said: “Obviously starting a family after everything I’d been through in the past was a big deal, but I couldn’t wait to be pregnant again.

“After a few months I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me and I booked in an appointment at the fertility clinic.”

Six months after her wedding, a fertility specialist initially found no problem, but a keyhole investigation, or larparoscopy, led to suspicions she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common condition, affecting how the ovaries work.

But this was not confirmed and with no definite diagnosis of what was wrong she was given ovulation therapy to help her produce more eggs.

Soon Cherie was spending up to £50 a month on weekly pregnancy tests.

She said: “I became obsessed with finding out whether I was pregnant, taking several tests a week.

“But every time it was negative and I’d have to go through all that heartache again.”

Then, in January 2018 with Cherie still unable to conceive, doctors advised that her best hope would be through IVF treatment.

But, unable to afford it privately, she was told that, then weighing 21 stone and wearing size 20 clothes, she was too fat to be accepted for treatment on the NHS.

She said: "I always knew I was big but when I was told by the doctors that I wasn’t eligible for IVF because of my weight I knew I had to change."

A yo-yo dieter since the age of 20, Cherie was at a loss with what to do about her situation.

Since losing her baby on April 2, 2010, food had been her comfort.

She said: “It was my first and only pregnancy, and while it hadn’t been planned, I was over the moon to be welcoming my son into the world.

“I carried him full-term but unfortunately there were complications and Jayden wasn’t destined to be part of this world.

“Then, despite not being fat before, after putting on all the baby weight, I turned to food straightaway.”

In January, a friend recommended Bodyline Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic, which offered personalised action plans covering diet, exercise and nutrition, as well as fully licensed prescription weight loss medication.

She said: “A friend had lost a lot of weight with Bodyline, so I made an appointment and from my first meeting with the clinical team I knew it was going to change my life – for the better.

“The doctors and nurses are totally non-judgmental and so supportive and have given me a personalised plan that I can stick to."

Costing £17.50 a week, the programme saw Cherie cut her calorie intake down to just 1,200 a day.

Gone was her previous diet of bacon butties for breakfast, McDonald’s chicken nugget meals with a double cheeseburger on the side for lunch, doner kebab takeaways for dinner and snacking on family packs of crisps and family size bars of chocolate.

Instead, she now she eats fruit pots for breakfast, healthy pasta or couscous salad at lunch and a protein heavy meal for dinner.

Cherie said: "I wouldn’t say I’m an angel by any means.

“I have a set calorie count for each day and stick to my meal plans, but I have a much healthier relationship with food now.”

Now just two points off her goal BMI of 30 and weighing 14st 9lbs, Cherie has her sights set on beginning her IVF treatment in September.

She said: "I’m going away Antalya, Turkey, in July, but as soon as I’m back I want to get the wheels in motion, in a short space of time I’ve lost over six stone – over a quarter of my original body weight.

“Not only do I feel healthier than ever before, my dream of becoming a mum is coming closer with every pound I lose.”

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