‘I knew it was my last chance’: EastEnders star Kellie Bright, 44, is pregnant with her ‘miracle’ third child after undergoing IVF treatment
- The actress, already a parent to sons Freddy, nine, and Gene, four, with husband Paul Stocker, will welcome the child in August
- She had three embryos frozen, but when the first two didn’t work the actress feared the third had also failed after she had a bleed
- Kellie previously admitted she was entertaining the idea of conceiving a third child in 2017, just two months after giving birth to her second
- The actress is best known for her role as troubled pub landlady Linda nCarter in BBC flagship EastEndersi
EastEnders star Kellie Bright is pregnant with her ‘miracle’ third child after undergoing a frozen embryo transfer.
The actress, 44, already a parent to sons Freddy, nine, and Gene, four, with husband Paul Stocker, will welcome the child in August.
Speaking to the latest edition of OK!, Kellie admitted she was desperate to have more children despite approaching her mid-forties, but advised others to consider IVF treatment at an earlier stage in their lives.
She’s expecting: EastEnders star Kellie Bright is pregnant with her ‘miracle’ third child after undergoing a frozen embryo transfer
She explained: ‘I want to be open and honest about this, because I think it’s important for younger women to understand.
‘It’s important for women to know that, yes, you can have children in your forties and, yes, you can be lucky and do it naturally.
‘But for a lot of us it doesn’t work that way, so I wouldn’t suggest leaving it late by choice. It’s been a rollercoaster.’
Kellie had her first child Freddy naturally in December 2011, while her second, Gene, was born in November 2017 after IVF.
Great news: The actress, 44, already a parent to sons Freddy, nine, and Gene, four, with husband Paul Stocker (pictured), will welcome the child in August
She had another three embryos frozen, but when the first two didn’t work the actress feared the third had also failed after she had a bleed, leaving her in tears.
Kellie explained: ‘After the first one, I was philosophical. After the second one, I started to panic. And with the third one, I didn’t think that had worked either because I had a bleed two days before I was due to take the pregnancy test.
‘It was significant enough for me to be in floods of tears with my husband cradling me.’
How does IVF work?
In-vitro fertilisation, known as IVF, is a medical procedure in which a woman has an already-fertilised egg inserted into her womb to become pregnant.
It is used when couples are unable to conceive naturally, and a sperm and egg are removed from their bodies and combined in a laboratory before the embryo is inserted into the woman.
Once the embryo is in the womb, the pregnancy should continue as normal.
The procedure can be done using eggs and sperm from a couple or those from donors.
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that IVF should be offered on the NHS to women under 43 who have been trying to conceive through regular unprotected sex for two years.
People can also pay for IVF privately, which costs an average of £3,348 for a single cycle, according to figures published in January 2018, and there is no guarantee of success.
The NHS says success rates for women under 35 are about 29 per cent, with the chance of a successful cycle reducing as they age.
Around eight million babies are thought to have been born due to IVF since the first ever case, British woman Louise Brown, was born in 1978.
Chances of success
The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman undergoing treatment, as well as the cause of the infertility (if it’s known).
Younger women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy.
IVF isn’t usually recommended for women over the age of 42 because the chances of a successful pregnancy are thought to be too low.
Between 2014 and 2016 the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth was:
29 per cent for women under 35
23 per cent for women aged 35 to 37
15 per cent for women aged 38 to 39
9 per cent for women aged 40 to 42
3 per cent for women aged 43 to 44
2 per cent for women aged over 44
Difficulty: She had another three embryos frozen, but when the first two didn’t work the actress feared the third had also failed after she had a bleed, leaving her in tears
But she later found out she was expecting a third child, and “almost fell to the floor” in shock.
Reflecting on her bleed, she added: ‘It wasn’t ever really explained but it wasn’t implantation and it didn’t affect the pregnancy. It stopped quite suddenly so I still did the test, even though in my heart I thought it hadn’t worked.
‘So when it said “pregnant” I almost fell to the floor. I was so shocked and thrilled, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Old times: Kellie steps out in 2016 while pregnant with her second child Gene
‘I ran downstairs to Paul. I just stood crying – really crying – and he couldn’t understand a word I was saying! It took my breath away.
‘I knew it was my last chance, so the fact it was a positive was so unbelievably wonderful. A truly wonderful, crazy life moment.’
Speaking to OK! in January 2017 – two months after welcoming second child Gene – Kellie admitted she was already entertaining the idea of conceiving a third.
Success: The actress is best known for her role as troubled Linda Carter in EastEnders
She said: ‘I don’t feel ready to shut the door on motherhood just yet. But if we do have another one, it won’t be immediately.’
Of motherhood, she added: ‘It’s such a cliché but it really is a love like nothing else. In that moment, you feel like everything you need is right there in that room – apart from Freddy of course.
‘I couldn’t believe in only seven hours he’d arrived and my whole world had changed again.’
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