Couple have baby after Facebook group pays for IVF

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Baby IslaImage source, Marisha Chaplin
Image caption,
Baby Isla was born thanks to mothers the couple have never met raising £2,000 for IVF

A couple who underwent IVF treatment paid for by friends from a Facebook group have had a baby girl.

Marisha Chaplin, 26, and Jon Hibbs, 29, who met while undergoing cancer treatment, had already had a daughter through IVF but could not afford a second round.

A band of social media mums secretly raised £2,000 for the couple - despite never having met them.

Ms Chaplin gave birth to Isla on Saturday via Caesarean section.

The new mother-of-two, from Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, said she broke the news to members of the Facebook group as soon as she could.

'So grateful'

"I messaged them on the Saturday morning when I was still pretty much out of it from all the drugs I had from the operation," she said.

"It's amazing, it really is. It's better than we ever imagined and we didn't think we would ever get to this point."

She added that Evie, now two and a half, was "absolutely in love with her little sister", and the couple were "so grateful" to those who had donated.

Image caption,
Marisha Chaplin, 26, and Jon Hibbs, 29, also have a daughter called Evie

The couple met as teenagers in 2007 when Ms Chaplin was having treatment and her future partner Mr Hibbs came in for a check-up.

"I saw him and said to our Clic Sargent worker 'I fancy him' basically, and she said she could give him my MSN address," said Ms Chaplin.

She knew she would have fertility problems due to her cancer treatment so they started trying for a baby when she was 16.

"I was told by the time I was 23 my ovaries would give up," she said.

"At 16 my gynaecologist said 'You need to try for children sooner rather than later if you want them'."

Media caption,

The money was raised secretly and revealed in a video played via Facebook Live

They started IVF using donor eggs when Ms Chaplin was 23 and had Evie in May 2016.

She then joined the Facebook group, called May Babies 2016, which was for other mothers who had given birth at the same time.

After raising £2,000 last July, members created a video to surprise the couple and played it to them via Facebook Live.

In the emotional clip, Ms Chaplin starts to cry even before being told they had raised the money.

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The couple used frozen embryos left over from their previous IVF treatment, meaning Evie and Isla are full genetic sisters.

"We didn't ever think we had the chance to have another little one and the fact she's here is so surreal," said Ms Chaplin.

"Even when she came out we were like 'Is that our baby? Is this real?'"

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