Mum's shocker

A WOMAN of 59 is trying to have her THIRD IVF baby.

 

It will make Pauline Lyon one of the world's oldest IVF mums - and her plan has caused a fury among MPs and fertility experts.

Pauline is determined to fork out thousands of pounds on more fertility treatment to provide a brother or sister for daughter Lauren, seven, and three-year-old son Brodie.

But defiant Pauline, who is backed by husband David, 58, said: "People say we are being selfish and irresponsible but that's simply not true."

And she told how she is desperate to become a mum again despite being:

 

-TURNED down for IVF in this country.

 

-FORCED to look abroad for treatment.

 

-MISTAKEN regularly for her children's grandmother.

 

-EXPOSED already for lying about her age to get fertility treatment.

 

Yesterday MPs and family experts expressed their outrage at Pauline's plan.

 

Senior Tory MP and family campaigner Ann Widdecombe said condemned her actions as "completely irresponsible".

 

She said: "A woman of 59 should be planning to be a grandmother - not a new mother. It ought to be illegal for women above the age you can naturally have a baby to have IVF treatment."

 

Tim Hedgley of the Electronic Infertility Network - the largest non-profit infertility support group - said: "A lot of people will be shocked and disgusted by this. There could be unknown consequences that will make her a considerable demand on the NHS." Jane Griffiths, Labour MP for Reading East and founder of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, said: "This is definitely an issue of concern. We should not just be thinking about whether a pregnancy like this is scientifically possible."

 

Family and Youth Concern spokesman Eric Hester said: "Mother nature provides a natural cut-off point so we have to ask how far we can keep pushing the boundaries artificially."

When Pauline had Lauren in 1995, she became Britain's oldest - and most controversial - IVF mum at 51 after pretending to be two years younger.

 

Now, four weeks before her 59th birthday, she is ready to go to astonishing lengths again to have another child.

 

Pauline said: "I know I can't go on having kids until I'm 70 but I'll still only be 59 next month. I had to lie and fight to get fertility treatment first time round and I'm prepared to do it all again.

 

"I'm desperate for my children to have another brother or sister to play with. We will have to go to Italy to see fertility experts as no doctor will treat me in this country as I'm considered too old."

 

Even though she and her husband suffer health problems, Pauline - who has a 31-year-old daughter by her first husband - cannot accept that the doctors might be right to refuse her.

 

She has high blood pressure and David, also 58, is waiting for a knee replacement op. They would be AT LEAST 60 when the baby is born even if IVF is a rapid success - and probably ABOUT 78 before the child left school.

 

But Pauline said: "I'd give anything now to feel another life growing inside me. It seems natural for me - whatever my age.

 

"It is hard to explain why I feel so broody all the time. I simply have this uncontrollable maternal instinct."

 

Pauline talked about her longings at the couple's home in Attleborough, Norfolk, where David was resting with a broken ankle after falling downstairs.

 

She said: "I adore babies and the way they make me feel. They are helpless and I want to protect them. As children grow older they don't need that as much and that's why I want another baby."

 

Pauline's first husband died five years after the birth of their daughter Lisa, now 31. Pauline was 47 when she found fresh happiness with second husband, catering manager David. They married six months after meeting at a singles night. The couple tried for a baby naturally but Pauline was starting the menopause.

 

She was 49 when she saw an IVF specialist and knocked two years off her age as she realised the age limit for being treated was 50.

 

After 7,500 worth of treatment Pauline became pregnant in July 1994.

She was 51.

 

The case sparked nationwide controversy. "I was vilified although my only crime was to want a baby," she said.

She was rushed into hospital two weeks early with soaring blood pressure. But Lauren was born a healthy 6lb 4oz a month before her mum's 52nd birthday.

 

Pauline lost her "oldest mum" title in 1997 when Liz Buttle, 60, had a test-tube son. Soon she felt the craving for another child and visited the Harley Street clinic of Liz's specialist, Professor Ian Craft, after learning that he accepted women up to 55 for IVF. 

 

Pauline was warned she had only a five per cent chance of conceiving but after two failed attempts and another 11,500 she got pregnant in August 1998.

 

She was again hit by blood pressure problems and had Brodie by Caesarian in March 1999, two months before she was 56.

 

At first Pauline felt her family was complete and gave away four embryos frozen for her IVF. But last summer the baby yearning returned. Pauline recalled: "We got in touch with Professor Craft. He wrote to a review committee but we were turned down on age grounds. I was devastated and regretted giving away my embryos."

 

Pauline refuses to give up her quest and will seek treatment abroad. She said: "I can't see that age makes a difference. We won't give the baby any less love."

The couple will be 74 by the time Brodie is 18 and their planned baby might be only about 10 then.

Pauline shrugs off fears that she and David might not be alive then, even though both their mothers died of cancer in their early 60s.

The couple are often mistaken for their kids' grandparents. Pauline said: "People tell me what lovely grandchildren I have."

But the couple don't care and David added: "We've spent almost 20,000 on having children but are determined to raise the money for a third. Another baby will make our lives complete."

http://www.people.co.uk/shtml/NEWS/P6S6.shtml