Chloe Hodson, 25, was delighted to fall pregnant with baby Joel after her doctors gave her advice to help her fertility battle
A mum who feared she would never have children claims cutting sugar out of her tea led to her miracle baby.
Chloe Hodson used to eat up to 12 cubes of sugar a day in her cups of tea alone but when doctors told her she needed to lose weight to fall pregnant she cut them out entirely.
She then found out she was pregnant the day before she was expected to start fertility treatment.
The simple lifestyle change helped the 25-year-old to have her little boy Joel Gwilt two years after a devastating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis dashed her hopes at being a mum.
She and partner Jonathan Gwilt had planned to have fertility treatment to help them have a child, but doctors warned Chloe that she would need to lose weight to have the medication.
At 14st 13oz, Chloe spent eight months swapping out her daily lunches at Greggs, microwave meals and sugar in her tea to lose one and a half stone.
She was shocked when, the night before she was due her first fertility appointment, she took a pregnancy test on the off-chance and discovered she was pregnant.
The mum-of-one credits her weight loss – and sugar-free cuppas in particular – with helping her to have miracle son Joel Gwilt, now five months old.
Chloe, from Brierley Hill, West Midlands, said: “I spent many nights crying because I didn’t think I would ever be able to have kids.
“The aim was to lose the weight to start the fertility medication but it turned out just losing the weight in my case was just what I needed to boost my fertility.
The best thing I did was cut sugar out of my tea because I would always have one or two sugars in my tea, and I have five or six cups of it a day.
“If there was a low sugar or salt version of what I wanted to buy then I’d have that instead of the normal one.
“I eat a lot more home-cooked meals whereas before I was eating a lot of microwave meals.
“When I found out I was pregnant, I honestly couldn’t believe it.
“I ran into my living room and said to my partner, ‘look, look at this, is that a plus? It looks like a plus to me, is that a plus?’.
He didn’t know because it was really faint, so we took another one. I didn’t need to pee again so I was downing all the water, we got the second test and that had the faint plus on it as well.
“I was so shocked I just stood there and I thought ‘oh my god, it’s finally happened, I’m pregnant’.
“I was so happy. I was honestly so over the moon with it.
“But I was scared at the same time because it was whether it was actually happening.
“They say with PCOS, you can have problems with the pregnancies. I was thinking, I am finally pregnant this time but is it going to go to full term?
“I was scared that while I had had the chance of being pregnant, will I have the chance of having my baby?”
Although Chloe had had painful and irregular periods since she was 14 years old, she never sought a formal diagnosis until she and Jonathan decided to start trying for a baby.
The hopeful mum-to-be burst into tears when an ultrasound and internal scan confirmed that she had PCOS, a common ovarian condition which affects one in five women.
Chloe said: “As soon as I saw the scan I knew what it was and I burst out in tears.
“I was crying to the nurse, and then when I was in the car on the way home I rang my mum and I was crying to my mum. I was saying ‘I’ll never have kids, it’s all over. I don’t know what to do’.
“Once they’d diagnosed the polycystic ovaries they said to start the fertility medication I had to lose weight first before they could put me on it.
“It was about a stone and a half that I lost. It took me about eight months.
“With polycystic ovaries as well, some of the hormones actually stops you from losing weight as quickly as other people would.
“Usually it would just be cutting out the junk food. Beforehand it was nearly every meal.
“It was just convenient because I had to be at work for 9am and I was getting back at 5pm and at that point I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered to cook a proper meal.
“It would just be two minutes in the microwave and that would do.
“Because we were trying and because I had polycystic ovaries anyway, every time I didn’t get a period I would take a pregnancy test on the off chance it had worked that time.
“For nearly two years, taking a pregnancy test every couple of months it really gets you down.
“But then the night that we found out, it was about 10 o’clock at night and I had two pregnancy tests.
“I thought I might as well just see because it could be it this time. I took the pregnancy test and it was the faintest little plus time.
“I found out I was pregnant the night before I was going to start fertility treatment. I was going to start the medication and talk through how it all works, what dosage to go on.
“I rang them up in the morning and said, ‘no need, thank you, I’m pregnant’.
“As soon as I got off the phone with them I rang my doctors and said can I get an appointment now just to check everything is fine.
“They booked me in for a scan and said, yep, 100% pregnant.
“I worked hard to keep the weight down while I was pregnant and I went for regular weight checks at the doctors’ too.
“Even if there was a slight little problem or worry it was straight to the doctor’s to find out if everything was okay.”
Although she also suffered hyperemesis gravidarum that caused extreme vomiting and once even hospitalised, Chloe was delighted when little Joel was born on August 12 2018, weighing 8lb 13oz.
She is now speaking out to help other couples struggling to conceive to seek help if they think they need it.
Chloe said: “I was exhausted after the birth. But it’s just strange. I remember seeing him, seeing this baby and knowing that he was my baby.
“It took a couple of hours, once I was back home, for it to sink in. This was my son – he was finally here. I have him for the rest of my life now. It’s amazing.
“I think we’ve been very lucky because he sleeps through the night, he barely cries for attention.
“He’s eating well, sleeps well and is always smiling. Everyone always says how much of a smiley baby he is.
“He is just genuinely such a good boy and I wouldn’t change him for the world. He was worth the wait.
“I wish now I’d sought out help earlier, because I had painful periods even in my teenage years. It was really and I should have got it looked at then.
“They would have picked it up them. I would have been more prepared instead of getting that shock when I wanted a baby.
“Before they get diagnosed, half the time women just pass [PCOS] off as a painful period and think there’s nothing wrong. I would say go with your gut instinct, get yourself checked out first.
“Sometimes the weight loss does help. In my case it did. But it doesn’t work for everybody.
“You need to stay on track, keep doing what the doctors are advising and even if it doesn’t seem to be working, even if you need the medication, do it. At the end of it, you will get your child.”