New mum's delight after 11 years trying for a baby
- Credit: Leanne Bennett
An Ipswich mum is starting 2022 on a high after celebrating her first Christmas with baby Rex - the child she dreamt of for more than a decade.
Leanne Bennett, 39, and her husband Marcus began trying for a baby in 2010 but despite their lack of success, she never felt confident enough to look into why, not wanting to hear if there was an issue.
In 2016, after six years trying for a baby, she decided to join Slimming World, figuring that losing weight might help.
She said: "I'd done all sorts of diets before but always hit a stumbling block and gave up.
"The group was great. It felt really good to know I wasn't alone in the things I struggled with and that gave me the faith that I could succeed."
And she did - losing more than 4st on her journey.
"The camaraderie in group was amazing - they used to call me Bridget, as they thought I looked like Renee Zellweger. I wish I did.
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"It was that kind of humour and togetherness that helped me through the weeks where I didn't always feel great.
"I used to say such horrible things to myself like 'you are so fat' and I used to say 'you can't do that' - all very negative messages - but over time that started to change and I really believe the group played a part.
"They built me up each week and the things I said to myself changed from 'you can't' to 'you can'."
Her husband joined the group in March 2017 and six months later Leanne reached her target. She'd dropped 4st 2.5lbs in 21 months.
Buoyed by her weight loss success, Leanne decided to try IVF. A number of referrals followed and they eventually had an agreement in place to start treatment in December 2020 - and then the nation went into a third lockdown.
Leanne said: "We were gutted. But I just kept telling myself it would be OK and kept the faith and belief it would happen - very much like the skills I learnt with my weight loss journey."
Thankfully for the Bennetts, they got a call in February 2021 that invited them to start their IVF journey, with the first stage of treatment on Valentine's Day.
Leanne fell pregnant on the first round, and believes her weightloss helped in more way than one. While she was physically in a better condition, she was also better mentally prepared too.
Baby Rex was born on November 23 last year and the proud new mum said: "We were super lucky and this Christmas has just been incredible. What a difference a year makes."