Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
A woman who was genetically born a man and was told she would never become a mother has given birth to twin girls.
Hayley Haynes was born without a womb, ovaries or fallopian tubes. At the age of 19, she was told by doctors she had XY chromosomes, so was genetically a man – and would never conceive.
Mrs Haynes, now 28, said she was devastated that she would never have children of her own – and told her childhood friend Sam, who later became her husband: 'No man will want me
Nine years after hearing she would never be a mother Mrs Haynes gave birth to Avery and Darcey (pictured)
Throughout puberty she did not have periods, and doctors later discovered she had no reproductive organs thanks to a condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome.
'When they told me I had no womb, I was so confused I felt sick. My biggest fear was never having children,' she told the Daily Mirror.
'Suddenly a huge piece of my life was missing. I felt like half a woman and was embarrassed. How I was going to tell a guy I was genetically male when I started dating?'
A ray of hope came in 2007 when a new specialist at Royal Derby Hospital found a tiny womb missed on previous scans. 'It was only a few millimetres, but it was a start,' said Mrs Haynes, from Bedford.
'He was optimistic it would grow. I still couldn't conceive naturally but I could have the option of IVF.'
The first step was a course of hormone tablets to give her the right levels of progesterone and oestrogen, which would stop her suffering osteoporosis and create an environment in which her womb could grow.
Doctors said she had 60 per cent chance of pregnancy -when tests came back positive she was ecstatic
She said: 'Becoming a mother was the single most amazing moment of my life. When I held the babies in my arms for the first time, I was overwhelmed'
In 2011, Mrs Haynes was told her womb was ready for IVF – but was dealt another blow when she was told her local NHS trust would not fund it.
Determined not to give up, the couple paid £10,500 – more than half their savings – for IVF treatment and flights to a clinic in Cyprus in April.
'I was so nervous. We only had one shot and couldn't afford to go through it all again,' Mrs Haynes said. 'I desperately wanted to be a mother and knew if there were no viable eggs or the implantation wasn't successful, I'd be distraught.'
Doctors told her she had only a 60 per cent chance of pregnancy – so when two tests came back positive, she was ecstatic.
And when Mrs Haynes went for her six-week scan, it was a shock to discover both eggs had taken and she was expecting non-identical twins. 'I couldn't believe it', she said. 'I freaked out, but I was over the moon at the same time. I had the chance to have a complete family.'
Mr Haynes, also 28, added: 'I felt numb with excitement. It was two for the price of one.'
Nine years after hearing the crushing news that she would never be a mother, Mrs Haynes gave birth to Avery and Darcey.
She said: 'Becoming a mother was the single most amazing moment of my life. When I held the babies in my arms for the first time, I was overwhelmed.'
Proud father Sam Haynes with the couple's beautiful baby twins Avery and Darcey
The couple paid £10,500 – more than half their savings – for IVF treatment and flights to a clinic in Cyprus
Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) affects the normal development of a child's genitals and reproductive organs.
A child born with AIS is genetically male, but their genitals may appear to be female or somewhere between male and female.
AIS is a very rare condition thought to occur in around 1 in 20,000 births.
In early stage pregnancy, all unborn babies have identical genitals, regardless of their gender.
As a baby grows inside the womb, they develop either male or female genitals, depending on which pair of sex chromosomes they receive from their parents: XX or XY.
Sex chromosomes are a pair of DNA molecules (X or Y) that play a vital role in a baby's sexual development. Females usually have two X chromosomes, and males usually have one X and one Y chromosome.
The presence of a Y chromosome is important for the development of testes and prevents ovaries developing. If there's no Y chromosome, the female reproductive system and genitals will develop.
The testes produce male hormones called androgens, which usually cause male sex organs, such as the penis, to develop.
However, when a person has AIS, the body ignores the androgen or is insensitive to it. Genitals then develop along female lines, and the testes usually remain inside the body.
There are two types of AIS, which are determined by the level of insensitivity to androgen. They are:
1. Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) – when there is total insensitivity to androgen and a child develops external genitals that are entirely female; most children born with CAIS are raised as girls
2. Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS) – where there is some sensitivity to androgen; the level of sensitivity will determine how the genitals develop
Depending on a person's level of insensitivity to androgen, they may look almost entirely male, entirely female, or have both male and female characteristics.
Children with PAIS can be brought up either as girls or boys; this is dependent on investigations and discussions carried out with the specialist team after their birth.
PAIS is usually diagnosed at birth because the genitals appear different.
Diagnosing CAIS can be more difficult because female genitalia usually looks normal.
Many children with CAIS are diagnosed early in life, when their testes cause hernias. The testes are discovered when the hernias are operated on.
In other cases, CAIS may not be diagnosed until puberty, when a girl's periods don't start and she has a lack of pubic and underarm hair. Breast development tends to be normal