Ecstatic parents Marylee and Chris Kiernan have spoken of their joy at the birth of their baby - a son they waited nine years to arrive.
The Camelon couple, both 32, have been fighting the odds to have a baby, coming up against painful hurdles and barriers along the way.
Chris, a cystic fibrosis sufferer, and Marylee, who is a carrier of the gene, had almost given up on having a child.
After failing to conceive naturally, the couple had to consider a complex set of options to ensure their little one was protected from a serious cystic fibrosis disorder.
But, last Saturday, baby Alexander arrived five weeks early, weighing 5lb 7oz.
Marylee said: “It’s amazing he’s here. I keep looking at him and can’t believe he’s mine.”
It’s been difficult for the couple to become a family.
Married in 2004, they starting trying for a baby the next year but with no joy.
After considering IVF, Marylee, who works at TSC in Larbert, discovered she was a cystic fibrosis carrier.
Chris, an HGV mechanic, said: “We were told there was a very high risk of the baby having cystic fibrosis and being very ill.
‘‘So instead of ordinary IVF, we had to have pre-implantation genetic diagnosis where the chances of getting pregnant are slimmer than normal IVF.”
This procedure scans the cells of embroyos, checking the genes for genetic conditions or disorders.
Chris and Marylee travelled from their Carmuirs Avenue home to London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in 2007, the only place in the UK the treatment was available.
Following failed attempts and a miscarriage in 2009, the disheartened couple felt like giving up.
Marylee said: “A week before Christmas in 2012, we got negative results again, and I thought, ‘that’s it, I’m not going through it again’.
“I was in a lot of pain and had had two operations along the way.
“By now, Edinburgh Royal were offering the tests, and a nurse begged me to try again.”
After paying £5000 for a last try, the couple found out in June 2013 that Marylee was pregnant.
Chris said: “It was a big relief. We’re so happy.”