Desperate for another child, a Berkshire mum came up with an unusual deal with her husband who was less keen on having a fifth baby.
While Jenni Jones, 40, takes care of her longed-for baby, husband Jack gets an easy life, having little to do with the day-to-day chores involved in caring for a newborn.
The full-time mother does all the night feeds, changes nappies and soothes nine-month-old baby Roman when he cries, as well all the cooking and cleaning.
“We had lots of hearts to hearts and in the end I persuaded Jack by agreeing to look after the children and the house,” Jenni explains.
“That way, he gets an easy time to avoid undue stress caused by a situation he didn't want."
Following a risky and costly sterilisation reversal, Jenni now has the large family she always dreamed of - and says she doesn’t regret a thing.
"I always wanted five children. I was one of three and the number just didn't work," Jenni says. "But Jack only ever wanted two. First, I managed to push him to three in three years."
Due to an op as a teenager, Jenni needed caesarean sections with Rhys, now 15, Toby, 13 and Briony, 12, and was warned that another C-section could pose risks to her health and any subsequent pregnancies.
However, at 36, Jenni realised that her time was running out to expand her brood. “It took six months of working on Jack but was so worth it,” Jenni says.
Doctors pointed out the potential dangers caused by a caesarean scar breaking down during pregnancy, while full-time worker Jack, 40, stressed the delicate state of their finances and the inevitable pressures of a larger family.
With these concerns in mind and experiencing a difficult pregnancy, Jenni agreed to be sterilised following her C-section with fourth baby, Devon.
“Pretty much as soon as I got home, I knew I’d made a mistake,” she explains.
“I told Jack I’d throw my maternity clothes out, but instead I hid them in the back of the wardrobe and realised straight away that I had do undo the terrible thing I’d done.”
Without her husband’s knowledge, she began to look into sterilisation reversal.
The new mum paid for a private consultant where a doctor broke the news that, as she’d been sterilised at the same time as the C-section, a reversal wouldn’t be possible due to the extent of tissue that would have been removed.
“That was devastating,” Jenni says. “I had a newborn and the older children but just couldn’t stop thinking about another baby to complete our family.”
Intense discussion with Jack followed. Whilst he made it clear that he didn’t want a fifth child, Jenni was desperate for Devon, now three, to grow up with a sibling near his own age.
Her determination won out when the pair reached an unusual pact – Jenni would do everything to look after their fifth baby making it as easy for Jack as possible.
“He said that he didn’t want another child but couldn’t say no to me,” Jenni says. “That’s when I realised we could both get what we wanted.”
The couple then took out a loan and used credit cards to pay for two costly rounds of unsuccessful IVF.
Just a week after her last failed IVF attempt, Jenni found consultant gynaecologist Clive Pickles online and was told that he could attempt to reverse her sterilisation at the BMI Park Hospital in Nottingham.
Just 11 months after the reversal procedure in November 2012, Jenni gave birth to healthy baby Roman with Jack by her side.
“Holding Roman was one of the happiest moments of my life,” Jenni says.
“I know I risked so much in getting him here but I wouldn’t be without him for the world. He completes our family. And doing all the chores is a small price to pay.”