For nine years, Tamar and Paul Mayne have been on a heart-breaking journey.
The couple have undergone two traumatic cycles of IVF and a devastating miscarriage in the last decade while coming to terms with the fact that, although they are desperate for a baby, it may never happen.
“We are desperate to be parents and feel like we have so much love to give a child,” she said. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but we haven’t given up yet.
“We want to share that message of hope and raise awareness of infertility. To do that, we are launching a brand-new product.”
Tamar and Paul, who run successful wax melts and candle company Cosy Aromas in Suffolk, have launched a brand-new Red Raspberry and Honeydew-inspired scent with 30% of the sales going to UK charity, the Miscarriage Association.
The campaign will coincide with the couple’s own crusade – as they fund a third IVF cycle to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.
“Our aim is for people around the country, who have experienced baby loss, to light one of our candles as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week from October 9-14 and the Global Wave of Light on October 15. All while raising money for a wonderful cause,” she added.
Tamar and Paul knew they wanted to try for a baby as soon as they were married but Tamar had been diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease and Sydenham’s chorea – rare conditions which, as a teenager, she had been told might prevent her carrying a child.
In 2012 she had open heart surgery and doctors told her she could come off her medication and finally start trying for a baby. But in 2015, the couple told their GP they were struggling to conceive naturally and were referred to Ipswich Hospital for investigation the following year.
“We had so many tests,” Tamar said. “And then at the end of it we were told that there was no obvious reason why we couldn’t get pregnant – something they call undiagnosed infertility. We found this difficult to deal with because we felt like we were failing somehow at doing something that came naturally to other people.
“But our doctors were very supportive, and we were told we could have two rounds of IVF on the NHS – each of which include a fresh egg implant and a frozen embryo implant.”
In 2018, Tamar had her eggs harvested and a single egg was implanted under general anaesthetic. Two weeks later, a negative test confirmed the egg hadn’t survived. The couple experienced further disappointment when they were told the frozen embryos were not viable either.
They then had a second round. The fresh embryo did not take but a frozen egg gave them one last chance – and a week later they had a positive pregnancy test.
“We were so excited we told everyone,” Tamar said. “This baby was our last shot on the NHS, and it seemed like a miracle that he or she had made it. Of course, it was all too good to be true.”
An early scan revealed their baby didn’t have a heartbeat.
“It felt like the whole world fell away,” Tamar said. “We were due to go on holiday for our wedding anniversary but had to cancel while I miscarried. It was horrendous and really took its toll on us both.”
Since then, the couple have been saving for a third round of IVF – which costs £3,500 for each cycle – but plans were put on hold as a result of the pandemic coupled with another health scare for Tamar who had to re-start her heart medication.
“We are now ready to give it another shot but it’s very hard to know when enough is enough,” Tamar said. “All I can say is that coping with infertility is incredibly distressing and it’s made harder by the fact that it is not often spoken about.
“Telling my story and working with charities like the Miscarriage Association to help promote their work on this is very important to me and to Paul.
“I don’t know where our journey is going to take us, but I am hoping it will eventually bear fruit.”
Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “Every year, thousands of people across the UK are affected by the loss of a baby during pregnancy.
“Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can be heart-breaking and it’s often a very lonely time too as it’s a topic that is rarely spoken about openly. That is even more so for a couple like Tamar and Paul who have experienced both fertility problems and pregnancy loss.
“We are honoured that Cosy Aromas are collaborating with us to help provide vital support for anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy. It is particularly moving that they will be launching their special candle in time for Baby Loss Awareness Week – a time when people across the UK and far beyond join together to commemorate the lives of babies lost in pregnancy, at or soon after birth or in infancy.”
To support the Cosy Aromas charity campaign and purchase one of the Red Raspberry and Honeydew candles at £19.99 or wax melts at £5.99, visit www.cosyaromas.com
The Miscarriage Association is a charity registered in England & Wales (1076829) and in Scotland (SC039790).