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full of love Gay Dublin man reveals how he's raising two kids with best friend and husband

Dubliner Mikey O'Brien tells Caoimhe Young of the IVF journey that he, husband Conleth and friend Rhona have taken - and how they all live together with their beautiful son and daughter


Mikey, husband Conleth and Rhona with their children Felix and Mabel.

Mikey, husband Conleth and Rhona with their children Felix and Mabel.

Mikey, husband Conleth and Rhona with their children Felix and Mabel.

Mikey O'Brien made the family he always dreamed of because he wouldn't settle for anything less.

The Dubliner lives in Naas, Co Kildare, with his husband Conleth and their best friend Rhona - the mother of their two adorable children. They have a house with two sitting rooms, not much sleep and the happiest of vibes.

The 36-year-old laughs: "It just works, we make it work and it all falls into place in the loveliest of ways."

He thinks backs and says: "How did it all happen? Well, I came out when I was 18 and it was difficult. I remember a close relative of mine said to me, 'You know you are choosing a really lonely life; you'll never be able to have kids'.

"Because of the legislation at the time, of course I thought that was true. It resonated with me and I think I always carried that with me. I think maybe something in my subconscious when I was an A&E nurse made me move across to train to be a midwife. I worked on the labour ward for years and loved it.


Big brother Felix and his little sister Mabel.

Big brother Felix and his little sister Mabel.

Big brother Felix and his little sister Mabel.

"I reached a compromise and thought, 'Well, if I'm never going to be a parent, at least I can help all these other people become parents'.

"In 2010, I met my partner Conleth and we had our civil partnership in 2014 and we have a close friend who just hadn't met her Mr Right. We always had these drunken conversations: 'If I don't become a mum by the time I'm 40, would you guys be the dad to my baby?' And we were like, 'Ah yeah, whatever'. And one day we went for a cliff walk and talked all about it.

"Rhona is from Glasgow and she is a strong woman. We get on so well, she is easy going, we are really good friends.

"She said she was coming up to 40 and she wanted to be a parent and she wanted to do it with us, so with the help of fertility treatment, we started our journey with Sims IVF.

"With two years of treatments and many cycles and negative tests and much heartbreak, we were in luck and had Felix, which means 'lucky' in Latin.

"As soon as Felix was born, I remember looking at him going, 'Oh my God, I want 10 of these'. He was the best little boy.

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"He just gave so much love and he was a dream. When Felix was six months old, we started fertility treatment again. I was the driver, I was driving everyone nuts - 'Did you take your vitamins? Why didn't you take your vitamins?'

"We had a miscarriage which was so dreadful, but we carried on. We have two kids now so we are done. It's a great feeling to say that we are done. Felix is three now and Mabel is 10 months.

"Felix is just full of love; Mabel is going to be a Miss Thing. Girls are so much different. For Mabel's first 10 weeks she cried and I remember changing her nappy one day and thinking, 'Right, I am done'. It was a great feeling to know that I was done, because with Felix, I knew I wanted another one.

"It was a great feeling to know that I didn't have to go through that journey, taking horrible vitamins, ejaculating into a pot, and not wearing skinny jeans. Be able to put my phone in my pocket and not watch what I'm drinking, I do not smoke, but all of those responsibilities."

Mikey has worked for Sims IVF since February 2018. He says: "My background is in nursing and midwifery. Bringing new life into the word, childbirth can be amazing and lovely, but it can also be high drama. I moved on from that and now I'm group director of nursing and clinical services for Sims IVF.

"The nurses are really happy here and highly skilled and they understand how difficult it can be for patients.

"For us, of course, there were hard times but we are so happy now, I just love it.

"Having kids for me has just completed my life and made it more full," he smiles. "It's not for everyone but it worked for us. Science has made all this possible for us. I am grateful it worked out, always."

The Ticking Clock is a six-part fertility series which celebrates the miracle of modern medicine with touching real-life stories, video content and expert advice online and in print each week. Watch Mikey tell his amazing story on sundayworld.com or sims.ie

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