Katie and Gary won their miracle twins in a magazine competition (Image: PA Real Life/Marike Labuschagne)

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A couple won their rainbow twins in a competition, ending their agonising 12-year quest to become parents.

Katie McCarton, 32, and her husband Gary, 36, started trying for a baby in 2007 and hoped to have a family of their own soon.

But after struggling to conceive and being too young to qualify for IVF on the NHS, the couple, from Romney Marsh, Kent, enjoyed travelling together, then tied the knot with a big family wedding in 2012 and a lavish Dubai honeymoon.

In 2013 they started trying again as they still wanted to have a baby – and embarked on five rounds of IVF.

On the first round they failed to conceive, on the second they had a miscarriage and after the third they gave birth to stillborn twins at 21 weeks.

Katie was able to take her twins home after 18 days in hospital
(Image: PA Real Life)

After the fifth round in 2015, Katie said they would not become parents, adding: “It was a really hard time, we had got to the point where we were thinking about adoption.

"I just felt numb to everything.

"It was heart-breaking. People don’t realise how hard IVF can be.”

Their luck then changed when Katie's sister-in-law Lauren Byrne, 35, sent a heartfelt letter to a women's magazine competition – winning the pair a free round of IVF.

When the first cycle failed, the medical team at Nurture Fertility in Nottingham were so touched by their story that they gave them one free cycle and in February 2019 they conceived.

The twins were born four weeks early
(Image: PA Real Life)

On October 4, after a healthy pregnancy but a traumatic early delivery, Kit and Margo – boy and girl twins – became the miracle their parents had thought would never be possible.

Katie said: "It was a dream come true."

She had always wanted to become a mum, so when she met Gary in a pub in 2006 and fell in love, it was inevitable they would start trying for a family.

When they struggled to fall pregnant, Katie said they got on with their lives, but started IVF as soon as her local health authority accepted them in 2013, when she was 24.

Katie said: “Our first round failed and on the second round I tragically suffered a miscarriage at seven weeks."

Katie and Gary had been trying for a baby for 12 years
(Image: PA Real Life)

The couple were delighted when they conceived on the third round, but sadly their twins were stillborn.

“The pregnancy was fine at first, all I had was horrific morning sickness," said Katie.

"We had a scan and they thought everything looked ok, but then six days later I went into labour on 8 September 2014.

“By the time I got into hospital, I was five centimetres dilated. There was nothing medics could do to stop my birth and my twins were stillborn.

“My little twins, Teddy and Beau, a boy and a girl, were so beautiful. It was heart-breaking.”

Margo and Kit are now 20 months old and happy and healthy
(Image: PA Real Life)

Grief-stricken, she and Gary continued to try IVF, but had largely given up hope of having a baby.

“We’d had so many cycles, we were on our fifth by 2015, I was just becoming numb to everything,” she said.

“So, when my sister-in-law asked if she could enter us in a competition for free IVF, I agreed, but I never thought we’d win. It just felt like it wasn’t meant to be.”

But not only did they win, they were also given a second free cycle and, finally, became the family of four they had always dreamed of being.

“I was in shock, I couldn’t believe I was actually pregnant. It was a dream come true,” said Katie.

Katie and Gary were overjoyed when they finally conceived their twins
(Image: PA Real Life)

Katie explained: “The pregnancy was completely fine, but the twins were early.

"I went into labour at 34 weeks on October 4, 2019.

“It was a traumatic delivery, I had my cervix stitched after my first labour, so I was desperate to get to hospital to get the stiches out.”

But Katie’s labour quickly turned deadly – with doctors deciding to anaesthetise her to deliver her twins.

“I needed an emergency caesarean and the doctors decided they had to put me to sleep to get the babies out safely,” she said.

Little Margo playing in a swimming pool
(Image: PA Real Life)

“Poor Gary was just standing there, as they whisked the twins to NICU and me to the ward. He was just left in a room on his own, with no idea if we were ok.

“It was a bit sad, as I wanted Gary to be part of it. But luckily, we were all ok. The twins were so strong, and I got to hold our little girl, Margo, just eight hours after she was born.

“I held our little boy, Kit, two days after labour. To hold them was a dream, I just can’t put it into words.”

The couple's rainbow twins continued to grow in NICU and just 18 days later, in October 2019, they took them home.

“It was just surreal. I was sat on the playmat as everyone passed them around," Katie said.

"No one had been able to see them in hospital, so everyone wanted to see them right away.

Kit is a happy 20-month-old baby
(Image: PA Real Life)

“The first night was out of this world. Everyone left and it was just the four of us together. It was magical.”

Now, 20 months old, the twins are happy and healthy, and Katie is loving being a twin mum, saying she is in a “special club.”

“The twins are doing amazingly," she continued.

"Margo is a sassy diva, she’s a proper little girl. She says lot of words and loves playing with her kitchen and Wendy house.

“Kit is just a typical boy. He’s obsessed with bubbles and stick man and just gets into anything and everything.”

The devoted couple love being parents to their bubbly duo and remain amazed that they won their babies in the That's Life! magazine competition.

The mum said: “We have our dream family. We were eating in the garden the other day and I just thought, 'Wow, we are so lucky. We never thought we’d have this.'

“It’s such a privilege watching the twins grow and being their parents. It’s so exciting to see who they will become.

“I've never known love like this. It’s the most amazing experience.

"I just can’t wait to see who they become and what they do with their lives."