Marc and Nikki with their twin sons Freddy and Olly (Image: Caters News Agency)

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A couple who asked their wedding guests to help fund their IVF have welcomed twins after generous friends and family donated £6,000.

Marc and Nikki Tibballs were devastated to discover they would be unable to conceive naturally and were left heartbroken when their only free chance on the NHS failed.

But the pair from Slough, Berkshire, received thousands of pounds from their loved ones instead of traditional wedding gifts and were overwhelmed by the generosity people showed.

Nikki, 40, said: "We already had our home, our kitchenware and furniture, the only thing missing from our lives was children.

"We were really unsure whether to ask people to help, we didn't know if it was cheeky or rude, but in the run up to the wedding people asked us constantly what we wanted as wedding gifts, but there was only one thing we wanted.

Freddy and Olly settling in at home
(Image: Caters News Agency)

"A friend wrote a poem for our invites and it seemed the perfect way to let people know our polite request.

"We made sure everyone knew they were under no obligation at all to but if they were unsure what to bring as a gift, this was the most precious gift they could help with."

The couple had been trying for a baby when Nikki discovered her fallopian tubes were blocked, which meant she would struggle to fall pregnant naturally and if she did conceive, it would be an ectopic pregnancy.

Now a full-time mum, Nikki said she was shocked at discovering she had fertility problems.

The twin sons were born in November 2014
(Image: Caters News Agency)

She said: "I never thought for a moment we would have any issues at all. I remember breaking down as the news was so overwhelming."

Nikki then had to decide to have her tubes removed.

She said: "It was a very stressful and upsetting time, but we knew IVF was the safest way to try for a baby."

The couple had one funded attempt on the NHS, but sadly it failed.

Marc and Nikki leaving hospital with their twin boys
(Image: Caters News Agency)

Nikki said: "After our failed round on the NHS, we decided we needed a break from it all. Before we started our IVF journey Marc had proposed so we focused on the wedding."

Nikki and Marc, a problems manager for a communications company, wanted to try again but knew that IVF would cost them between £3,000 and £5,000 per cycle.

The couple married in August 2013 and they were overwhelmed by the financial help they received from their wedding guests.

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Nikki said: "The wedding speeches were so emotional.

"My dad is a big Chelsea fan and Marc supports Liverpool, they even had a joke about what football kit to buy our future baby.

"Everybody there on the day knew how important it was to us and they have were part of making it possible. We were nervous to ask but people were thrilled by the idea and were happy to help.

"My dad thanked everyone for helping to play a part in making our dream of a family come true.

"They knew it meant everything to us and that made their gift even more special."

After their honeymoon, the couple felt emotionally ready to try again.

Freddy and Olly aged five
(Image: Caters News Agency)

They paid for their first round of IVF but were left heartbroken when the cycle had to be abandoned due to Nikki not responding to the medication to produce any eggs.

But thanks to their wedding guests they were able to try for a third time – but they knew it was their last chance.

Nikki said: "We didn't have any money left, so we were just hoping and praying that it happened."

The IVF cycle at The Fertility Partnership's (TFP) Oxford Fertility clinic was successful and just two weeks later Nikki and Marc found out they were expecting.

Nikki said: "I couldn't believe it. I went home from work one day to do a test, I couldn't wait."

"Everyone was so happy for us, it just made it all the more special knowing our loved ones had played such an important part in making it happen."

Mum Nikki with her sons
(Image: Caters News Agency)

Both Nikki and Marc are identical twins and their non-identical twin sons, Freddy and Olly, were born at 37 weeks in November 2014.

They spent a short while on special care but were soon home with their proud parents.

Nikki said: "People assume we had twins because both Marc and I are identical twins, but identical twins are not hereditary.

"Having twin boys was such an incredible blessing for us."

The couple, who have been together since 2010 and were friends for several years before that, also had one frozen embryo left but after consideration decided to donate their remaining egg to research.

Freddy and Olly are now six years old and Nikki said: "Our little monkeys love football, they are thriving at school.

"They love being outdoors and support Liverpool, Marc didn't give them a choice, despite my dad buying a Chelsea shirt for his future grandchild."

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Nikki has urged people to do a lot of research and to consider IVF.

She said: "The staff at The Fertility Partnership were absolutely amazing. There is a huge emotional side to undergoing IVF treatment and so many options available, I tried fertility acupuncture and used Embroglue section.

"I also had an embryoscope, time lapse incubation and was able to watch a video of the boys as embryos which was fascinating

"You have to inject yourself every day and the hormonal side of things takes it toll.

"For anyone going through this, I would say put your trust in the clinic and use their resources.

"Ensure you have good support around you and talk if you can to others perhaps experiencing the same as you will discover it's a lot more common than you realise."

Nikki added: "We are forever grateful to our friends, family and the clinic, we can't thank everyone enough."

The Fertility Partnership is one of the UK's largest IVF providers and fertility specialists.

From IVF to fertility preservation and egg and sperm donation, The Fertility Partnership is renowned internationally and has nine clinics across the UK with over 200 clinicians.

You can find more information on the TFP website.