Cancer survivor Jen Macdonald's delight at birth of her 'miracle' baby
Cancer survivor Jen Macdonald can hardly believe she is cradling the baby she was warned she might never have.
Six years ago, Jen was told the chemotherapy and radiotherapy she needed to treat an aggressive form of breast cancer could leave her infertile.
She gave birth to Lily Mae on Friday, December 14.
It was a dream come true for Jen and her partner, Andrew Hinton, from Groby.
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The 37-year-old said: "I had always wanted and had planned to have children but those hopes were dashed with the cancer diagnosis.
"I did consider having some of my eggs frozen but I was told any delay in starting treatment could prove fatal.
"It was a hard decision at the time but I knew it was the right one to go ahead with the treatment straight away."
Her breast cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and two weeks after the diagnosis she had a mastectomy at Glenfield Hospital. This was followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
In 2010, she had a breast reconstruction operation.
Jen and partner Andrew were over the moon when, in April, they discovered she was pregnant.
She said: "It was like a dream come true. I was expecting a baby which I had never thought would be possible.
"It was as if my life had suddenly turned around."
The pregnancy went almost to plan, except that Jen developed gestational diabetes.
She said: "Lily Mae was due to be born on Christmas Eve.
"But because of the diabetes she was getting so big that doctors said they didn't want me to go to full term.
"I was booked in for an induction on December 12 but I ended up having to have a caesarian on December 14 because Lily Mae just wasn't arriving.
"Everything is fine now and she is just the best thing ever.
"I can't stop crying. Until now I never realised what it is like to fall in love instantly. Lily Mae is just beautiful."
The new arrival has been showered with Christmas gifts and "thoroughly spoilt", according to mum.
Jen said: "I can't thank people enough. They have been so kind.
"I was pretty shattered the first week but as a first-time mum I am learning as I go along.
"We did find time to go out and buy some presents for Lily Mae.
"We have bought her some sensory toys and a bouncy chair and a few other things.
"Having our beautiful baby is the best Christmas present ever."