After 13 pregnancies she could not complete due to health problems, a Briton finally gave birth to a baby girl. She recounts her obstacle course at the BBC.
Last September, Laura Worsley and her husband Dave had the immense joy of welcoming Ivy, their first child. A very young girl born at 30 weeks of amenorrhea (30 SA).
Indeed, before finally being able to hold their baby in her arms, Laura Worsley had to endure 13 miscarriages, reports the BBC, which tells its history in a long article.
Two rare diseases diagnosed
It all starts in 2008, when the couple learns that they will welcome their first child. But soon, Laura has a miscarriage. Follow two others, who devastate the couple and make him understand that something is wrong. Yet doctors advise the young woman to persevere.
After losing their fourth child, Laura and Dave consult a professor at Coventry University Hospital, who finds an antiphospholipid syndrome in Laura, also known as "sticky blood syndrome," which can lead to recurrent miscarriage. "We were told that a high dose of folic acid could solve the problem, but it is not the case," recalls Laura, whose pregnancies have never progressed beyond a few weeks.
"We participated in trials, did all the tests and tried different drugs hoping that something would work." Two of her pregnancies were over 12 weeks old: two boys, Graceson and Leo, who died in 2015 and 2017. They revealed that the young woman also suffers from chronic histiocytic intervillositis, a rare pathology of the placenta with a high rate of recurrence.
A high-risk pregnancy
While the couple is about to quit, the doctor who follows them convinces them to make a final attempt after taking medications to improve the uterine lining. Laura falls pregnant for the fourteenth time.
The young woman was forced to take steroids during her pregnancy to suppress her immune system. The goal is to allow pregnancy to reach 24 weeks when a baby becomes viable.
Followed very closely, Laura was finally able to carry her pregnancy until 30 SA. Her little Ivy was born by caesarean section in September 2018 and had to stay in an incubator for 11 weeks while gaining weight and treating bronchiolitis.
"I'm looking at it and I think miracles are happening," Laura said. "Through my story, I want to give others hope and strength to continue even when everything seems impossible."
What is a miscarriage?
Affecting 15% of pregnancies, miscarriage refers to the spontaneous end of pregnancy and the expulsion of the fetus before 5e month of pregnancy. A painful, sometimes traumatic and still taboo event, this spontaneous interruption of pregnancy usually occurs before 14 weeks of amenorrhea.
It can result in vaginal bleeding more or less abundant, often accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen and back, due to uterine contractions. In the vast majority of cases, spontaneous miscarriage is a natural cessation of pregnancy because the embryo or fetus is not viable because of an abnormal development. In other, less frequent cases, miscarriage may be due to the consequences of a chronic maternal illness such as diabetes or hypothyroidism or to infections such as toxoplasmosis, rubella or listeriosis. Often, the cause is not found, and only risk factors can be identified.