Laura Worsley and husband Tom faced more tragedy in one decade of life than most of us will experience in an entire lifetime. Yet, they kept their hope intact and ended up triumphant after 13 terrible losses.
Over the course of ten years, the couple suffered 13 miscarriages, including one at 20 weeks. Each time, Laura and Dave were left with empty arms and aching hearts, along with a healthy dose of fear mixed in with their unwavering determination to have a family.
But when Laura entered her 14th pregnancy, the couple had decided this would be their last try. But, everything was different this time - and a miracle occurred!
The couple welcomed their daughter, Ivy, on September 12, 2018, after a 30-week pregnancy. The tiny infant weighed a mere one pound, seven ounces at birth, but she was alive and well.
“She’s our miracle baby,” Worsley told TODAY Parents. “Sometimes I’ll look at her and it doesn't feel real. I can’t believe I’m Ivy's mom."
After 13 babies lost, the couple had to muster up every ounce of courage they could to face one more try - and a possible 14th loss.
When Worsley, 35, became pregnant for the 14th time, she was afraid to get attached. After all, she had experienced so much tragedy.
“It never got easier,” the finance assistant from Kenilworth, England, told TODAY Parents. “Each loss was absolutely devastating.”
After so many heartaches, it’s a wonder the couple persisted. But their 14th — and final — attempt was different; they met Professor Quenby and everything changed.
Professor Siobhan Quenby and the Biomedical Research Unit at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire were instrumental in bringing Ivy into the world.
“It was fertility specialist Quenby who diagnosed Worsley with Antiphospholipid Syndrome, also known as ‘sticky blood syndrome’, which can cause miscarriages."
Quenby also discovered that Worsley had Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis, a rare autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack the placenta.
Finally, with an accurate diagnosis, the team was able to treat Laura’s condition and, hopefully, keep the next pregnancy from ending before the baby was viable outside the womb.
Laura was given medicine to strengthen the lining of her uterus and steroids to suppress her immune system. “The goal was to get Worsley past the 24-week mark in her pregnancy when babies have a chance of surviving.”
They made it to 24 weeks - and beyond. Six weeks beyond, to be exact. At 30 weeks. Laura’s water broke so they delivered little one pound seven ounce Ivy by Cesarean Section.
“It was terrifying to see her so small with breathing tubes,” she told TODAY Parents. Nine months later, Ivy is completely healthy and “thriving.”
Naturally, it will take a while for Ivy to catch up in size, but given all the love and attention she is receiving this miracle baby is sure to do just fine.
“She’s still tiny for her age,” Worsley told TODAY Parents. “But she’s smiling and giggling and grabbing everything in sight.”
The Worselys decided to go public with their story in order to give hope to other families experiencing infertility. Laura urges them to stay strong and never give up hope. “Miracles can happen."