The path to parenthood wasn’t an easy one for Laura Worsley. Over the course of 10 years, Worsley suffered 13 miscarriages — including one at 20 weeks. “It never got easier,” the finance assistant from Kenilworth, England, told TODAY Parents. “Each loss was absolutely devastating.”
When Worsley, 35, became pregnant for the 14th time, she was afraid to get attached. After all, she had experienced so much tragedy. But their 14th — and final — attempt was different.
After a decade of heartbreak, Worsley and her husband, Dave, welcomed their daughter Ivy on September 12, 2018. “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."
Worsley knows she wouldn’t be holding Ivy in her arms had it not been for Professor Siobhan Quenby and the Biomedical Research Unit at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.
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 condition that uses the body to attack the placenta.
Once doctors understood what was happening, Worsley was given medication to strengthen the lining of her uterus and a high dose of the steroid prednisolone 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.
She made it even further than her team expected.
At 30 weeks, Worsley’s water broke and Ivy was delivered via C-section, weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces. “It was terrifying to see her so small with breathing tubes,” she told TODAY Parents. But now, at 9-months-old, Ivy is healthy and thriving.
“She’s still tiny for her age,” Worsley told TODAY Parents. “But she’s smiling and giggling and grabbing everything in sight.”
Worsley is making her story public to bring others hope. As she told TODAY Parents: “Miracles can happen."