A MUM heartbroken by eight miscarriages discovered she was pregnant with her "miracle" baby just days before her husband was due to have a vasectomy.
Rachael Bosworth, 38, from Bramley, Hampshire, lost each of her babies at six weeks over the course of a decade – but doctors didn't know why.
When they miscarried for the eighth time, Ian, 47, decided he couldn't watch his wife go through the trauma again and booked in for the snip.
Less than a month later, Rachael found out she was pregnant but disheartened by years of heartache, she didn't do a test.
It wasn't until she saw the sonogram at six weeks and heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time that it started to feel real.
Rachael, a sales director, went on to have a normal pregnancy and little Ellis was born on January 2, 2017, weighing 5lb 15oz.
She said: "We had a fantastic marriage but the only thing which was missing was a child.
"It just didn't seem to be happening for one reason or another."
The pair had been trying for a baby since they got married in 2007.
Ian, an IT consultant, already had two teenage boys from a previous relationship, now aged 21 and 14.
We had a fantastic marriage but the only thing which was missing was a child
Just three months into their marriage Rachel became pregnant but had two miscarriages in quick succession.
She went to her GP who said miscarriages were extremely common and they'd only run tests after a third, which happened in January 2011.
Rachael said: "There was a lot of bleeding but I didn't know if this was a normal part of being pregnant.
"I phoned the labour hotline and they told me to go straight to A&E.
"My friend drove me there and by this point I knew something wasn't right.
"I was devastated but I thought when the time was right I'd become a parent.
"It was a bit of a silver lining when I fell pregnant the third time as I thought I'd finally find out what was wrong with me."
She was referred to Basingstoke Hospital for full blood tests, but they came back as normal and she was referred to St Mary's Hospital in London.
Why do miscarriages happen?
Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the uterus during pregnancy. In the UK, that definition applies to pregnancies up to 23 weeks and 6 days, and any loss from 24 weeks is called a stillbirth.
Even though miscarriage is so common, there’s a lot we still don’t know about why it happens. That means that most women never find out the cause of their loss, even if they have investigations.
It can be very difficult to cope with not having an obvious reason for your miscarriage.
The main causes of miscarriage are thought to be:
- Genetic: This is when the baby doesn’t develop normally right from the start and cannot survive. This is the cause of more than half of all early miscarriages.
- Hormonal: Women with very irregular periods may find it harder to get pregnant; and when they do, are more likely to miscarry.
- Blood-clotting problems: Problems in the blood vessels that supply the placenta can lead to miscarriage, especially if the blood clots more than it should.
- Infection: Minor infections like coughs and colds are not harmful. But very high fevers and some illnesses or infections, such as German measles, may cause miscarriage.
- Anatomical: There are three main anatomical causes of miscarriage:
- If the cervix (the bottom of the uterus) is weak, it may start to open as the uterus becomes heavier in later pregnancy and this can cause a miscarriage.
- If the uterus has an irregular shape, there may not be enough room for the baby to grow.
- Large fibroids (harmless growths in the uterus) may cause miscarriage in later pregnancy.
Source: Miscarriage Association UK
Scans revealed she had a misshapen womb and surgeons operated to remove a thin layer of cells around the uterus – called a septum removal operation.
Doctors told her to wait three months before trying for a baby again – and she suffered a fifth and sixth marriage before going back for more tests.
Rachael said: "Nobody could explain what was wrong with me. I'd had every test under the sun and even had an operation on my womb.
"The sixth miscarriage was the worst. I stopped doing pregnancy tests straight away after that miscarriage.
"Six times of having my hopes up and taken away in the same way was terrible. I became depressed after that."
Meanwhile the pair welcomed several nieces and nephews – but were no closer to a family of their own.
Rachael said: "We had already asked a doctor about IVF but that is more for people who can't physically get pregnant and we didn't have that issue.
"What became really hard was the fact that everywhere I looked my friends and family were having children."
I couldn't believe it when we struck lucky ninth time
She got pregnant again but six weeks in she had her seventh miscarriage.
Rachael said: "I would find out I was pregnant and then just wait for the blood to come through my underwear."
She had her eighth and final miscarriage in January 2016.
"At this point I had enough. I had seven years of it and it was getting to a point when it was traumatising," she said.
"When I lost another baby we just thought we couldn't do this anymore."
When she fell pregnant for the ninth time, Rachael said she "wasn't interested" and didn't bother with a pregnancy test.
At six weeks and one day she had her first sonogram.
She said: "They've always been two lines on a pregnancy test but this time it was a heartbeat in a scan.
"To finally be in a position of hearing a heartbeat was just something else.
"I just couldn't believe it. It was our little miracle.
"It wasn't until 21 weeks when I felt him kick and it felt real.
"Despite everything I had been through for the best part of a decade I had a normal and healthy pregnancy."
Two weeks later Ian booked himself in for a vasectomy.
He said: "I couldn't believe it when we struck lucky ninth time."
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