Mother who suffered three miscarriages in one year due to an immune system disorder reveals joy after giving birth to triplets
- Hannah Swift, 30, from Cheshire, suffered three miscarriages during IVF
- She and wife Siobhan used mortgage savings to pay for private medical care
- Doctors discovered Hannah had developed antiphospholipid syndrome in 2018
- After treatment, went on to welcome triplets Alice, Amelia and Evelyn in August
- Hannah said funding the experience on their own had ‘been difficult’
A mother who suffered three miscarriages has revealed her joy after she finally gave birth to triplets – one for every baby she lost.
Hannah Swift, 30, and her wife Siobhan, 40, from Parkgate, Cheshire, underwent three rounds of insemination fertility treatment, and while she fell pregnant, she suffered miscarriages every time.
The couple used all their mortgage savings to pay for medical care, where doctors diagnosed Hannah with antiphospholipid syndrome – a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots.
After taking blood-thinners for the condition, Hannah went on to welcome Alice, Amelia and Evelyn to their brood on August 13, saying: ‘I had three miscarriages before the diagnosis and then I fell pregnant with triplets – it was just absolutely amazing, and a complete shock too but we are so happy now.’
Hannah Swift, 30, from Parkgate, Cheshire, suffered three miscarriages due to antiphospholipid syndrome before welcoming triplets with her wife Siobhan, 40, (pictured with Alice, Amelia and Evelyn)
Hannah gave birth to triplets in August, with Alice being born at just 2lbs, followed by Amelia at 2lb 7oz and Everlyn at 2lb 13oz
Siobhan and Hannah knew they wanted a family and opted for intrauterine insemination in order to have children, using the same anonymous sperm donor each time.
After giving birth to Isabella in May 2018, social worker Hannah was extremely confused – as well as absolutely devastated – when she stared having miscarriages.
She suffered three miscarriages in one year – each time after she endured IUI in order to fall pregnant.
Siobhan couldn’t carry a baby because she has a full hysterectomy after a perforation to her bowel.
After Hannah gave birth in August, the youngsters spent five weeks in hospital due to their tiny size (pictured, Hannah with Evelyn)
Throughout her pregnancy, Hannah was repeatedly warns of the dangers to the triplet’s lives, including twin to twin transfusion
They were running out of options and after being dismissed by doctors, the couple decided to pay privately for help at CARE Fertility Manchester in August 2019.
Hannah said: ‘I didn’t feel well for a long time after giving birth to Izzy but health professionals just passed it off as me having low iron or low this that and the other.
‘We’d already had a horrendous time with Siobhan having a hysterectomy and needing a colostomy bag and then to continue to have miscarriages was just awful.
‘I couldn’t understand why I was having these miscarriages – I was getting pregnant but kept losing them and they were all at different stages as well.’
The tiny babies were kept in intensive care for weeks after they were born in August so allow them to gain strength
Full time mum Siobhan and Hannah kept the news of their pregnancy to themselves, only telling family after 12 weeks and friends after 16 weeks (pictured, Evelyn on ventilation in hospital)
Tests revealed she had developed antiphospholipid syndrome – a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots – after her first baby.
Hannah said: ‘Hearing the diagnosis was scary but then almost a relief because I had an answer finally and could start taking medication which could help me have a baby.’
Pregnant women with APS also have an increased risk of having a miscarriage, although the exact reasons for this are uncertain.
Hannah added: ‘Basically it causes blood clots and stops oxygen getting to the babies so the foetuses will just die but I didn’t know I had it as it had developed after I had Izzy.’
Hannah was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome – a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots – which doctors said developed after her first baby and put further pregnancies at risk
Miraculously, all three babies survived, with Hannah and Siobhan welcoming the triplets home after more than a month in hospital
She began taking blood thinners, and they took their chances with IVF, implanting their final two embryos in a bid to complete their family.
What is Antiphospholipid syndrome?
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), sometimes known as Hughes syndrome, is a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots.
This means people with APS are at greater risk of developing conditions such as:
– Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that usually develops in the leg
– Arterial thrombosis (a clot in an artery), which can cause a stroke or heart attack
– Blood clots in the brain, leading to problems with balance, mobility, vision, speech and memory
– Pregnant women with APS also have an increased risk of having a miscarriage, although the exact reasons for this are uncertain.
– APS doesn’t always cause noticeable problems, but some people have general symptoms that can be similar to those of multiple sclerosis (a common condition affecting the central nervous system).
She said: ‘Finding out that it was blood clotting problems and nothing to do with the womb, I started taking blood thinners to help manage the APS and then we went ahead and did IVF.’
The couple discovered Hannah only had two eggs that were good enough to freeze – if they didn’t work, they’d be out of options after spending an eyewatering £20,000 on fertility treatments.
Thankfully, the IVF treatment was a success but nothing prepared the two mums for the news that they were having triplets.
The pair were delighted when scans revealed not only were they pregnant – but were expecting triplets.
‘I actually crashed into a barrier after finding out I was pregnant with triplets!’ Hannah said.
‘That’s how I remember it – I came out of the hospital I wasn’t really concentrating and went into a bollard at the hospital and scratched all down the side of the car!’
Hannah explained: ‘I had three miscarriages before the diagnosis and then I fell pregnant with triplets – it was just absolutely amazing, and a complete shock too but we are so happy now.
‘At first, the sonographer thought it was just shadows from the amniotic sac – she couldn’t believe there were actually three babies.
‘Siobhan came running down the corridor, screaming ‘It’s triplets!’
‘It was just incredible. We were so shocked but so happy that after losing three, we were now having three.’
Full time mum Siobhan and Hannah kept the news of their pregnancy to themselves, only telling family after 12 weeks and friends after 16 weeks.
With Hannah going through her pregnancy during lockdown, she managed to keep it a secret for so long that her work colleagues only found out after she gave birth.
With Hannah going through her pregnancy during lockdown, she managed to keep it a secret for so long that her work colleagues only found out after she gave birth to the triplets
The mother-of-four admitted the pregnancy during lockdown had been challenging because she didn’t initially ‘connect’ with the babies
The couple said they are now overjoyed to have welcomed their three healthy girls into their brood (pictured left to right, Amelia, Alice and Evelyn)
Hannah said: ‘It was quite difficult handling a triplet pregnancy in the middle of a pandemic.
‘I didn’t really connect with the pregnancy at first. I kept it to myself and we didn’t tell a soul.
‘Along the way, every doctor kept saying, “Oh this or that might happen” like twin to twin transfusion or we could lose one, so we didn’t really consider telling people.
‘We just pushed it to the back of our minds and as we were getting deeper into the pregnancy, we thought maybe this will happen after all.
Hannah and Siobhan stunned their family when they announced they were expecting triplets, with their loved-ones only able to meet the little girls when they had left hospital due to the Covid-19 crisis
Meanwhile Hannah revealed the couple had ‘blown all their money’ on seeking private medical care and IVF in order to try for another baby
‘We only just bought all the stuff for them last month because even when they were born, it was still such a shock that they’d arrived!’
Alice was just 2lbs, followed by Amelia at 2lb 7oz and Everlyn at 2lb 13oz, and they spent five weeks in hospital due to their size.
‘Our family had to wait five weeks to meet the girls which is unusual in itself because the pandemic meant they couldn’t visit in the hospital,’ said Hannah.
‘They’re all absolutely stunned at our three new arrivals – they can’t quite believe it.
The mother-of-four said the arrival of her triplets had completed her family and said she and wife Siobhan ‘couldn’t be happier’
The mother-of-four admitted she and wife Siobhan had been wary of buying any baby products for the triplets before their birth
Hannah said the couple only just bought all the stuff for the babies in September because it was ‘still such a shock’ when all three arrived safely
Meanwhile she said her daughter Isabella, two, had ‘loved’, having the girls at home, saying: ‘It’s fantastic having the girls home. Izzy is so cute, always giving them kisses!
‘We’ve finally got our family together and we couldn’t be happier!’
Hannah added: ‘Being a same sex couple, we have had to fund this whole experience on our own, which has been difficult.
‘We were going to get a mortgage and instead we blew all the money on fertility treatment – obviously we got our money worth with our babies!
Because they are a same-sex couple, Hannah said it had been difficult for the pair to fund their entire fertility journey themselves
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