Mother’s joy over baby born after 18 miscarriages
Sophie Goodchild and Miranda Bryant
A woman who had 18 miscarriages told of her joy today after giving birth to a “little miracle” following pioneering hospital treatment.
Angie Baker, 33, is now the proud mother of daughter Raiya after unsuccessfully trying for a baby for 13 years.
“She’s perfect in every way,” said Ms Baker, from Peacehaven near Brighton, who was helped by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust.
“Raiya’s my little miracle. I’m overwhelmed. It seems like a dream and I still have to pinch myself.”
Ms Baker’s miscarriages took place one after another, at between five and eight weeks after conception, from the age of 20.
She said: “Emotionally it was a roller-
coaster. Every time I got pregnant I was hoping this was the one and it wasn’t going to end in a miscarriage.
“I never gave up. I was desperate for a baby so I persevered.”
She said she was encouraged by the fact that she became pregnant so easily.
She added: “Deep down I always thought it would be a little problem that could be cured.”
After considering the possibility of adoption she found out about Dr Hassan Shehata, who specialises in recurrent miscarriages. She contacted him for help in 2006 and was referred for treatment.
Dr Shehata said: “It’s the most unusual case I’ve come across. This is a huge number of miscarriages and you’re more likely to win the lottery than have this many through bad luck. So there must be an underlying cause.”
A specialist test, only available at three hospitals in the world, showed that Ms Baker was suffering from high levels of Natural Killer cells — a sub-type of white blood cells — thought to affect about 15 per cent of women.
Rather than protecting the pregnancy, the NK cells mistook the foetus for a foreign body and attacked it.
Now, after Dr Shehata’s steroid treatment — which starts before conception — Ms Baker and her partner Lee Gibson have a healthy 10-week-old girl, who weighed 7lb when she was born.
Ms Baker said: “I absolutely love her. She’s so precious. I can’t believe she’s here and she’s mine.”
One in four pregnancies in the UK ends in miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth but baby charity Tommy’s said at-risk women have a statistically better chance of a successful pregnancy if they are monitored.