Before finally conceiving their miracle baby, 33-year-olds Jo and Adam Wiggins had lost a total of six babies in just four years. After suffering six miscarriages, this couple was so desperate to become parents they did everything possible to save up enough money for the treatment. In need of up to £10,000 for a private IVF, they moved in with their parents and leased out their home.
Having to go through the trauma caused by a single miscarriage is hard enough. And although Jo was completely heartbroken after suffering six miscarriages, she remained determined to be a mother.
Jo and Adam fell pregnant in 2011 after meeting in 2010 through a mutual friend. Although the pregnancy was unplanned, they were thrilled with the news since they both wanted a family. Jo started bleeding after around six weeks and was rushed to hospital after collapsing, two weeks after which her miscarriage was confirmed. Although the loss was hard to accept, it led to the realization that they were, in fact, ready for children.
As such, Jo and Adam started actively trying to have a baby. And Jo conceived four more times over the next three years. It was such a difficult period since she was unfortunate and miscarried every single time. She even miscarried while on their honeymoon in Mexico, which is what eventually gave them the nudge to look into the cause of her miscarriages.
Jo visited a specialist after the miscarriages and was informed that she contained a high quantity of Natural Killer cells. These cells were attacking Jo’s embryos since her body saw them as a threat, which was why she kept miscarrying. The specialist came up with a treatment plan that involved a combination of drugs to treat her miscarriages. She was consequently placed on an intralipid infusion, steroids, and a Malaria tablet intended to reduce the killer cells.
After the treatment, Jo and Adam tried to conceive again. In early 2014, Jo fell pregnant for the sixth time, and they even saw a heartbeat once they reached the six week mark. However, Jo miscarried again, and they faced yet another setback. Although they’d never experienced any fertility issues before, their attempts to get pregnant for the seventh time were unsuccessful after trying for 12 months. After which additional tests confirmed Adam had a low sperm count. This new complication meant they needed to pay for IVF, which costs £10,000.
According to Adam, they had already spent all their savings on the miscarriage treatments. They had no other viable option of raising enough money for the IVF other than to lease out the home. Although her sister offered to be a surrogate, Jo was not ready to give up but more determined to carry her baby.
Incredibly, the IVF treatment worked, but they were not yet out of the danger zone since miscarriage was still a possibility. However, their baby grew stronger as every week went by and they were overcome with emotion when they eventually saw their 12-week scan. It was the very first time they allowed themselves a little excitement.
Jo’s water broke 39 weeks after conception, after which she endured a harrowing 36 hours of labor. In June, this couple from Braintree, Essex, was finally blessed with a baby boy, and they named him Max. And amidst the existence of a few complications at birth, Jo and Adam took their son home four days later. Jo and Adam say that although getting through their journey was almost impossible at times, it was all worth it for their son Max. Jo has since started her blog, aimed at reassuring others that whenever one door closes another one always open up.
According to Dr. Hassan Shehata, Natural killer cells are part of the immune system, offering protection from both bacterial and viral invasions. However, whenever these cells are more active, particularly NK CD69, they can attack embryos after wrongfully identifying they foreign, causing a miscarriage. Fortunately, some women can still achieve successful pregnancies once these cells are calmed using medication. Patients are advised to continue with the medication up to the first trimester’s end, by which time their bodies can release natural immune calming substances to protect the embryos.