A mum who had 14 miscarriages, a stillbirth and lost a baby at just two weeks old is celebrating after giving birth to a healthy baby girl.
Maria Pridmore, 32, lost 16 babies over 13 years. This included the stillbirth of daughter Shannon, and the death of her two-week-old son, Kia.
Maria, a cancer nurse from Lincolnshire, and partner, John Foran, a logistic supervisor at a garden nursery, are now proud parents to daughter Mia Shannon, who was born earlier this year weighing 4lb, 12oz.
"It really is out of this world. After everything we have gone through this is like a dream come true. I didn't think it would ever happen," says new mum Maria.
Maria had her first miscarriage at 19, and the couple gave up on their dream of having a family after Shannon was stillborn and son Kia died aged just two weeks in 2009.
The couple decided not to try for a baby anymore, but just let things take their course and see what happened.
"We didn't think it would happen. We'd given up on the idea of having children, we had just decided not to try anymore so she was a bit of a surprise," explains Maria.
"I was too scared to tell John I was pregnant again for a week because I wasn't sure how he'd react."
Maria was diagnosed with both pre-eclampsia and Strep B, which causes blood clots to form in the placenta, cutting the food supply from the baby. She had twice daily injections into her stomach to thin the blood to prevent clotting, and had weekly scans to monitor the baby's health.
New dad John says the pregnancy was incredibly stressful, as Maria had to go to hospital a whopping 92 times during her nine months:
"They put her on aspirin and she had the injections and packed in work straight away. We found out she was pregnant at eight weeks and they ordered bed rest from then on.
"I was terrified throughout the pregnancy, every time Maria was ill or hurt I was convinced it was going to happen again. I could not enjoy it at all, I was constantly waiting for something bad to happen."
A few days before her due date, doctors delivered Mia by emergency Caesarean at Pilgrim Hospital after Maria suffered complications.
"She started delivering breach so the doctors told me I had to have a Caesarean to get her out," explains Maria.
"At 27 weeks I'd been ill in hospital and thought the worst was coming and we'd managed to get through that, but when I was going in after she breached, I just thought it was going to happen for a third time, that we were going to lose her."
"I'm not someone who shows their emotions much, but when the doctor put a hat on Mia and put her in my arms I just burst out crying in a room with about twelve people around me," says John.
"It doesn't compensate for what has happened in the past, but it makes it a bit easier. I think now we'll wait till Mia's a bit older and try to get her a brother or sister. I can't explain how happy I am."
Huge congratulations Maria and John!
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