A woman suffered a heartbreaking 18 miscarriages over two decades before finally giving birth – at the age of 48.
Louise Warneford suffers from a condition which causes ‘killer cells’ in her body to destroy unborn embryos.
Louise and husband Mark, 55, made the devastating decision to give up trying for a baby in 2010.
But she knew she needed to give herself one last chance of achieving her dream of becoming a mum.
The couple, from Swindon, Wilts, underwent embryo donation in the Czech Republic in 2015.
Incredibly Louise fell pregnant and gave birth to son William in June last year – 18 years after first trying for a baby.
She said: “Mark and I had been trying for a baby since I was 32.
“We’d suffered 18 miscarriages and spent £80k but looking at William now, it was all worth it.
“I’m not the spring chicken that I used to be and it does take me a while to chase him around the floor but it’s worth it.”
Recalling her failed pregnancies, Louise, now 49, said: “Every single time I ended up losing the baby around the 14-week scan mark.
“Each time I got my hopes up and thought that ‘this was it’ and I was going to have the perfect family I’d always wanted.
“I couldn’t stop crying every time I miscarried. Each time they couldn’t find a heartbeat.
“We decided to try IVF but despite falling pregnant a number of times, we always lost the baby.
“It was a complete mystery why my body kept rejecting my baby at just a few weeks old.
“I gave up in 2010 as I couldn’t go through the emotional turmoil anymore.
“There is no grief that can compare to losing a much loved and wanted baby – all your hopes and dreams are shattered.
“We’d even tried using an egg donor but that failed as well.”
Louise was eventually diagnosed with the ‘killer cell’ condition which meant her body was rejecting the embryos.
She said: “The doctor told me what the problem was and gave me the courage to have one more try.
“I didn’t do anything until four years later, when I was 47 and I said to Mark that we had to try one more time before I was 50.
“This time, because I was too old for certain clinics in the UK, I decided to have the embryo donation in the Gynem Clinic in Prague.
“I finally got pregnant when I was 47. I couldn’t enjoy my pregnancy, because I was constantly scared that I was going to lose him.
“He was born at 37 weeks through a planned c-section because I was told that there was a problem with the placenta.
“It was the toughest time in my life but it was so worth it for our dream baby.
“We put our life on hold for our dream baby. We saved the money over the 18 years of trying, and just didn’t go out very often.
“We were very frugal, but we wanted a child more than we wanted money.
“We’re a perfect family now and I finally feel complete.”
Dr Hassan Shehata, from the Centre for Reproductive Immunology and Pregnancy, diagnosed Louise’s condition.
He said: “She was a brave young lady who persevered with the unusually high number of miscarriages.
“She was quite determined to succeed and both her and her partner deserve a chance to be parents.
“I was very pleased to have managed to help them succeed and be part of such an incredible journey.”