Sometimes, hope is all you have left.
Louise Warneford, who suffered through 18 miscarriages and 16 rounds of expensive IVF treatments in her quest to become a mother, never fully lost hope. And finally, at age 48, the UK-based writer and her husband, Mark, successfully gave birth to a baby boy using a donor embryo, which they had tried several times before without success.
In her book, Baby Dreams, Warneford writes about never being able to make it past the 14-week mark in any pregnancy, but how she refused to give up on her dream to become a mother.
"When William was placed in my arms I felt like I'd won the lottery. I was absolutely euphoric," Warneford told TODAY Parents. "All the doctors and nurses were in tears because they knew my story."
For Warneford, after years of heartbreak, the turning point came when she was diagnosed with elevated "natural killer" cells or NK cells. NK cells are part of the immune system and help the body fight infection, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Hassan Shehata, her doctor, believed there was a link between her NK cells and recurrent miscarriages. Treated with a combination of steroids, baby aspirin and blood thinners, Warneford was finally able to deliver her baby boy at 37 weeks.
Louise's rainbow baby, William, is now 5 years old.
"Now my mission is to help other women. I don't want them to suffer. I think if women were to talk about this more often and being more open it wouldn't be so taboo and it would help society. I would like to address that and help women feel more comfortable," says Warneford.
You can learn more about Louise's story below and on the Baby Dreams Instagram page. While the role of NK cells and recurrent miscarriage is still under debate, talk to your health care provider if you would like more information on the topic.
48-year-old becomes a mum after 18 miscarriages