Haider and Ayshia Zaman tried for a baby for 18 years before their son was born. Although they had tried for almost two decades to start a family, every time Ayshia became pregnant she would miscarry at between six to 12 weeks. Ultimately, the couple experienced a total of 13 miscarriages before they finally welcomed a healthy six-pound baby boy – who they’ve called Awais Haider.
“There are no words to express the feelings going through my mind,” said Ayshia. “It was a dream come true. I went through the pregnancy spending every day just hoping my dream wouldn’t be shattered.”
Why did the couple have so many problems and lose so many babies in the process?
Specialists at Heartlands Hospital’s recurrent miscarriage clinic, in Birmingham, believe Ayshia’s pregnancy problems were caused by ‘sticky’ blood cells. These cells formed clots, resulting in a loss of blood flow and triggering miscarriages.
What happened that allowed the couple to finally experience the joy of a baby?
Led by specialist Professor Siobhan Quenby, the medical team at Heartlands in Birmingham used drugs to increase blood flow around the womb.
Prof Quenby and a battery of midwives introduced an intensive drug and steroid regime that freed blood flow around the womb, allowing Awais to develop inside his mother.
Ayshia was given steroid prednisolone, progesterone and injections of clexane. On July 10, Ayshia gave birth by caesarean section at Heartlands in Birmingham.
She said: “After years of waiting, my dream has finally come true, and in the month of Ramadan, which makes it an extra special birth date. I feel like all my Eids have come at once.
“After conceiving naturally, I was devastated to miscarry and each time was emotionally and psychologically hard. My family and friends had lost hope.
“As my husband was his mother’s only son, I felt an additional pressure to carry on the family name. I took a two–year rest gap and then plucked up courage for the 14th time. I felt it was my last chance and my last hope.
“It was one of the hardest nine months of my life, as always at the back of my mind was the thought, what if it went wrong again? And if I did that I would feel like a failure. Every scan appointment was daunting.”