Stockport mum who lost four babies finally welcomes healthy new arrival after immune disorder diagnosis
A mum who lost four babies in four years told of her joy at welcoming a healthy tot - after medics diagnosed an immune disorder.
Mum-of-two Sinead Lynch, 33, welcomed baby Ardal 12 weeks ago after four years of trying for a baby. Sinead and partner Daniel Kenyon, 44, had no issues when their eldest child Jonas, six, was born.
But they faced constant heartache and disruption as all four pregnancies afterward ended in tragedy. Sinead had to deliver two babies in the second trimester, including two which were on the cusp of being classified stillborn. Little Jonas was so worried about the final pregnancy that he asked ‘Will the baby die?’.
Medical intervention which targeted immune disorder CHI - where the body attacks pregnancy cells - meant the couple had more hope.
Sinead was told repeatedly by medics to keep trying, which she said ignored the mental trauma of baby loss as well as the physical impact of carrying a baby into the second trimester, whilst also looking after another child.
Two of the babies died at 12 weeks, but the family, from Stockport, have kept mementoes of them and are involved in charities supporting families who suffered baby loss.
Baby Pearl died at 20 weeks in 2018, and in 2020 during lockdown Sinead gave birth to baby Rian, who also passed away at 20 weeks, despite paying for a private scan at 17 weeks.
In 2021 Sinead had to shield while taking immunotherapy drugs to get her through another pregnancy, which ended at 11 weeks with a molar pregnancy. In 2019 another pregnancy ended at 12 weeks.
Post-mortem examinations on both Pearl and Rian showed both were healthy, which further added to the heartache.
Sinead said: “When I’d lost three babies in or close to the second trimester, I couldn’t find anybody else who’d been through what we’d been through.
“I work in a nursery and would look at some of the children and think, ‘that’s the age Rian would be’.
“It was hard when other mums say, ‘My oldest child was born during lockdown’, you want to tell people how long the journey has been.
“When I see people who’ve had multiple babies in the time we’ve had one it is a bit difficult.
“For a lot of new mums there’s an innocence to it, and you don’t want to bring the mood down by talking about it.”
The couple will not attempt to have any more children.
Sinead said: “I couldn’t do it, we’ve put our lives on hold for four years. We’d go away but never more than an hour away from the hospital during the pregnancy with Ardal.
“I’m from Ireland and hadn’t been back until October in case something happened. In 2021 before I’d been vaccinated I had to shield, I took our son out of nursery.
“It ended up being a molar pregnancy and our lives had been put on hold. After that loss I got the job I’m in now.
“Covid put a spanner in the works for people going through what we’ve been through.
“I had Covid during the most recent pregnancy but it was fine because I was vaccinated.
“Jonas is so happy, he’s obsessed with his little brother. “If I say, ‘My two best boys’ he points at the sky.
“He knows there were four, he’s got friends who have lost siblings. When we told him I was pregnant at 24 weeks, one of the first things he said was, ‘Is the baby going to die?’.
“We said ‘We hope not, we don’t think so’. I couldn’t say no.
“I’m happy because things have worked out, he hopefully feels more positive now.”
Some of the treatment included steroids and injecting blood thinners daily.
Professor Alexander Heazell, who is the lead consultant at the Rainbow Clinic, a collaboration between the charity Tommy’s, the University of Manchester, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust oversaw the pregnancy.
Midwives knew what language to use. She said: “I’d asked for the placenta from Rian to be tested for CHI after being told about it.
“I was told it was clear, but Professor Heazell diagnosed the condition.
“A lot of doctors don’t believe in the immune link. One of them said ‘You’re young, keep trying again’.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 21, going through pregnancy takes a physical and mental toll.
“I don’t enjoy being pregnant, the first trimester with being really sick and tired, I’ve been through six times.
“With another child and a job, you can’t keep doing that.”
She said Ardal has been a dream baby. Sinead said: “I was worried he would be stressed out but he’s a chilled out baby.”