Couple who had 14 miscarriages welcome miracle baby after winning IVF


Jo and Jason with their miracle baby (Picture: SWNS)

Couple Jo Scollen, 47, and her husband Jason, 49, have had 14 miscarriages since they started trying for a baby in 2000.

Jo, from Wimbledon, had no trouble conceiving, but the pregnancy never lasted longer than 14 weeks – and initially, doctors couldn’t work out why.

The couple tried IVF, but it didn’t work, and with funds running out, they had almost given up hope.

But they entered a competition to have a round of IVF treatment in Cyprus and were the winners.

This time, the procedure worked and the couple welcomed baby Jessica Rose into the family last year.

‘It was unbelievable,’ said Jo. ‘I was at the stage where I was on my knees and about to give up.

‘After having that many disappointments, you’re dicing with emotional death the whole way through the process.

‘We had literally run out of funds at that point- both financially and emotionally- and it came entirely out of the blue!

‘It was a miraculous bolt of positivity.’

‘Throughout the whole pregnancy, right up to delivery, we held our breath’ (Picture: SWNS)

Jo and Jason, both home renovators, met in a pub in Wimbledon, south west London, in 1998.

They started dating and quickly moved in together, then began trying for a baby after just a year.

Jo became pregnant for the first time in 2000 and suffered her first loss the same year when she was around seven weeks along.

She said: ‘That was horrendous – all our hopes for the future were there and then our world fell apart.

‘But it is in both of our natures to not give up easily, we are survivors in our makeup, so we just tried to dust ourselves off and try again.’

In need of a break and a change, the couple sold everything and moved to Granada, Spain in 2009.

Medics in Spain discovered she had three types of blood clotting disorders and additional immune factors like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) that could be affecting her pregnancies.

She suffered 12 miscarriages in total before she turned to reproductive assistance in Spain in 2014 which cost about £2,000.

This, alongside all the costs involved in seeing specialists and undergoing tests, racked up quite a bill for the couple.

Jo had baby Jessica last year via IVF (Picture: SWNS)

Jo had almost given up hope when she came across a competition by magazine IVFbabble on Facebook, with a prize of a free cycle of IVF.

The competition was to commemorate 40 years since the birth of the first IVF baby, Louise Brown.

‘I just clicked in a desperate moment and then completely forgot about it,’ said Jo.

‘We proceeded to have our 14th loss and I thought there was no point carrying on, but then I got the email through saying I’d won.

‘I had to ring them up and check that it wasn’t an international scam.

‘When my husband and I realised it was true, he said “I’ve only ever won a bag of crisps!”‘

Jo and Jason were one of ten winners and believe their baby could have been the first one born from the prize procedure.

Their procedure was scheduled in the Dunya clinic in Cyprus, and the couple travelled for 36 hours from their home in Spain in November 2018.

An error led to the failure of the first cycle of IVF before the implantation stage.

‘We were devastated as this was supposed to be our miracle moment,’ she said.

The clinic offered them a second cycle, so the couple returned to Cyprus in February 2019.

Four weeks later, Jo and Jason found out the IVF worked and Jo was pregnant. But even with the positive result, Jo was never complacent.

‘Our hearts were in our mouths the entire time,’ she said.

‘We kept thinking that this was the miracle for us and everything must be falling into place. With every scan and every week I was petrified.

‘Jason had me wrapped in bubble wrap!- but I was treated as high-risk and I had appointments or scans more-or-less every fortnight.

‘There was never a moment when we thought “thank goodness for that it’s all going to be okay”.

‘Throughout the whole pregnancy, right up to delivery, we held our breath.’

Jessica was conceived via IVF won on Facebook (Picture: SWNS)

She went into labour but 18 hours after her waters broke her baby still hadn’t arrived, so she had an emergency c-section on October 19.

Jessica Rose, now 13 months old, was born healthy, weighing 5.7 lb.

‘Even when she was born I had to keep checking she was really there- I still can’t believe it happened for us.

‘I still check now, but every week she becomes more real.’

The couple now hope to adopt a child to give Jessica a sibling (Picture: SWNS)

Jo said that one of the most difficult things about carrying on was thinking about the toll it had on her husband.

She said: ‘It is easy to forget how difficult it is for the men, and how it affected Jason used to hurt me quite a lot.’

The family hope to give Jessica a sibling through adoption in the future.

Jo added: ‘We would still like to adopt a child when we find the money for it, both as a sibling for Jessica and as a way to give back after all we’ve been given as a family.’

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