Lytina Kaur was told she may never be able to have children after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of the white blood cells at the age of 17.
She had 17 heartbreaking miscarriages over 13 years, but now Lytina, 32, is mother to four young daughters.
Lytina’s first daughter, Kiran, was born in September 2015, while her twins, Kajal and Kavita, were born via surrogate two months later in India. Then, in June 2016, Lytina gave birth to Kiyara.
Lytina first started trying to get pregnant in 2007. “I had 17 miscarriages in total and they were all hard, but miscarrying twins in 2010 was the most difficult because it was my first and I had been carrying them a long time.”
“I was still quite young when I was told I couldn’t have children. I didn’t think about it too much at the time and thought I’d worry about it when I crossed that bridge. But when I got married at 23, it was heartbreaking.”
Lytina and her husband looked into surrogacy after being unable to adopt, and between 2013 and 2015 six attempts to implant an embryo into a surrogate mother failed.
In February 2015, Lytina was delighted to discover she had fallen pregnant naturally, after planning IVF, and gave birth to Kiran via a planned C-section.
“It was quite a shock,” said Lytina, “We were waiting for a miscarriage. We just presumed it was going to happen.”
“Every day was so hard. I didn’t go places and I didn’t drive because I didn’t want to add any unnecessary stress. I didn’t tell anyone — I didn’t want people to get excited [only] for a miscarriage to happen again.”
But, in India, the hospital where Lytina and her husband had been trying surrogacy had transferred Lytina’s last four embryos to a surrogate mother as a goodwill gesture – and they were successful.
“Within six weeks [of my first child] I had two other girls, as I went to pick up Kajal and Kavita from India, so it was very busy. I didn’t have time to think. It was quite overwhelming.”
And while in India, Lytina discovered she was pregnant yet again.
Lytina’s fourth daughter, Kiyara, was born 28 weeks premature last year, and was able to return home completely healthy after nine weeks on the NICU.