A mother-of-four who went through the trauma of a stillbirth and 15 miscarriages now has the family she always dreamed of.
Laura Dove, from Chorley, Lancashire, conceived even while on the Pill – but repeatedly lost her babies between six and 12 weeks into pregnancy.
The 36-year-old was heartbroken when her second child was stillborn in 2006, and went on to suffer several miscarriages afterwards.
During each pregnancy, she would be convinced her babies were ‘going to die’ and spent every minute worrying.
Laura Dove, from Chorley, Lancashire, conceived even while on the Pill – but repeatedly lost her babies. After meeting husband Gareth, 34 (pictured) she has four children. Left to right: Lewis, 12, Megan, 3, Harry, 2, Eva, 4
Her first son Lewis was born in 2004 during her first marriage – but she suffered three other miscarriages during that time.
She carried her second child Joseph to 36 weeks, only to learn his heart had stopped beating.
The pain of his stillbirth ultimately led to the breakdown of her first marriage.
Mrs Dove said: ‘After losing Joseph, I didn’t want to try for any more kids at first. But in the end we decided that we would. We lost a few more babies and I felt like it was breaking us.
‘It was so much pressure and we were both grieving. I was really depressed and had psychiatric treatment. After we lost the last one, we split up.’
But when she met her second husband Gareth, 34, she knew she wanted to keep on trying for children.
Finally, after years of heartache, Mrs Dove had another two daughters and a son in quick succession – taking her tally up to four – and now says she is ‘the luckiest mum in the world’.
Now she has two daughters and one son with her current partner, Eva, four, Megan, three, and two-year-old Harrison.
She even refused to buy a babygro when she found out she was pregnant with Eva as she was convinced her unborn child would die.
Her first son Lewis was born in 2004 during her first marriage – but she suffered three miscarriages during that time. She’s now tired of people believing she’s ‘irresponsible’ for having three babies so close together
She carried her second child Joseph to 36 weeks, only to learn his heart had stopped beating – as she blamed the pain of his stillbirth on the breakdown of her first marriage
Mrs Dove and now-husband Gareth (left) had three children in quick succession after the pain of her second son’s stillbirth led to the breakdown of her first marriage
However, she said she is also tired of being branded ‘irresponsible’ for having three babies so close together – with others assuming she can ‘pop out’ children whenever she likes.
The couple have also agreed Gareth should undergo a vasectomy to prevent the stress of any further pregnancies.
Mrs Dove said: ‘I miscarried so many times before we finally had our daughter, quickly followed by another daughter and a son.
‘We have three kids so young. It’s really been crazy. Everywhere we go, people ask if they’re all my children as they’re so close in age.
‘People always assume I have popped them out easily. It’s as though we’ve been irresponsible and it’s unfair having them all so young.
‘They even ask if I’m going to have a fifth child – but I tell them I have had five, but Joseph didn’t survive.’
Though life is now chaotic, Mrs Dove says she never takes a moment for granted and counts herself lucky for being a mother to four healthy children
The couple have agreed Gareth should undergo a vasectomy to prevent the stress of any further pregnancies
Though life is now chaotic, Mrs Dove says she never takes a moment for granted and counts herself lucky for being a mother to four healthy children.
‘Because of everything we went through, when I’m tired I just stop and think about how lucky I am.
‘I have four perfect children. It makes it a lot easier for me to cope with it, and Gareth’s now had a vasectomy which is a worry off my mind.
‘The kids are all so close and Lewis is a great big brother. He waited ten years for a baby brother but he adores them all. Though he does sometimes say to me, ‘You’re not pregnant again, are you?’
‘When we first had Harrison we were a family of six in an end-terrace house with three bedrooms. Now we have a big family car and a bigger house.
‘We used to go on holiday a lot, but now we stay in the UK. But I don’t think of that as a sacrifice. When the children are all running around together, it’s all I’ve ever wanted.’