When she was just 17 years old, Englishwoman Lytina Kaur faced a fateful diagnosis: acute myeloid leukemia, the aggressive form of cancer that causes overproduction of white blood cells and whose treatment involves a bone marrow transplant. At the same time doctors informed Lytina that the disease would mean she’d never be able to have children. “I didn’t think about it too much at the time and thought I’d worry about it when I crossed the bridge,” recalled the now 33-year-old.
But the time came sooner than she’d expected. She got married in 2007 at 23 and she and her husband longed to have children. They tried, but no luck. Then the first miscarriage. It came in 2010 when Lytina was finally pregnant with twins: “I had 17 miscarriages in total and they were all hard but that one was the most difficult because it was my first and I had been carrying them for a long time.”
She and her husband considered adoption but it was important to them to adopt Asian children and they weren’t able to find a suitable match. Then they looked into surrogacy. Between 2013 and 2015 they tried implantation with a surrogate six times through a hospital in India, but each of these also ended in miscarriage. The couple began to come to terms with the idea of never having children.
Now they attempted artificial insemination back home in England and to their astonishment, they discovered in February of 2015 that Lytina was in fact pregnant. Today they confess that they were just waiting for the miscarriage and were terrified of raising false hopes by telling friends and family. They tried to keep it a secret for as long as possible.
As Lytina describes it, “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. It was horrific.”
Then, in September 2015, the overjoyed couple welcomed their first daughter Kiran into the world.
Then they got some overwhelming news. Ast turned out, one of the surrogacy efforts had worked after all. The hospital in India had somehow failed to tell the Kaurs that they were expecting twins in November of 2015. The pregnancy had been successful and healthy so, suddenly, they were going to have TWO MORE children, just a month and a half after their first baby.
But this wasn’t enough. While Lytina was in India to help usher the twins into their family and deal with the bureaucratic details around the surrogacy, she learned that she was pregnant again herself!
In June of 2016, in just the 28th week of pregnancy, their fourth daughter Kiyara arrived prematurely. It was a frightening time but after nine weeks in the neonatal ward, the youngest member of the suddenly large family could be brought home at last. “She came early but she has no health complications. In the end we were really lucky,” explained Lytina.
After trying for nearly a decade to have children, suffering one miscarriage after another, Lytina and her husband became parents of four — and all within nine months. What an incredible set of circumstances to give them what they wanted for so long, and in such abundance!
Check out the family’s whole beautiful story in this report: