When Shauna Hughes was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2019, she assumed she would never be able to have children of her own.
So when she became pregnant just a year later, she was overjoyed – and she was expecting twins.
Tragically, the expectant mum miscarried, further fuelling her fears that she would never be able to conceive naturally.
Then, exactly a year after losing her babies, Shauna fell pregnant with twins again, welcoming Frankie and Fenton, who are identical twins, into the world in October 2021.
Then, 14 months later – in December 2022 – Shauna welcomed a second set of identical twins into the world – Louie and Luca.
Single mum Shauna, 21, from Norden in Rochdale, says despite only getting around three hours of sleep a night, she’s loving “every minute” of life with her four boys.
“When I got diagnosed with endometriosis and because I’d lost the babies, I thought I would never be able to get pregnant,” she said.
Shauna, who is currently on maternity leave but works in administration for a computer company in Bury, can recall the moment she found out she was pregnant with twin boys for a second time. “The second time round when I found out I was pregnant, I was going through a rough patch with my ex-partner.
“I was torn and I didn’t know what to do. I went to the first scan on my own and I thought one more baby would be a breeze because I’d just had twins. [During] the first scan, they definitely thought I only had one baby. I thought to myself, ‘Phew, hallelujah!’
“Then I went for the gender scan, the sonographer told me there wasn’t one baby, there were two – and I thought, ‘Oh God’. I felt as though my heart skipped a beat. I had no words, I was left speechless.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The condition can affect women of any age, including teenagers. It’s a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on the sufferer’s life, but there are treatments that can help.
Endometriosis can cause fertility problems. While this is not yet fully understood, it’s thought to be because of damage to the fallopian tubes or ovaries.
Looking back at her “miraculous” pregnancies, Shauna added: “To be honest, I was quite gobsmacked. I didn’t expect to get pregnant again, never mind have two twins. I thought it was a miracle. Even the doctors and sonographers said it was surprising. When talking to my specialist, she seems to think my eggs produce double.
“I would be lying if I said I don’t struggle. But at the same time, I don’t struggle as much as you’d think. They’re all such good babies.”