We always said two years would be a great gap between Alaia and her sibling, but never in a million years did we expect what was to come. We knew we had some odds stacked against us which meant the reality of it may take longer than expected.
An ectopic pregnancy.
One fallopian tube.
Recent hernia operation.
And basically a lifetime of doctors telling me I would find it hard to conceive without intervention -how wrong they were!
As we were sitting in a warm outdoor spa on a weekend away in Dunsborough with my cousin and his girlfriend, we collectively discussed plans of our next child and made a pact that we would begin to try so they were close in age.
The weekend came and went and a couple of weeks later my cousin’s girlfriend was pregnant, I was absolutely thrilled for them!!! I knew our news may take a little longer but wasn’t disheartened by any means.
Few weeks later…
I will never forget that night. It was a Monday. One month after our trip to Dunsborough. Phil was at indoor soccer and come 7pm I hit a brick wall, I was soooooo tired and for no apparent reason – anyone that knows me, knows I am quite the night owl. It was then that I knew, I just knew. I messaged Phil to purchase a pregnancy test on the way home. By the time he got home, I was sound asleep.
The next morning I woke and ran to the bathroom to do the test. Within a couple of mins, right there staring back at me were the words pregnant 1-2 weeks – I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!! Yes, I did a crazy happy dance, cried like a baby, woke Alaia up just to squeeze her and then called Phil to tell him the incredible news, as he was already at work.
The best was yet to come… or was it?
Within a few days my morning sickness (or should I say ALL DAY sickness) hit me like a tonne of bricks. Oh how I didn’t miss this feeling. I was only three weeks pregnant, how could I possibly be so sick. With each new day, the sickness got worse and worse. I was vomiting at least 10 times a day and the migraines, don’t get me started on the migraines! I knew something was different. I was sick in my pregnancy to Alaia, but not to this extent.
My mummy instinct told me, it was twins and I shared those thoughts with my close girlfriends and Phil.
Soon enough, our six week scan was upon us. On our way to the appointment Phil spoke about trading in his work ute for a new one. I told him to hold off until after the scan. He laughed at me innocently.
When we entered to greet our obstetrician it was the warmest of welcomes. We grew such an incredible bond throughout my pregnancy and birth of Alaia and it was good to be home in a sense. She asked how I was feeling and I informed her of my severe sickness and that I had a feeling it was twins – she too chuckled and said “every pregnant women says that”.
A couple of minutes later, the scan would show something different…
My mummy instincts were right! There they were, two incredible little miracles staring back at us!
“Oh my God, there’s definitely two heartbeats Solonge!” my obstetrician gushed with the biggest of smiles – her jovial midwife looking on in glee.
The tears streamed down my face and as I looked over at Phil his smile was bigger than the ocean – we were absolutely thrilled – what a blessing!
How could this be? How could my body endure all that it had in the past year and against the odds and being told I don’t ovulate regularly my whole life, I somehow ovulated TWICE! It was our little miracle or should I say our double rainbow.
Whatever would happen from here, nothing could overshadow my excitement, gratefulness and joy!
The next few weeks would prove challenging, my sickness got worse and worse to the point where I was bed ridden most days. I initially managed this sleeping while Alaia slept but then as it continued to worsen, my mum came to my aid and helped throughout the day.
Before I knew it, I was 11 weeks. I woke up with the worse migraine yet and for some reason my left leg had cramped leaving me unable to bend it. I decided it was time to call the obstetrician. Once I told her I was still this sick and about the cramp in my leg, she told me to immediately come to the hospital.
I spent the next three days on hospital on a drip, had a load of blood tests and was booked into an MRI on my brain for the next day. Turns out the leg cramp was the result of a severe potassium deficiency brought on by excess vomiting. Easy fix though, some medication for a couple of days would rectify this, and it did.
Although I was so sick, I remained positive. It’s funny you know, once you’ve experienced pregnancy losses, the sickness is in some way a reminder or assurance your baby is ok. So, as much as I loathed being sick, it gave me the peace of mind I needed that my babies were ok.
Morning arrived and I was ready to go to my MRI. The specialist was almost certain the scan would be clear but wanted to rule out anything sinister given the severity of my migraines. I agreed.
Out came the wavier because I was pregnant. Although the contrasting dye was not going to be used given I was pregnant, it was considered there was still not enough research to conclusively confirm no impact of an MRI on pregnancy (even though there was more than 30 years’ showing no impact.) I signed the waiver and went ahead, I just wanted to be in the clear.
MRI was completed.
I was told I would be contacted by phone. The gentlemen who facilitated the MRI told me that those who had questionable results were contacted first (usually within an hour) and if I didn’t hear within a couple of hours, it was fair to say all was clear. I stayed positive and knew I would fall into the latter group.
I was taken back to my room.
Within half an hour, my hospital phone rang. The specialist told me they were shocked but had found something on the back of my brain, she couldn’t tell me anymore until a senior neurologist reviewed the images. My heart sank.
For the next 24 hours I would sit anxiously awaiting the outcome – did I have a tumour? Was it cancer? Will I lose my babies? For maybe ten minutes my positivity slipped away and all the worst case scenarios came flooding to mind. But I refused to accept them and quickly switched back to my positive thoughts.
The next morning the specialist called me, it definitely wasn’t the dreaded ‘T’ word – REJOICE! They seemed to think it was just inflammation and either old damage or something I was born with. *Sigh of relief.* She advised that the senior neurologist would come in and see me later that afternoon.
Dr. Gilbert arrived and asked me a series of questions about my history of migraines. He then reiterated what the specialist had told me but said he would email me once an even more senior neuro-radiologist reviewed the images. I was given some injections in the back of my skull to ease the migraines and given the ok to go home, it was Sunday evening by that stage. As I was in the labour ward, there wasn’t much more they could do for me and the matter could be handled direct with the neurologist, I couldn’t wait to be home to my girl.
Three days on fluid, the potassium and the injections in my skull helped me me feel a whole lot better. The sickness was still there, but the severity definitely minimised. Dr Gilbert was good enough to keep a check on me through email and by Tuesday I received an email from him saying,
“they concluded it looks like a remote ischaemia event. Ischaemia is a lack of blood supply to the area. Remote means it isn’t causing your migraines. Plan will be to follow up the scan in about 10 weeks with another”.
I was relived! For now, it seemed irrelevant and I was sticking with that.
I am now 14 weeks pregnant, our babies are perfectly healthy we and couldn’t be happier!
Sure the road to get here was a little bumpy (I know there is far worse stories) and I know I am still somewhat sick, but how blessed are we. Against our odds, we got our rainbow and a double one at that!
Maybe it was my conversion to veganism for a month prior or the fact my husband and I attended a four day Tony Robbins seminar in Sydney and I was in a great mindset – whatever it was, I was blessed, in a way I could never have imagined!
I know not everyone’s story is the same and I know some have a far harder road, I just pray this is a beacon of hope to someone out there that miracles do happen.
To all those who have loved and lost, or are yet to love a little one of their own my wish for you is 2018 is your year.
Sending so much love and positivity to all and hoping there are plenty more rainbows in the New Year!
All my love,