Stacey’s Story

Stacey’s Story

We never in a million years thought we'd be this lucky after such a heartbreaking two years, to be where we are today ― a few days out from the planned delivery of our third baby, second born son and another brother for Ella-Skye.

I guess it can be summed up in total as a journey of faith and hope. We set a goal and kept pushing to it despite our heartbreaks, one after the other, and working through our grief. It has by no means been easy but it's certainly worth it.

After a seemingly easy pregnancy with my now six year old, we had no clue or expected any complications, let alone such a rare one, with our second pregnancy. So at our 36 week scan when we were told our baby suddenly had fluid inside his brain and that we needed to present to Mater’s Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) as soon as we could ― our heads just started spinning. Our beautiful baby boy’s fate unravelled from there. The fluid was in fact caused by a tumour in his brain growing rapidly that had disrupted his perfect brain matter quite abruptly, which was later proved by his partial autopsy. It was inoperable and his diagnoses from MFM and the state's leading neurological surgeons brought in to help, was that he couldn't be saved. Too much damage was done and it was more than likely that my placenta was keeping him alive so he had very little chance surviving birth and taking breath for himself.

Our baby boy Hendrix defied odds and did just that. Delivered stronger and fighting the severe effects of the brain tumour. Thanks to the experts at Mater Mothers and Hummingbird House we had three amazing days with Hendrix to shower him with our love before he succumbed to the pressures of his tumour in palliative care. Nine months later we found ourselves still heavily trekking through dark bouts of grief towards Hendrix's first heavenly birthday and anniversary, when we found out we were pregnant ― with the news not one sac on board, but two! We were so excited at the news, hopeful and just overall really grateful.

At five weeks gestation I suffered a large bleed yet all seemed well and each week we were trekking on towards the 12 week mark and I headed in for a scan. At 11 weeks and 5 days, our twin sacs with healthy placentas starting to flourish, were ruled unviable and I was booked for an emergency dilation and curettage (D&C). Pathology later showed us they were a missed miscarriage at five weeks.

This was heartbreaking, explaining this to a then 5 year old, more babies gone to heaven and not a chance to meet these two. 

My world was suddenly dark and heavy, science gave me closure and I worked towards acceptance with losing Hendrix but suddenly another loss. I was confused, very unwell (a common occurrence after miscarriage) and feeling like a failure. I kept questioning what's wrong with me? Why can't I carry all of a sudden? Is my womb damaged? I'd failed. My body failed me again, which in fact it hadn't at all.

It was just the negativity creeping in. It had in fact given me two strong babies and nurtured both of them. These are just a handful of emotions that weighed me down. There were days I couldn't get one foot in front of the other. I remember two weeks of being crippled with grief, barely able to care for Ella, which made me feel worse. If it wasn't for a fantastic support network I would have ended up in a dark, dark place. "At least you have Ella"; there’s no “at least” when life of the loved is lost. People mean well and are just trying to comfort us, we have to choose how to navigate and receive this the best we can.

I put off trying to conceive for two years. I couldn't even think about it and sought professional help for what felt like depression creeping in. My confidence had floundered. Through all of this I've learnt the most important thing is self care. Physical and mental. It helps to talk and remember. Three months later I began to see a little more clearly and restore faith in myself and our life goals and kept working towards what our family wanted despite the setbacks. We were alive and well and had lots of love to give and found out we were pregnant after our first cycle of trying to conceive. Thanks to a fabulous family GP, psychologist, MFM and the new and improved Pregnancy Assessment Centre at Mater Mothers, this Rainbow pregnancy has been much more manageable then I imagined and I'm able to work through, even with my anxieties.

Now at 37 weeks and just a week out from my planned delivery of our second strong and very viable son, I find myself anxious but really excited and well-supported, trekking so close to the arrival of this beautiful boy.  He's already very much a part of our family.

I never lost faith, I cried pregnancy announcement, after pregnancy announcement, but kept trekking towards my goals of health and happiness and kept telling myself it would be my turn again one day just not today.

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