19 months later, we found out I was pregnant with our second daughter. Another little surprise.
This time... the morning sickness was horrible. Horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE! Morning sickness + me = not good. I felt helpless… useless. I could not do what I felt like I 'should' have been doing.
My depression got worse. I pushed myself out of bed every morning. I got myself dressed, I got my daughter dressed, I got her to daycare, I got myself to work. I pushed on through. Again, looking back... I should have hospitalised myself.
I was not coping.
Just when I thought things could not get worse.... he left.
My children’s father chose to leave us. 15 weeks after finding out we were pregnant again. He chose to leave me at my lowest point. He chose to leave our family.
Our relationship had died. He told me I should be able to handle all of this.
My world absolutely crumbled. It absolutely shattered. A few days later when reality had set in with all this, I phoned my Mum. She came to stay with me. And my sister immediately flew down from Rockhampton to be with me and my daughter. They were there for me in every way possible.
I had no choice but to keep on going. I had a nearly two-year-old, and another human growing inside me. What was I to do? What the heck was I to do?!?
Hello my name is Donna and I am 44 years old. I am a full time working mama and I am married to a wonderful shift working hubby Linc. We have two beautiful girls Gemma (10 and a half) and Jasmine (who has just turned 9) and we have a pretty busy life with the girls dancing commitments so on our weekends we cherish family time.
Linc and I met when we were both 29 (on a blind date set up by friends!) and we pretty much knew we wanted to settle down and start a family relatively quickly. We bought a house within 2 and a half years and our dreams were starting.
The day we moved in our house, in March 2004, I was really tired. I put it down to moving house and winding down for a few weeks. A few days later an accidental opening of a draw revealed an engagement ring I wasn’t meant to see for a few weeks and bang we were engaged. Excitement all round!
Later that week I realised my period was late… I thought it was due the following week but checked my calculations and went and bought a test which came up positive. I was so shocked… Linc and I were so excited I went out and bought every pregnancy book! I went to my GP who confirmed it and then booked an appointment with my gyno/obstetrician, a wonderful doctor I had seen for a few years. I was ordered blood tests to check my HCG levels and had an estimated due date of Nov 27th 2004.
Being only 5 or so weeks pregnant I felt symptoms such as swollen boobs but nothing too obvious. Unfortunately not long after the excitement I started to bleed. I called my doctor who ordered another lot of bloods and this is where I learnt all about the rise and falls of HCG levels. My obstetrician called late one afternoon, between delivering babies, to tell me my levels weren’t rising and that a miscarriage was ‘imminent’. I remember asking if I could have hcg or progesterone injections to bump up the levels, practically pleading, to which I was told in a sympathetic but matter of fact way – no there is no hope. And within a few days I lost our first baby at 7 weeks.
I get induced as bubs is getting into a not such a good state, neither am I, and bubs is posterior so its agonising. I literally can’t breath and beg for an epidural. By this state I can’t even take a deep breath to hold still inbetween contractions because there is no time so I’m held down and ‘oooh yea feel some relief’. Not a full epidural because the babies in distress and we need all hands on deck. By the time it comes to push I have 15 doctors in the room and a guy vacuuming out my baby while I push and yes ‘scream’!
Out he finally comes… not really breathing and not crying onto my chest… then taken swiftly from me as the large gathering of doctors work on him and then he is taken up to the neonatal ward. I’m left drained, and sore, throwing up in a bag, wondering if he is even gonna make it. I get wheel chaired up to the ward later to see him attached to tubes and in a nappy… but alive!
Time moves on and my son is diagnosed with Autism. Again life tests me and continues to to this very day. After a period of grieving, I summon the strength only mums have and deal with that shit.
In the meantime my marriage is crumbling. Autism, Tourette’s tics, hyperactivity, sibling rivalry, lack of sleep, stress, lack of making time for each other, and lack of time for each other, feeling alone and scared, I am pushed to my absolute limits over and over again.
No one can help me or make it all better…
I wrote the first part of my story back in May 2017 when I was experiencing my third miscarriage. I was so broken, it was all so much at once, the anniversary of Zoe’s death, a miscarriage, bereaved mother’s day, mother’s day. I took a lot of time off from my job because I just couldn’t function I did not have it in me.
I also underwent investigations in to my reasons for recurrent miscarriage in May/June of 2017. I wasn’t expecting much to come out of this, I was certain it was just our luck. Those investigations found that I am a heterozygous carrier of the MFTHR gene mutation which has been linked to recurrent pregnancy loss as well as other pregnancy complications. It was also found that my ovarian reserve was low, not a major cause for concern but as I was not ready to try to conceive again it was recommended to go back on birth control.
Turns out I never got a repeat on my script and I couldn’t get in to my doctor to get a prescription in time for me to take the pills correctly. So we decided to be careful and to not not try… I fell pregnant the one time we slipped, there are a lot of people that say it always happens when you least expect it.
Being pregnant again was such a mix of emotions. I was excited and terrified, so anxious about how things would progress.
I was devastated when they told me I’d have to stay a few more days. It was just too hard having the little guy at the hospital with me, so he visited and breastfed during the day, and went home at night. I would express milk at night and send it home for the next night’s feeds. Being separated from my tiny baby was awful. My breasts were confused, and I kept thinking I could hear him crying, even though he wasn’t there. Setting alarms to wake up and express milk during the night was no fun either. I just wanted to go home.
After a week in hospital, x-rays, CT scans, daily blood and urine tests, an MRI and a kidney biopsy, I was diagnosed with Microscopic Polyangiitis, an autoimmune disease that had really taken its toll on my kidneys.
I needed to start treatment of Prednisolone (a steroid) and Cyclophosphamide (a chemotherapy drug). The Dr explained that the treatment may reduce my chances of conceiving more children. And that I would have to stop breastfeeding. That’s when I broke down.... "
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