Still Here - Guest post by Têya Foley
We arrived for our ultrasound excited to show our 1-year-old daughter the squiggle that would become their little brother or sister. Within minutes of the ultrasound starting I sensed something was wrong; the sonographer was barely looking at me and throughout the duration of our 30-minute appointment she didn’t once turn the screen so that we could see our baby.
Two sleepless nights later I was finally able to see my doctor, and my fears were confirmed the moment I saw his eyes. Fluid had been detected within my baby’s lungs, which signaled a chromosomal abnormality, and I was sent to the nearest hospital to be examined further.
At the hospital I was told by two doctors that they suspected my baby had a condition called hydrops and that I would need to be referred a specialist at the Royal Women’s Hospital. They told me that while this specialist would be able to further explore our baby’s condition, it was extremely unlikely that our baby would be able to survive and that I would need to start preparing to terminate our pregnancy. I had never wept more than I did in that room.
A week later my husband and I arrived for our appointment and were taken to have an ultrasound prior to seeing the specialist. We actually stared at the ultrasound screen praying not to see a heartbeat so that we wouldn’t have to make a choice, that was never a choice at all. When the sonographer confirmed that our baby was no longer I actually felt calm and relieved. Of course, I wished my body still housed a healthy baby, but that was no longer a possibility, and I felt so relieved that the “choice” to terminate the life of our unhealthy baby had been taken out of our hands.
It was a Friday when we found out our baby had left us and as the hospital only performed D&C’s on weekdays and they required fasting, we were unable to have the D&C until the following Monday. Spending that weekend pregnant but not expecting was one of the hardest things I had ever endured.
When Monday afternoon arrived, I dropped my daughter off with a friend until Daddy could be with her and I drove to the hospital to farewell our baby. I felt like a zombie, numb from emotion, as I filled in my forms, put on my gown and waited for our goodbye. It wasn’t until I was about to be wheeled to theatre that the doctor mentioned the term “partial molar pregnancy”. In the minutes while I awaited my gurney I furiously googled and words like “cysts”, “tumours” and “chemotherapy” glared back at me…I was beyond terrified, but also felt like they must be wrong, I’d been told by the specialist that my baby had a condition called “hydrops”, and the term “partial molar pregnancy” had never even been mentioned, surely there must have been a mistake?
When my gurney finally arrived all the numbness and confusion dissipated and the reality of what was about to happen sunk in. Tears started forming in my eyes, and when I looked at the Orderly he responded with such kindness and told me that it was okay to be sad, it was a very sad thing…and my tears began flowing.
What happened next was a blur, after the 1, 2, 3… I drifted into the unconscious and when I woke I found out that my world had crumbled even further. There were tubes coming out from everywhere and worried surgeons were everywhere. I soon found out that I had haemorrhaged during the operation and had lost 50% of the blood in my body. Fortunately, blood transfusions had saved my life, and I found out later that I had somehow miraculously avoided the hysterectomy that would generally accompany that type of blood loss.
Meanwhile my poor husband was driving to the hospital in a state of utter fear, after receiving a call advising him that something had gone wrong and to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Not only had he just lost a baby, he had driven 25 minutes believing he was about to lose his wife and the mother to his daughter as well. While I was blissfully unaware of how close to death I had come, my husband was almost suffocated by the fear he felt and is still dealing with the after shocks of that fear 4 years on.
I will forever be grateful to blood donors for preventing his fear for being realised. Because of them my husband still has his wife, my daughter still has her mother, I have still my life and my son exists! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We like to thank Têya for being our first guest on the the Still Mama Tribe podcast. We are honoured you have shared your story, your time and the space with not only ourselves but our audience. We wish you well on your relocation over to America with your family. We look forward to sharing Têya with you more in future episodes. Love Sarah & Megan - TSMT