When I was 18, I got pregnant and it resulted in a miscarriage at 14 weeks. I was told by the doctor at the time, “you’re young, dont worry about it.” No tests for answers, nothing — just a leaflet and sent on my way. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I was meant to be a mammy.
In the years that followed I suffered another 2 miscarriages and still no tests were offered to provide much needed answers. I decided that I was not going to have children and resigned myself to this fact. I went through a grieving process, grieving for the children I had lost, the children I would never have, and the life of a mammy. Then in 2007 I met Mick and we were friends. Friendship turned to love and in 2011 we became a couple. Mick knew my desire to be a mam. He had a child from a previous relationship so I focused on him. I became a mam through Daniel. Although biologically not mine I felt he was. I loved him more than life itself. It reignited my want and need to become a mother to my own child. One I would carry and nurture for 9 months and bring into this world.
In 2013 I was admitted to hospital because my organs were shutting down and the doctors didn’t know why. It was here I was diagnosed with a whole host of illnesses and told pregnancy would be highly unlikely. The list was endless: lupus, SLE, PBC, Splenomegaly, hyperparathyroidism, and 2 blood disorders. Once I was on the mend, I was determined to prove the doctors wrong. In 2017 I discovered I had suffered a missed miscarriage and this was both a happy and sad moment — happy I had managed to conceive after 11 years of no pregnancy, but sad because it had ended before it began.
Mick said, “Lynsey, we need to get tests done, go private, and pay for any test you need. We will find the money.” A friend in work mentioned Neo to me and I decided to make an appointment. In August 2017 I walked into Neo and while waiting in the reception area, I looked at all the pictures of the babies and I said to Anne on reception, my baby will be on that wall one day. Meeting Dr. Toth was so reassuring. I immediately began taking the meds prescribed and tracking my cycle.
After a number of tests on both myself and Mick it showed no reason as to why we could not conceive. In February 2018 we got a positive test but only a week later it was negative. I suffered another miscarriage and it was at the time of the really bad snow so I couldn’t get to the clinic or hospital. In June 2018 we went to Santa Ponsa and whilst there on Thursday I went to the bathroom and passed something. I knew it didn’t look right. We went to the clinic with this item wrapped in tissue. Their English wasn’t great but they sent me straight to the hospital. All I remember hearing was “spontano aborto.” I didn’t need Google to translate that as I knew what it meant. I had suffered another miscarriage. Miscarriage number 6, the second one I didn’t know I was pregnant with, 18 years of trying to become a mam.
It all became too much so when I came home, I rang Dr. Boyle and told him I could no longer keep doing this and that I was done. I was physically and mentally broken but Dr. Boyle said, Lynsey you are on the brink of something wonderful, to give up now would be a shame. For this month just take your meds and go through the motions. Don’t try to conceive, just focus on your meds.
That month was the busiest month with work and family gatherings. It flew by and I didn’t get a moment to dwell on anything and before I knew it we were into August. I had always done the testing out method where you test every day to make sure your trigger has left your system. This month was no different and on August 3, 2018 I got a negative test meaning the trigger was gone and my period would arrive any day. By the 8th, still no period so while jumping into the shower I did two tests just for good measure. Mick was in the gym and when I got out of the shower I checked the tests and just as I was throwing them in the bin convinced they were negative, I spotted the faintest white line. So faint it wasn’t detectable by the camera on the phone. I rang Mick and then Dr. Boyle. We had the first bloods and they did not look good. We waited till the following week and again the numbers had improved. We scheduled our 7 week scan. The scan was done a few days early and there was nothing.
Dr. Boyle tried to reassure me that maybe it was too early. My HCG levels were rising but not as they should. A few days later in work I haemorrhaged and went straight to Holles Street. I was seen immediately and scanned. I wasn’t holding much hope but there on the screen was a healthy baby with a heartbeat. I had an SCH and was put on bed rest. Each week my levels failed to rise accordingly and Dr. Boyle told me to prepare for the worst. Each week I was scanned and the little warrior inside grew bigger and bigger. Just like mammy, this little miracle was proving everyone wrong. At 19 weeks I was admitted to Holles Street with elevated calcium levels and 3 days later as a result of them not going down was transferred to the Mater Hospital at the risk of cardiac arrest. I was on 24hr fluids and complete bed rest. After 2 weeks I was let home and told to pray I get to 26 weeks without another episode. I had hyperemesis, SPD and pregnancy diabetes. All this along with my own illnesses meant I was constantly being monitored by Neo and Holles Street. Praying to get to 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 weeks.
Finally Zachariah was delivered and 38 weeks and 1 day. I was told to expect a 10lb baby but Zach weighed 6lb10 and was tiny but he was perfect and most importantly he was safe, here, and all mine. We chose the name Zachariah as it means God will not forget, and he certainly didn’t. I remember emailing the clinic to tell them the baby had arrived and the reply from Dr. Boyle was congrats, the second time is always easier!
I will never find the words to thank Dr. Boyle and Dr. Toth for all their help and support because without Neo, I would not have the little man I am cuddled up next to right now. I defied the odds every step of the way and had a full term pregnancy despite my HCG levels not conforming to textbook standards. Zach is living proof miracles do happen with a little bit of Neo love and help. I hope this brings so hope to a couple trying to conceive. 18 years later, I’m a mam.