History repeated itself in a cruel way Kellie Cantwell, 31, Limerick
Falling pregnant for the first time should be joyous and exhilarating.
But for me and my boyfriend Andrew, 22, our happiness was short-lived.
It was January 2011, and all we’d ever wanted was a family.
But at our first scan, we were given some devastating news.
‘I’m afraid the womb is empty,’ the doctor told me.
‘What does that mean?’ I asked.
The doctor shook his head.
He explained it was an ectopic pregnancy
– when the egg implants itself outside of the womb – and carried too great a risk.
Our only option was a termination.
In the aftermath of the procedure, I worried I’d never become a mum.
But doctors encouraged me to keep trying.
And in April 2011, I was pregnant again.
Monitored closely, every day was terrifying.
But, thankfully, Liam arrived in January 2012.
Doubling our luck, Sean was born in January 2015.
I adored our family of four, but never ruled out having more kids in the future.
A good thing, too, as in March 2017 I realised I was pregnant again.
Looking forward to expanding our family, I couldn’t wait for the first scan.
Only, the sonographer seemed concerned.
‘The baby’s not where it’s meant to be,’ she said.
‘It looks like the egg has implanted itself in your Caesarean scar,’ she said. What?
I didn’t even think that was possible.
I’d had Caesareans when delivering both my boys.
I didn’t know this was a risk.
Turns out it was an extremely rare form of ectopic pregnancy. There was a serious risk of my uterus rupturing.
If it did, I’d be dead in minutes. Terrifying.
‘So, what now?’ I asked. But I already knew what she was going to say.
I’d have to terminate this pregnancy, too.
This time, I’d need to have a medical abortion. This meant two injections of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate.
In April 2017, I was kept in hospital after the injections.
There was still a chance the uterus could rupture.
Discharged 14 days later, I went back and forth for tests.
It was so tough knowing that I’d lost another child.
As for the boys, then 5 and 2, they’d known there was a baby in my belly.
‘When is the baby coming?’ they’d often ask.
I had no idea what to say, so I’d just change the subject.
Andrew, 29, could see I was hurt and would try his best to console me.
‘We can try again,’ he soothed.
But doctors warned us to wait at least six months.
Due to the chemo drugs, my body was seriously depleted of folates, vitamins and minerals.
That’s when we started taking a health supplement called Proceive.
It would help get my hormone levels and body back to where they needed to be.
And after several months of waiting and trying, I was pregnant again.
But we didn’t want to get our hopes up... Not yet.
As we went along to our first scan, we prepared for the worst.
But then the sonographer smiled at us.
‘The baby is right where they’re supposed to be,’ she said, showing us the screen.
In September last year, we welcomed Eabha into the world. I felt so lucky.
Now, I miss the two babies I never had a chance to meet, but I’m so thankful.
Whether I’m watching the boys run riot or rocking Eabha to sleep, I feel so blessed to have three wonderful kids.
‘The baby’s not where it’s meant to be...’
Blessed with a baby girl