Authors: Bree Schranz and Dale Gaylard
The mother’s story
We had been trying for a baby with IVF for 6 years. Six emotionally draining, financially taxing and physically demanding years. We decided to insert two embryos and, two took! Yes! Our dream of becoming parents was finally happening.
Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I spent most days with my head in the bucket. If I wasn’t doing that, I was up at the local hospital on a drip! Quite often, it would result with me in a hospital stay – hyperemesis struck. However, I did not look like Kate Middleton at all! Hospital stays would be 2-3 weeks at a time. I would be discharged, and the cycle would begin again. Close ones and work colleagues were unfamiliar with hyperemesis and were starting to think I had a terminal disease.
The vomiting started to ease, but the blood pressure started to rise. Again, I was put in hospital again and the twins monitored.
At 34 weeks, the decision was made to deliver them early.
Milla and Samuel were born with no complications and super cute. They spent some time in the special care nursery. This happy, caring room, became my ultimate nightmare. Expressing one day, I knew that things weren’t right. I started to feel giddy and it escalated. I collapsed, and could not remember anything.
My family later found out, I had had a stroke after having twins.
I was taken to another hospital where my husband would come to express me and visit me, then return to be with the twins. We were finally moved to the same hospital where this made it easier for my husband.
Although the twins came home before me and I missed a lot of firsts, I am forever grateful for the time I get with them today. I have gone from not walking and talking to now I am now the full time worker, my husband is the stay home parent. Although I have been told I am no longer allowed to have children, I am amazingly grateful for what I have today.
The father’s story….
Finding out we were pregnant was an exciting moment, but to find out we were having twins was a bit surreal. I thought my time to celebrate and build the excitement of becoming a dad was finally happening for me. That was before my wife started to be unwell.
The hyperemesis kicked in and I felt like all I did was rub her back. Anything to help her feel better, or get through the moments. During her hospital stays, I held the fort back home, with the dogs and general household chores. It was all felt like I could do.
Towards the end of her pregnancy, one of her hospital stays meant the end. My twins were going to be delivered early. As it was an emergency c section, it was all rushed, one minute I was in scrubs and on my own for what felt like an eternity, to the next minute meeting my twins for the first time.
My wife was unwell for the first day or so and was unable to see or spend time with the twins. It was here that I started to be the main parent. I had to step up, little did I know, that this would be for quite a few months.
A week after the twins were born, my wife was spending time at the hospital and had a stroke.
I knew at this moment I had to put my feelings aside and be there for my wife and my new twins. I would travel from hospital to hospital, expressing, feeding, sleeping then repeating. It took an emotional toll on myself, but I knew it was what I had to do for my family.
The twins were fortunate to leave the special care nursery, however, their mum still had to stay at hospital. I experienced many firsts, which normal husbands would share with their wives. It was up to me to set them up in their routines at home. A few weeks later, their mum joined us at home. I was pretty much caring for three children. She had a lot of work to do, a lot of rehab, it was very taxing on myself.
Looking back now, yes, we had a very different start to our kids lives. Would I change it? Sure, I would tweak some things. I wish my wife hadn’t had the stroke after having twins, let her be there to experience all those firsts, but today – she is here, she is experiencing all the other firsts. We are a family of four and that could have been very different.