Updated: Sep 24, 2018
If someone were to ask you to define Motherhood, what would you say? If I were asked that question pre 2017, my answer would have been very different to the answer I’d give today. 2017 changed my life, it gave me a gift – well two actually - took them away and then left me to pick up the pieces. So even though my story of Motherhood may differ from what you might expect, it’s my Motherhood none the less and it goes a bit like this…
Had I always wanted to be a Mum? No. Sounds brutal doesn’t it? But if life’s taught me anything, it’s the importance of honesty and so when I met Mark in September 2013 I knew there was something different about him, something different about us - for the first time in years I felt complete. Three months later I rented out my flat, moved into his and we set about turning his bachelor pad into a home. Neither of us said it at the time, but I think it would be fair to say we both knew we’d found ‘the one’ and I knew that if I was ever going to have children with anyone, it would be with Mark.
In 2014 we decided to start trying for a baby but it wasn’t working.
A visit to the Gynaecologist revealed my PCOS was still very much present and now Endometriosis had also decided to throw itself into the mix, putting my fertility at risk and making conceiving pretty much impossible. Within a matter of days, I was in the operating theatre undergoing surgery and a short recovery later we were good to go again. But something had changed, I think the reality of the situation had hit us both and so we decided to go back on the pill, have some more ‘us’ time and get ourselves in a better position before starting our family.
Fast forward to 2016 and we were where we wanted to be - we had our house and life was a lot more together so we set about trying for a baby all over again. After the last attempt and knowing that my PCOS was still present, we weren’t even sure we could get pregnant.
However, December 2016, 2 people stood in the kitchen staring at a positive reading on a pregnancy test – we were going to be parents! We were hosting Christmas that year and had invited both our families over for the big day so we decided to wait until then to announce the news. No one knew about our previous attempt to get pregnant or that we were even trying but when Mark broke the news the screams were loud, the champagne flowing (although not for me of course!) and sheer elation filled the room.
In January 2017 we had our first scan, not only were we pregnant but we were pregnant with twins! Identical twins at that and how did they know? Well the twins were sharing a placenta, this is known as a monochoronic pregnancy and with that came a 10% risk of complications developing - namely Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). Despite the risk, all looked to be ok but even so they decided they were going to scan us every 2 weeks from week 17 through to delivery.
At 17 weeks pregnant we arrived at the scan completely oblivious to what was about to smack us in the face. After a 40 minute scan, Mark and I sat hand in hand and the words that left the consultants mouth went a bit like this:
“There are clear signs of severe TTTS and as a result Twin 1 is significantly smaller than Twin 2, there is no amniotic fluid surrounding Twin 1, there are signs of Intrauterine Growth Restriction. We can also see that Twin 2 has a severe cleft lip and palate.”
Our world was crashing before our eyes but she hadn’t quite finished,
“We can carry out laser surgery today to try and save them although there is only a 10% chance Twin 1 will survive and a 70% chance Twin 2 will survive. If we don’t do the surgery, both your babies will die.”
With the limited knowledge we had of our situation and in what felt like a desperate attempt to try and save our babies, we had the surgery. Consenting to it felt like we’d signed a death warrant and the scars the procedure left behind are still, to this day, far more than physical. We left the hospital that night with nothing but hope, each other and an appointment to return 2 weeks later on Thursday 16th March – my birthday. Exactly one week after I turned 32, the twins were gone and we delivered our sleeping babies on 23rd March 2017 - just writing that breaks my heart all over again.
Although my Motherhood was short lived, it’s still mine to hold onto and treasure in every which way I can. After the twins were delivered I spent some time with them, held them in my arms told them how much Mark and I loved them and promised they’d always be a part of our lives. We left the hospital the next day with the blankets they were wrapped in and memories that would stay with us forever.
So back to my original question - if someone were to ask you to define Motherhood, what would you say? Well, today I would say Motherhood is a feeling, an unexplainable emotion; a part of you that exists inside consumes your being and makes you who you are. Motherhood doesn’t require a physical presence although it’s an added luxury if you get that part. Do I hope I’ll one day experience Motherhood with a more positive outcome? Absolutely, in fact the twins baby brother is due on the 6th November 2018 and when he’s old enough, as promised, he’ll know all about his two older sisters.
See more from Amanda, the lovely lady behind 'This is my Motherhood', here:
'Since delivering the twins, Amanda has set up Home of the Little Something - a blog which tells the story of navigating the rocky road that comes post pregnancy loss. Her online store, The Little Something Company also aims to raise funds for the Tamba TTTS Appeal which helps maintain the UKs first ever TTTS Register, leads on vital research and will help medical professionals to better understand the care needed for those affected by TTTS.’