Pre-Eclampsia Stories - Second Time Round, Zachary's Story

After my separation and eventual divorce, life as a single parent was tough. Brooke was only five months old (born 26.6 weeks) and had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Hydrochelaus, visual impairment, epilepsy and developmental delay due to Pre-Eclampsia and prematurity. But the cruelest hand was yet to be dealt.

Brooke celebrated her first birthday with, of course, a party, cake and lots of presents. A mere six weeks later, she was gone.

My dream of motherhood was shattered. I desperately wanted another baby. I had had a minute taste of being a mummy and loved it

Due to complications (not from Pre-Eclampsia) I could no longer fall pregnant naturally. My well-planned life had crumbled literally before me.

Four long years later, I met a wonderful, caring and devoted man. John knew my plight, but still stayed on. IVF was our only chance for a baby.

The initial excitement of joining the program soon demolished through sheer torture. Eight single embryos transfers were performed, without success. Utter desperation had set in. I begged the specialist to transfer two embryos. (Quite well knowing the chances of twins and increased risk of Pre-Eclampsia). Against all advice, this was done.

The long wait, yet again, was very painful. Tears of elation, fear and anxiety were shed, when we heard the news.

At five weeks I was bed ridden with bleeding. We held our breath until the seventh week scan to find out how many babies I was caring. Good news..."He" was alone. The insurmountable number of times I was hospitalised due mainly to stress damped the pregnancy. Many times I asked myself, "What have I done?" But thirty-eight long weeks later and without incidence of Pre-Eclampsia, our darling little baby, Zachary, was born under an elective caesarean.

John is now a proud father of a happy, healthy, inquisitive four-year-old and I am the mother I craved to be again.

It was through the support and friendships I have made from being on the Australian Action on Pre-Eclampsia (AAPEC) committee that helped me survive the ordeal of second time round.

Anne Hally-Paddock.