real life

When this woman speaks about love and loss, we listen.

BY ALISSA WARREN.

When Mary Coustas speaks, your heart bursts.

With sadness.

With joy.

Because her remarkable journey to parenthood speaks to every parent who has struggled.

The 50 year-old comedian-turned-author has spoken about in a series of Show And Tell videos the stillbirth of her daughter Stevie and the arrival of her daughter, Jamie, now six months old in a series of interviews with Show n’ Tell.

Speaking about Stevie’s birth, she says she just knew she wasn’t going to make it, “I knew. I woke up and thought today is the today we’re going to make history for our family. No crane, no rocket could’ve lifted me out of what I knew”.

In the interview, Mary tells about how her waters broke at 22 weeks, while her husband, George was overseas.

She waited and waited for the inevitable.

“So, there I was with a compromised child and I was still praying and I was still hoping [that] I could drag it out to 28 weeks … it was really difficult and there’s plenty of hours in every night where there’s no nurse, no visitors and it’s just silence … It was just hideous. The most difficult thing”.

Mary Coustas speaks to Show n’ Tell.

Mary just knew it was a matter of time before her precious baby would arrive long before her due date. It meant she was forced to make some tough decisions. She says, “if the baby comes out at a certain week – 24 or 25 weeks – you have to make the decision as to whether you ask the doctors to revive or not and if you do … are you doing what’s best for the baby?”

When her baby was ready to be born, Mary was 24 weeks pregnant. She was told her baby wouldn’t survive. The strength at which Mary speaks about her experience is phenomenal. “[I was ] wounded to the point of no recovery with that news. But I had a job to do. So I had to push it to the side and get on with it”.

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Her baby girl was named Stevie and Mary says, “she was breathtaking. It was the crush of a lifetime. I mean that on two levels. You don’t know anything until you’ve experienced it … about anything in life. You don’t know who you are until those moments. My response was: I was very proud.”

See Mary talk more about Stevie’s arrival, here:

Mary also talks about her girlfriends being there after Stevie was born. “You find yourself accessing feelings you wouldn’t have assumed you would … it was a huge bond for us … They took something great from it. [And ] I didn’t have to convince someone what I’d been through with my baby because they felt it too.”

Mary speaks of the beauty of friendship and says they told her, “They didn’t know what motivated them other than they didn’t want me to be alone”.

See her speak more about them, here:

The most heart-warming of Mary’s words was about the birth of her daughter, Jamie. Jamie is six months old.

Mary says,  “It was the most perfect day and the most perfect scenario. I’d done a lot of work to not bring in all my fears from what had happened in that room in the past. I’m very protective of Stevie’s place in my heart and I didn’t want to be dumping. I went and saw somebody to talk about it and that really helped.”

And then she arrived, “I was 100 per cent present. I was calm thoughout the whole thing. The most incredible birth … there she was. It was just spectactular. ”

You can see more of Mary talking about that joyous moment here:

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