This year and the next was meant to be the best two years of my life.
I’d decided to pack up my life and head to London to see what life held for me and what adventures I could go on. So off I headed off- no family or friends by my side- just me all by my little self.
To be honest I’d raved on to everyone about how excited I was, but all that excitement covered the deep feelings of how scared I was. All that was running through my head was am I ready for this? What if I don’t like it? Who can I turn to for support? But I did it. I landed a job in my dream profession, found a place to live, began making friends, and felt like I had a purpose in life.
One day I got a phone call from my sister. When I saw her name pop up on my phone I thought this was strange considering it was the middle of the night in Australia.
In my mind as soon as I answered the phone, I knew something had happened (that gut feeling). She told me mum had been taken to hospital. She was just feeling a bit dizzy but nothing too bad and not to stress.
I convinced myself not to stress considering I was on the other side of the world and there was nothing I could do. We were contemplating going out but my phone rang again- this time my dad. I knew something wasn’t right this time. I didn’t even answer the phone with ‘hello’. All I said was ‘Do I need to come back?’ and all he responded was ‘yes’.
I got on the first flight home the next morning. I tell you, that was the longest and worst flight ever! All I did was cry.
As soon as I stepped off that plane, I was escorted through customs and immigration by security to be met by my sister. I told her to get me straight to the hospital.
When I got to the hospital, I didn’t really think of what to expect. I just wanted a big hug from my mum. That was the last thing I was going to get. There she was, swollen face cords attached to her…lying there in a coma with a tube helping her breathe. This wasn’t how I thought I was going to see my mum the next time returning home.
From here it wasn't good news. The doctors told us we had to decide: leave her in her coma without any improvements or remove everything and let her go on her own terms.
We knew mum didn't want to suffer and it would break her heart having us all watch her there hooked up to machines that were just there to keep her in a coma. In one of the easiest but hardest choices of our lives, we chose to turn it off. On the 19th of May, mum had the final say and left us on her terms.
Unfortunately, this isn't the end of my story.
I needed to get my sanity back. I needed normality. I booked my flight back to London for in a few days time. I had to pack and do one final thing. I needed to go to the doctors. I had gained a bit of weight, but no more than five kilos since moving to London, so Dad told me to go get checked out.
To my surprise, the doctor told me I was pregnant.
When I say pregnant, I'm not talking 12 weeks; they said at least 26 weeks. I began freaking out. I couldn't tell anyone. We had just been through a massive loss and to be honest, I was embarrassed.
I didn't tell anyone and headed on my flight back to London.
When I got back to London, I tried everything to get into a hospital for scans. Who knew how tough it could be. Three weeks ago I had my first appointment. No one there to hold my hand or anything. Going by measurements, they told me 31 weeks but booked me in for scans the following week.
At the same appointment, I told them I felt like I wanted adoption for this child- I mean I hadn't grown attached to it and let's be honest, how could I singularly support this child. I didn't even know who the father was.
I spoke to the social worker and they supported whatever I wanted to do and got me a case worker from the area I lived. This was great and I thought I've still got another month and a half and if I change my mind I can talk to my family back in Australia.
So at my scan appointment last week, I surprisingly found out I was two days before my due date. TOTAL SHOCK!!
Two days after my due date my waters broke when I was at home about to go to bed. I rang the hospital to let them know and they told me to wait until the contractions were bad that I couldn't talk. How could I judge this? I was at home in my room by myself going through contractions and you're asking me to judge this?
It got to about 5am the next morning and I just couldn't handle it. I got myself an Uber and headed to the hospital. Luckily I did. I was fully dilated and the baby was out within the hour.
I told them during my labour to take the baby away as it was up for adoption. I must say after the labour the hospital was so sensitive and supportive about the issue and my situation. They took the baby away and focused on myself. Later that day, they sent me down to the post-natal unit. They gave me a private room and supported my pain management and sent over the social worker. We had a bit of a chat and she left me for the night.
The next day I woke up and apart from being sore, I was beginning to rethink not seeing the baby. The social worker and case worker both came to see me and discus legalities and the case worker said they had a foster family ready to take the baby home.
I thought I needed to see the baby before it was gone otherwise I was worried about the 'what ifs'. And I didn't even know the sex of the child I had given birth to. They brought him into my room. I thought to myself I had produced a ridiculously good looking boy. They asked if I wanted to meet the foster mum and I thought I may as well to make sure he was going to a good home.
Half an hour later we were all in a room. Not awkward one little bit. The foster mum was absolutely lovely and so was her daughter. The conversation was so organic.
The social worker asked if I wanted to spend one more night with my son. I said yes as I had been enjoying his cuddles and smile since I met him.
I got about four hours sleep last night as all I could do was watch him. I then saw it was 9am and the tears started coming; not his but mine. I don't know why but they did. I wiped them away, put on a happy face and just spent the entire morning with him.
It came time at 2.30 pm to hand him over to his new family. I did so and watched them walk out and then I felt like my world came crushing down.
Have I done the right thing?
I returned home later this afternoon after speaking with the midwives and my case worker and that is all I keep wondering.
I still haven't told my family as it's hard enough for me to come to terms with it and I know the one person I could definitely turn to isn't here.
I have six weeks if I change my mind now but I'm honestly stuck. I know it is ultimately my decision and every single scenario is going through my head.
It's amazing how you can go from living the dream to your world falling apart in a matter of minutes.
Update: Since this article has been written, the author has made a life-changing decision. She decided to keep her baby boy.
What would you do in this scenario?
What's the biggest secret you've ever kept?