My Story: My first thought when I saw my baby was "Oh my god. My baby is here. Now my mum is going to die."

#PostpartumConfession | My Story: My first thought when I saw my baby was "Oh my god. My baby is here. Now my mum is going to die." #cancer #breastfeeding #hashimotos #death #birth

My Story: My husband and I started trying to conceive about a week after our wedding and to my amazement, we fell the first try. (I did use an ovulation kit, I wasn't overly keen on testing my cervical mucous or any of that stuff month after month). 

My husband knew I was pregnant before I did. I woke up one morning throwing up violently, and he was munching away on his cereal telling me I should do the test because he thought I had a belly full of arms and legs. I thought there was no way known as I would be all of about 3 weeks pregnant. However, I did the test. It was positive.

We phoned my mother who lived 3500km away and she was at work at the time. She screamed with absolute joy and immediately told everyone there. She was so so happy.
So I began my journey into pregnancy normally enough.

It was a month later when my mother phoned with some not so great news. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer.

I was a little taken aback as she has never smoked or drank alcohol. But, I kept in high spirits for her, telling her they could operate and remove the cancerous portion and her liver would regenerate. It was going to be fine. (We both worked in medical fields so we had a little knowledge under our belts).

My husband and I had married and not taken a honeymoon, so we planned to fly over to meet each others parents and families for the first time that Christmas. 

Two or three days before Christmas we had another phone call from my mum. The cancer wasn't in her liver, it was actually in her bile duct. It was a rare and aggressive cancer. It was terminal. I didn't know what to feel. It didn't feel real.

On Christmas Eve 2013, when I was 3 months pregnant, we flew out and arrived at my parents home on Christmas Day. We had a lovely couple of days with my parents and my family.

When we arrived back home on New Years Eve, I booked an appointment with my doctor and told him of my mothers diagnosis and demanded an induction of labour to be booked for 37 weeks. I needed for her to see her grandchild.

The pregnancy progressed and at 37 weeks we were induced. After a nine hour labour, and with my 18 year old stepdaughter and my husband at my side, we welcomed our baby boy.

My first thought when I saw him and held him was "Oh my god. My baby is here. Now my mum is going to die."

I know that sounds horrible. But the birth of my son really did bring home to me that I was going to lose my mum very shortly.

My mother had been deteriorating over the pregnancy and my husband and I decided that the baby and I fly to her as soon as possible. The airline wouldn't allow the baby on any younger than 10 days old. So at 10 days old, our baby had his first plane trip.


We made it to my parents home and spent a day and a half with my mum before she needed to have hospital treatment and passed away. It was so strange.

I was right by her side, breastfeeding my baby as she took her last breath. It was insane.

I flew back to my husband that night. I didn't go to her funeral. I didn't need to. We had said our goodbyes in that day and a half as we lay together with my baby in her bed. And then she was gone.

So I pretty much tried to pretend that life was normal once I got home. I didn't cry in front of my baby. I didn't want him to be affected by anything I was feeling. I didn't allow myself to stop. We just carried on as normal and when I felt crap I just kept going.

When he was 6 months old, my doctor did some blood tests and we found out I had Hashimotos Disease. I was so relieved that my feelings of crappiness weren't because of my mum.

However, my levels were that bad that I shouldn't have even been able to sit upright, let alone function like a normal person. If I had kept going untreated, I could have gone into a coma and died. I can't urge people enough to get their thyroid function fully checked after giving birth.

My son is now 14 months old and we are doing fine.

But I will always feel some level of guilt about my first thoughts on seeing him and holding him.

Anonymous | Australia

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