Stanley’s newest mum, Skye Billing-Gale will celebrate her first Mother’s Day this Sunday with her little rainbow baby at the end of the storm.
Content warning: contains graphic description of pregnancy loss.
Diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2017 at just 27, Skye spent 12 months travelling to and from Melbourne, having surgeries and chemo, taking it all in her stride while she planned her wedding to husband Grant Hursey.
Having her last surgery mid 2018, Skye received the all clear just in time for her October wedding.
Following a year of good health Skye felt that something was ‘different’ in early January, 2020 and nerves set in. Thinking she may either be pregnant or that her cancer had returned, she took a pregnancy test hoping she wasn’t looking ahead to another year of treatments and surgeries.
“I was shocked,” Skye said.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent sure I could even conceive after all the treatment and surgeries.”
Skye says she felt happy yet miserable with unrelenting nausea, her morning sickness lasting all day, every day.
“The hardest part was not being able to get into the doctors,” Skye said.
“It was right at the start of Covid and there were not enough Doctors at the surgery, I called every morning at 8.30am but could not get an appointment.”
Finally able to get in, Skye was referred for a dating scan only to have the same issue getting the results and being referred to a midwife.
“I think it was early April, I woke up and went to the toilet and I was bleeding, Grant took me into emergency at Smithton Hospital, I was diagnosed with an infection and an appointment was made in Devonport for a scan, as by this time the North West Regional Hospital had been shut down,” Skye said.
Before she could get through to Devonport for her scan her membrane ruptured and she felt like she was wetting herself but was unable to stop it.
“When I went in for the scan they could see that there wasn’t enough fluid around the baby and they called Launceston Hospital arranging for me to go fo further tests the next day,” Skye said.
“There really wasn’t anything that could be done, it was just a wait and see game.
“All they could do was send me home and keep a close eye on me, they gave us our options and some time to decide how to proceed,” She said.
At 16 weeks Skye was still leaking fluid and a strange sensation on the toilet turned out to be the membrane completely rupturing, causing the umbilical cord to come out.
“We called Launceston and were told to go straight to the Burnie Hospital, due to their Covid procedures Grant had to wait in the car while I went to emergency and had a scan,” Skye recalls.
“It was around lunchtime, they confirmed that the cold air hitting the umbilical cord had sent a shock directly to the baby and he had died instantly.”
“They then sent us on to Launceston, where we had to wait a couple of hours for a birthing suite to be available so that I could be induced,” Skye said.
Following the loss of their baby, Skye and Grant chose to take the time to grieve their loss, deciding that though they wouldn’t actively try again, they wouldn’t actively prevent it either.
Confirming their next pregnancy in August last year, Skye said she felt numb.
“I was happy and excited but so nervous until after that 16 week mark,” she said.
“I was double checking everything and calling the Doctor at the slightest thing, it wasn’t until our 20 week scan when we could see that everything was fine and we had a healthy, active baby that was growing well that I started to relax.”
Pregnancy Counselling and Support Tasmania 6224 2290.
Skye Billing-Gale and Grant Hursey welcomed baby boy Lawson Jack on Monday May 3.