Great Kiwi Families: Shontelle Cargill

Shontelle Jayden and Ian..
Kiwi Families has a focus on pregnancy and babies at the moment, and we’ve been talking to some more great kiwi families about their experiences. In this post, we meet Shontelle Cargill, who together with her fiance Ian has been through a lot in respect to fertility, pregnancy and baby loss.  They have a beautiful boy, Jayden, and have been quite on a journey together trying to have another child.  Read their brave story below.

I have a 5 year old son who was born in August 2008; it was a very easy pregnancy. I went two weeks overdue and had a long birth with him – in labour for 25 hours. Our 9 pound baby boy Jayden arrived at 12.01 AM on 09/08/08.

In February 2012 I found out I was pregnant with our second child, we were due October 2012. We had only just started trying to conceive and were surprised to fall pregnant on our first try. This pregnancy was extremely difficult. I had constant nausea and all day sickness. I was so ill that some days I could barely leave the house. This was a challenge with a toddler at home too – but I kept telling myself: it’s only 9 months, I can get through it as the prize at the end is a beautiful baby and sibling for our eldest son. Along with the sickness, I ended up in hospital at about 10 weeks along as I put my back out and they were concerned there were problems with the baby. I was kept in overnight for tests, but baby was fine.

At my 13 week scan baby was extremely active as I watched him wave, kick and move about on the screen. He was also very stubborn and kept turning his back towards the camera/scanner when the lady was trying to get a picture of him to take measurements. So what I thought would be a quick 5 minute scan turned into a 45 minute scan. I didn’t mind as I loved watching him move around on screen. It’s only now that I wish I had of paid the extra $20 that day to get that scan video recorded onto a DVD.

As I left the scan with my baby’s beautiful scan picture in hand, the staff hadn’t said that they’d seen anything wrong with baby, so I left there feeling fine.  But a few days later my midwife rang advising me that baby’s measurements were a bit off and I was being referred to a Scan Specialist at Auckland Hospital some time in the next few weeks (I was living in Hamilton). I waited nervously everyday, until my appointment came.  At 16 weeks along in my pregnancy, both myself and my fiance went to the appointment. We were happily talking to the specialist and the staff were all very lovely and supportive.

I laid on the bed for the scan and was excitedly looking at the screen at my baby. The Specialist went quiet and after a few minutes she said

Before we move on, I have to tell you that I’m really sorry but your baby’s heart has stopped.

I will never forget those words, they still play over and over in my head two years on. I went into shock and went into autopilot. They said that he would have only passed a day or two before my appointment, yet my body hadn’t shown any signs yet. They did tests w!cid_EE98256D-4C36-4131-937C-89C683F07B72hich came back a few weeks later saying that our baby was a boy and the reason for his passing was that he had a syndrome called Trisomy 13.

We named our second son Brody. I think of him every single day and I always wonder what he would look like and if he would look like our eldest son.

We made the tough decision of trying to conceive again and we thought we would conceive quickly as we had done the second time around. But 1 year later, still nothing. We underwent some tests with the doctor. I had to get weekly blood tests for awhile to test for ovulation. We kept hoping and kept trying, but 2 years later we still hadn’t conceived. The Doctor suggested I may have Polycystic Ovaries, so I may not be able to conceive. He said he would refer us to the Fertility Clinic for help. We agreed, but then after a week we decided to withdraw our request as emotionally we were exhausted and still grieving. We made the very tough decision to wait awhile before we start trying again.

‘Baby Loss Awareness’ week is held each October. I want to help raise awareness, and help those who have experienced such loss to be able to feel they have a voice and can speak of it, as it’s seen as such a ‘taboo’ subject in NZ which makes woman feel alone when experiencing it.


For more on miscarriage, see this post.

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