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Mum who suffered miscarriages says heart might 'explode with love' as baby arrives

'First miscarriage was devastating but the second time absolutely floored me'

Aoife with her precious baby Flynn

Denise Smith

A new mum who endured the devastating loss of miscarriage has said her heart might explode with love after the arrival of her much longed-for baby.

Aoife McDonnell (24) is celebrating her first Mother's Day with her week-old son, baby Flynn, a dream she never thought would be a reality.

The make-up artist and her partner Sean (25) endured two miscarriages before the arrival of the tot and for the adoring parents, Flynn's arrival is the ultimate gift this Mother's Day.

"The whole pregnancy I didn't believe it was happening and I said to myself, 'I will believe it isn't all just a dream when I hold him in my arms,' revealed the besotted mum, who lives in Kildare.

"I remember thinking to myself, maybe when the baby kicks I will believe it then or maybe when my bump grows really big then I can believe it's true.

"And then in the next trimester I'd think, maybe it will feel real when we buy the buggy. And even now that he is here, I still can't believe it.

"My chest could just explode, earlier I wanted to Google, 'can a person's heart physically explode with love?' that's what I was thinking earlier on when I was looking at him. It's quite overwhelming but it is the most amazing thing in the world.

"His actual due date was the day before Mother's Day, to say he is the best present in the world is a bit of an understatement; he is everything we could wish for and more."

Aoife McDonnell

The personal assistant had a miscarriage in June 2020, followed by a molar pregnancy which can cause a rare form of cancer.

A molar pregnancy occurs when a non-viable egg implants in the uterus. The condition affects one in 700 pregnancies, and one per cent is cancerous.

"There are so many people around me that have experienced miscarriage and loss so I was aware that it could happen but the impact was still colossal.

"The first time was devastating but the second time absolutely floored me. We got pregnant three months after the miscarriage and we were ecstatic and thought, 'this is it'."

Devastatingly, the young couple were told that they had suffered another loss just a week before Christmas in 2020, and this time there was the possibility that the pregnancy could be a cancerous growth.

"I was 13 weeks pregnant and we thought we were past the milestone and then we were just floored again. I didn't even know what a molar pregnancy was.

"You are suddenly forced to deal with two things at the same time. You are trying to comprehend a miscarriage and then there is this the huge fear of cancer.

"In simple terms, the baby is overtaken in the womb by cells and placenta and they duplicate rapidly and can turn into cancer cells. Your aftercare treatment can include chemotherapy and lots of blood follow-ups to ensure there are no traces of cancer in your body," says Aoife.

She had to undergo surgery to remove the growth.

"The tissue was cancerous so they couldn't wait for it to pass so they had to remove it themselves.

"I had one D&C, and a month later the cells were still replicating and there was more tissue growing so they went in again and removed the tissue from my womb.

"Our care lasted six months and we weren't allowed to get pregnant in that time. We were in and out of hospital every week for bloods before we could get the all-clear," she recalls.

"It just didn't make sense to me at all. It was like an out of body experience, I think we both just floated through it."

Amazingly, Aoife became pregnant just one month after being released from the medical team.

"We weren't expecting that because all my body had been through but it took the complete innocence out of pregnancy and the naivety of having a pregnancy that wouldn't have complications," she admits.

Despite their joy, Aoife explains the emotional fall-out of her previous losses.

"There was a constant fear that he wouldn't get here or that something was going to go wrong," she says.

"I was admitted five times because of reduced movements so I was induced two weeks early. The relief when Flynn was put on to my chest is indescribable, myself and Sean were both inconsolable."

Celebrating a Mother's Day to remember, Aoife says: "I've always said that being a mam is the one thing I know I am supposed to do. Now that he is here, I can't believe we are so lucky.

"I keep sniffing him, he's so dainty, the tiniest little thing and he is so content. He is the most perfect thing and to have him here for Mother's Day is just the icing on the cake.

"All I ever wanted was to sit in the corner in our nursing chair and cuddle and sniff him, the simple things.

"Last year I was curled up on couch in bits and this Mother's Day I will be curled up on the couch with Flynn.

"Everybody's circumstance is different but we just kept going and stayed as positive as we could and that's all you can do."

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