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Keira Rumble - founder of Krumbled Foods and Habitual Beauty - has opened up to Yahoo Lifestyle about her difficult journey to motherhood, sharing news of the recent premature birth of baby Hunter, following six pregnancy losses, including a heterotopic pregnancy and endometriosis. These are her words:
"My journey to motherhood wasn’t easy and not what I ever imagined it to be. It was two and a half years and six pregnancy losses before my beautiful baby Hunter finally arrived in my arms. I am now the happiest I have ever been and our family feels complete for now, even our sausage dogs are smitten, acting like the little mother hens that they were destined to be.
I had to endure a lot of sadness, anxiety, frustration and fear before I made it to today like many women, with one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage. I’m sharing my story to give others hope and to remind you that you are not alone.
It was a roller coaster of emotions - thrilled to be pregnant then anxious and fearful of what could go wrong, mixed in with grief and sadness when things did not go as planned and I mourned my babies.
Heterotopic pregnancy broke me
It was the heterotopic pregnancy that broke me emotionally as it was misdiagnosed for four weeks during which time I was told it was just a miscarriage and to simply see a psychologist, and encouraged to “go home, pop some panadol and start again.
A Heterotopic pregnancy is a rare condition where at least two pregnancies are present simultaneously at different implantation sites. I was in immense pain. I had miscarried one of the pregnancies which had been in my womb but I still had a baby in my fallopian tube that no one was aware of (except me).
The sharp pains in my left side and shoulder tip pain and my niggling intuition had me reaching out to medical staff to no avail. For four weeks no one would take me seriously instead dismissed me by saying it is an emotional time and to go and see a psychologist because I 'clearly wasn’t coping'.
'Miscarriages and pregnancy losses are not spoken about'
It really opened me up to the world of how miscarriages and pregnancy losses are not spoken about and people want you to just go home and deal with it in silence.
After the fourth visit to the hospital, they told me to stop coming and to move on but I wouldn’t until they scanned my belly. They still sent me home, but this time with a referral for a scan. It was then they discovered my stomach was full of blood and I went straight to hospital for emergency surgery. I had a ruptured organ which could have been fatal if left untreated and became toxic. I had surgery and one of my tubes removed.
The months after were hard emotionally but also physically as I had severe bloating and really bad period pain which I assumed was an impact of the surgery but after some investigation they found stage four endometriosis which was another blow.
More difficult news
I changed fertility specialists until I found one I was comfortable with and willing to test me for absolutely everything, and they did, which is how my blood clotting condition was picked up - Factor V Leiden which can cause blood clots and according to some studies an increased risk of stillbirth and issues with implantation.
I went on blood thinners for this and then went on my journey to IVF. I did two intralipid infusions which are still quite controversial in the IVF world, and many many needles later, I fell pregnant with my beautiful son Hunter.
I had scans pretty much every week with my OB who specialises in high risk pregnancies but it wasn’t until I felt Hunter kick that I really settled into it. Going into each and every scan, I would feel sick, my body would tremble, I kept on getting flash backs to the time I was sitting in the sonographers room and them telling me to go straight to the hospital.
I never truly celebrated this pregnancy until I was 20 weeks and it took until 28 weeks to be officially diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). I was dealing with constant nausea and vomiting and spent weeks in bed - resting and working and realising that it wasn’t going to abate.
An early surprise
I was convinced Hunter wouldn’t be born early as my mum went to full term and there were no obvious signs he would be premature so I hadn’t packed my hospital bag or even installed the baby carrier in the car yet.
On July 5th 2021, my partner and I rushed to the hospital after my waters broke around 4am which was such a shock (I mean, of course, I had literally said the night before, “we really need to pack that bag.” When I was in hospital my obstetrician recommended an induction, knowing that I had a history of PTSD from my past hospital experiences, he was concerned that my labour would stall completely.
I was having exhaustingly strong contractions for hours on end but wasn’t dialating so I agreed to a low dose epidural to help relax my body. A few hours later Hunter was born at 7.55pm.
During the birth Hunter’s little hand came out with his head so my OB and my partner Anthony pushed him gently back in and as his shoulders came out I pulled him onto my chest, it was less than a minute I had him there as he needed medical treatment.
A chance of going home without Hunter
I only got to hold him for 30 seconds as he was so blue and bruised and was having trouble breathing on his own. So he was taken to the resus bay to get the life saving treatment he needed. He was in special care on a feeding tube for a few days, which I found incredibly hard to deal with, this beautiful little baby, the one I had dreamt about for so long, was starting his life out in an incubator, with bright lights and tubes in him. I struggled to connect, I felt guilty that my body couldn’t be the safe space he needed to grow those last few weeks. This was when I started to feel like I didn’t have that instant connection with my baby, which I assumed would be instant, but it wasn’t, and it was even harder to make one when I couldn’t hold and breastfeed him all the time.
I never imagined not having my baby with me after the birth and midwives and paediatrician told me to prepare myself as I would likely be going home without Hunter, which broke my heart. I was determined to try and bring him home with me if he was physically fit to do so.
Luckily, Hunter’s health turned around in a matter of days and he was thriving after a plan to ensure he was feeding well came together. It was the most enlightening feeling; walking out of special care with my baby and being home with him now is magical. Once I held him in my arms, just us alone in a room, it was what I needed to give us that special bond and connection.
While this chapter in my life is much happier than the one previous, it still feels surreal holding him in my arms after so much heart ache. I find myself looking deep into his eyes everyday, and crying, because finally, after everything, we are exactly where we are meant to be.
Those losses have guided me to become the woman and mother I am today, and I am forever grateful that my little rainbow is my son Hunter."
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