Well, where do I begin with this blog. This story is special. REALLY special. When my good friend Teale asked me to photograph her maternity story, I was ecstatic. You know sometimes when you come across people in life whom you just think "wow!"? Teale for me, is definitely one of those people.
Teale was born with a condition called Gastrochistics. Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal wall. The baby's intestines stick outside of the baby's body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also stick outside of the baby's body.
Throughout her life, Teale has undergone many major abdominal and gynaecological surgeries which have resulted in abdominal adhesions, and she was advised by her specialists that falling pregnant and carrying to term would be extremely difficult for her and challenging to her scar tissue. Teales multiple surgeries also included the loss of a fallopian tube and one of her ovaries and experienced damage to her second fallopian tube. Teale and her Partner Scott, began looking into IVF after trying for a baby for close to 18 months. Whilst holidaying in New Zealand, Teale and Scott received the one in a million surprise - She had fallen pregnant naturally!!
From there on, Teale had to have scans from 5 weeks to make sure the baby was not ectopic, meaning it implanted itself in the damaged fallopian tube and not in her uterus, once that was all clear, she had regular scans to monitor her baby growth size and to monitor how her uterus was coping with scar tissues.
Teale suffered a scare from bowel obstruction at 25 weeks gestation, needed iron infusions from 27 weeks, experienced tachycardia from 28 weeks and then an episode of bells palsy from 31 weeks, which required her to be flown 700kms away from her home in Pt Lincoln on the Erye Peninsula in South Australia, to Adelaide , to be closely monitored by specialist obstetricians and close to Neonatal care should their baby arrive prematurely. It was then that we thought that the maternity session we were both so looking forward to would have to be canceled. BUT! the cards feel our way! Teale was allowed to go home from Adelaide for 3 days to gather her belongings, before heading back to Adelaide for the remainder of her pregnancy.
There was no way I was missing this opportunity! I packed my overnight back and drove 3 hours from home, Whyalla, and headed to Port Lincoln where I shot one of my favourite and most emotionally charged maternity shoot ever!
Teale and Scott, you were made to be parents! You have endured so much and Baby G is the Luckiest baby to be given to you.
I am so excited to hear your news!
Remember "just keep swimming!" you're nearly there Teale and we are all so amazed by you!