‘Last year’s journey started so very down but it has ended with everything we could have dreamed’.
Nick and Jacki Jones’ two years’ marriage has been incredibly tough and taken some unforgiving turns.
For Jacki that has meant experiencing her second miscarriage – the most recent in July 2016, four hospital stays, an emergency flight to John Hunter Hospital, surgery to insert a kidney stent and battling gestational diabetes. Ultimately she battled depression.
On Monday that heartbreak, pain and loss will seem an eternity ago when she enters Port Macquarie Base Hospital to give birth to twin boys – the couple’s rainbow babies.
What is remarkable about Jacki and Nick’s journey is that following their own loss last year, they decided to throw their efforts and focus on ensuring couple’s experiencing the same pain and heartache knew there were people thinking about them.
They were also part of a group of Rotarians involved in organising donations to Wauchope and Port Macquarie Base hospitals specifically for premature babies. She focused on empowering women and looking after children. That was a start, Jacki says.
“Working to help other people was a source of healing and putting ourselves in situations of facing our fears head on. It really helped us grieve and move forward in a positive way,” she said.
“While I was feeling so alone at times, being able to help women who had had their babies was a really important, positive reaction for me.
“I used to think that I could deal with everything. So you keep your own problems to yourself. But now, if I can help one person to feel that they are not alone that is such a powerful thing to share.”
“It’s just your raw honesty,” she says. “How else are you going to help people; how are you going to help yourself.
“It was tough. Facing the miscarriage; admitting that was really tough.”
Despite the heartache, Jacki says their miscarriage brought her and Nick closer together.
While Nick experienced his own sense of loss, the couple drew support and inspiration from family, friends and a trusted professional.
With some honest, open communication, the couple were able to overcome their fears together, she said.
“We just realised that we should help and support each other. That being honest and open was a positive way forward.”
Still desperately wanting children together – Jacki has a son – the couple explored reasons behind her two miscarriages, taking advice from health professionals on minimising the risk of further heartache. They wanted to build hope.
And that, in itself, threw up some unusual options, including a twins’ diet. "I don’t think it was very scientific,” Jacki added.
The couple began looking to the future.
While they were both busy in their careers, and not wanting to put pressure on each other, they eventually agreed to try and fall pregnant.
A chance visit to a pharmacy led Jacki to purchase a pregnancy test kit. It came back positive.
Although that was an exciting moment for the family, a scheduled scan on January 20 was news that had not expected: Jacki was certainly pregnant, but with twins.
“I got the photos of the scan and went home. When Nick arrived he looked at the scans and was instantly in shock,” Jacki said.
“There are so many positives for me. Women are strong, miscarriage is more common than you think, never be complacent and look for the positives,” she said.
Although the couple of chosen names for the twin boys, they ‘want to wait to see their little faces’ before making a final decision.
“We are really lucky,” Jacki says.
You can follow the couple’s journey on Instagram: @twinning_australia