Being born in NZ in a small country town I aspired my whole life to be a professional tennis player. This was all I wanted and had trained so hard for and my family gave up so much to allow me to pursue my dream.
Our family moved to Australia in 2001, my parents went into management rights, and my brother and I started a new school in another country knowing no one! We soon learnt we had to come out of our shells to enable us to make friends as we were shy country kids. I started travelling playing tennis on the woman’s circuit but soon got a shoulder injury and there went my career. All I had ever wanted was gone!
I was a little lost as I had left school to peruse my dream of being a professional tennis player but now I had nothing. Thank goodness I was lucky enough to get a job in the beauty industry which is were my adult life began, but just in another direction. I always had a passion for all things beauty and wore make up for as long as I can remember.
I then met my husband when I was 20 and we soon got married. We started our life together and built our first home as he started his new career in the police force. We had spoken about children and fell pregnant after coming straight off the pill. Wow this was so easy, easier than I thought... How wrong I was.
New Year’s Eve I started to get pains and I just new something was wrong. I was losing our first baby. I just had to sit tight as it was New Years and there isn’t much anyone can do apart from rolling with it, all whilst knowing what I was about to lose.
I went to the doctor a few days later to be told we have lost our baby at 14 weeks but it was called a missed miscarriage as my body didn’t recognise it. We in fact lost our baby at about 6-8 weeks. There was no longer a heart beat. I was then booked in for surgery and as I was walking into the hospital that day for my operation I started to lose the baby naturally. How horrific. The pain was unbearable, after fainting and the physical and mental trauma we got through. I was then put in the maternity ward to recover, how bitter sweet. No operation was needed after all and off we went home hours later to recover and grieve what we had lost yet again.
Our family and friends were the ones who got us through this hard time. After all, how lucky am I that my body was smart enough to know that my little baby wasn’t healthy enough to come earth side. For that I was thankful, thankful that my baby didn’t suffer knowing something was wrong.
After 6 months of having our miscarriage I was yet to get my body back to normal, I knew something still wasn’t right. After countless appointments I was then told I had PCOS and probably wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally now. Wow, what more could be thrown at us.
I knew so many had it worse off than us so we pulled ourselves together yet again and started trying for another baby.
We were put under a gynaecologist who specialised in fertility knowing my PCOS was quite bad. He put us on some medication which helped my body and it’s hormones so we could ovulate (Clomid). I was put on the lowest dose and it was our first round and bang I was pregnant!
There was a 1 in 10 chance of having twins and triplets were about 1 in a million! Being on such a low dose the experts didn’t think this would happen. Wow I couldn’t believe it. How lucky are we. We went to our first scan and there was not 1 baby but 3! We were having triplets!
I was mortified, how on earth could this be. How can I manage 3, I haven’t got 3 arms, 3 boobs?! That means I need to get 3 of everything! It felt like it was so unrealistic to achieve, how am I going to grow 3 little babies inside my body! How am I going to stretch that far. The money it’s going to cost x3!!!
After realising life was about to be very busy we settled nicely. Setting up the nursery, 3 bassinets, 3 cots. Picking 3 names! We got on with life, I kept working and we kept growing. I was working full time for a building company who were so great and supportive. At 25 weeks I was the size of a 40 week singleton mum. I was huge. Having to wear a girth around my tummy to hold it up. But, one day in 2014 my life changed forever.
I went to the hospital for a check up and they did an internal and the rest is history. My waters then broke and now I was at risk of loosing all my babies at 25 weeks. I was rushed lights and sirens down to Royal Brisbane Hospital as Nambour didn’t have the facilities to have premature babies. Wow, what now!
As I was wheeled into the hospital the nurses were incredible. I owe so much to those nurses. They wanted me to try and keep the babies in for another 2 weeks at least so I was strapped to the bed head down and bum up, literally. How on earth am I going to stay like this. It wasn’t at all possible. After being in hospital for 5 days all my babies were born naturally and passed peacefully earthside.
How could my life go on after all that I had experienced and lost? I lost my 3 little babies. Life changed from that day on, I was lost, my husband was lost. We grieved so different. Our marriage changed. How does someone come through such a tragedy?!
With the support of my family and friends we seemed to get through. Life went on, there is someone always worse off than you! Someone out there doing it harder than you! I was blessed to have support and still have my health that so many didn’t.
Fast forward two years, my husband lost his battle with mental illness and took his own life. Now a widow! How much more grief can a 30 year old woman take! It’s unbearable. I kept getting knocked down but I also kept getting back up! Some days of course I wanted to quit, how easy would that be. I had too much to loose, I saw what grief did to my family and friends when my husband passed, I couldn’t do that to them.
I had the darkest of days for years but I would always remind myself also of how lucky I was to be alive and to be healthy and have loved ones around me.
How did I get through? I sought help but found that wasn’t for me. I also didn’t medicate, I just took each day as it came and surrounded myself with loved ones. I certainly was so blessed to have that support! My family was my number one.
Fast forward 4 years, I have a beautiful home, a loving partner and 4 step children. I have started a new career being a Cosmetic Tattooist and have a real passion for life. How lucky am I. I can give back to woman and give them confidence to feel great. My end goal is to give back, give back for the life I was given!
I am luckier than most. I’m healthy and I am loved! That is all one needs! To say I am blessed is an understatement.
Claire Maree is a beauty expert and Australian small business owner of Claire Maree Cosmetic Tattoo Artistry.