Jade’s unborn bub miraculously starved two deadly tumours.
Here, Jade Williams, 33, tells the story in her own words...
Wrapping her arms around me, my nanna Joan, 72, pulled me close.
‘If anyone can get through this, you can,’ she whispered.
My partner Daniel and I were desperate to start a family, but we were having difficulties.
I’d been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and I’d had one of my tubes removed after an ectopic pregnancy.
And since starting fertility treatment three years earlier, the medication made me feel constantly ill.
Barely able to hold down food, I’d lost 40 kilos and was pale and tired.
Nan had been a support throughout.
‘You’re going to have a baby, I know it,’ she’d say.
Imagining our picture-perfect family, I told myself it would all be worth it.
So when my breasts started to rapidly grow and became sore to touch, I went to my doctor expecting it to be another side effect.
‘You could be pregnant,’ she told me.
I didn’t feel like I was carrying, so as she did a blood test I was sceptical, but hopeful.
Sure enough, the result came back negative.
But it did show a high amount of the hormone prolactin, which creates breastmilk.
Wanting to investigate further, the doc sent me for an MRI and other tests.
Then, I sat across from a specialist as he broke the news.
‘You have two brain tumours,’ he told me.
The large prolactinoma tumours were non-cancerous, but they were sitting on the part of my brain that releases hormones when you’re pregnant.
I was getting all the symptoms of a pregnancy without the baby.
‘Jade, you will need to stop fertility treatment,’ he said gently.
Instead, I’d have to start medication to try and kill the tumours. If that didn’t work, I’d need surgery. Otherwise, it could impact my quality of life and life expectancy.
Daniel and Nanna were so supportive, especially when my vision became blurry and I suffered migraines.
I also had blackouts, but Daniel would catch me in his arms.
‘I’m so scared,’ I said.
Then six months after I’d been diagnosed, I got a notification on my phone from one of my fertility apps.
Has your period arrived yet? it read.
I’d been tracking my cycle since my fertility treatments and now I realised I was late.
Running to the bathroom, I ripped open the packet of pregnancy tests.
Seeing the two pink lines appear, I was overcome with emotion.
I felt so much joy, but I was also stricken with fear – I was still on medication for my tumours.
What did that mean for my bub?
Heading to my doctor with Daniel, my GP explained our next steps.
‘You’ll need to stop treatment,’ she said. ‘But I am confident you should be able to deliver a healthy baby.’
Matching grins stretched across my and Daniel’s faces.
‘Baby,’ I whispered through tears, looking at my belly.
There was some uncertainty though. Nobody could know how rapidly the tumours would grow.
Trying to forget about the possible looming death sentence spreading in my brain, I instead focused on my growing baby, but I suffered blinding headaches throughout my pregnancy.
In November 2015, Daniel and I welcomed our gorgeous and healthy son, Hunter, into the world.
‘We have waited for you for a long time,’ I said, cradling my boy, smitten.
I just wanted to enjoy him – to be a normal mum.
So I asked my specialist for a week before they looked at my brain.
Over the next few days, I relished all our precious moments, terrified my miracle boy might grow up without his mum.
Then after having the tests, I was driving one day when I got a call.
‘Jade...’ the doctor began, ‘they’re gone.’
‘What do you mean they’re gone?’ I asked.
Apparently, my body had been so focused on my growing belly, it’d cut the blood supply to my tumours.
A miraculous and rare occurrence, without a steady blood supply, the tumours in my brain disintegrated into nothing and died.
‘You saved Mummy’s life!’ I told Hunter later, rocking him in my arms.
I had check ups, but the tumours never came back.
Three years on, Daniel and I decided to get married.