Craig Sargeant from Carmarthen runs the blog Daddy2Triplets. He is a full-time-carer to wife his wife Amy, 29, who has Cystic Fibrosis. They met as childhood sweethearts over 14 years ago and had been dating a few months before Amy plucked up the courage to tell Craig she suffered with the incurable lung disease and had a life expectancy of just 30. To Craig, this difficult news was irrelevant; he was madly in love with Amy and felt like the luckiest man in the world. This is his story.
In 2011, Craig proposed, and the couple’s conversations quickly moved on to starting a family. After two years of trying, Amy and Craig were referred by their GP to see a specialist and, after a number of tests, were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. This was devastating news for the couple because there was no explanation as to why they couldn’t conceive.
On 10 August 2013, Craig and Amy got married and in 2015, after four years of trying to conceive, they received the confirmation letter telling them they would be starting IVF within 2 months. The couple excitedly began buying baby clothes, looking at prams, and planning a nursery, thinking that IVF would solve their fertility issues. Amy had injections, scans for follicles, eggs extracted, and embryos put back in and the couple held their breath during the two-week wait for the pregnancy test result.
“Days felt like weeks and two weeks felt like a lifetime. And those two minutes waiting for the test result were worse than the two-week wait, we flipped it over together and it was negative. We had lumps in our throats. Each test confirmed Amy wasn’t pregnant. We remained strong and positive for our second and last round of IVF and started again the following month. We held our heads high and said let’s get our dream, this time everything felt so much quicker, the medications, injections and before I knew it Amy was doing the pregnancy test in the bathroom and we were hoping and praying it was positive."
The test was positive, and the couple were thrilled to be having a baby, but sadly a heavy bleed a few weeks later resulted in an early miscarriage. Craig and Amy were heart-broken.
“We walked away from hospital broken, empty and what can only be described as a shell of a couple. “I’ve never cried like that, I felt broken in more ways than I can describe.”
A year or so passed and Craig and Amy were enjoying married life as much as they could but decided to have another go at achieving their dreams for a baby. They saved every thing they could to try intrauterine insemination, and fell pregnant again.
Their excitement of seeing a tiny shape on the screen during their scan, quickly turned to shock as the sonographer confirmed they were actually expecting triplets.
At 30 weeks pregnant, and coughing up large amounts of blood, Amy was hospitalised due to the pressure on her lungs. After a few days in hospital she was allowed home, however two weeks later Amy’s waters broke, and the babies were be on their way. The couple’s local hospital didn’t have three special care baby cots, so Amy was rushed by ambulance to North Wales, a 3-and-a-half-hours away from home.
The triplets arrived that evening. Ronnie, Lottie and Tommie were born weighing 3lbs 10oz, 3lbs 13oz and 3lbs 1oz. After seven years of infertility, two cycles of IVF and a miscarriage, Amy and Craig’s dreams of becoming parents had come true.
But having three babies in special care was overwhelming and hard for Craig and Amy, especially as they were so far from family and friends, and still managing Amy’s daily routines for Cystic Fibrosis and type 1 diabetes. The couple spent every day and night with their babies feeding them via tubes and talking to them and telling them how much they were loved. After two weeks the babies were flown, individually, via helicopter to the local hospital in Carmarthen. There Lottie spent 35 days in the special care baby unit, Tommie 42 days and Ronnie 52.
“We continue our journey into parenthood and enjoy every minute. The babies are 17 months old now and a joy to be with. Amy fights this horrible, incurable disease everyday with dignity, pride and hope. She is an incredible wife and mother. If I could ask for one thing it would be to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, so my babies will not lose their mummy to the awful disease.Amy has started making videos for when Ronnie, Lottie and Tommie reach certain milestones in life in case she isn’t here, or her health deteriorates rapidly. This broke me in more ways than I can ever describe. However, we have our babies, we are a family and the daily fight will never stop because together we are stronger. And now Amy has a reason more than ever to make sure she never gives up.”
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Every year we are amazed by the heartfelt nominations made by friends, families and patients who want to highlight the strength and determination of others. Here are this year's individual Tommy's Award winners.
The Star Fundraiser Award an extraordinary individual who has gone above and beyond to fundraise in their local community on behalf of Tommy’s. This is Karl's story.
The Act of Kindness Award recognises a person who has gone above and beyond with an act of kindness to support someone who has gone through a pregnancy complication or loss. This is Zoe's story.
The Tommy’s Healthcare Hero Award recognises a midwife, doctor or other medical professional who has provided exceptional physical care or emotional support to parents in difficult times. This is Tracy's Story.