It’s the news an expectant mother dreads hearing: she has suffered a miscarriage. Sadie Brittle and her husband, Gary, found out just eight weeks into her pregnancy that she would lose her baby-to-be to a condition that affects a very small percentage of new moms. They were, understandably, devastated.
Just two months later she was dealt another round of unbelievable news. She headed to the doctor with a list of symptoms and a list of questions. What she left with was an unbelievable answer to all of her suspicions, because her doctors had found what the Brittle family now regard as a miracle.
Sadie and Gary Brittle of Birmingham, United Kingdom, married in 2013 in what can only be described as a fairytale wedding. The two walked out of their church ceremony to be showered in flower petals, before climbing into their vintage getaway car, clinking champagne flutes as they went.
With them on their big day was their daughter, Summer Amelia. Born in January of 2012, Summer had blonde hair and blue eyes by the time her parents wed. She wore a frilly, white dress, too, just like her mom.
But the Brittle family was still incomplete, even with wedding vows made and a daughter shared between them. Sadie, a hairdresser, and Gary, a builder, wanted another child, but didn’t put any pressure on themselves to have one. “We were trying for a baby at the time,” Gary told the Daily Mail. “But it was more a case of when it happens, it happens.”
So, when this drama started in early 2016, the Brittles were presumably thrilled to find out that they were finally expecting another child, three years after their wedding. But all would not go smoothly this time around. One day in April, eight weeks into their pregnancy, Sadie’s health took a rapid and dangerous turn.
“I was coming back in the car from having some tests done and I felt really hot and my vision went all blurry,” she told the Daily Mail. “I went back to work and said I can’t cut anybody’s hair because I didn’t feel well.” Dizziness and nausea are normal sensations for expectant mothers, especially in the first trimester. But Sadie’s condition quickly got worse than run-of-the-mill discomfort.
She then caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and “scared herself,” she said. “I’d gone white and my face was sweating. I felt like I was actually passing out.” At that point, her co-workers called an ambulance, since such a drop in blood pressure could point to internal bleeding, which is a sign of miscarriage.
When she reached the hospital, doctors confirmed a pregnant woman’s worst nightmare: she had a ruptured fallopian tube and would lose her baby to an ectopic pregnancy. Affecting around 12,000 pregnancies each year, an ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg becomes implanted outside of the womb.
In some cases, the egg gets lodged in the fallopian tubes, though many ectopic pregnancies frustratingly occur without an explanation. Not only does this mean the pregnancy will miscarry, but the mother’s health could be at risk, too. There’s no way to save or move an egg once it’s discovered to have implanted improperly, either.
For Sadie, her diagnosis meant she had to undergo surgery in order to remove the fallopian tube that had burst. She also needed two blood transfusions in order to restore what she had lost from the internal bleeding. “I was in hospital for five days and was on antibiotics and pain relief,” she recalled. Despite losing her baby, there was some good news to be shared. “They said I would still be able to have children because of the other fallopian tube,” she said.
On top of that, she, Gary and Summer jetted off for a little bit of rest and relaxation after Sadie recovered from her surgery. Even in the warm glow of the Spanish sun, though, she still felt unwell. She also noted a change in her body, telling The Mirror, “I was on a sun lounger and wondered why my stomach was still big and quite high up.”
Of course, she thought she had an explanation for the bloating and discomfort: lingering hormones from her miscarriage. Still, she took a pregnancy test – and couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the results. “I took a pregnancy test and it showed that I was pregnant. I thought, ‘There’s no way that I am.’”
A Spanish midwife confirmed that it was likely a false positive. Sadie recalled to the Daily Mail, “[The midwife] said it could either be a multiple birth or a few cells were left in my body after surgery, which would make it look like I was still pregnant.” Believing she had only been pregnant with one baby, she assumed the latter was the case.
Still, she visited her own doctor once she returned home from vacation just to make sure everything was back to normal. Upon hearing Sadie had a positive pregnancy test, “he couldn’t quite get his head around it,” she told The Mirror. Then, the doctor did an ultrasound to confirm she was no longer expecting, but “you could hear a heartbeat,” Sadie said.
Everyone involved was shocked, overwhelmed and overjoyed. Doctors realized Sadie didn’t have an ectopic pregnancy, but a heterotopic one: she was pregnant with twins, though one egg implanted itself inside of the womb and the other outside of the it. The condition affects only one in 30,000 pregnancies. “The midwife told us that in the 23 years she’s been working, she’s never come across it,” Sadie said.
The Brittles, of course, were cautiously optimistic. Gary told the Daily Mail, “It was such mixed emotions, we’d gone through dealing with the loss of the baby and then all of a sudden to be told we’ve got another baby in there.” He considered the news “a miracle,” and added that the new baby’s healthy growth made him “want to buy a lottery ticket every day.”
Sadie could only echo her husband’s wonder and excitement. “The scans show that he’s healthy,” she told The Mirror before her son’s birth. “I’ve been through it before so I’m just excited.” In hindsight, the couple did acknowledge that they ignored one hint they were still pregnant.
Gary remembered a strange incident on the family’s trip to Spain, which took place before they found out about the second baby. He told the Daily Mail, “Our daughter Summer must have known something we didn’t because when we were on holiday we went in a shop and Summer pointed to some milk and said, ‘We need to get some milk for the baby.’” He told The Mirror that he and Sadie reminded their daughter that the baby was gone, but she “started clenching her fists and gritting her teeth and said, ‘You don’t understand, there is a baby.’”
Unsurprisingly, then, Summer was reportedly “chuffed” to welcome her new baby brother in November of 2016, according to the BBC. His parents were thrilled, too, as their miracle baby, named Teddie, came into the world healthy and happy at 6 pounds, 10 ounces. “I just can’t believe it, really,” Sadie told the BBC days after his birth. “He’s here and he’s okay.”