Last year might have been a disaster for many, but for one couple, it was a year of miracle and wonder. Tennille Aron spoke to Corlia Twine about her year of miracles.
Thirty-three-year-old Corlia Twine could never have imagined the blessing that 2020 would bring for her and her husband, Heinrich. In a year that most people would prefer to forget, Corlia and her husband of three years received one of the most special gifts of all. Despite being told early in the year that she would be unable to conceive, she fell pregnant with a beautiful baby boy in April 2020.
It started off like any other year for Polokwane-born Corlia. Determined to start off 2020 on a healthy note, she attended her regular check-up for the year with her gynaecologist.
A part of her routine check-up included having a Pap smear, in which cells from her uterus were collected and tested for any abnormalities.
Corlia went for her test and then forgot about it until the next day, when the doctor called her back in to tell her that her results had come back abnormal.
“I can still remember the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when the doctor told me that there was something wrong,” said Corlia. “A thousand thoughts began to run through my mind: What if it is cancer? Will this mean that I will never be able to have kids? What if I have to have an hysterectomy? Why did I wait to have children?”
Corlia was a ball of mixed emotions when the doctor told her the news. “I had this feeling of dread because I didn’t know what this ‘abnormal’ result could mean. I also had anxiety and I couldn’t help but feel a little regret also,” explained Corlia. Like many women in their thirties, she and her husband had put off having a child right after they got married, so that she could pursue her studies. Now that she had achieved her PhD in Education, all she wanted was to have a child, and that might not even be a possibility.
The doctor immediately scheduled a biopsy for Corlia for a few days later, to take a sample of the irregular cells and test if they were cancerous. A terrified Corlia went in for the procedure and was extremely relieved to learn that the test found that the cells were non-cancerous. However, her relief was short-lived when the doctor discovered that she was exhibiting signs of another condition known as anovulation. Anovulation is a medical condition in which a woman’s ovaries don’t produce eggs during their normal menstrual cycle.
It was at this point that the gynaecologist told the couple that they should not be too hopeful about falling pregnant any time soon, as this condition causes female infertility.
According to the World Health Organization, infertility is a medical condition defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Estimates suggest that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals struggle with infertility globally.
There are many causes for female infertility, including fallopian tubal disorders, hormonal problems, uterine disorders and ovarian conditions. Fortunately, there are treatment options available for many of these conditions, as Corlia discovered when her doctor prescribed medication for her anovulation. This medication would rectify the anovulation and would mean that in the future, she could possibly fall pregnant.
However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a nationwide lockdown was implemented throughout South Africa a few days later and Corlia was unable to fill her prescription. She remembers thinking to herself that she and her hubby would just have to wait a bit longer before they started trying for a baby. She explains how she even began to think of what she might do if she couldn’t get pregnant. “We could always get two dogs in the meantime. It is not the same, but we could,” she thought.
However, there were other plans in the pipeline for Corlia, because against the odds, on 24 May 2020, the couple found out that she was seven weeks pregnant with her first child. “We were so surprised and happy when we found out about the pregnancy. We never thought that I could even get pregnant,” explains Corlia. “Getting pregnant with this baby boy was truly a miracle and a precious gift.”
But this was not the only gift the couple from Potchefstroom received in 2020. On 5 December, Corlia was announced as the winner of the Pampers Premium Care Baby on Board Competition brought to you by MamaMagic. This lucky mom-to-be won a pregnancy starter pack valued at R85 000, which included nappies, a pram, a rocking chair, a nappy bag, and a host of other baby essentials to her on her parenting journey. “Winning all these prizes really meant the world to us. We can say that we are ready to be parents now!” explains Corlia.
Equipped with all these prizes and ready to take on parenthood, Corlia and Heinrich welcomed their precious baby boy into the world on 11 January 2021. “Zion is the sweetest baby I have ever met. I can’t wait for the world to meet him,” says Corlia.
And the world certainly can’t wait to meet this beautiful miracle baby, who defied the odds and gave his parents the best gift during one of the most challenging years.
I had such goosebumps reading this story and delighted that their story has such a happy outcome. Congratulations Corlia, Heinrich and baby Zion!