A mom who went to the doctors to see if she had cancer was shocked to find she was actually 17 weeks pregnant. Janie Furner, 45, has been reintroduced to the world of nappies, breastfeeding and sleepless nights two decades after her first and only child.
With her 20-year-old daughter Mia fleeing the nest earlier this year, both Furner and husband Gary, 43, were looking forward to entering a new chapter of their lives.
The couple, from Graines, Essex, had even booked a luxury 5-star all-inclusive holiday to Greece and were beginning to look to the next chapter of their life before retirement.
But in April, Furner noticed she was becoming increasingly nauseous. Believing she had a cyst on her ovaries, Furner went to her doctor who then referred her to have a scan. But a week later during an ultrasound, Furner was told she didn’t have cancer and was instead almost halfway through a pregnancy with her second child.
The couple, who have been together for 22 years, are now readjusting to life with a newborn two decades after their firstborn.
“I completely forgot about the tiredness that comes with a newborn," Furner, a teaching assistant, said. “I’m back to sleepless nights, endless nappy changing and breastfeeding. I didn’t picture my year to turn out the way it has but I’m now spending Christmas with my miracle baby.”
Having suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) all her life, Furner was always told her chances of conceiving were incredibly slim.
After having trouble conceiving her daughter Mia two decades ago, the couple resigned themselves to the fact they would only have the one child.
“I Googled my symptoms as you do and it was all pointing to ovarian cancer," she said. “I had a bad back, I was constantly needing the toilet and was being put off my food. Mentioning it now it seems so obvious I was pregnant. But I only have two periods a year so I’m really not fertile. It just never crossed my mind that I would be."
“I walked into the doctor’s surgery fearing the worst," she said. “I hadn’t even told Gary what I was going in for. He just drove me there and assumed I had women’s problems."
“I was just in complete shock," she said, of being told she was pregnant. “When I went to the first appointment the doctor felt my stomach. There was no mention of pregnancy. You would think if I was 17 weeks gone he may have suggested it. So I was there fearing the worst and then I was told this."
“Gary was standing outside having a cigarette at the time," Furner recalled. “He’s a bit of a joker so when the nurse went up to him and said ‘I think you better come in’, he joked saying ‘I thought you were going to tell me she was pregnant’. We walked out there like a pair of zombies."
“We were just getting ready to start a new chapter of our lives and then we were dealt with this bombshell," she said. “We waited a few weeks until telling Mia. She was in Turkey at the time so we arranged to have a Skype call. I was quite nervous as to how she would take it but she just burst into tears."
"Thankfully they were tears of joy - she said she always wanted a little brother or sister," she said. “Because of the age gap she is more of a mom to him.”
Baby Oliver was born in October at 36 weeks via C-section weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces.
“I did notice Janie was getting a bit bigger but it was nothing worth pointing out," Gary said. “Another baby just wasn’t on the radar. We’ve gone 20 years without Janine falling pregnant again. When we went to the doctors I didn’t even consider it as an option. I thought it was impossible. It took a few days for it to sink in but once I got my head around it I just thought it was incredible timing.”
Last October Gary lost his dad Philip to a short illness with pancreatic cancer which proved difficult last Christmas. But with the surprise arrival of his son, Gary said he is looking forward to celebrating the festivities.
“Last Christmas was really hard as it was the first one without my dad," he said. "He was told by doctors it was pretty serious and 16 days later we lost him. And almost a year to the day of losing my dad I welcomed the son I’d never thought I’d have into the world. He’s like a little miracle sent from heaven."
“One of Oliver’s middle names is Philip," he added. “Although he’s small he even looks like my old man. I snapped my tendon a few weeks back so I’ve been off work. It’s been nice being able to spend time with Oliver but at the same time, I’m not able to hold him."
“That being said, I’ve got out of changing his nappies," he said. “I’ll be sure to make it up to Janie as she needs.”
Now nine weeks old, Oliver is about to celebrate his first Christmas with Furner, Gary and Mia.
“We’ll be joining my parents, my brother and sister and their kids," Furner said. "It will be a lot of fun with 13 of us there. We’ve got Ollie a huge orangutan hand puppet for Christmas. I keep telling everyone that he doesn’t know Christmas and to save their money but I know he’s going to be incredibly spoilled.”
“I’m honestly over the moon," Gary said. “We’re a bit older and are completely knackered but it’s great doing the whole dad thing again. Now I’ve got someone to carry on the family name. I’m not religious but he couldn’t have come at a better time. He’s our little Christmas miracle.”