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Aussie fitness model’s emotional pregnancy journey—”it’s like a bomb waiting to go off”

Australian model and gym owner Chontel Duncan and her husband Sam have welcomed twins, born at 31 weeks, in what Chontel describes as a ‘big emotional journey’.

Chontel, the personal trainer behind full body Sweat workout program FIERCE and gym chain HIIT Station, almost lost her babies early in the pregnancy.

“At 12 weeks into my pregnancy, I had a severe haemorrhage and went to emergency where it was confirmed the hematoma was there,” she says.

“It’s like a bomb waiting to go off.”

Chontel’s pregnancy was deemed ‘high risk’ by her obstetrician for ‘threatened miscarriage’ and she was put on strict rest for more than 19 weeks. She was given steroid injections to help her twins’ development.

‘A new world to adjust to’

On January 4 Chontel, was rushed to Brisbane’s Mater Mothers Hospital with heavy bleeding and, early in the morning on January 5, her babies were delivered via caesarean section.

Havana Quinn Duncan was born at 12.12am weighing 1509g (3lb5oz). Two minutes later, Justice Quinn Duncan was born weighing 1480g (3lb4oz).

They were nine weeks early.

Despite already being a mum to three children under the age of 6, Jeremiah, Swayde and Paris, Chontel describes giving birth to premature babies and via an emergency caesarean as “a big emotional journey”.

“At the start it was a new world to adjust to” she says.

“Having an emergency caesarean like this one is an out-of-body experience. When you have so many children you have to het use to the process of how caesareans usually work.”

‘They are kicking goals’

Chontel says the care her babies have received in the Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) has been exceptional.

“They are spoilt with all the care they are given. They are kicking goals and every day new milestones are being hit,” she says.

What is a threatened miscarriage?

An ongoing pregnancy associated with some bleeding is called a ‘threatened miscarriage’. The first symptoms are usually bleeding with or without mild period-like pain. The amount of bleeding may vary from spotting to a gush with clots.

The diagnosis of threatened miscarriage is made with the help of an ultrasound. Sometimes the scan may show a small blood clot around the sac—this is a ‘subchorionic haematoma’—which identifies the source of the bleeding. Sometimes the scan is normal and a source for the bleeding is not found. It’s then not possible to give an explanation for the bleeding but, in most cases the pregnancy continues safely.

A subchorionic haematoma can continue to bleed intermittently during the first trimester and usually does not cause a miscarriage. Except in rare cases, such as Chontel’s, they often disappear by the second trimester.

The content in this article should be used as a guide only. If you experience any health-related concerns you should contact your local healthcare provider or nearest emergency department.

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