At just 21-years-old Kayla Glover discovered she was both pregnant, and had cancer. A heartbreaking juxtaposition – the happiness of growing a new life, and the anguish of battling for her own.
The incredible mum-to-be looked at the road ahead with positivity, and her story is one of inspiration, determination and the ability to see the good in every situation.
Kayla’s pregnancy and birth were both documented by photographer Sara Hunter who captured Kayla’s vulnerability and strength as she underwent treatment during her pregnancy. “I found out I was pregnant and had a 12cm x 10cm x 5cm mass on my right ovary,” Kayla detailed on TikTok. “Doctors kept telling me pregnancy hormones will make it shrink.”
At five-months pregnant, Kayla had surgery to remove the tumour and her right ovary, and she had her first round of chemotherapy at six-months pregnant. Her belief and positivity never wavered. “I acknowledged my situation, moved on and let everything flow naturally. Most importantly, I always looked on the bright side.”
A determined birth
Kayla had weekly appointments to check on her baby, and had her sixth and final round of chemo at eight-months pregnant. She wanted nothing more than the birth on her own terms, even though doctors thought she would be too weak. But she proved them wrong, enduring 35 hours of labour.
“Through the whole process of doing chemotherapy she was still determined to have her baby vaginally at the birth centre,” her birth photographer Sara told Mouths of Mums. “At the end of chemo the doctor said as long as she could go two weeks before going into labour she could birth naturally. So that was the plan.
“It was a long night of labour. In and out of the tub, the bed, with her partner by her side the whole time. She was so determined. In the end the midwife called it which is the photo of her hugging the midwife and crying. She was just exhausted so she ended up transferring to the hospital, getting an epidural, rest and then vaginally birthing her son.”
With her baby safely in her arms, Kayla booked in postpartum photos, and they are just as moving as her maternity and birth image.
“The postpartum shoot was so much fun,” Sara said. “I had done her maternity session for free so of course I wanted to do the postpartum and newborn photos. She had hair growing in by this time and her baby was perfect and healthy.
“She was actually dancing and swaying while I was photographing her holding her son. She’s such a free spirit. Her cancer is gone now and she is doing so good.”We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.