Love comes full circle

Parents Lachlan and Elle with Darcy. Pictures: ROB CAREW

By Casey Neill

A married couple who met when they were just hours old?

As a movie pitch, it sounds a bit far-fetched.

But it’s Elle Bethune and Lachlan Moorhead’s real-life fairytale, with newborn daughter Darcy recently completing their happily ever after.

The Ormond couple’s mothers, Kaye and Marlana, met in a prenatal class at Cabrini.

“They came in with their pillows, I think with our dads,” Elle explained.

“They had several classes over the time before we were born and became friends.”

Marlana gave birth to Lachy via ceasarean on 2 November, while Kaye welcomed Elle on the 10th.

“Their rooms were two doors away,” Elle said.

“We met in the ward.

“They created an unofficial mum’s group with another friend so the three of them caught up regularly.

“I know we were at each other’s first birthdays because there’s photos of that.

“But we went to different kindies and primary schools so then we just lost touch.”

Lachy said they briefly reunited at Year 7 orientation at Caulfield Grammar.

“Just by chance our mums parked next to each other and recognised each other and had a chat,” he said.

“I don’t recall remembering Elle.”

Elle laughed: “I think we weren’t giving much to each other.”

“That was sort of it. It was just that one interaction at the front gate.

“We didn’t talk until Year 10.”

She was put into a maths class without any of her mates but recognised Lachy in the back row.

“Then you slowly let me in,” she said to Lachy.

“That’s how we got to know each other.”

Lachy said they dated during their final years of high school, “but very on and off”.

“There was some holding hands under the maths desk that year,” Elle laughed.

“It wasn’t until uni that we got together.”

The couple married in 2021 after Covid restrictions delayed their nuptials twice.

They pushed their initial December 2020 date to June 2021, and finally to July that year.

“There were a few scares. The wedding was on a Saturday. The Friday morning was the first time we let ourselves believe it would happen,” Lachy said.

They started trying for a baby soon after they tied the knot.

“Everything had been pushed back already,” Elle said.

“It happened really quickly initially. I remember the first test. We couldn’t believe it.”

But she miscarried soon after.

“We were still relatively positive at that point,” she said.

Back to back to back losses followed.

One progressed to nine weeks before Elle experienced bleeding – while isolated from a Covid-positive Lachy.

“I couldn’t be there, so that was hard,” he said.

They decided to see a fertility specialist “just to have a chat” and received a game plan – try naturally for another three months, then turn to IVF.

They bought the medication for their first cycle but still held onto hope.

“I thought I’d be one of those people that on the last try before IVF, it’d happen,” Elle said.

“Because it’s so timed, I remember day one came and I was like ‘it’s now or never’.

“It was almost good because I couldn’t really question it.

“I think if I’d been left with it I might not have pulled the trigger.”

Her egg retrieval yielded 26 eggs, which formed 12 embryos.

“We did the transfer. I think because of everything I was very dissociated with it,” Elle said.

After eating the french fries and the pineapple came the long wait to find out whether the transfer had been successful.

The couple were relieved when a blood test confirmed Elle was pregnant, but they’d been there before.

“We were definitely a bit dissociated,” Lachy said.

“I’m sure everyone who goes through these challenges is similar.

“The whole time, the whole pregnancy, I don’t know if we ever believed it.

“You don’t want to be too negative either. We were trying to focus on positive thinking.

“We were aiming for some kind of neutral zone.

“We didn’t tell too many people because you’re wanting to protect yourself.

“It was nice to have a few people who knew because it’s a lot of a burden for just you two.”

Elle received progesterone needles until the 12-week mark, juggling social engagements to administer the hormone at the same time each day.

She had “a lot of bleeding” in the early weeks, which was found to be from a subchorionic hematoma – a blood clot between the amniotic membrane and the uterine wall – that resolved by 20 weeks.

“It was mentally quite hard because it brings up everything,” she said.

“When we found out the sex it made it feel more real.

“That was a step we’d never got to. We let the walls down a bit.”

Elle was induced at 39+4 at Cabrini – a full-circle moment for the pair.

Doctors broke her waters in the morning and Darcy was born at 5.57pm on 15 August weighing 4.3 kilograms.

“It’s the most crazy thing, seeing this fully-formed thing in front of you that you’ve seen as a shape on a screen,” Lachy said.

“It was super special.”

Naming their daughter was possibly the easiest part of the whole process. Elle came across a Darcy through her work as a dance teacher.

“We liked unisex names and this one was top of our list,” Lachy said.

Darcy was two months old when we spoke.

“It’s been a lot,” Elle laughed when asked about adjusting to parenthood.

“I don’t think anyone can quite prepare you for the reality.”

But they’re enjoying “figuring her out” and soaking it all up.

“Seeing her starting to engage her eyes and take you in is really special,” Lachy said.

“We think we’re not too far from a smile, which is really nice.

“I think also what’s been really nice is you get that little endorphin hit when you see your friends and family with her.”

Elle said: “Getting to meet her and seeing a little bit of Lachy and seeing yourself looking back at you is just crazy. That has been so nice.”