Back in August 2015, the then 30-year-old experienced a phenomenon known as a hydatidiform mole or complete molar pregnancy. It occurs when an egg carrying no DNA is fertilised and implants into the uterine wall. But despite the embryo not being viable, the body still starts the process of pregnancy, bringing on tell-tale symptoms such as morning sickness and sore breasts.
"I remember the doctor at the time, she felt awful. But because it's so rare, I don't think she had seen it many times in her career and so she was trying to guess what it was," Teresa explained on a recent episode of Mamamia’s No Filter podcast. "It made it worse for me. Actually, 10 specialists came in and they were like, 'Ooh, what is it? Could it be conjoined twins that didn't make it? Could it be this, could it be that?' I felt like such a freak.”
For Teresa, who had her 18-month-old son Bodhi with her at the time, the grief and anxiety was overwhelming.
"I'm just sobbing and people were really excited about this anomaly... I just didn't feel supported enough, and I was quite embarrassed, actually,” she said.
"When you get pregnant, the moment you see those two lines on the pregnancy test, you start envisioning who that baby is and when the baby's coming and the age gap between your children. And all of a sudden, that's all ripped away from you and you're grieving the idea of who this baby would have been.”
"I remember just sobbing and saying sorry to Bodhi, my toddler: 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. I really thought you would have a sibling.'”
Just three weeks later, Teresa had to be back on-set to shoot a film. And although work served as a distraction for a while, she couldn’t help but blame herself for what had happened.
“I just didn't know anyone else had been through it, and I just thought, 'Why did my body do this? What did I do to deserve this?'"
Time – and two more children – has helped Theresa heal. And now, she’s using her voice to help others feel less alone via her blog Your Zen Mama.
"The word 'miss', to miscarry something, puts the onus on the mother; it's shame, it's guilt, it's [as if] the mother's done something wrong — she's miss-carried the baby," she said. "The majority of miscarriages just have nothing to do with any of the mother's actions."