A woman who was warned she might never have kids is now a single mum to twins – after falling pregnant from a holiday one-night stand.
Doctors told Monica Dylan, now 42, she had a very low number of ovarian follicles, which means a big drop in fertility, so she had resigned herself to being “over the hill”.
But Monica, from Medway, Kent, defied the odds to become a mum to daughters Athena and Luna on January 7.
She was on a Mediterranean cruise with pal Anita Bristol, 38, when she conceived her kids.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, the retail manager said: “One night, I spent hours chatting to a man I met on the cruise – who was gorgeous and stylish – and couldn’t ignore the spark between us.
“One thing led to another and, to my surprise, we ended up having sex.
“We’d had one too many drinks – the reason we hadn’t used contraception.
“Looking back, I knew it was foolish. But, at the same time, I was thrilled when I realised I might be having a baby.”
Upon returning home, she mistook morning sickness for post-motion nausea.
Monica said: “I hadn’t been home long when I started feeling funny. I felt dizzy like I was still at sea.
“I searched my symptoms online and self-diagnosed myself with post-motion sickness, which is apparently quite normal after a cruise.
“When the queasiness didn’t subside, the possibility of being pregnant crossed my mind, but I knew that was unlikely.
“I bought a test to rule it out and was gobsmacked when I saw the second pink link appear on the stick.”
Monica always wanted kids and had split from previous partners because they didn’t feel the same.
She thought she’d hit the jackpot with her last boyfriend until he changed his mind and said he didn’t want a family.
She said: “As time went on he changed his mind, leaving me devastated and running out of time to meet the right man, fall in love and have a child.”
After splitting from that ex, Monica’s mate Anita suggested a girls’ trip to cheer her up.
She hadn’t completely given up hope of becoming a mum, tossing a couple of Euros into Rome’s Trevi fountain and wishing for a kid.
Monica said: “Anita had been talking about going on a cruise for a while and it seemed like the right time for a trip away.
“I’ve known Anita for 20 years and if anyone knows how to have a good time, it’s her. I knew I was in good hands. On the ship, we began discussing my new life plan.
“We agreed to make the most of our freedom by enjoying nights out and weekends away, travelling the world and maybe even living abroad together for a while.
“We also planned to look after each other when we were older and I decided I could simply spoil my nieces and nephews, rather than have a baby of my own.”
One night, the friends arranged to have dinner with two men they’d met earlier on the trip – one of whom became the father of Monica’s kids.
Monica said: “Anita nagged me to make an effort for dinner and drinks.
“I was happy with what I’d been wearing all day, but somehow she convinced me to dress up. It’s lucky I did.”
Monica was in for another shock at her eight-week scan, when the sonographer revealed she had two babies growing inside her.
She said: “The sonographer turned the screen around. He showed me my baby and then he moved the wand slightly and said, ‘And here’s the other one.’
“I thought he was joking and my friend who had come with me burst into tears, which set the nurse off crying too.
“It quickly dawned on me that I wasn’t just going to be a mum, but a mum of twins. I was so shocked I didn’t say much until the news finally sunk in.
Monica admits the twins ‘keep me on my toes’
“When I told Anita, she screeched down the phone with excitement.
“I also told the father of the twins and he was really good about it.
“Despite us not being in a relationship, he respected my decision to go ahead with the pregnancy and said I had his full support.”
Monica was induced at 37 weeks and was rushed into theatre for an emergency C-section when one of her placentas ruptured.
It hasn’t worked out the way I always imagined it would and I know there will be tough times ahead, especially being a single mum
Her non-identical twins were born weighing 5lb 5oz each – two days before Monica’s 42nd birthday.
She said: “When I held them both in my arms, it was such a strange feeling. They were so beautiful, I couldn’t stop gazing at them.
“My daughters were the best birthday presents I could ask for.
“Becoming a mother hasn’t worked out the way I always imagined it would and I know there will be tough times ahead, especially being a single mum, but I have a lot of love to give to Athena and Luna. They are certainly keeping me on my toes.
“Life is hectic and I’m exhausted – but I’m loving life with my girls. They make me laugh all the time.
“I’m so grateful to Anita for encouraging me to make an effort that fateful night.
“Having a holiday fling was definitely out of character for me but I’m so glad it happened, I can’t imagine life without Athena and Luna.
“I wanted a child for so long and now am lucky enough to have two.”