“But not all of us have these simple pregnancies that we breeze through.”
I have two healthy kids.
I’ve been pregnant six times.
My journey to motherhood has not been an easy one. I had never thought about getting pregnant before my ex-husband and I decided to start a family. I was on birth control since age fourteen. My period was so heavy and so erratic as a teen, that sometimes I could not go to school. Birth control pills gave me my life back. And I think for a period of time, I was addicted to them because I remember what it was like BP- before pill. Hot sweats, unable to keep food down, profuse bleeding, vomiting, and cramps that muscle relaxers would not calm- all as a teen.
When I was twenty-four, I came off of them in attempts to get pregnant. So at this point, I had not missed a pill in ten years. The GYN I had at the time gave me a check up and said that my body was healthy and pregnancy should be easy.
Pregnancy #1– Blighted Ovum. I missed my period, confirmed pregnancy, but as I progressed, there was no baby showing on the monitor of the sonogram. I was confused. What happened? What was going on? My body said that I was pregnant, but there was no baby there growing. I had morning sickness, but why when there was no baby there? By the second week of sonograms, I was defeated. I ended up miscarrying, my body expelling the pregnancy on its own.
I remember weeks walking around looking at children thinking, why not me? Why can’t I have kids? What’s wrong with me?
Then my GYN did a check up and told me that I would not be able to have children because of a complication with my uterus.
More devastation. Really? The girl who was the babysitter for everyone in the entire neighborhood can’t have kids?
I prayed- and found another GYN and got another opinion.
And I was pregnant three months later.
Pregnancy #2- My Son. He was healthy, born on time at 40 weeks with no complications.
I went back on birth control after my son’s birth and the ex and I agreed to revisit having another in two years. But in two years, it did not seem like the right time. So we waited until 30. Then our son would be five. That would be a good time.
In that same time, the birth control that I had been taking since I was fourteen was discontinued. I tried another brand and my body could not handle it. So I thought that it would be better to purge my body of all of those hormones anyway. Plus, we wanted another baby.
This should be easy right? Wrong.
Pregnancy #3- Molar Pregnancy. Once again, the embryo had not implanted and my body showed pregnant but I was not. This resulted in a D&C. Hopefully with the D&C it would clear my uterus of any negative cells and increase pregnancy chances.
Pregnancy #4- Ectopic Pregnancy. This resulted in a methotrexate injection to dissolve the pregnancy from my tubes. I also went and had a procedure done with a blue dye being shot into my fallopian tubes. It was determined that one was completely closed and collapsed and one was completely healthy. So there was still a chance to have another baby.
Pregnancy #5– Early term labor. I was four months pregnant when we discovered that our baby was having complications. Basically, he was not able to expel any waste and cycle any of the amniotic fluid. The solution? Putting in a stint that would help our son while in utero and when he was born, he would have a simple surgery and would be fine. I had the surgery at five months. He appeared fine on the sonograms, kicking, breathing, growing. I was in pain after surgery, but recovering and was now a high risk pregnancy.
I woke up one night, in labor and did not know it. We went to the hospital, they monitored me, and the next thing I know, I was delivering a baby. It all happened so fast. And I knew that 20 weeks was too early to deliver. That situation in and of itself was one that scarred me deeply. We had to make death arrangements for our baby. Why should a parent have to do that?
It took months to manage my feelings. Months of still feeling the baby moving even when he was not there. Months of wondering what happened because I went to the hospital pregnant, birthed a baby, and did not come home with one.
Then there was the fact that I had to relive it all again when you get back out into the real world. Tell the story over and over when people see that you are no longer pregnant.
I wanted to get my tubes tied and just be happy with one child. I was not 35 yet, but the past two years had been too traumatic. My body was over it and so was my mind.
I researched birth control, but had not decided on one. I started getting energy healings and reiki and massage to relax my energy and my body. I started taking care of myself and getting back to living. My GYN sent me info on IVF to consider. I was still set to get my tubes tied at 35.
Pregnancy #6- My daughter. Healthy pregnancy. She came at 39 weeks. I was put at high risk the entire pregnancy but had no complications.
The journey was no easy whatsoever. My aunt told me one time that being pregnant is having one foot in the grave. You share a body with another person. It’s not easy. Emotionally or physically. But not all of us have these simple pregnancies that we breeze through.
For me, the most important thing was to have a OB/GYN that was supportive and informative.
My doctor has a million patients here in Atlanta, yet still took time out to call me on my cell phone and check on me personally. Because of my history, she personally saw that she was there to birth my daughter.
It was also helpful to talk with other women that had gone through. Men don’t get it. And women that haven’t been through it can’t properly empathize. That is just the truth. But when you do go through, you find this small group of women willing to confess that they too have endured a harrowing journey to motherhood.
I hope that you can keep motivated, keep inspired, and keep optimistic if you are having trouble on your journey to motherhood. You are not alone.