The Journey To Motherhood
It was a struggle for my husband and I to have a healthy baby. We weren’t trying to conceive the first time I found out I was pregnant, but the loss of the pregnancy hurt just as bad. It was then that we decided to start trying to have our first child. Over the course of 2.5 years, we have had several miscarriages ranging between 4 weeks to about 9 weeks gestation. It was heartbreaking. I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into a dark depressive state. From that point on, over the next 3.5 years, we were unable to conceive at all. We also started seeing a specialist. Both my husband and I were given the fertility work up blood work; hubby was given a semen analysis. Everything was great besides my elevated prolactin level, which went down on its own. I went through a laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, an HSG, two uterine biopsies and a partial D&C. My specialist found that I had Endometriosis, multiple ovarian cysts, and a severe uterine infection. The infection was so bad; it took two full months of high dose antibiotics to treat it! My body felt much better post-surgery, there was very little pain compared to before; I still wasn’t conceiving though.
Being unable to conceive shattered my dreams. I felt like I wasn’t a woman because I couldn’t do the one thing that is supposed to come naturally to women. I spent years locked in my house, curtains drawn, ignoring the phone because I just couldn’t handle seeing children the age my angel babies should’ve been, or seeing pregnant women. My poor husband did the grocery shopping and what not by himself. Not only this, but because of the severe depression, I was pretty much a lump on a log. I did nothing throughout my days; no dishes, no laundry, no cooking, absolutely nothing. I did join a number of pregnancy and infant loss support groups online though, they were very helpful, thankfully.
As the time went on, I gave up on any possibilities of having my own children and decided later on down the road, we would look into possible adoption. I was scared of the IVF and IUI processes simply because I had 7 miscarriages in those 2.5 years. I couldn’t handle going through it again. In 2006, my specialist handed me a prescription for Clomid, 50mg. He told me to take it, and gave me 3 refills, sent me on my way and told me to make an appointment had the Clomid failed me. February that year, I took the Clomid as directed. The side effects were almost unbearable. I was dizzy to the point of not walking straight, I was constantly sick to my stomach, I was tired, I had hot flashes, I had headaches, and I had abdominal pain. You name it, I felt it! I also had no faith in this tiny little pill. There was no way a pill you take for a few days could possibly do anything for you, right? March, I was online and saw a sale on strip pregnancy tests. I bought 75 of them for $20! The day they arrived in the mail, I was still a week away from my next cycle starting but I figured, I had 75 of them, I have enough to waste a few! I took 2 with me and dipped them. I called my husband into the house to confirm that I was seeing the second line on both tests! Yes, he did! I then proceeded to take about 15 more! *wink*
I saw my family doctor who confirmed my pregnancy, and sent me for an ultrasound to figure out a due date. November 16th, 2007 was my due date. Throughout the entire pregnancy, I was sick. The “morning” sickness stuck with me until the day I gave birth. I craved fruit and veggies and couldn’t stomach anything other than fruit and veggies! I also couldn’t stomach the prenatal vitamins. During my pregnancy, I went to the L&D thinking I was in pre-term labor. I was leaking a small amount of amniotic fluid, but my doctor decided I was in there for attention and brushed me off. It was at that moment I decided to go with a midwife. Judy was an angel! My 18 week ultrasound ended up being my 20 week ultrasound, it’s a girl! November 16th, about 12am, I was making a call to Judy to ask her to meet me at the hospital. I had figured because I had been having very painful braxton hicks for months at that point, I wasn’t in labor, but figured I’d get checked anyway. I was 6cm upon arriving at the hospital. My son Adam was born that morning, right on his due date. My son! I was told I was having a girl; I had absolutely no boy clothes! Adam went home in a preemie outfit from the NICU! However, we did have a couple big scares. There was a large amount of meconium in the amniotic fluid. Before he was born, there were 4 nurses, 2 midwives, and 2 pediatricians in my room. Thankfully, he was perfectly fine! He was also born with an arrhythmia and was nearly sent by plane 8 hours south to the Children’s Hospital. It was gone by the time he was a month old.
In early February 2008, I came across a pregnancy test I had left over and figured, why not! A second line appeared and my exact thought was “That’s not even possible, left over HCG.” I started to Google after that, and spoke to my 2008 mommy groups. Some said left over hormones, some said false positive, some said I was pregnant. To figure things out, I called Judy up who sent me the requisition form for blood work. Pregnant. Pregnant without actually trying and without fertility medications! Judy sent me for an ultrasound; I was given September 30th for a due date. It was all happening so fast and I really wasn’t sure I was ready for another child. September 30th meant my children were exactly 10.5 months apart. A few days later, the morning sickness set in, again lasting the entire length of the pregnancy. Ugh. The 18 week ultrasound came around and I was once again told (by the same tech) that I was having a girl. Just in case, I chose to hold on to Adams clothing. I craved meat with this pregnancy. Any kind of meat, all meat; lunch meat to roast, I didn’t care! Plus, it was all I could stomach. September 30th rolls around, no baby. Judy was fortunately a very laid back midwife. I had been going for “stretch and sweeps” and at that point, was dilating and effacing. On October 7th, I went for another stretch and sweep. Judy said I was 6cm dilated, but I was barely even having braxton hicks. She told me to keep my cell phone on me just in case. I told her I’d see her later that night! I called her back late that afternoon saying I thought I was in labor. I was getting back to back contractions when I walked. They would settle a lot when I would lie down. So she came to asses me. I was 8cm dilated. So what did I do? Got on the computer to let everyone know I was going to the hospital, of course! My daughter Grace was born shortly after arriving at the hospital. She was also born with meconium in the amniotic fluid, but small amounts. She was healthy and we left just 6 hours after arriving at the hospital!
Welcome To The World
As a baby, Adam was simply amazing! He was so quiet and content with everything. He barely cried or even whimpered unless hungry or dirty. He woke quite a bit at night, but most babies do. He started crawling around 6 months, and waling by 9 months old! I was blown away by how fast he was developing! During this time though, he did end up behind referred to a urologist. Turned out he had bilateral hernias in his groin area that required surgery. He handled that like a pro! I believe it was around a year old or so that he started having horrible night terrors. The kind where you could hold him on your lap and have him look right at you, but he can’t see you. It was heart wrenching to watch him go through! Now, he struggles with speech problems but has been seeing a speech therapist for a year now and has been making progress.
Grace as a baby, well it was definitely an experience! Grace dealt with extreme Colic for the first year of her life, along with digestive problems. My husband was getting up at 4am to be to work for 5am, so I was getting up with both children. Tired doesn’t even begin to describe what I was feeling! Poor Grace would literally cry for 4 hours on end without a break and there was just no soothing her. Adam learned how to sleep through the screaming baby background noise, which helped a lot. Grace has grown into quite the little princess though. Unfortunately, she learned Adam’s vocabulary, so getting her some help with that. She hasn’t had any health concerns since infancy, thankfully!