So for this entry I’m going to get a little serious. We’ve all been through some tough times, and I know that there might be someone out there who needs to hear my story..
Back story: Since I was little, I had a specific plan for my life. And I think I can speak for my husband when I say, it annoyed him. Ok, it still annoys him. And up until this, my plan was coming along great. Sure, I didn’t plan to have a baby so soon after marriage, but I did want to be a mom at a “younger” age, so I wasn’t too upset. The first 2 years with our baby girl was like a dream. She was such a good baby and a sweet toddler. Of course, she has some of her mother’s sass so it wasn’t ALL perfect but I must say, it was pretty damn close! We bought our first home at 21 & 22. We were really living the American dream!
I was over half way through cosmetology school and my husband had a decent job, so we decided to expand our family! Or, I decided to, like usual. It was the only thing on my mind. As he would explain it, trying to get pregnant seemed more like a job. At one point, I hadn’t had a period for 1 ½ months and I was convinced I was pregnant, but all the tests were coming back negative. Turns out I was trying so hard to get pregnant that I ended up with a phantom pregnancy. I was basically making my body think I was pregnant. A few months later, I finally got a positive test! Thank the Lord! I was FINALLY pregnant.
I never got sick with my first, and this pregnancy was just the same. I made my 10 week dr. appointment and was so excited to hear that heartbeat! My husband met me at the doctor (thank God) and just like with our first, she couldn’t hear the heartbeat on the Doppler, so we needed to have an ultrasound. I thought nothing of it. So far, this pregnancy was exactly the same as the first. The tech turned on the screen. I could see a sac, but I was a little confused. Where was the little tadpole? The tech’s face said it all. The baby was gone. She explained that it was a chemical pregnancy, which means I had miscarried very early on. Only problem was the sac was still growing. I needed to have a D&C. I was sick. I didn’t understand. I wanted this baby so badly, how could this happen?
The doctor got me in the next day for surgery. I can remember going to the hospital feeling like they were going to go in and take my baby away from me. But there was no baby anymore. I recovered from the surgery pretty well, physically. Mentally was a completely different story.
I was severely depressed. But along with being depressed, I felt guilty. I had never lost anyone close to me. Every day people lose family members. Children, parents, grandparents, I just lost a baby that I didn’t even know. I shouldn’t be this sad. I should feel grateful that I have a perfectly healthy toddler already.
Just 5 days after my miscarriage, I was admitted into the hospital with a Pulmonary Embolism, a blood clot in my lung. After what seemed like 1000 tests, being poked and prodded until my arms were black and blue, and a 5 day stay in the hospital, they discovered I had MTHFR. MTHFR, in short, is a gene mutation that may lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood and low levels of folate and other vitamins. Ok, and? I didn’t really understand. To be honest, it wasn’t until this last year that I started to do more research on it. But along with causing my body to be prone to blood clots, MTHFR can cause all sorts of other issues- anxiety, depression, bipolar, nerve pain, certain types of cancers, and you guessed it, miscarriages. For the next few months I was put on a medication for the blood clot. I had to get blood drawn 1-4 times a week, and was told absolutely DO NOT get pregnant.
A few months later, after I was off the medication, we weren’t really trying to get pregnant, but weren’t preventing it either. It was the day after Valentine day 2012 and I woke up in the middle of the night coughing and vomiting blood. I had a cough for a while but I knew coughs could linger so I didn’t think much of it until I woke up that day. I went to the hospital. Turns out I had bacterial pneumonia. They asked if I could be pregnant. I told them it was a possibility. Sure enough, the blood test results confirmed- I was pregnant. Another 5 days in the hospital, the doctors explained that because I was so early on in the pregnancy and because I was so sick, there was a good chance I would lose the baby.
The day after getting home from the hospital, I started bleeding.
But for some reason, I wasn’t as upset as last time. I’ve thought about it so much since then. I think it was because that one made sense. My body was so sick, it knew it couldn’t take care of 2 humans. I’m thankful for my body getting me better, but I will always wonder “what if.”
3 months after the 2nd miscarriage, I got pregnant, again. I was scared to death. I didn’t want to be happy. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. What if I lost this baby too? What if I get sick again? There were so many thoughts in my head. I’ll never forget the first time I saw my precious rainbow baby, Aislyn Chloe. She was perfect, everything I had hoped for and so much more. I was so grateful to God for giving me this precious miracle, after so much loss.
I went on to have 2 more healthy babes. My pregnancies were pretty routine with the others. I was a little sick with my son (the baby) and with each of the last 3, I had to be on a blood thinner injections once a day. It wasn’t the easiest, but I would do it all over again to bring my babies into the world.
To this day, I still think about my precious angels. Would they have been boys or girls? What would they have looked like? Who would they have become? I will always think about them for the rest of my life, and I know they will be waiting for me on the other side of the pearly gates. And for that, I am thankful.
But since the unfortunate events with my loss, I have encountered even more through family and friends who haven’t been as lucky as me. People who struggle to get pregnant at all, or who have experienced more loss than I thought possible. My heart aches for them every day. And sometimes, I still feel guilty. Why was I able to go on and have 3 more beautiful children when there are so many who can’t have any at all? It’s a daily struggle, but it doesn’t take away my appreciation for what my body has been able to do.
That was my story. I still have to be aware of MTHFR, especially for my children as they grow and go through puberty. I have to hope and pray that they don’t have any issues if they are to have the gene mutation. But I’m here to tell everyone, if you have experienced a miscarriage(s), or the guilt of being able to bare children, you are not alone. Someone else’s misfortunes does not discount yours. You do not have to feel bad about being sad. Talk about it, write about it, or pray about it. Whatever feels therapeutic to you. And if you know someone who is experiencing the same as you, or more, reach out. Give them whatever they need, but don’t wait for them to ask, because they probably won’t. Give them a hug or be a listening ear. Cook them a meal, or two. Give them a call or send a handwritten card. Whatever you think they need. Or share your experience, and show them they’re not alone. We all have experiences and you never know when your story may be an inspiration to someone!