My journey to become a mom hasn’t been the easiest. The most painful moment so far was on April 4, 2011. I was being prepped for emergency surgery to remove a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (also know as tubal although mine was not in the tube). Not realizing I was going to need surgery, we brought our only living child with us to the hospital. The nurse asking me questions said, “So, this is your second pregnancy?” It was a knife to my heart when I had to answer, “No…sixth.”
When Daniel and I got married, we wanted to wait 3-5 years before having kids, so we could just enjoy married life. Well, one thing lead to another, and we knew we shouldn’t but did; and I became pregnant. A week after finding out, I miscarried. A few months later, still thinking we would wait but not really preventing; I found myself pregnant again. I miscarried…again. At this point we decided to stop putting so much thought into parenthood and just let whatever happens, happen. Two more miscarriages happened. It was surreal to think I had lost four babies. With each loss, my desire to become a mom grew. I saw several doctors along the way. Each one gave a different diagnosis that seemed to contradict what the last one said. I had surgery in early 2009, to hopefully correct things.
In August of that same year, I found out I was pregnant with our fifth baby. Finally, I was going to be a mom! The pregnancy was not with out its complications; but on April 1, 2010, my beautiful Ava Elise was born! I was in love; but more importantly, I was healed! I could be a mom without anymore suffering. Everyone would ask when we would have baby number 2. I happily said, “I’ll be pregnant before her first birthday!” Her first birthday came and several family members asked if I had any exciting news to share. I hid my sadness behind a smile and answered, “No”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I would find out two days later that I was in fact pregnant with baby number six.
My memories of that day are vague. I began feeling bad the day after Ava’s first birthday and by the next day, I could barely move the pain was so intense. My husband finally picked me up, loaded me in the car, and headed to the hospital. I remember the look on everyone’s face when they realized what was going on. I had an ectopic pregnacy that had ruptured and was now causing internal bleeding. At 11:30am, I was signing consents for emergency surgery at 1:00pm. I was given possible outcomes but could tell in the surgeon’s voice that she wasn’t positive what would be left in the end. After an hour long surgery, the surgeon was happy to report that against all odds, all of my reproductive organs were saved and I could try to get pregnant immediately. So we left hopeful for what the future held.
The trouble was, my physical pain never went away, and I wasn’t getting pregnant. After almost a year and half of trying to conceive, a test revealed my right tube and ovary had in fact been damaged beyond repair and needed to be removed. Off to surgery again…the third one of my motherhood journey. A month later, I found out I was pregnant with my seventh baby; and on April 16, 2013, I met my beautiful Emmeline Margaret. Today I feel blessed to have my two girls. They are my reason for living. We have a desire to expand our family and although there is no reason I shouldn’t get pregnant, I just never know. Nothing is guaranteed, especially with me.
I always felt weird talking about my losses. I never heard their hearts beat. I never saw their profile on the ultrasound machine. I never knew their gender. To many, they didn’t exist; but to me, the pain of loss was real. It wasn’t until I met a woman who had lost a son at 16 weeks. We exchanged stories and when we were finished, she said, “I couldn’t imagine going through 5 losses. One was hard, but 5…wow.” I was blown away. Here was this person that lost a son. A baby boy that was already named. They were looking at baby bedding and picking out car seats. They heard the heart beat and saw him move. And yet to her my pain was real, too. For the first time, I felt I could truly mourn. My babies existed. I may not have known if they were boys or girls, but they were loved nonetheless.