Every year on Mother’s Day and on each of my children’s birthday I am reminded of how blessed I am to have my 2 beautiful healthy children. Today I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart. My hope is that you will learn a little more about me and that I can be an encouragement to other women who are going thru something similar that I went thru.
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. When I was a young girl, teenager, early 20’s; when someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life I always answered “to get married and have children”. I dreamed of how many children I would have, what their names would be and how much I couldn’t wait to be a Mom.
When the time finally came for us to start trying to get pregnant I couldn’t have been more excited. John and I had been married for a couple years, we were so in love and wanted to start a family. Everything felt right in the world.
It took us almost 6 months to get pregnant, which felt like an eternity. Every month I wasn’t pregnant was a big disappointment. It was such an emotional rollercoaster every month. Finally after 6 months of trying we were finally pregnant! I was so happy!!! Although my morning sickness was out of control, I couldn’t stop smiling because I was pregnant!
I loved going to my doctor appointments and seeing my baby on the ultrasound and listening to his heartbeat. It was magical! There is nothing like it. I loved seeing his growth each time I went it. I couldn’t have been more happy and full of joy. I had everything I ever wanted.
When I was 14 weeks pregnant I woke up in the middle of the night to the most extreme cramps I had ever felt. They came in waves and it was so painful. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t right. A few hours later I lost the baby. I went to the hospital later that day. The doctors still don’t know what went wrong.
I can’t even explain the pain and grief that I felt. I lost my baby, my child that I never got to hold and meet. The next few months were a blur of crying, sleeping, eating and tv watching. I gained 20 pounds in a couple of months from my depression. I could barely find the strength to get out of bed.
After a couple months I wanted to start trying again. My heart ached for a baby. Having a family is the only thing I wanted. I knew I couldn’t stay depressed forever. I had to get back up and fight for what I want.
After only 3 months of trying we were pregnant. I was so happy, but also so nervous. I was so afraid something would go wrong. I wanted to celebrate but I didn’t know if I should. I had weekly doctor appointments just so I could make sure everything was going right.
At 10 weeks pregnant, I woke up feeling weird; something was just off. Later that night I miscarried another baby. I stayed at home as long as I could. I lost too much blood and passed out on my bathroom floor. John had to call 911 and the ambulance had to come to my home and take me to the ER.
At this point I was almost numb from the pain. My heart was completely broken. I didn’t understand why this was happening? I’m young and healthy, what’s going on? I questioned myself, my husband, the doctors, God. At times I blamed myself for things that I may have done wrong to harm the pregnancies. I worried that my husband would leave me because this was all to much (even though he never acted that way ever!). I felt so lonely and alone, like no one knew what I was going thru. I felt helpless and hopeless, there was nothing I could do to fix this. The light inside my eyes was gone.
About 2 months later I was pregnant again, we weren’t even trying. I was in complete shock. I don’t know how far along I was because I never got my period since the last miscarriage. Before I was able to go to the doctor we lost that pregnancy too. I have now had 3 miscarriages in less than 1 year. It was time to get some help. I decided to switch doctors and see a specialist.
I met with a specialist at Evanston Hospital. He encouraged me that everything will be ok and that I will have a baby. I went thru many tests to see what was going on. Everything came back normal. I didn’t know whether to be happy about that or not. Of course I want my body to be normal and healthy. But if everything is normal then why is this happening? The doctors suggested I go on progesterone supplements for the first 4 months of my pregnancy and they would watch me carefully.
Many months after all the tests and meetings with the doctors I felt ready to try again. I was scared as can be! But I also trusted my new group of doctors. And I knew the only way to have a baby was to keep trying.
We got pregnant our first month of trying. The first trimester was filled with non stop nausea, exhaustion and throwing up all the time. I was constantly nervous and aware of every little thing happening in my body. I wanted to jump for joy and celebrate being pregnant, but I was constantly holding my breath for something to go wrong. Every week that went by of my pregnancy was a milestone for me.
In September 2008 I gave birth to a healthy baby girl! It took me 17 hours of labor, 90 minutes of pushing and she cracked my tail bone on the way out; but she was mine! We named her Sofia Grace. Sofia means wisdom and is a greek name (my husband is half greek) and Grace because it was by the grace of God that I was able to have this beautiful baby.
I couldn’t have been happier. I finally had a baby to love! I was able to be a full time stay at home mom. I really don’t know what I did that first year. I didn’t really accomplish anything else besides spending every minute with this perfect baby; holding her, playing with her and listening to her laugh.
When Sofia was about 18 months old I got the urge for baby #2. I was so nervous at the idea of doing this again. I was worried something would go wrong and I would have to hold myself together to take care of Sofia. I wouldn’t be able to unravel or get extremely depressed. But I wanted another baby! Even if something is scary, you can’t get what you want in life unless you try. So I held my breath and we began trying for another baby.
We tried for several months and nothing. I started to think maybe it wasn’t the right time and we should wait a little longer. So we stopped trying and I instantly got pregnant. Again, my first trimester was the absolute worst. But everything after that was smooth sailing. It was a great pregnancy, he was 9 days early, short labor and delivery. He couldn’t have come into the world more easy. I had a sweet baby boy that we named Caleb John.
Holding him in my arms for the fist time I was so overwhelmed with joy. I remember bursting into tears I was so happy. My heart was so full of love it felt like my chest wasn’t big enough to hold it. My life and my family were complete and I was the happiest woman on earth.
I am so blessed to have 2 beautiful and healthy children. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for Sofia and Caleb. I am so lucky to be their Mom.
I learned many things from this experience. 1. You have to fight for what you really want. The greatest things in life do not come easy. 2. Be sensitive and compassionate to people, you never know who is fighting the biggest battle of their life. 3. Life is so precious and should not be taken for granted, make sure to smile and laugh each day. 4. And for anyone who gets pregnant and doesn’t want to keep their baby, please highly consider adoption. There are thousands of couples out there crying themselves to sleep because they want a baby to love. It will be the most selfless thing you will ever do.
To every woman who is going thru something similar, I know your pain. It can be a difficult and lonely road. But you are not alone, thousands of women have experienced similar situations and understand how you feel. And it sucks! It sucks big time!! There is nothing easy about it. It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be depressed; you lost a child. No one can tell you how to grieve.
As I wrote this today I had tears streaming down my face as I relived these moments. I still remember my due dates and the names we had picked out. I can encourage you that the pain lessens as the years go by. You will never forget, but you will find peace.
Every woman’s journey to having a baby is different. No matter what yours is, you will some day have a baby to hold in your arms and call yours.