Mom to 9 angels
March 2004-set of triplets
July 2011- Dallas James
Des Moines, Iowa
In 1998, at the ripe old age of 16 I found that I was pregnant. Terrified and unsure of what the future held, I hung on to my pregnancy and was determined to be the best mother possible to that little child that I was carrying. My mother asked me if I wanted an abortion, I refused. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I thank God that my mother was not more persistent. Had she forced me into an abortion, I would have never been able to experience the joy that my son has been able to offer me. That pregnancy went perfectly. No complications at all. I did gain a ton of weight, but I suppose that is natural given the large amount of food I was consuming.
At the end of 2000, I found out that I was pregnant again. I assumed that everything would go according to plan since my previous pregnancy went off without a hitch. By the end of January 2001, I had started to spot. I really didn’t know what that meant. I was young and had never experienced a loss up to this point in my life. I spotted off and on for two days. After I started to cramp I went to the hospital. I was naïve and young. I still believed that there was something that the Dr.’s would be able to do if there was something wrong with my baby. Even though I was under 3 months pregnant, to me, it was still MY baby. While I was at the hospital, they did a vaginal ultrasound. There was a click, and out of nowhere I started hemorrhaging. I was then rushed into the operating room for an emergency D&C. I was crushed. The emotional pain begins…
Several years later in 2004 I found out that I was again pregnant. Apprehensive of accepting the pregnancy because of the emotional pain I endured years before with the miscarriage I immediately went to my OB in an attempt to make sure things were going how they should and that my baby was going to be ok. Although I had one loss under my belt, I still believed in my OB. My OB assured me that one in four women experience a miscarriage. I had absolutely nothing to worry about because the odds were that I would have a perfect pregnancy and would be holding my baby by the end of the year. Again, I started to spot. I rushed myself to the emergency room, scared and terrified but hoping for good news. I had an ultra sound after I got to the hospital. The tech said that she could see three sacs. I was having triplets?! This was incredible, yet saddening at the same time because she also said that it appeared that I was in the beginning stages of a miscarriage. The next several days I was in constant contact with my OB. I cramped and passed clots for days. My OB informed me that I could possibly miscarry one or two of them and still remain pregnant. Again, I am going to stick with the fact that I was young and naïve. I believed him and held on to that. Imagine my heartache after I passed the third and final embryo. I again, was under 2 months gestation.
Now that I had two miscarriages consecutively so he was willing to classify me as a “habitual spontaneous aborter.” Great tag to have huh? We decided to try again, third times a charm right? This time I was given Progesterone pills. Never tested to make sure my body didn’t produce enough of this hormone but the Dr thought for sure this would help. Along came Thanksgiving of 2004, I was about 8-9 weeks pregnant, and again, started to spot. Happy Holidays! I spent the day in the ER, then when I was released I was told to take it easy and remain on bed rest. They were unsure of what was happening and the only way to find out was to wait it out. So I did. Next day, I started to cramp. That was the end of that pregnancy. I was sad, but I was getting used to this situation now. I was becoming numb and learning how to quickly get over a loss.
We decided “one last time.” Getting pregnant was effortless. I was put on progesterone once again. At nearly 8 weeks I had an ultrasound, in March of 2005 and it was discovered that the baby could have turned into a mole. A molar pregnancy can be life threatening for the mother if it goes untreated. The fetal tissue can potential turn into cancer and cause the mother to need extensive chemotherapy. I had an emergency D&C. I was done. Three pregnancies in one year was enough. No more. Now that my life had been threated I was over the thought of carrying another child, or so I thought.
In 2008 I found that I was pregnant again. Naturally I was horrified, but willing to take on this new adventure because if it was meant to be it would. I once again took progesterone pills and this time made it to almost 12 weeks! This was the farthest I made since I was pregnant with my son so many years ago. By my birthday, in November, I was beginning to spot. The miscarriage had begun. The emotional pain of losing this pregnancy lasted only a couple of days. I had learned how to be numb and unaffected. I cried for a few days but soon was back to normal.
In March 2009 I found out I was pregnant again. I was scared to death because I had a feeling from the beginning that something was wrong. My Dr put me on progesterone pills and heparin shots this time. He said it was his form of “VooDoo” to potentially help me along. A few weeks later I started having some pain in my side. After an ultrasound it was found that I had an ectopic pregnancy. That means that the baby was lodged in my fallopian tube. I had to have the methotrexate shot in order to save my tube, and potentially my life. If the baby would have continued to grow, my tube could have burst, and my life would be in danger. I was sad, about not getting the chance to be pregnant any longer, but I was relieved that my life was no longer in jeopardy. It took me again only a few days to be back to normal and over the “sad era” following a loss. I had taught myself well on how to grieve the loss and by now I was pure numb. I was done. Finished. Beyond done. I wanted to live for my son so I had finally accepted that there would be no more. Just him. And I was okay with it.
February 21, 2010 my sister went into preterm labor and delivered her son Nathan at only 22 weeks gestation. He was too underdeveloped and was going to die immediately after birth. He lived for 29 minutes and passed away in his mommy’s arms. We were all devastated by his loss.
Early 2011 I tested positive one last time. I was angry, horrified, terrified, and scared among a mix of millions of other emotions. My son was going to be a teenager at the end of the year. How was I going to be able to bring a baby into our already complex lifestyle? I was immediately put on progesterone pills. Before, I had always put my faith and hope into my OB. I believed that he would be able to pull me through everything. Although, he is a professional, he is not God. I finally put my faith where it belonged. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I prayed diligently and I put the pregnancy in God’s hands. His will would be done. (Deep down I hoped my will would be done.) At my ten week appointment, I got to hear my baby’s heart beat through the Doppler. This was the first time this had happened since I was pregnant with my son. I was overjoyed. For the first time ever, I had HOPE. Numerous times in the past, I miscarried right before I made it to my ultrasound appointment. This time, at my twelve week appointment, my little baby waved at me. I could see his beautiful hands and feet as he swam comfortable within my womb. My hope was reaffirmed as well as my faith in my pregnancy. I was confident in the success of this pregnancy, after all, I had given it to God. Week after week things went according to schedule. Everything was perfect for once. The morning sickness had me out of commission for a long time, but it was all worth it as long as I got to see my baby. At 17 weeks I had an ultrasound company scheduled to find out the sex. I was told by the tech that I was dehydrated and to come back in a week. All that my baby wanted to show off was the little beautiful toes. The next day, I had a severe gallbladder attack and ended up in the ER. The doctor ordered a couple of ultrasounds. I thought this was my chance to check out the sex since yesterday’s effort was pointless. The tech this time advised me that my baby had low fluid and that my baby was measuring 2 weeks behind schedule. She asked if I was leaking fluid. Not to my knowledge, I wasn’t. I was admitted, put on an IV to help hydrate me and potentially help with the fluid, then released. I was put on an all liquid diet both for my gallbladder attacks and to help my baby potentially make some fluid. I had an appointment scheduled one week from there to check the heart beat and two weeks from there to check on baby’s status through a second level ultrasound. The Perinatalogist that came to see me advised that there could be three potential reasons for my baby’s fluid to be low.
- Option one: I had developed the Parvovirus. 50/50 shot that the baby could survive IF that was the case.
- Option two: My baby’s lungs and kidneys were malfunctioning and he would likely not make any more fluid.
- Option three: I was not taking in enough fluid, increasing my fluid intake could potentially help my baby make more of it’s own.
At my one week check up, parvo virus was ruled out and I got to hear my baby’s heart beat. Things still looked promising. I still had HOPE. On my little sister’s 21st birthday I had my appointment for the 2nd level ultrasound. I was excited to finally find out if our baby was a boy or a girl. I had a dream the night before that it was a girl and that the fluid levels had increased and were back to normal. All was good, I was hopeful that my dream had been a forecast on good things to come. I was wrong. At 20 weeks, I nervously waited to get into the appointment for well over an hour. I had Tyler, my mom, and Tyler’s mom all in the room with me. We were all excited to see our little bundle and to find out what it was. The ultrasound lasted only a few seconds although it felt like an eternity. I could tell instantly that there was no fluid. I watched her make the measurements, there was still hope that I just wasn’t reading the screen right, after all, I am not a professional. The baby measured at 16 weeks. That means that my son quit growing a month ago. It means that he hasn’t grown at all in the last two weeks. This could not be happening. I had that dream, everything was ok. I prayed to God at the beginning and said this pregnancy was His. I had His protection, this wasn’t happening!!!! The tech rushed out of the room to get the perinatologist. They both came in accompanied by one extra person carrying a box of tissues. His words will forever ring in my head. “I’m afraid it is not good news. The baby is dead.” I blacked out after that and I don’t remember much else for the rest of the day.
I had to wait for 10pm the next day before they could induce me. There is only one room that dead babies are born into, so I would have to wait for that room to open up. That room just so happened to be the room that my nephew was born in a little over a year before. Great. Room of doom, assigned to me. They had to insert a pill into the cervix every three hours. This was going to cause my cervix to open and it could take a couple of days to actually deliver. My entire family was with me, even though they knew it could potentially be a long road ahead, they were there. Throughout the night I contracted constantly but I had a morphine drip that helped with the pain.
I was so afraid to see what my son was going to look like. I knew he would not look like my nephew although they were the same age practically, because my son quit growing a month ago. I tried to prepare for what I would see, and how I would respond. But nothing could. On July 7th, 2011at 7:33 a.m. my son was born weighing only 3 ounces and being only 7 inches in length. He was still inside his sac which was a little frightening. The doctor removed him from the sac so that I could see him and hold him. He was definitely not what I had pictured or imagined visually. We named him Dallas. In his 20 weeks inside of my womb, he showed me more love, endurance, and how much of a true fighter he was. He wanted to meet his mommy. I wanted to meet him. We will, someday. Until then, I have to fight the good fight and remain strong in my faith. Tomorrow it will be one month since my little boy lost his battle. Not one single day has gone by that I have not thought about him. I grieve for his loss constantly. The wound is still fresh. I suppose as time goes on, this will get easier. It always does. But this time around, my loss is much more than it has ever been. My son had a funeral. I held him. I had hope and faith and belief that he would be able to come into my life and meet his mommy. Although my dreams are crushed, my faith is not. I still believe that God has big plans for me and he is trying to make sure that His great plans for my future will be fulfilled. Until then, I remain faithful. I just hope and pray that little Dallas knows how much I loved him and wanted him. I know he is in heaven playing with his cousin Nathan. Lucky little boys got to meet the most awesome grandpa before the rest of the little kids in the family. They are all three probably playing video games galore.
Wendy blogs at http://wendy-freeman.blogspot.com/
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org