Let me start off by saying, I am super graced by all that has been given and taken away from me. Even when I did not realize the importance of the addition and or subtraction in the beginning, I am learning that those moments of confusion lead to some of the biggest lessons I have learned in my 27 years of life.
In late 2013, I was hit with a positive pregnancy test. Fresh out of undergrad, great entry level job, just got my acceptance letter to start my Boston University graduate program in the spring, a newlywed to my best friend, and now, a baby. My life was going in such a positive direction until 9 weeks into my pregnancy. That was when I was hit with a loss that shattered this “picture perfect” image of my life to-be to pieces. My baby had no heartbeat and I mean the devastation felt like my own heart had been ripped out of my chest.
Through frank conversation with my physician, I learned that these things occur more often than I thought and that nothing was wrong with me, the baby just did not “stick” as they say. I mean, it definitely did not stop me from trying again. Except this time I got a bold positive – in fact, this time and twice more after this I tested in the morning and felt pure happiness in my heart, only to be let down that evening when blood smeared any glimpse of hope I had of becoming a mother.
This is when loss truly started to get to me and break my spirit. Depression sat in, I felt like less of a woman, unworthy of gaining entry into the world of motherhood, lonely and unable to properly explain to my husband or anyone else that could see me closing myself off from the world and the pain I was feeling. I lost connections with friends and family who could not understand and even some that did but felt I should just “get over it”. Right.
I became pregnant 3 more times within the following year and lost all three children before 9 weeks. I changed my diet. Studied herbalism. Worked out more. I got a surgery to make sure I was okay (and I was absolutely fine), I even changed my focus to be a healthier me – mentally, physically and emotionally.
The summer of 2015 is when my life changed. We had just made a huge move across country, decided we would shift our focus and strengthen our new marriage that had been so routinely tested with every trip to the bathroom and a home pregnancy test from Walmart. But this time, this time was different. I got a positive and I refused to become excited. I heard my baby’s heartbeat and held it in my thoughts and memories filed “just in case”. I even had an emotional breakdown in Target when my husband threw pacifiers in the cart as I approached 30 weeks pregnant – still in fear that I wouldn’t meet the little man that kicked at the smell of popcorn every time we entered for something we didn’t need (Target will do that to you). The further along I got into my pregnancy, the more guilt I felt about not being my happy go-lucky self. I continued to go to work everyday like I usually did. I did not take belly progression pictures or even have a baby shower. Instead I awkwardly harbored all of my pregnancy milestones for my husband and I. Pictures, first kicks, appointments, ultrasound pictures and even baby boys name. It sounds lonely but for us, it was everything and for those who could not understand that, well – we simply did not give a damn. I guess the way we saw it was the less negativity placed into our situation by others, the closer we became to each other and our unwavering faith grew. Lo and behold, after 12 hours of crazy, natural labor and a little chord dilemma, I had my very first child on February 11, 2016. One of the very best days of my life.
Like I always say, some days are easier than others but nothing was more eventful than going to the hospital for a “stomach virus” at the end of this summer and finding out that I was expecting twins. 28 weeks later and I am still in shock that my body is doing something so damn awesome and how much this feels like it was meant to be – even when those same fears I have always felt have certainly crept into my mind once or twice. They are growing beautifully. My husband and son are super excited to meet them and I feel amazing knowing that what most people saw as a set back in my life; you know the whole, “three kids, your life is over” bit, is the biggest blessing that no one could ever understand and I am not about to sit around trying to get them to figure out. Each and everyday is a battle with myself but when I think back to all that I have been through, I know that I can make through anything. Even when it all seems like a big storm, the end only reveals itself as being what is best for the greater good of me and my family.
If you are struggling with pregnancy loss and or depression, I understand you and I am here.