The tone of this post is going to be a little bit more serious and “heavy,” then you can expect from me in the future. The reason being I want to share my honest and real story of becoming a mother. Nothing will be sugar coated, so if you are still pregnant, just know that my experience was not typical, and do not be alarmed. I also must acknowledge that my inspiration for “getting personal” comes from following a true Wonder Mommy in her own right as she blogs how to live fashionably yet economically while opening up about her medical struggles and life as an average girl. Alyson, thank you for being such an inspiration to me, and women everywhere!
The Journey Begins…
For many women, deciding they are “ready” to begin trying to get pregnant is filled with anxiety and questions: How long will it take? What can I do to prepare? What doctor should I go to? Is my body ready for it? These were just some of the questions running through my mind in March 2011, when my husband and I decided we were “ready.” The biggest question for me though was, “will I actually be able to get pregnant?” Five years prior I found out I had a benign tumor in my brain on my pituitary gland. The main function of this gland is regulating hormones throughout the body. Although the tumor was very small, my doctors were concerned that because of the location (and because I had other symptoms) there was a large chance that I would have infertility issues as the hormone needed to help with ovulation would not be released properly and therefore prohibit me from be able to get pregnant. I was determined, however, to give it a try when the time came and see if I could without exploring the surgery option get pregnant.
Back to March 2011—I was ready for a LONG fight. I had an IUD removed and we were ready yet cautious as neither of us wanted to get too excited realizing we could be setting ourselves up for failure. This was the first “test” of super-hero like strength. I went into this part of my life thinking that I was lucky enough to be blessed with two beautiful stepdaughters so if it didn’t happen I would still get to help raise them. Magically, in April (almost exactly one month later to the date), I found myself feeling run down and just “off.” I remember it like yesterday, sitting on the couch with my husband after midnight and telling him, “I feel weird. Something is wrong, and I don’t know what it is.” Being the incredibly supportive husband that he is, he said, “have you taken a pregnancy test, maybe you’re pregnant?” I thought and said that it would be impossible, how could I be so lucky to get pregnant so quickly (after all, the doctors told me it was unlikely to happen)? He ran out after midnight, and bought a pregnancy test. I took the test, and I’m sure you know where I am going with this I was pregnant. But my gut told me something was not okay. I fell asleep quickly but woke up suddenly at 5am in pain. I looked down and realized I was covered in blood and knew I was experiencing what every woman fears, a miscarriage. I was rushed to the doctor and he confirmed I had in fact miscarried after being about three weeks pregnant.
There was unfortunately, no explanation for why this happened. And being a very analytical person I started with all the questioning; “Was it something I ate?” “Did I do too much activity?” and the dreaded, “Is this going to keep happening?” We tried not to focus on the event too much, and only our parents knew what happened. The doctor recommended waiting one cycle and then thought it would be fine to try again. And so we did. But this time I went to the extreme like many do after something like this happens; I cut out all caffeine, I made sure to take prenatal vitamins daily, I stopped eating everything “they” say to avoid while pregnant because I wanted the best possible chance for a viable pregnancy. My maternal instincts were already kicked up into high gear. Yet, the only things I did not cut back on were exercise and working. I wanted to make sure my mind and body were occupied and not focused only on getting pregnant.
Exactly six weeks later, on May 28, I remember feeling incredibly nauseous all day and after some coaxing from my husband, I took a pregnancy test; and to my excitement, I was pregnant! We agreed that we were not telling anyone (except my parents) that I was pregnant until I was at least 12 weeks a long. We were super cautious, as I did experience some cramping/spotting the first few weeks. I was instructed to limit physical activity and should be resting whenever possible. I knew this journey was going to be the ride of a lifetime but I was prepared to fight for the WONDERful miracle I was carrying inside.
In my opinion, from the moment you become pregnant, you are a mother. You have to find a way to keep this minuet being safe and hope to make it full-term. You often have to sacrifice or make lifestyle changes to do what is “best” for the baby. But whether you got pregnant easily, or are still trying after many years, the road to motherhood requires you to channel your inner super hero to fight the ups and the downs. Please feel free to share your story in the comments below.
According to the American Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecology, a “spontaneous abortion,” or miscarriage occurs in 10-15% of pregnancies during the first or early second trimester. Little research exists on a clear explanation for these miscarriages, but could be attributed to chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo and/or hormonal imbalance. For more information visit, www.acog.org .