When I was younger I wanted a big family with the ability to stay home, homeschool, and eventually go back to school to be a nurse. When I say big family I mean BIG, like 6-8 kids big. Things changed as my body displayed signs with my three beautiful babies that I’m not made to carry children.
For a brief overview of my journey to motherhood click here!
Okay that is a bit of an exaggeration. My body can carry children, but not very well. With my first son I had hyperemesis gravidarum, and if you aren’t sure what that means it’s short for hell. Around six weeks pregnant I got extremely ill. Puking 30-40 times a day. Sip of water, puke. Moved over in bed, puke. Coughed, puke. Talked, you guessed it, puke. The doctors at the local ER had a nicknamed me “2 liters” because they knew when I came in I needed two bags of fluid. It was absolute misery. This went on for 22 weeks. I lost 32 pounds in the process and was put on phenergan(anti-nausea prescription)at eight weeks, just to keep my puking at bay. I made it to 39 weeks when I was induced for high blood pressure and low amniotic fluid. Labored for 24 hours, got an infection with a fever of 104.5 and almost had to have a C-section. I vaginally delivered a baby boy on New Year’s Day of 2012. We had to stay a few extra days for my son to receive his course of antibiotics. The next six months with him being home was smooth sailing, he breastfed like a champ, slept 8 hours straight at 2 months old and grew too fast.
Knowing I wanted a big family I got married to my child’s father a month after I turned 18 and when my oldest child was six months old. We wanted to wait awhile for another child, but right before my son’s first birthday I stopped breastfeeding and bam I was pregnant again. Scared but excited. My morning sickness began at five and a half weeks, but subsided at seven weeks. I felt in my gut something was wrong and on my husband’s birthday in January I miscarried at eight weeks pregnant. We kept the miscarriage a secret and that is something I regret. Going through that would have been easier if I had several close people to confide in.
In May of the same year, four months later, I was pregnant again. Even more scared and unable to shake the feeling that I was going to lose another baby, I called my obstetrician and requested a blood test. She wanted to do them every 48 hours for a week to ensure they were rising appropriately. They did, so an ultrasound was scheduled at six weeks. At six weeks I saw a beautiful “jelly bean baby” (as I called it), with a flickering heartbeat. We kept the news hidden until I received another ultrasound at ten weeks. I had hyperemesis with his pregnancy and required a few ER visits and the same prescription medication. My nausea, for the most part, subsided at 18 weeks. At 20 weeks I found out I was having another boy and that in-between my uterine wall and placenta there was a hematoma. Light bleeding began at 33 weeks with contractions. My labor was stopped with a lovely(and when I say lovely I mean hell, besides the fact that it worked in my case) drug called magnesium and while laying in bed at 36 weeks my water broke. After a 19 hour labor I delivered a five pound baby boy two days before my oldest son’s second birthday. He had to have supplemental oxygen in the NICU for three days.
My marriage fell apart when my youngest son was six months old and despite trying to fix it, it ended in divorce. I met a lovely, silly, man who was a year younger than me, and although I really liked him, I couldn’t imagine him wanting to take on me(im a handful) and two little boys. He loved me and he loved my boys and there was nothing more I could ask for.
After being together for seven months and several different types of birth control I ended up pregnant. We were due a day after my boyfriends birthday in April. Learning someone new, going through financial issues, and getting pregnant isn’t an equation for smooth sailing, but somehow we made it through some of the toughest hardships I have even been through. At my 22 week ultrasound we found out we had low amniotic fluid and that my sweet baby was a girl. We were transferred to a specialist who checked amniotic fluid every month. It was slowly raising and by January my fluid was in the normal range. We also did a cervical length check at this appointment for my previous pre-term delivery. My cervix was actually above the normal length and the specialist said he wasn’t too worried about this baby being premature. On February 9th I went into the local hospital with some regular contractions. They picked them up on the monitor, checked my cervix( I was 1cm dilated and 50% effaced, and they watched me for a few hours before my contractions slowed and I was sent home. On February 12th I was helping my boyfriend clean out our car and pack our daughters hospital bag. I had a feeling she would be here within a few weeks. I felt a little light headed and went to lie down. At 5:05 pm my water broke, by 5:25pm I was at the hospital, and by 9:00pm I had been flown three hours from home to a NICU that could support a baby born at 31 weeks. My contractions didn’t stop even though they tried to stop them. I ended up getting chorioamnionitis(infection in the outer layer of the amniotic sac). So my labor was formally induced at 11:00am on Valentine’s Day. That afternoon I welcomed a beautiful 3lb, 13oz baby girl into the world. She spend 47 days in the NICU(three hours from home). She had a brain bleed, a small hole in her heart, severe acid reflux, and is still on low-level oxygen.
I arrived at eleven. Stripped down into a lovely hospital gown with a lunch lady hairnet.(The lunch ladies pull it off so much better than me). I remember them giving me medication in my I.V. I was rolled into the operating room where I helped transfer myself to the operating table. Last thing I remember is looking at the ceiling. I had a dream about my beautiful kids. I woke up in a panic because I felt like I had been stabbed repeatedly. It reminded me of labor contractions. I was given fentanyl in my I.V. which barely seemed to help the aching pain. I was out of the surgery center by 2:30pm. I had all my prescription pre-filled so I went straight home, ate some food, placed an ice pack on my incision, and rested. It wasn’t too bad after having three kids, but boy am I sore!
I love being a mother and if I didn’t have increasing labor and delivery complications with each child I would not have been sterilized, but here I am 22 and recovering from a tubal ligation. There are still options out there for me like foster parenting and adoption both of which, I have wanted to do for a long time. So who knows what the future holds for my family and I, but as of now my tubes are tied and I am okay with that.