In 2012 at the age of 17, I gave birth to a 6lb 11oz baby boy. My pregnancy was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme illness that made me not able to keep food down. Keeping water down without vomiting was a challenge. I ended up in the ER to replenish my fluids about once a week.
My diet consisted of Phenergan (an anti-nausea prescription) and Pedialyte, and I lost a total of 30 pounds throughout my pregnancy. I didn’t start feeling better until 20 weeks.
I delivered on New Year’s Eve and was able to watch the ball drop with my brand new baby. So very little and extremely inexperienced, began my journey to motherhood. People always feel the need to tell you the bad when you are young and pregnant. They like to scare the crap out of you, but they never tell you about all the amazing things you experience as a mother.
Being a mom at 17 was difficult, but it made me grow as a person and I think it even saved my life.
Toward the end of 2013, right after Christmas, I found out I was pregnant again. When I hit the six-week mark something was wrong. Call it mother’s intuition or a coincidence, but something wasn’t right.
With my first I was sick. I mean really sick. Couldn’t keep water down sick. This time there I wasn’t sick. Everyone told me “every pregnancy is different, don’t worry so much”. At eight weeks pregnant on January 20th, 2014 I miscarried. I was devastated, but it didn’t hit me until much later. I brushed off my pain and my husband at the time and I decided not to tell anyone. I suffered in silence. Which I regret now. I wish I would have told someone how much the miscarriage affected me.
In May of 2014, I found out I was pregnant again. Scared that I would lose another baby I kept my pregnancy a secret until I heard a heartbeat. I knew that there was still a chance this baby would not make it, but hearing the beating heart eased some of my nerves.
Another rough pregnancy with Hyperemesis, I lost 10 pounds this pregnancy and my sickness subsided at 18 weeks. At 33 weeks contractions started. Everyone said “Oh it is Braxton hicks practice contractions”, but a mom knows her body. At 33 weeks and 6 days, my labor was stopped with a two-day hospital stay and a lot of magnesium.
At 35 weeks my contractions started again and at 36 weeks my water broke while watching Sons of Anarchy. I gave birth to a 5lb 14oz little boy 3 days before the New Year. I got to watch the ball drop with another baby.
Flash-forward to 2017. There I was pregnant and scared that I would go into premature labor again. I found out at 12 weeks that my little baby had low amniotic fluid. I was referred to a specialist who specialized in premature birth. We kept an eye on the fluid and the rate at which my cervix was shortening(which was not a concern at all). They were for sure I would make it to full term and deliver a healthy baby.
At my 30 week appointment with my obstetrician, I told her that I had a bad feeling. Her response was “don’t say that! The last time you said that we had a baby a week later”. She did a cervical exam and everything was great. She scheduled me for an appointment to check everything in a week.
At 31 weeks and 1 day, I went to the hospital with contractions. My contractions were 5 minutes apart and uncomfortable. It was causing no cervical change so they sent me home. I went home packed my hospital bag and relaxed.
Two days later, my water broke and I was flown three hours away to a hospital with a NICU. At 31 weeks and three days, on Valentine’s Day(My kids must have a thing for holidays!), I delivered a 3lb 13oz baby girl. She spent 47 days in the NICU three hours from our home.
Once we got home she was on oxygen for five months. My tubes were tied shortly after.