My pregnancy journey hasn’t been traditional at all. Actually, when I was pregnant last, I didn’t know for months. I’d honestly given up “trying” but had started to eat better and be more physically active when it happened.
I was diagnosed as a teenager with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, which has been known to affect fertility, hormonal balance and weight fluctuation amongst other things. I always wanted children, but I knew the odds were stacked against me. I’ve been with my husband since 2003.
In about 2007 I had an ectopic pregnancy, which in itself was a jarring experience. I was at work when a pain I’d never felt before overcame me while in the bathroom, rendering me helpless. The lady in the stall discovered my distress and I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove one of my fallopian tubes. I stayed in the hospital for three days and was home recovering for about a week. Much like my most recent experience, I didn’t recognize signs of pregnancy.. I didn’t know my body, and didn’t know I was pregnant.
I didn’t get pregnant again until 2018. This time I felt something going on with my body but didn’t really think it could be that I was pregnant. I had a small glimmer of hope. I was still having “periods” monthly; they were lighter and shorter yet consistent. Finally after four months of experiencing food aversion, the only real pregnancy symptom I encountered, I took a test on a whim and to my surprise it was positive.
I went to the doctor that Friday with my mom who confirmed I was indeed pregnant. My OBGYN said the joy that arose from my mom with the news was unlike any she’d seen in nearly 20 years of practicing medicine. We were elated and FaceTimed my husband, who had to work, to confirm the news. It was the happiest moment I’d ever experienced.
My doctor said I was of advanced maternal age, 34, and subsequently had to see a specialist. I shared the news of my pregnancy with my family and friends. We learned we were having a boy and decided to make him a Jr.
Then one appointment my specialist discovered my cervix was shortened and I was put on bed rest. I complied with being in the bed, took a leave from work and was supported by mom and husband. I took vaginal suppositories to help try to keep my cervix from shortening even more but early on Christmas Eve 2018 my water broke. I was right at 6 months. I went to the hospital and was told I had to deliver my son.
A neonatologist came and advised us the baby was not developed enough to go to ICU. I was devastated and it has taken a long time to heal from the loss, if I’m even healed fully, in all honesty. I shared the news of my loss with family and friends who proved to be very empathetic. I lost my mom about a year and a half following losing my son and still struggle with both losses.
Following the birth and his subsequent cremation, I tried joining a group at the hospital for other families who had experienced child loss that year but the meetings never happened. They’d always get canceled. So if I had any piece of advice to offer someone who encounters a similar situation, it’d be to be more proactive about seeking out ways to heal.