Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Four years of trying

When my husband and I received the news that we were pregnant with our third child, we were excited. It was his first and my third. We rushed to the printer to make a birth announcement and took our entire family to the casino. Everyone, which includes great-grandparents, grandparents, and kids were waiting in anticipation for the reason behind the celebratory dinner. Slowly, the announcement was revealed. The great grandparents and grandparent’s eyes lit up with sheer excitement. Squeals of delight reverberated across the table. People around us smiled and offered their congratulations.

Afterwards, my husband and I arranged to visit his family. They were going to be grandparents for the first time. On the trip to his parent’s house, I felt a gush. Fear took hold and I tried to shake off the dreaded “M” word. We had no idea what was going on and visited a hospital along the way.

The doctor did an emergency ultrasound and told us that there was a fifty-fifty percent chance of survival. This was a new scenario for me because I had never experienced this before. My two children came without any worries or concerns. In fact, the running joke in our house was “we’re so fertile that if someone sneezed on us, we’d get pregnant” (I know how pregnancy occurs, so please no comments on the correctness of this situation). The entire month was nothing but blood soaked reminders of what was happening. Each bathroom trip consisted of checking in the toilet to see if anything has passed. If nothing was there, relief swept over me.

One morning, 2.5-month-old munchkin passed and shock set in. My knees buckled in and I tried to scream, but only a tiny squeak came out. What in the world happened?

That was five years ago.

The same events unfolded the second time and sent my spirits further down into oblivion.

My husband and I gathered whatever strength we had left in us, and tried for a third time. The pregnancy test revealed a positive sign and we were elated. Two weeks later, the bleeding started again. However, this time was different. There was bleeding here and there, but no passing. It became difficult to walk, that when I got out of the car, my husband would have to get the rolling dolly and cart me into the house. The pain on the side was excruciating, but I thought it might have been growing pains. Alas, we decided to go to the doctor. The baby was growing in my tube and I needed to have surgery, which involved the removal of my right tube.

Without a chance to tell my family, my husband and I were ushered to get me prepped for emergency surgery. In seconds, my entire family showed up to offer their support. Once the details of who, what, when, where, why were discussed, my mom wanted me to go to a different hospital. She kept expressing that she had a bad vibe (you know the mother intuition that many of us do not listen to). I did not listen and opted to stay where I was.

Turned out the doctor punctured my colon and had to slice me open to repair his neglect. I woke up to a nightmare, but eventually recovered. During the course of my recovery, I learned that this doctor had a high incidence of this kind of sloppiness.

My husband and I took it as a sign that another child was not in the stars for us, so we stopped trying. Doubts entered my head and I thought, “Could I get pregnant again with just one functioning tube?” These questions fueled my desire to learn as much as I could about my situation. When I learned that women could get pregnant with both tubes removed, I started to see a small light at the end of the tunnel.

We decided not to try again and to chart my temperatures to get a clearer idea of what was going on with my body. It was a week into the charting process that I learned I was pregnant again. My temperatures remained high a few days after my expected date of ovulation. This time we did not want to get excited. Sure enough, two weeks later I started showing signs of an impending miscarriage. I did not get my hopes up because I needed to keep charting. I hoped that an endocrinologist could tell me what was going on and my temperature would tell the whole story.

Since I had an ectopic before, I needed to check to see that the sac was growing in the right spot. The ultrasound revealed that there were TWO egg sacs. One was shrinking and another was completely viable. I had mixed feelings – twins. One was going to live and another was going to die. Was I supposed to be happy and sad at the same time?

Anyways, we now have an awesome munchkin in addition to our older munchkins. Our entire family counts their blessings because we know how valuable life is. I still cry over the lost pregnancies, but I am glad my husband and I did not give up. (Please, this is not a pro-choice or a pro-life sentence, so please no comments.)

Since I had Baby T, I made the conscious decision to breastfeed him as I did my other two children. I do not agree with the toxic formula that the companies churn out to make a profit. Nor do I see the logic in placing Baby T in a daycare, when I had a long struggle to have him. It seemed idiotic. Why almost die and then turn around to give him to a complete stranger? Also, I don’t like the idea of pumping milk and putting it in a torture device called a bottle. This totally takes away the purpose of the mother/child bonding time. It is foreign to me, but each to their own.

Breastfeeding required me to stay home, which meant a HUGE financial hit. However, we live with a big family; everyone encouraged and assured me that they would all pitch in. It still felt weird, so I asked my employers if I could bring my child to work, but since I was a teacher – they said no. Every suggestion resulted in no pay or dumping Baby T off at a daycare, so I opted to stay home and turn in my resignation papers.

And for those trying to conceive, here is a HUGE sprinkle of BABY DUST!!!

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