February 20, 2018
Sometimes it can feel so scary to me to open up such a personal part of my life, but I’ve noticed the healing I receive from other women’s testimonies. It’s then that I realized that by sharing my story, it can be a therapeutic experience for me but also an experience that another woman might be going through. So let’s start in the beginning shall we.
Before our two beautiful babies my husband and I experienced miscarriage #1. They are so common everyone tells you, so you tell yourself that since they are so common you shouldn’t be so moved by it. You move on, quickly.
We then were lucky to get pregnant and give birth to our first beautiful baby girl Penelope Elizabeth and boy was she the apple of my eye. So much so in fact that I stopped everything I had going on in my life happily for a couple of years to focus on enjoying the present moment with her.
When Penelope was 6 months old we got pregnant again, it was soon but nevertheless we were excited to have kids so close together. What good friends they would be! A few days before my three month checkup with the doctor, I experienced what was one of the most traumatizing miscarriages ever. Miscarriage #2. No one could tell me “oh they happen all the time”… not what I experienced.
I specifically mentioned to my friends, we lost the baby and no I don’t want to talk about it. Because that’s the problem I learned when you get excited and tell everyone your pregnant, you realize you have to then tell everyone you aren’t anymore and I didn’t want anyones pity. I just wanted to be alone.
About 6 months after that we became pregnant again, I was careful this time. Only told a few people because I know what happens now when you get too excited and tell everybody. But God answered our prayers and we had our second beautiful baby girl Philomena Ejimofor, named after a little old lady who showed supreme resilience and kindness in a time of sorrow and disappointment.
And what a joy it was to have two healthy happy babies after the trials we’ve endured. I made sure to get on birth control this time because frankly, my body just needed to rest. In the past few years I’d hemorrhaged multiple times, had multiple miscarriages and been put on bedrest with each. After Philomena turned two, we decided that I would stop taking birth control mainly because it was messing with my mood and my energy.
I really wanted another baby. Baby #3 and it’s all I would talk about to anybody that would listen. When is he going to impregnate me?! I would joke with everybody and as it turns out I didn’t have to wait very long.
I remember the day a few weeks ago when I decided to buy the 25 pack of pregnancy tests on Amazon, cause when you really want to get pregnant the 25 pack is your best bet right? To my delight I took a test, then two tests, then three and they all showed pregnant. The next day, I took a spin class with a friend and came home to some bleeding, which lasted for three days. I visit a doctor and she matter of factly tells me, I don’t see anything on the ultra sound so most likely you miscarried. As she turned around to leave she told me, “not to belittle your feelings, but this really happens all the time”.
Sadness, that’s all I remember feeling. I’ve lost baby #3 and it’s all my fault. All the miscarriages were my fault. I replayed to myself how I shouldn’t have taken a spin class, I should have just sat on the couch. Why didn’t I stop and walk out when I felt a cramp?
That’s the thing no one talks about, the guilt. Because if I’m such a good momma, why can’t I hold on to these babies?
Two days later, I still feel off so I decide to take a pregnancy test and to my surprise I am still pregnant! Imagine my delight when I get to tell the asshole doctor she was WRONG. Except that night I started having debilitating cramps, where I couldn’t walk. I held my belly and talked to my baby and willed the baby to live, I told it to hang in there for me and that I wouldn’t even use the bathroom so there would be no way anything could come out to be a real miscarriage. I thought by doing this I was being a good mom, laying there enduring the pain and hoping nothing would come out of me. Maybe if I did my part and suffered through the pain, it would give the baby time to hang on and stay put…grow.
But the next morning I miscarried and I cried. Ornan held me and I sat there and cried until our girls woke up. I thought it was over then.
A week later I was still bleeding and still cramping so at 4am I quietly got out of bed kissed the babies goodbye and told my husband I was driving myself to the emergency room. I didn’t want the kids to be there for that.
I waited for 6 hours through multiple gyno exams, ultrasounds, iv’s and blood work. I was anxious and I just wanted answers, I figured they are going to fix the bleeding real quick and send me on my way.
As the nurse came in I was relieved to finally get a solution so I could go home to my family. Instead she asked me if there is anyone I wanted to call and I was confused. “No I’m fine they don’t need to be here for whatever your going to do” and she looked at me and repeated “I really think you should call your family to come in, you see your blood tests show your pregnancy levels actually went up. You didn’t miscarry and we believe you have an ectopic pregnancy.” I’m not often caught by surprise, but my jaw dropped. She proceeded to tell me that my bleeding was most likely caused by a ruptured fallopian tube and that they would need to do surgery immediately to remove my fallopian tube and the baby.
I cried. I cried to her, I cried to the anesthesiologist, I cried to the billing nurse who came in to get my address I could not stop crying. I cried because I was still pregnant and I had to “dissolve” my baby as they called it, I cried because I was terrified of surgery and at only 33 I was losing a part of my reproductive system, and I cried because I was then told our chance of pregnancy after the surgery was reduced by 50%.
I kissed my girls and Ornan goodbye, and the sweet nurse rolled me on the bed to my surgery room. They were playing Bruno Mars and Cardi B. I remember being pissed off that I was crying in terror at seeing the table I’d be cut open on and they have the audacity to play something like this. I think someone got the unspoken message because I stopped hearing Bruno. I asked the lady to make sure I wake up to take care of my babies and she promised me I’d be fine…the next thing I know I’m in the recovery room and I’m told part of my reproductive system has been removed.
Just like that.
I feel happy. Happy because I’m able to wake up and be here for my family. I feel sad. Sad because there’s nothing I could have done to save the baby. I feel incomplete. Incomplete because even though I can’t see it, I strangely feel that I’m now missing something.
Now Day 2 of recovery as I lay in bed, I feel ok. We aren’t sure that it’s safe at this point for us to try to get pregnant and that makes me cry. So I don’t know what’s next for us but I do know that these experiences have given me a different perspective on life. Fear is worthless, family and our relationships is everything, and all the things that we think matter so much most likely don’t.
Please lift us up in your prayers and I truly hope in telling my story that anyone who has gone through something similar feels maybe a little less alone.