My baby boy, Scott, turned 5 months old this month. He is a blessing and miracle in my life. Just a few months before we conceived him I had almost decided not to try anymore. You see Scott was my 6th pregnancy.
When I was a teenager I decided to wait for marriage to have sex. My parents were very open and honest about sex and how wonderful it was. They also emphasized waiting until you were truly in love, not lust. When I made my decision it was not really based on my parents advice (and at that point I was not really religious, I have since become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and as such view sex as sacred (but not secret, more on that another time)), it was based on a feeling that I would get pregnant. Call it woman’s intuition, a spiritual prompting, whatever you like. I just had this feeling that I couldn’t shake.
During my teenage years I learned that I had PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Basically my hormones where out of wack, my periods were irregular, it was difficult to loose weight, cysts grow on my ovaries (the largest one being 8cm), and my chances of being able to get pregnant were decreased.
So before I got married I made sure to have the talk with my husband. We both wanted kids and lots of them. He told me we would make it work, no matter if the kids were ours biologically or not (we both want to adopt anyway), it didn’t matter.
And then on our honeymoon I got pregnant! We were so excited! I could get pregnant! 6 weeks later I wasn’t anymore. The actual experience was horrible, physically and emotionally. That was our baby! But we knew I could get pregnant.
Through all of the ups and downs of miscarriage after miscarriage my husband and I struggled. We tried to be very open about our experiences. Miscarriages are nothing to be ashamed of. They happen, quite often actually. How I wish that I would have known that.
We tried to hold onto hope, joy, and faith. There were times when I was ready to give up, who really cared anyway? It was much easier to block emotions, to build up “walls” so I didn’t have to feel. It hurt too much to care.
My fourth miscarriage was the worst physically. I was approximately ten weeks along and the cramping started. The only way I can describe it is mini labor. I had contractions that came and went and got so bad that Jacob took me to the ER. They escalated until I delivered four golf ball sized clots. According to the doctors there was nothing wrong with me.
After taking sometime to focus on getting healthier and reducing inflammation and stress in my body, I started to feel a bit better. Friends and family helped. My husband helped me pick up the pieces once again.
I did have one more miscarriage. It was much easier physically, yet it took all of my faith to hold onto the hope and joy that one day we would have our own child. December 2014 I was pregnant again. This time however I was the sickest I have ever been. I could barely tolerate eating anything or keep anything down, I think it was the smell of food that was the worst. I knew that this time was different, this baby would latch, I knew even with all of my fears that this baby would stay!
The pregnancy was challenging as I encountered complications along the way. Then after 41 weeks of waiting and hoping and dreaming the trauma really started. After 30 hours of active labor, that was not helping me to progress, I broke down and got an epidural. It didn’t work, it only numbed the left side of my body and left the right side even worse. The drug to speed up labor made my baby’s heart rate drop. After 54 hours total (I was stubborn and was determined to have my son vaginally) I got a fever and even though I had finally progressed to 9 cm they were scared of infection and pulled me for an emergency c-section.
Giving birth to my son was the hardest thing I have ever done (so far) in my life. And yet when I look into his eyes, hear him laugh, and see him grow and learn it is completely worth every moment. He is worth it.
I still struggle emotionally at times. I don’t know when or if I will be ready to physically have another child, our family might only grow through adoption in the future. I don’t know. But I trust there is a plan for me, my family, and my rainbow baby.
A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better.
I have hope in the future, I choose to have joy now. I am a mommy of one.