Tag Archives: pregnancy

Pregnancy loss

October is Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month.  I’ve always known it was. I had my little conversations to myself every year,  but I had never taken the time to write about the traumatic experiences of losing a pregnancy. I have never sat down and released all of the anger and sadness I still feel, all these years later.  I think now is a perfect time to let it all out for the world to see! 

February 1997

I was newly married to my second husband. My first husband had only passed away 3 years earlier, but I was desperate to find the feeling of family again. My first marriage was so good and we enjoyed our time together, raising our son, and just living everyday life, and I longed for that feeling of contentment again. After carrying my first husbands daughter right after he passed away and feeling all alone with two kids to raise, I unfortunately rushed into my next marriage.  I figured he had to be a good guy if he could love and want me with two kids, right?  I ignored all of the warning signs, and when he proposed, I said yes! Our wedding was beautiful, but it was a picture of what I wish I really had, but I knew deep down, this was not it.  

One month into our marriage, I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited! A baby should always be celebrated! A week or so later, we had some friends over.  They were all drinking and having a good time. My husband got REALLY drunk and became belligerent and hostile. He cornered me and took me to our bedroom. He started an argument, accusing me of wanting other men.  He was always very insecure. He had me trapped on the bed, sitting on top of me, holding my arms down with his knees. He kept on spewing cuss words and being cruel, while I struggled to get up. I finally said, “Get up, you are going to hurt the baby!” He got this evil look in his eyes, squinted them, punched me as hard as he could in the stomach and said, “I hope you lose that baby!”

I doubled over in pain as he got up and left the room.  The next morning, I woke up and had started spotting. I went straight to the doctor. That’s when I saw my beautiful baby for the first time. It was perfect…and it had a heartbeat! Great news! ❤ I didn’t tell the doctor about my husbands abuse the previous night, but he reassured me everything was fine, there weren’t even any cervical changes so I was ok. 

We had 3 more trips to the doctor for spotting. The baby was showing growth at every visit, so I started to relax.  At my 12 week checkup, we had an ultrasound scheduled. I was actually just under 12 weeks, 11.5 weeks.  As soon as they started the exam, I knew! My heart sank and tears filled my eyes.  I knew my baby was gone. I couldn’t see the heartbeat and it was obviously smaller than what it should be. The doctor came in and confirmed the diagnosis. I went into surgery that afternoon for an D&C.  When I undressed to put the hospital gown on, I stood in that room, looked into the mirror, rubbed my baby bump, and cried hysterically.  I apologized to my unborn child for not being able to keep it safe. I apologized for not being strong enough to walk out that door. I apologized for the life he/she would never get to live. I woke up from anesthesia empty. There was a tremendous whole in my heart and emptiness in my abdomen. I just held my stomach and cried.  I missed my baby.  At that moment, I vowed when I got pregnant again, I would protect that baby with everything I had within me. 

Fast forward to 2011. I went through a surgery to reverse my tubal ligation. My husband and I had been married 7 years at that time and I figured he was a keeper, so I didn’t mind at least giving it a shot. After almost a year, my doctor suggest we seek help from a fertility doctor due to my FSH level being 12.5. We were devastated we would have to go this route after spending thousands on a surgery.  We go to the fertility specialist and he decides we can just do shots to boost my egg function and then conceive naturally…No IVF…which was great because IVF would’ve cost more money, and we had already spent for the surgery. So we go home and wait for my cycle to start, then we were to start the injections. But….my cycle never started!! I was pregnant!!! I was so excited! The excitement didn’t last! I misscarried at 7 weeks! I was so upset, but I knew there must’ve been something wrong due to my poor egg quality. So of course, I blame myself! The only good news was my levels dropped down quickly, we didn’t even have to wait 3 month to try the fertility shots on my next cycle!

My next cycle started, as did the shots. They were easy as pie to give myself, knowing what I would be getting in return. We followed 2 egg follicles throughout the week. By the end of the week, the doctor stated one egg was larger, and that would become the baby, the other egg was too small and it would not. So Friday we did the trigger shot and Saturday, we did as we were told, and made a baby!😂😂

Then on Monday we were out shopping and I said to my husband, “Honey, I’m ovulating…I can tell!” See, I get mild cramping when my egg releases so I always know. He was doubtful, so when we got home I pulled out my ovulation prediction kit and got a big 😀! And y’all know what that means! Bow chicka bow wow! Since my husband had to work nights that particular day, he left his much needed “deposit”, kissed me and headed out the door, hoping he wasn’t late! Sorry, not sorry…you know how crazy wives can be when we are on a mission!  What if I didn’t ovulate until Monday and we ignored my body and the signs it was giving me? I was not about to chance it and have to go through the injections for another month! 

10 days…..It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s how long you have to wait to pee on a stick! Every symptom was there….I just KNEW it! But I waited….10 WHOLE, LONG DAYS!! And there it was, the positive pregnancy test!  Whoo-hooo!  I called the fertility doctor and let them know! Since I had a tubal reversal, I had to go in and check my blood levels and get frequent ultrasounds to make sure the embryo didn’t implant into the Fallopian tubes. 

We arrive at the fertility clinic full of anticipation, ready to see our baby! They started the scan and I could see my little cutie immediately!! PERFECTION!! They measured the ball of cells which would soon become our baby we had SO longed for, then they moved to the left a little. And there it was….baby B….Wait, WHAT??  Baby B?? The doctor starts explaining Baby B was the second egg follicle they believed wasn’t going to continue to grow to be big enough in time for the trigger shot, but he guessed it made it. I turned to my husband and looked at him sheepishly, knowing full well, Baby B was the product of its mamma’s intuition and theneed to have a “quickie” before daddy went to work….JUST IN CASE baby A wasn’t viable!  So there we were, four kids at home, 2 more on the way, and on top of being AMA, now that I had a twin pregnancy, I just secured myself a place in the high risk category! Yay me! 

We kept the twin news to a minimum. Only close family knew. I was so nervous about it. I had to get blood work and ultrasounds constantly to make sure the babies were ok. Everything seemed to be going ok. I had my normal morning sickness, which is a good sign, and due to twins, my tummy made its appearance rather quickly. Then on Christmas Eve, I woke up with uterine cramping. No spotting, just heavy cramping and what felt like back labor. I was scared I was losing both of my sweet babies. There was nothing I could do but wait it out until my appointment the day after Christmas. If the pregnancy wasn’t going to make it, then I just needed to try and prepare myself 

December 26th, We went to our fertility specialist for a checkup. They started the ultrasound and right away I noticed it….Baby B’s sac was empty. My stomach sank and I held my breath until she got to Baby A. There it was…Baby A…heart beating, moving around, the most beautiful site in the world! But how can I be happy knowing I lost her precious twin? And my heart ached for my precious unborn child and for the love of her twin she will never know. 

I had a lot of depression surrounding the loss of the twin, but I kept it to myself.  I felt guilty mourning the twin, when I was SO blessed to be carrying a healthy, baby girl. I often wonder what life would be like with two toddlers running around our house, but God knows best and Everleigh has been such a HUGE blessing to our entire family! I feel comfort knowing my three angel babies have each other in heaven…what fun they must be having! 

Every time I hear about the loss of a child or pregnancy, it takes me back to those painful days when I had to say good-bye to my angels. I can’t fathom how or why some parents find it so easy to abuse, kill, or walk away from their children. There are so many people out there that are willing to step up and become parents to those unwanted Angels, why can’t they just give them to someone who will love them forever? 

 I have been blessed beyond belief with five of the most beautiful, smart, loving children, and I thank God everyday for them. But there will always be a place in my heart for my three little angel babies. RIP my angel babies….until I see you again! ❤❤

Why did he cheat?

Every woman asks this question when the affair comes to light. The emotional roller coaster you begin to ride is not one of choice, but nevertheless, you must ride it until the end! During the aftermath of the affair you can feel different everyday. One day you may feel hope, the next you may want to make your spouse disappear, then the next thing you know, your emotions bring you to complete and utter hopelessness! One thing is for certain, all women will at some point question themselves. What did I do? What can I change about me? Those are some really hard questions to ask yourself, but it’s even harder to answer them truthfully.

I went through the normal roller coaster ride of post-affair aftermath. During that time I did a lot of questioning of myself. Most of these doubts were spurred by my estranged husband. I remember in the beginning of what I now know was the end, we were sitting at the marriage counselor. She was asking us to tell her why we were there. I explained to her I thought he was seeing someone else. She questioned him and he denied seeing anyone. He called me crazy. He said I was insecure. He said I had lost it. He had “no clue” why I was doubting him, but I was pushing him away. He said “She is needy, she’s weak…I want the strong woman I married back!!”  At this point I was feeling pretty low about myself. The counselor looked at him and said, ” I need my husband, but that doesn’t make me weak!” At that point, I knew we were on the same track…she knew he was being untruthful, now if would only admit it!

But I am not without blame. Like I said, I had to dig deep within myself and try to figure out what I could’ve done to make things different. My first two marriages ended out of my control, but I needed to know if I had any control in this one! I came to a conclusion….I expected too much! I had high expectations of marriage and how a man is a father.

When our baby girl was born, she was unexpectedly admitted into the NICU. It was the hardest 8 days of my life. I just wanted my baby to be healthy and home where she belonged. Instead of being supportive, my husband left and went back to work. This left me alone with 3 kids, pumping my breast around the clock, and going twice a day to the hospital which was a 45 minute drive from our house. I wasn’t allowed to drive since I had a tubal ligation the day she was born, so I had to depend on my parents to drive me to and from the hospital, as well as care for the other kids. My husbands parents left town the day after she was born because they weren’t allowed to visit her in the NICU. With him working 24 hour shift, it was all a little too much to deal with alone…but I did it! I survived! We all did…and I thought our marriage would make it through anything life had in store!

Our daughter was diagnosed with asthma within her first year of birth. She was in and out of the hospital…anytime she got a slight cold, we were back in the hospital! October 2004, right before we separated, she was admitted. I was working Home Health at the time and didn’t have “time off” with pay, so if I didn’t work, no money. My husband on the other hand could take one day off and be off all week. So the plan was for me to work during the day and he would stay with her. Then I would come back and stay all night with them. She spent 6 days in the hospital, including Halloween. I tried to make the best of it. I dressed her up as Snow White on Halloween and let her pass out candy to others! She had fun, that’s all that mattered! I won’t lie, it was stressful. I was working, coming to the hospital, sleeping in the bed with my 2 year old and being woken up every 2 hours when they would come in to do breathing treatments. Then back to work the next day! One of the last couple of days we were there, when I arrived at the hospital after work, my husband informed me his mother would be coming to the hospital to stay, he just needed to go home! I was so upset! My daughter didn’t know his mom that well. They didn’t live in town and didn’t make an effort to see her often enough to form a bond with her. 2 year olds are clingy…sick 2 year olds are EXTREMELY clingy! There was no way I wanted to leave her with his mom as sick as she had been! She didn’t know everything about her like we did. This is an example of me expecting too much out of my husband! I expected him to want to be there just as much as I wanted to be there! It was all I could do to walk out of those doors everyday for work, and if our livelihood didn’t depend on it, you can bet I would’ve been right there with my daughter the entire time! Looking back, I should’ve just let it go. Men are weak…especially men who keep everything locked up emotionally….they are the weakest. I guess I should’ve realized he was struggling with her illness and couldn’t deal with it, but I am not a mind reader! At the time, my daughter was my first priority and I didn’t have the time or the energy to try and analyze what was really going on in his head! I just needed him to be there for his daughter….I just needed him to be there for us…..but he couldn’t, he wasn’t!

In November that same year, my oldest daughter had a district cheer competition. She asked my husband to go. He told her he had to work, but he PROMISED her if they made it to Regionals in Orlando, he would go. Well, they made it! Regionals were in Orlando Thanksgiving weekend. We had planned to go to his parents for Thanksgiving dinner, then we would leave to go to the competition from there. He decided he didn’t want to go to the cheer competition. As a matter of fact, he refused! I begged, I pleaded, I got angry, I got sad, I cried….we went alone…just my two oldest girls and myself! He stayed with his parents and other two kids. When we got home after the weekend we had a huge fight! I was so mad at him! I knew my oldest daughter needed a positive male role model in her life. I assumed when we married he would be that guy since her dad was deceased. Needless to say, the argument was a big one. He made the comment that she didn’t need him there at the competition! I was trying to explain to him that she needed a dad figure in her life and I thought it was going to be him. He said she has a dad! When I spoke, I misspoke and he has never let me forget it!! What I said was “She would be better off if you were dead!”….what I meant was “If you weren’t there because you were dead, she would be better off!” Meaning…she wasn’t upset with her biological dad for not being there…it wasn’t a choice. But her stepdad made a promise and was now choosing to not see it through!  Once again, this is something I could’ve changed! I can’t make him be a good father…I can’t make him be a good person….all I can do is be me! I needed to fight fair, but when I see my child disappointed, all logic goes out the window!

After I found the Panera receipts for breakfast for 2, I was fairly certain he was having an affair, but I needed to be sure! I needed cold, hard proof, and I intended to get it!  You know what they say….A woman scorned does better work than an FBI agent! So off to work I went! Since I had set up his cell phone and voice mail password, I helped myself to his voicemail. I had it set up to when someone left a voicemail on his phone, it also left a duplicate….on mine! 🙂

One night in January I had a marriage counselor session alone and then he had one following mine. Then, he was coming home to eat a family dinner (he was living with his sister at this point).   I was at home cooking our dinner. Right when he was due to walk out of the counseling session, 6:01 to be exact, my voice mail pings!  I stopped and stared at my phone…did I really want to know? What should I do? OMG….what if it’s ….HER!!!!!

I bet you can guess….

****CONTINUING TOMORROW****

 

 

 

9 Years & Counting

9 years ago today, I said “I do” for the fourth time! Holy crap! Sounds pretty terrible, doesn’t it? Sometimes I catch myself being a little embarrassed at the number of times I’ve been married when a stranger asks. So, I have to contemplate…do I tell them my life story or do I just let them believe I’m a woman, incapable of staying in love with one person for more than a millisecond?  Most of the time I take a deep breath and I start from the beginning!

The beginning is what set the standard for me as far as marriage went.  We may have been young, but we got it right…the first time. Unfortunately life had different plans and our forever ended almost as quickly as it began!  Even though the marriage ended tragically, the desire for that level of happiness did not.

I spent the rest of my 20’s searching aimlessly for “the one”, only to be hurt financially, emotionally, physically and verbally. But through the years, I never gave up. I knew one day I would find a man that was everything I wanted and needed him to be.

It happened when I least expected it…I found him!  At first I was skeptical, and so was everyone else. Let’s face it, my judgment hadn’t always been the best, but there was something about him that I was drawn to.

Although he was 9.5 years younger than me, we clicked. I tried to keep my wall up, but little by little, it came falling down. I finally found my forever kind of love in the most unexpected place and at the most unexpected time.

Fast forward 9 years later….It hasn’t always been easy, but we made it. When we married, he became a parental figure to 4 kids, some of which were not too accepting of the new man in our life. Who can blame them? Life had taught them not all men can be trusted so they kept a safe distance. It’s safe to say, 9 years later, I do believe the gap is finally closed!  We faced struggles again when I became sick. Being faced with the unknown is difficult, but my husband was my rock and my security. Whenever I thought I couldn’t possibly face another day, he was there to hold my hand and reassure me everything would be ok.

We decided to add another baby to our already large family. Our marriage went through fertility struggles, fertility treatment, a high risk pregnancy, weekly IM injections courtesy of my loving husband and we were blessed with a beautiful healthy baby girl as the Grand Prize!!!  I became a mother of 5 at 40 years old! When she was 3 weeks old, we were faced with a 4.5 month long deployment.

Half way through the deployment, I was informed he received orders to Washington State.  Once again, we were tested.  As a family, we packed up and moved across the country.  It was so hard leaving my family and friends behind, but my heart is wherever my husband happens to be and that’s where I belong!

9 years….WOW….and here I sit….alone….again…..ahhhh! The life of a Navy Wife! I’ve lost track of the missed anniversaries, birthday, holidays, and special occasions, but he always makes it up to us! Because when he’s here, he’s here! He loves us with every ounce of his being! How do I know? I see it in his eyes…I feel it in his touch…I see the sweet smile when he looks at our kids…I hear the excitement in his voice when he gets to call for the first time after deployment.  He is the most loving husband…the father my kids deserve…and the best forever I could’ve dreamed of!

Happy Anniversary to my one and only! You still give me butterflies after all these years! I will love you until forever is over!

 

The Curse of Christmas

Every year, the weekend of Thanksgiving, the trees begin to come out and the lights are sparkling! It’s the beginning of the Christmas season! Most everyone is excited to put up the tree and decorate for the holidays. I was that person…the person who’s tree went up on Thanksgiving weekend NO MATTER WHAT! Now I can barely stand the thought of dragging out the decorations, much less looking at them for over a month. It’s a constant reminder of what’s to come.

December 1994, I was 21 years old. I was happily married to my high school sweetheart. We had a beautiful baby boy who would be two years old in February. We were young, in love, and living the American dream! I stayed home with our baby and he worked a full time job. He was also an amateur boxer with dreams to attend the Olympics. We were so innocent, so trusting of life, so content…but that all changed quickly and suddenly on December 26, 1994.
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(The day after our son was born)

We had a great Christmas! Our son was so excited about the tree, lights, and presents! He was able to understand the concept of Santa and presents, although Santa was not his favorite person! We had a great Christmas with family and friends. 2676_75491480609_5634713_n
(My son’s Christmas picture)

The day after Christmas, my husband went hunting with his brother. Little did I know, our morning good-bye kiss would be the last time our lips would touch.

Me and my son were busy that day. We put our gifts away, cleaned out the closets, and my son happily informed me “I colored….on the wall!” That meant mommy had to scrub the ink off the wall before daddy got home to see his sons artwork!

Then the call came…just after lunch…

My mother-in-law called to tell me there had been an accident. I panicked! All I could think of was my husband has been shot in the woods. The next few hours were a blur. My in-laws picked me and my son up and we headed to the hospital. I remember clearly my mother-in-law saying the Lord’s Prayer over and over. I prayed in silence while my son fell asleep. It seemed like the hospital was hours away.

When we arrived, a doctor came out to meet with us. I took one look at his face and I knew….NO, NO, NO! Please just stop talking! I didn’t want to hear the words but my mind wouldn’t allow me to block out the sound! “Your husband was killed in a car accident…we did everything we could do to save him.”

The next five days were filled with the most pain I’ve ever felt in all my life. I cried, I screamed, I begged…I just wanted it to be December 25th again so I could say “Please don’t go hunting tomorrow!” No matter what I did, the days kept passing by and my husband would never walk back through our door again. I couldn’t imagine how I was supposed to go on without the love of my life. How was I supposed to tell my son he would never see his father again? How would we survive without him?

Five days after his death, I got my answer. I woke up and realized I was late. Mother nature had not visited since my husbands death. I took a test…I stood in shock, staring blankly at that little + sign…we were pregnant! Oh my God….I’m pregnant! We are having another baby! Then the reality hit…I am having another baby. My husband would not be able to experience the joy of another child with me.

The news spread quickly. For the first time in days, life once again seemed possible. God had granted me a miracle to help me and my son through this tragedy. We now had something to look forward to, instead of always wanting to look back.

8 months after my husbands death, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, vibrant baby girl! She looked just like her daddy. Over the years I’ve realized she acts just like her daddy. She brought happiness and hope back to a family that was broken. Our one last gift from her daddy.
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Over the years, Christmas has become easier to cope with. When the lights come out, the dread is still there, but the pain is shadowed by the happiness and love that fills our home. I was not only blessed with 3 more children, but I was also lucky to maintain a wonderful relationship with my first husbands family. My 3 younger children are blessed with an extra set of grandparents who love them like they are their own. I would like to think my husband is smiling down on us, happy that we all stuck together through the rough times!

There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of my first husband. I see him in our kids, I feel him in my heart. I know we have a special guardian angel looking out for us. I also know he is proud of the family he left behind. In spite of the darkness that surrounds the Christmas Holidays for us, we find a way to shine a light for the kids. Just like the sun will continue to rise and set, Christmas will continue to come and go. The memories we choose to associate with it is a choice we make for ourselves!

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(My husband, my son, and Evander Holyfield–my husbands last boxing match in November)

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(And baby girl makes three!)

Labor? If I could be so lucky!

So….I am 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant! This is quite the accomplishment for me since this pregnancy has been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, medications to stop preterm labor and lots of scares along the way! I prayed for weeks that I could just get this little one past 37 weeks! And now, here I am! The weekly injections and oral medication for preterm labor were stopped at 36 weeks…and every day since then, the contractions have increased!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not wishing for the labor come any quicker, but for God’s sake if I am going to have contractions for hours at a time then PLEASE let it be because giving birth is in the near future!

I can never do anything quickly! It started 3 days ago…yes, 3 days! Between the hours of 10 pm and 3 am, my contractions pick up to around 7 minutes apart! Just when I am about to call the doctor, they quit! Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but this momma is tired!!

Today I went in for a check up. I am dilated 2 cm! Yep, that’s it! 3 days of contractions and that’s it!  Looks like it’s going to be a long road!

So, here I sit….tick tock, tick tock….I patiently wait for the clock to hit 3 am so I can get a little rest! Until then, I will lay here and listen to the sweet sound of my husband sleeping soundly! Yes, I am jealous! 🙂 Good night all!!