I am currently almost 25 and my story started long ago, when I was 16. I thought I was out there living my best life, but little did I know, in a short period of time I was on the verge of death. My body became extremely ill, very quickly. I was very sick, bed ridden at home and starting to become unresponsive. My parents rushed me to Children's hospital and come to find out, on top of being very sick, I was four months pregnant. I was then transported to another hospital because of the pregnancy. My body was still very weak and being less and less responsive. They came to a conclusion that I was experiencing kidney failure. My kidneys were not functioning at all, but they were producing puss. I was severely dehydrated, and the nurses were literally squeezing fluid bags down into my IV one after the other. My kidneys weren't the only problem, once they discovered my kidneys were failing, a lot of other problems arouse. I had fluid on my lungs, one of my heart valves was leaking blood into my body, my breathing was laboured and I was falling into deep sleeps and would actually end up not breathing. The nurses kept telling me you have to breathe, you have to try to breathe. Your kidneys are already shutting down, if another organ shuts down also, your entire body will, and we will lose you and your unborn baby. Later on they found out that the infection that was causing my kidneys to fail, has reached my blood stream. At this point they were running out of options on what to do to save me and my pregnancy. I remember the doctors telling my parents that they are researching my results and sharing them with doctors all over the country on how to properly treat us and save us. My body was so dehydrated it was rejecting my IV so they ended up putting a stent in my neck that went down into my heart where they would now be able to take blood from, and give me medications and nutrients. The last thing I remember was them covering my face with a blue sugerical paper and injecting my neck and then I was put into a medically induced partial coma. I couldn't really move or function on my own, but I could understand what was going on around me and could do basic commands. I honestly don't remember much of anything. All I remember was waking up 2 weeks later and wondering what was going on. The doctors finally figured out how to treat me and I was on a road to recovery. I had to gain my strength back, learn to walk again, bathe and take care of myself. I was progressing well and we thought all problems were fixed and everything would be fine. That journey was over but another one had just begun, when I woke up, I remember getting an ultrasound of my baby to make sure everything was progressing well, which it wasn't, I was told my daughter had a birth defect called gastroschisis. That is where the fetus doesn't develop the correct anatomy of the abdominal wall , leaving a whole in the belly and the intestines on the outside. Other organs can also protrude out of the whole, but that was not the case for us. The doctors aren't sure what causes this birth defect, it is still in research but for our case they believe that my infection caused malnutrition within me, which caused my daughter to not form anatomically correct. Babies born with this condition sometimes don't make it... or have health problems their entire life. At 16 years old I was on my death bed and survived the worst, only to be thrown another obstacle. Fast forward a few months, my beautiful daughter was born ON MY BIRTHDAY, after 3 days on being induced and hard intense labor, she was here and she was crying!!! She was alive. I saw her for maybe 3 minutes and she was rushed off to surgery. She had all of her intestines put back inside her body and had closure on the same night which is rare for babies born with this. We spent the next 34 days in the NICU. Which let me tell you, was a whole lot harder for me than being on my death bed months ago. In the NICU you see things you never want to see. You see parents crying and falling to their knees, you share rooms with eight other extremely sick babies all fighting something different, wondering how on earth did this happen to someone so pure and innocent. You see nurses running to tend to the code blue alarms, you see special books and molds made of tiny feet for the babies that aren't going to survive. You slowly drift off to sleep after being awake for nearly 24 hours and are awoken by beeping monitors. The worst of it is, you, yourself, go home empty handed, with no baby every night because they are so sick. It's a place where life and death can be defined within a matter of a minute. Where small milestones as little as pooping can become a victory meaning you are closer to going home. After 34 long days, we made it home and I was finally able to take care of my baby. You know, I hear that God sends you a child when you need a reason to live, I fully believe in that. My daughter was sent to save me. Although it was a long road in the beginning, she was meant to save me. I was in a bad place before her, with the wrong crowd, and if it wasn't for her, I would be dead in a ditch somewhere or in jail. I gave her life, but in reality, she gave me a reason to live. This year, on January 31 is eight years since I was so sick, when I found out I was pregnant. So as always, we will be celebrating life because it was almost taken away from us. Me once. her twice. Her eight birthday is in June, and I couldn't be anymore thankful that sh is here, happy and healthy today. We've grown so much since then, we've expanded our family, she now has a great father and even a little brother. It took a long time, but we made it and we will continue to strive for the best.
You usually think that when you decide to have a baby you just can, just like that. You just don't prevent it and time it right, and bam! Easy peasy. Unfortunately, more often than not, this isn't always the case. My son was unplanned. In fact, I was on birth control when we got pregnant with him. I was 25 years old. Not once did it cross my mind that I wouldn't have him. Even I was high-risk, spotted when I was 5 months, got admitted because the doctor was afraid I would lose him and I still didn't think that I would. I had a healthy baby boy at almost 40 weeks and he is perfect. Fast forward to 3 years later when we decided to try again. I got off the pill but didn't get pregnant right away. One day I went to the bathroom and saw that I was bleeding and it was nowhere near my time of the month. I went to the ER and found out I was pregnant and had miscarried all in the same day. Okay, I thought. This happens to a lot of people. It was super early on so that's just nature. It's a fluke. It won't happen again. The following year, I found out I was pregnant again! Yes! Finally! So, I called my best friend. I told my husband. Then, a few days later I started spotting again until one day, I physically went through this miscarriage. I had terrible cramps, I was so emotional and just so upset that I was going through this. I went back to my doctor who says we don't know why these things happen and that usually they don't consider it to be an issue unless you've lost 3 or more. 3 LOSSES?! How would I ever survive another one after this? How could anyone go through this not just once but over and over again? But I did, twice more in fact. The last one was last March. I found out I was pregnant in February. My period was late and I was super scared to confirm that I was pregnant but I knew I was. I also started spotting again so I didn't get too excited but then I went to the doctor, my HCG levels were rising, I saw the baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound and the spotting stopped. It seemed like everything was going to be okay! I was going to my first official ultrasound at 9 weeks! At 9 weeks, the baby is a fetus. I made it to 9 weeks! They were going to point out the head and show me the heartbeat and reassure me that a baby was baking in there, but they didn't. The tech didn't say anything. She hardly looked at me. She called another tech in who acted the same way. I knew something was wrong. I asked for a picture and they acted like they didn't want to print it out for me but I insisted. Then, I got the call from my doctor. The baby had passed away and I needed to have a dilation and extraction. You want to talk about crazy emotions. The pain is crippling. Some days I can't even believe I made it but the important thing is that I did and I'm still going, I'm still grateful. As sad as it is that I've had these struggles, as much as I think sometimes how it isn't fair, that I didn't deserve any of this, I'm still grateful. Sometimes I wonder if I'm asking too much. I have a wonderful life that many people wish they could have. Sometimes I wonder if I'm being punished for things I've done in the past. Sometimes I wonder if this is all my fault. In reality, I know it has nothing to do with any of those things. I'm a spiritual person and my faith is still unwavering. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. We did meet with a fertility specialist and we have talked about adoption but for now, I've made peace with how things are. I'm good right now. I don't want people to think I've given up. I've just made peace with it all. A lot happened last year and I'm still trying to put myself back together again and that's okay. Some days are better than others. I have my moments but I don't stay there. I know there's a reason I had to go through all of this and I know I'm a stronger person because of it. I take comfort in helping other women not feel so alone. I want you to know it's okay to be sad, it's okay to be pissed the fuck off, it's okay to be jealous, to feel slighted, etc, but I don't want you to stay in that space. You will be okay. You will survive this. Look at me, I'm surviving and living my best life still. You can read more about my story here- https://mommyswiththeband.blog/2018/04/04/1-2-3-4-miscarriages/ . Thanks for reading.