To women who STILL want a baby

To: Women who still want a baby

From: Angie (As told to Lauren Brill)

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To Those Who Still Want A Baby, 

I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, I know the experience all too well. 

It was nine years ago. I was in the maternity ward at a local hospital. Women all around me were having babies. Every time a new baby was born, they played a lullaby that you could hear through the cries of the newborns. There was baby stuff everywhere. And then there was me –  25 years old with this huge belly but no baby. I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. 

Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a mom. There were very few girls in my family. On my mother’s side, I’m the only granddaughter and on my father’s side, I was the first granddaughter. Naturally, I was always taking care of everybody and leading the younger kids. I always said that one day I would have six kids. By age seven, I picked out all of their names. 

When I was 25,  my doctor told me I was pregnant. I was so excited. Diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome at a young age, doctors initially said that it was unlikely I would be able to have children without some help. 

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I already miscarried once, but when I got pregnant this second time, I thought to myself, “Maybe I can do this on my own.”

Early on, my pregnancy was going well.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a mom

Every week, I would follow an app that would tell me, “This week, your child is the size of a pea, or an orange or pineapple.”

 We knew he was a boy and we named him Brandon. As I began to buy maternity clothes for myself, I started to buy a few items for Brandon as well. Everything was going well until Super Bowl Sunday. I was 20 weeks pregnant and I felt like I pulled something when I went to get in the car. It felt like I needed to put my feet up. 

As a precaution, I went to the hospital.  The doctor told me I was dilated and my amniotic sac was coming out. I didn’t realize what he was saying was that I was in labor. Ultimately, they transferred me to another hospital where they planned to stitch up the amniotic sac to prevent the baby from coming out. But we were too late. When I got to the second hospital, I was fully dilated. 

The nurse said to me, “You have two choices. After the baby is born, you can hold the baby or you can not hold the baby. That’s totally up to you.”

 I didn’t understand what she was asking me. Then, the doctor came in and explained that babies are not considered viable before 23 weeks. Therefore, even if my baby is born alive, there is no medical intervention that the hospital could provide to keep the baby alive. So, I could hold the baby until he died or not – it was up to me. 

I had to give birth to a baby that had no chance of surviving. 

It was a lot to take in all at once. Ultimately, I had complications and I went into surgery. They delivered the baby while I was knocked out. The nurses told me the baby was not born alive, even though he was alive until delivery. 

I had to give birth to a baby that had no chance of surviving. 

When I went home, my family didn’t know what to say to me. I was so emotional. 

In the shower, I would cry as I would look down at my body and see this belly and these scars and think to myself, “What just happened to me?”

Even though I didn’t have a living baby, I still had to go for my six-week checkup. 

Two days after my checkup, the nurse called and said, “Your doctor saw something with your blood work and he wants to know if you could come back in and repeat it.”

After losing Brandon, Angie had a healthy baby, Alex.

So, I did. Then, the nurse asked me to come back two more times for blood work. I had no idea what was going on. After the fourth time, I demanded answers. 

That’s when she told me, “You’re pregnant.”

I started crying and thought, “I can’t do this. I can’t go through this all over again. My body can’t handle this again.”

My boyfriend told me it was going to be OK and we continued with the pregnancy. This time around, we also were able to take some preventative measures to help me go further along. 

My son Alex was born on December 8, 2011, weighing eight pounds 11 ounces. I was so emotional the first time I saw him and held him, as I was excited to be his mother. I could not believe the moment was finally real. Alex is eight years old now and he is caring, a little shy and definitely a mama’s boy.

I went on to have two more children, a girl, Emmalynn and a boy, Jerry. Unfortunately, I did have another miscarriage between those two. But now that I have my babies, I can’t believe I ever thought about giving up on having children. 

Angie has three biological children as well as a stepson.

Miscarriages are so common and losing a baby is so difficult. But I want you to know if you keep trying and it does work out, you’ll be glad you didn’t give up. I know you are physically tired and emotionally drained. However, your body can handle more than you realize. And while pregnancy can go wrong, it also can go right. 

For a while, I didn’t think motherhood would happen for me. I didn’t have six kids as I planned as a little girl (even though I was pregnant six times), but I am so grateful for my children.  As hard it was going through shots, medications, surgeries, and of course,  the grief that came with the loss of three babies, every day when I look at my children, I know it was all so worth it. 

Don’t lose hope.

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