{Go Red} A Chance at Motherhood is Why I Go Red 

Looking up at my children. The blue balloon is in honor of Lucia and the purple balloon is for Baby E. My babies they will always be

I am the mother of two babies. My babies do not walk this earth, instead they paint the colors of the sunrise. Lucia would be 7 years old and Baby E would have just turned one. I would have my hands full. My arms are not filled with children, instead they are filled with hope. When you are the mother of angles a part of your broken heart lies in heaven. It’s a hard job and it’s one you don’t get to choose, it chooses you instead. 

I didn’t choose to have a pulmonary embolism or a stroke, it chose me and I’ve never looked back. 6 months after it chose me I found out I was pregnant. Like really pregnant, whoops “I was pregnant and I didn’t know it.” I lovingly called the baby little bear. It was a boy, a boy who died quietly in my womb. He was safe, he was loved, he will always be my first. Lucia, my baby you will always be. 

After a baby dies you have this strong desire to get pregnant again. To rewrite history and prove to yourself that you can carry a baby to term. To prove that God found you worthy of motherhood. But what happens when you are told “it’s not wise for someone with your history to get pregnant……” You get angry, you cry, and then you slowly come to terms with it. You pray that science will catch up with you and that this cruel joke will be over and you will have your rainbow.

Five years after my stroke my rainbow came. Again doctors said “you will be high risk. We need to watch you closely, blah, blah, and blah.” We got excited, that excitement just like before dwindled when an empty sac appeared. Our baby, my rainbow was not meant to be mine. Baby E wasn’t meant to be ours. My rainbow slipped through my fingers and renewed my desire for motherhood. Baby E, my baby you will always be. 

Babies are always at the back of my mind. I have names picked out and plans laid out. Jay and I tried for a year with no luck. Who knew a rainbow was so hard to catch. So I started down the path of fertility screening. I am now on a first name basis with the ultrasound wand, needles, and x-ray machine. I am fertile like myrtle who lives down the lane, yet my body can’t get intune. They say the nuvaring is most likely to blame, but we will never know for sure. In the past I was told “fertility meds are not for you.” Which makes sense since it’s recommended that I never use birthcontrol again. Hello blood clot creating hormones! Until now……….Science! 

Science! Finally caught up with me. Medical research is a beautiful thing and now I can has a baby too! In October we tried a combo of Femera and Ovidrel with no luck. In February we are going to the next level, Femera and ovidrel with IUI. I can has an IUI too! Motherhood was a thing I could never touch, it eluded me and now I have her in my crosshairs. Because of medical research it’s within my reach.

My pregnancy (when it happens) will be different too. Back in the day doctors believed in large doses and starting lovenox early. Today we will still be starting as soon as I get a plus sign, but the dose will grow along with my pregnancy. We will start with a shit ton of monitoring and a small dose of lovenox until we build up to the higher dose when I am 7 months along (that’s if my body needs it). There is still a chance that our baby could be born lovenox dependent and that I could have a clot, but for me the risk is worth the reward. 

Because of research and medical technology I will be able to have a healthy pregnancy too. Not all survivors get a chance at motherhood. In a lot of cases the risk is far greater than the reward. My heart breaks for them. I know the ache they feel and I know what it’s like to look up and wonder “why me?” All it takes is one look at a baby bump to make you feel less than. The baby isle and shower invites are a reminder of your inability to have children. They are a reminder of what was taken from you. We did not choose this road, the road chose us and we have to walk it until our time runs out. 

I once belonged to that club, then I got lucky. Science and technology caught up with me. Because of research Femera was found to aide in ovulation by decreasing the estrogen levels without increasing progesterone. The Progesterone in the nuvaring is what caused my blood clot. The likelihood of a blood clot event on Femera is low and I don’t know about you but, I like low. I am a survivor, a survivor who is standing on the cusp of motherhood. 

In my heart I know that this time I will bring a baby home. Heaven has two pieces of my heart and it’s time for a third to live on this earth. One thing I am certain about is that the doctors will learn from my fertility treatments and pregnancy and that information will help other women like me bring home a healthy baby. That right there makes all of this worth it. 

I go Red for the survivors who will never get to be mothers. 

{Baby E} Empty Sac, Big Impact

A year has almost passed since a bright blue plus sign appeared. I sat on the floor staring at it in disbelief. It was a good 30 minutes before it sunk in that the plus sign was for me and that a baby was on board. I was given a second chance at motherhood and Jay would be a first time father. 

In the six weeks that followed we started picking out names and nursery themes. Jay looked up baby gear on the Internet and spoke softly to my stomach. Jay was attached the instant I told him and for me I was slowly falling in love with a group of cells. My Dad started making the mobile just like he did for Luica, birds, I wanted birds for this baby. He obliged and went to work. My parents were excited to have a fifth grandchild to spoil and love on. Their excitement helped mine grow. With a little luck and a lot of faith everything would be all right. 

If you are familiar with child loss then you know all pregnancies that follow are considered high risk and there is a viability scan around 6/7weeks. This scan terrified me and I dreaded the day of our appointment. Perinatal doctors had failed me before, the fear and anxiety that I had was raw and real. The ultrasound would be my enemy, it could either make or break this pregnancy. An empty sac appeared on the screen. At almost 7weeks a fetal pole should have been inside beating away. 

I carried the little sac that couldn’t for 12 weeks. The Doctor and I called it, a plan was put in place and a D&C was scheduled for July 7, 2015. Jay couldn’t miss work so my Mama took his place. I had the sweetest nurses. My Nurse Ann made sure I knew what and where baby land was, she held my hand and gave me a hug as I headed off to surgery. A few days after surgery I got a call that my pregnancy contents had been cremated and sprinkled in Lake Wood Cemetery’s baby land, our baby is resting with a view of Lake Calhoun and I can walk over and visit if I chose to. Weeks later the pathology report would show that it was more than just a sac, it was a partial molar pregnancy, two sperm fertilized one egg and our baby had more chromosomes than it needed. 

Unlike Lucia, Baby E gave me a why and that was all I needed, I was able to be a peace with the leaving. Baby E has given me hope that I to will have a baby one day, it’s just rainbows are elusive and they are hard to catch. I have faith that my turn is just around the corner and that one day I will get to carry a baby to term. For Motherhood is a job that I desperately want. 

{Life Lessons} Stick Little Baby, Stick

Five years ago when I lost my son I had a botched D&C that left my uterus with more scars than healthy tissue. They told me that because of my broken uterus I would never carry another baby. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and traveled the country looking for a specialist who would tell me otherwise. At then end of the day they all had the same answer and I had to learn how to live with it. When I turned 30 I accepted the fact that the only baby I would ever carry was in heaven and that there would be no more. This was the card I was dealt and I have to play that hand until the very end.

Surviving is only half the battle. One has to learn how to live with the unknowns and the would haves. Each night as I lay my head down I ask God to bring me a family, more than anything I want to be a mom. I want nothing more than to have a child. Every day as I walk to work I pass dozens of pregnant women, they look so happy and swollen. I want that glow and swollen body, I want to be pregnant more than anything. I wish and I pray, but at the end of the day they are just unheard wishes and prayers.

Fate she is funny. She and I have a very rocky relationship. Sometimes we get along and other times she is beating me into the ground. Lately she has been nice, I got the promotion I wanted at work, the Nuvaring lawsuit is wrapping up, and I have a man who adores my every quirk. Me more than anyone knows that with the good there comes bad. So I have been looking up at the sky waiting for it to fall, checking the ground for pot holes, and instinctively dodging curve balls that do not exist. Maybe for once fate is going to let me be and finally have a few moments in the sun.

I long for the sun and the sweet calm that arises after the storm. On Mother’s Day fate stepped in. I realized that my period was late. At first i didn’t give it a single thought and went on about my business. But then this feeling sunk in, a feeling of what if. So I gave myself a pep talk and bought a pregnancy test. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was going to be negative. I stared at it for a few moments and decided well they only way you are going to know for sure is if you pee on it, lord knows the test can’t read your mind. I took it, then set it on the sink. I continued washing my hands, I looked over and holy shit there was a bright blue plus sign. It appeared in less than 30 seconds. I immediately picked it up and dropped it on the floor. That couldn’t be right? It had to be wrong. There was no way.

There was simply no way. I sat on the floor and looked at the thing for a good 30 minutes before it sunk in that I was pregnant. Then it dawned on me that I had phone calls to make and close people to tell. I told Jay, he was excited yet terrified. My Mama was elated and I, I was fucking terrified. Terrified because being pregnant is like playing Russian roulette, it could go one way or the other. You just don’t know until that first ultra sound.

My first ultra sound did not give Jay and I answers. It left us in limbo. The gestational sac measures at 6 weeks 6 days which is spot on. However the sac was empty, we did not see a yolk or a fetal pole. The doctor she was optimistic that in a week we will most likely see a healthy little fetal pole beating away. At this moment I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. I want to believe the doctor, I truly do, maybe the baby is just hiding or is stubborn. I fear that this pregnancy is most likely a blighted ovum and that fate is once again playing a fucking joke on me. Maybe it is not a joke, maybe it is a test.

My HCG came back at 8434, the nurse said that was a high number. But it is also the first number they have so the Doctor doesn’t know whether it’s falling or rising. I go in for another blood draw tomorrow, we want the number to double. On Friday we have another ultrasound and I pray with every fiber in my being that we will see at a yolk if not a little fetal pole beating away. I have been down this road before and it scares the shit out of me. With Lucia I had a two-week wait and that wait was worth it, we saw his little heart beat. I just pray that Friday will hold the same out come, because I want nothing more than to meet this little one in January. I want nothing more than to hold this little one in my arms. I want to be a Mama to a baby on earth, not just a Mama to a baby in heaven.

So if you have an extra prayer to spare please send it up for this little one. If you have an extra penny in your pocket and a wish to share please wish for this little one to stay. Because I want nothing more than to see a little healthy heart beating away on Friday’s scan. I survived the unthinkable and this little one is a survivor’s dream come true. This little one proves that the impossible is possible and that miracles still exist in this world.