I was a late bloomer, all of it happened last for me. The bra, the pimples, the periods. But, from the start, the battle that raged between my Uterus and I was fierce. Growing up I always wanted to be around children. I wanted to teach Elementary Education (2nd Grade please), always babysat, watched a home birth via Bradley technique and was in love with the process of having babies. What a wondrous gift to be given! I married my high school sweetheart and moved into the role of young wife coveting to be a young mother. My first missed period! I made my appointment with my newly found OB-GYN, and while getting ready to meet Dr., I miscarried in the shower. I arrived with Tupperware, braving my destiny to meet my appointment on time. My ultrasound showed a gestational sac about 7 weeks. I was told I was young, and it wasn't that uncommon. It would be easy to conceive again in a few weeks. My 2nd pregnancy ended the same way about 4 months later. Everything looks normal, "It will happen." OK
Pressure off, we decided not to try for a bit. We were delighted later the next year that I was, once again, expecting in October. I was nervous this time. We decided to not tell anyone, not even our parents. How do you keep that excitement to yourself? Not even my mom knew, now that was hard! By the end of April, I felt I was safe to tell my parents. The joy of a first grandchild was in the air. I was starting to prepare for a nursery, always looking at baby items. The first week of May I had a normally scheduled ultrasound appointment. There was no heartbeat this time. I had 18 weeks with my son. We then lived in Virginia, which was a commonwealth long before it was a state. Commonwealth law then stated that stillborn pregnancies are not viable so no death certificate is issued. No death certificate means no birth certificate. No baptism. No burial. No remains. Lots of mourning and heartbreak in 1999. I gave up to the pain and tried putting the idea of mothering out of my head. I moved back to my home state. I went to college. I started over.
In my mid 20's, I was sitting at my desk and started hemorrhaging. This time I didn't even know I was a mother.
At 26, I started seeing a fertility specialist who ran more than 6 months of tests and blood draws. I felt like a science project. I was scheduled for a D&C, to start with a clean slate before the first round of fertility hormones began. We were all shocked that my pre-op blood work came back letting us know that no surgery was needed. I was pregnant!
From the beginning, it was a tough pregnancy. I tested false positive twice for Down's Syndrome and because of this we had many more ultrasounds than a typical pregnancy, even high risk cases. My daughter doesn't have Downs, but this false test was a blessing in disguise. The ultrasounds found a heart defect that we could prepare for. At 28 weeks on the drive to work, I went into labor. Again, at 32 weeks, I was hospitalized for pre-term labor. This time I was restricted to bed rest. In the end, my delivery was induced. Hope was born with Pulmanary Stenosis and an open PDA valve. She had heart surgery at 11 days old. We see her specialist once a year, but we have never looked back. She is perfect. She is still the spit fire, stubborn baby girl who would only grow her way in the womb, and now at 13, into this amazing young woman. She is my pride. My reason for so many shed tears. There is always hope. She is my Hope.