Isn’t it strange how one moment in your life changes it forever?
This is my journey. It starts out heartbreaking, but like all good stories, it has a happy ending.
When I was 21, I received the scariest news of my short life so far: I had cancer. I was a young mom, and I had cancer. Just the word strikes fear in those that have been touched by it—and most of us have in one way or another. I had a baby that needed me and I didn’t know if I would be around for all those wonderful moments all moms live to see. I held her a little longer, I kissed her a little harder, and I watched her a little closer. She was my reason to fight. I was told I would probably never have another baby. She was my one and only, and I was determined to be the best mom I could be, to cherish every moment I had with here, small or big.
Through treatments, I soon found myself in remission! I had a healthy, happy little girl and a wonderful, supportive husband. I was the happiest I could be, but that desire to have another baby never went away. I tried to push the longing as far back in my mind as I could. I had my girl! It was selfish of me to ask for more—but I did. Quicker than a blink of an eye, six years had passed. We were a family of 3 and we thought that was how it was always going to be. Then, on a rainy February morning, I did something I never thought I would do, I took a pregnancy test. Through shaking hands and a tear filled eyes, I saw the two pink lines show up. I was pregnant! Our family was overjoyed. My daughter was beside herself with excitement. After years of being told another baby was near impossible, we were going have a baby!
Then on May 22nd, 2014 we went to a normal wellness check and heard news that shattered our little world into a thousand indiscernible pieces. We lost the baby. My heart was broken, and I didn’t think I would even be able to walk out of the doctor’s office. The hardest part of it all was knowing we’d have to tell our little girl that the baby was gone. How do you do that? How do you explain to a six-year-old that her brother or sister was no longer in mommy’s tummy? I still don’t know if we explained it right.
We all did our best to push forward, but I know I dropped the ball. I let my grief consume me, and the one that suffered the most was my daughter. I will always feel guilt over that. I pushed myself to do better, to be better. I dusted myself off and was determined to be the mommy that she needed—the one that she was used to.
Then, in mid-September, I had my annual check-up to see if I was still doing well. I was told that I was perfectly healthy. In fact, I was a perfectly health, 8-weeks-pregnant. ‘How is this possible?’ I thought to myself. How is it possible that after 6 years of trying that not only did I become pregnant once, but twice. I was terrified. I didn’t have that overwhelming joy that I felt the first time we were told that we were to have another baby. I couldn’t ; I wouldn’t let myself. I went to my appointments and heard the heartbeat every time, but I wasn’t going to let my hopes rise just to have them fall again. We didn’t tell our daughter about the pregnancy until it was getting obvious that mommy was getting bigger. We didn’t announce the pregnancy to anyone until I was 20 weeks. By then, we had a sex. We were having a boy!
There was no way that I could keep myself from feeling. We were going to have another baby! With every week that passed, I looked up if something were to happen, if the baby would have to be born early, would he survive. Those fears were squashed when I hit 37 weeks, then 38, 39 and then at 40 weeks, one day, our beautiful, healthy baby boy was born! There was only one way that I wanted to nourish him, and that was to nurse. There was not one moment, one experience that I wanted to miss out on. We had a few bumps in the road; we had to learn each other after all! But we have made it! At 8 weeks, our little boy is in the 75th percentile on height, and the 95th on weight! Not only have we made it this far, but I knew that if I was able, I wanted to donate my milk to another fanily that needed it. With an oversupply and an over-active let-down, I have been able not only to feed my son, but donate to 2 other babies! I cannot even begin to explain the honor I feel being a part of someone else’s breastfeeding journey as well as my own.
The pain of our loss will never go away, but we get better at moving forward. You take it day by day, and if you can’t manage that, take it minute by minute. Healing takes time, and my healing has been helped by my two beautiful children. Our journey isn’t over, not by a long shot, and I look forward to every second ahead of us.