(Photo By Angela Baron Photographer)
The journey to have my first child was an easy one. My husband and I decided we wanted to try for a baby and three weeks later I got a positive pregnancy test. I suffered through some pretty bad morning sickness, but nine months later we had a beautiful baby boy! Just after my son turned one we decided we wanted to have another baby. Less than a month later I got a positive pregnancy test and I couldn’t believe how lucky we were. Two positive pregnancy tests within a month of trying. Little did I know that it would be almost two years until we brought another baby home.
It was March 11th, my husband’s 26th birthday. I was 10 weeks pregnant and had my first ultrasound scheduled for that morning. Within 10 seconds of the ultrasound starting I just knew. The tech had this look on her face that I will never forget. She looked so hard at the screen. Her lips were pursed and her eyes were slightly squinted. I braced myself for the words I knew the tech was about to say. She turned the screen towards me and said the words no one wants to hear “I’m sorry, but it looks like there is no heartbeat”. My world instantly shattered. I felt as though my heart was literally breaking into pieces. I had never experienced that type of pain before. It was excruciating and completely crippled me.
My husband was in an intense doctorate program at the time and had to go back to school while I went back to get our toddler from a friend’s house. I didn’t want to sit at home so I decided to walk around Target with him. I was so angry. Angry at every person I saw with a smile on their face. How could all these people be happy when my world was crushed? I drove back home to Langley the next day and about 10 days, two failed rounds of misoprostol and one successful D&C later my miscarriage was considered complete. I drove back to Portland feeling pretty broken, but hopeful. I knew I wasn’t the first woman to experience a miscarriage and I would not be the last.
We were told we could try again pretty quickly and so we did just that. Again, a month after trying we got another positive pregnancy test! But just two weeks later it happened again. One day before our wedding anniversary I was in the ER being told that I had an ectopic pregnancy. My world shattered once again. How could this happen to me again? I was given two shots of methotrexate to treat the ectopic and was sent on my way.
Honestly, I hadn’t fully recovered emotionally from the first loss and here I was again dealing with two losses in such a short span of time. We were told that we needed to wait a bit longer before trying again after the ectopic. We were given the green light three months later and decided to try again.
Two months later I got another positive pregnancy test. I was SO excited. I knew I was going to bring this baby home. I just had this overwhelming feeling of peace. This baby was going to make it. I had no doubt in my mind. Well, two weeks later it happened again. My third loss in eight months. Three babies that were once in my body were gone. Devastating doesn’t even begin to cover how it felt.
Life became extremely difficult for me. Every pregnant woman and newborn baby instantly triggered pain that cut me so deeply. I avoided eye contact with most pregnant women and refused to hold newborn babies. Since my first was now over two years old people would start asking when we were going to have another. I remember sitting in a doctors office one day with my toddler and a woman asked me how old he was. When I told her he was two years old she said “time to have another!”. I just smiled and nodded, but inside my heart just ached. People always had such good intentions with their comments, but damn they hurt. I tried to just be grateful for the child I had, but when I looked at him it just reminded me of the babies I lost. The siblings he would never have. I wanted a baby so badly. I was in so much pain. That pain consumed every single fiber of my being. I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt physical pain every single day for most of the day. Sometimes I would cry so hard my head would ache for days after. Some days my heart hurt so much I worried it was going to explode through my chest. There were many times that I would lay in bed and just fall apart. My husband would wrap his arms around me and just hold me as I cried. It became difficult for me to even go on Facebook. It felt as though there was a new pregnancy announcement every week. I was so irrationally jealous of every person that announced a pregnancy. People used to tell me that I should just be happy for other people. I wish it had been that simple. Yes, I was happy others were getting pregnant and having their babies without the same issues as me. That was a given! I was just so darn sad. I have never felt more alone in my life. I rarely ever saw women mention a loss on social media. I had experienced three losses at the age of 26 and felt as though no one my age could relate. I decided I didn’t want to be silent about my losses. I spoke about them and spoke about them often. I was very open and honest about how sad I was and how hard life was. The support I received from family, friends and my social media circle was amazing. I received so many messages from women who, just like me, had had losses. Some had one early miscarriage, some had multiple miscarriages and a few had late term losses. It was pretty shocking to see how many women actually DID know exactly what I was going through. You can have some pretty dark thoughts when you are in the throes of grief and to talk to women who could completely relate to everything I was saying was so healing.
As time went by I began to heal more and more. My husband and I decided we wanted to try again and at the end of February 2016 we got another positive pregnancy test. My fifth pregnancy in three years. On November 16th. 2016 our second son was born. His birth brought me so much joy, but also some unexpected pain. Seeing him reminded me of the babies I would never meet. I always wonder who they would have been. I am forever changed by my losses. It has been over 2.5 years since our final loss and that pain is still there. I will hear a song or read a quote and all those feelings come crashing back. I usually take to Instagram and share my feelings. I know so many women can relate.
My journey to have my second son was not an easy one, but it is one I am grateful for as it brought us the most precious little boy. Of course I wish that we could have just gotten this boy without all the pain, but that’s not our story. Our story has turned out better than I ever imagined it would. I sit here writing this with my 4.5 year old beside me, my 17 month old running around with my husband and baby #3 rolling around inside my belly. We are about to become a family of five literally any day now. Even in my best dreams I never imagined this.
Sasha is part of our new Mama Diary Series, #RAWmotherhood, that aims to provide purposeful portraits to break the “Instagram worthy” pictures of motherhood and be real for a moment. Thank you Sasha for supporting this campaign to unite and support mothers in their journey, postpartum. This initiative is to bring awareness and funds to BC Women’s Hospital Foundation as they continue the research and development of an app to treat PPD and PPA. Click here to find out how you can help.