Hey, Fancy Mama’s! My name is Brandi and I almost died twice giving birth. Almost nine years later, I am still haunted by the memories of my difficult pregnancies.
I have two beautiful children, but I don’t know what contractions feel like. All the controlled breathing techniques I learned were in vain. I spent so much time practicing how to push and I never got to do so. KB has never got to see his children born. I never got to hold my children once they were delivered. No one could have ever paid me to think that I would no longer be pregnant at my very first baby shower!
Despite these negative memories, I found a way to cope with the cards I was dealt and my goal is to help other moms with similar experiences do the same. If I can help just one mom smile, laugh or see the blessing in our struggle then my mission is accomplished. I hope that by sharing my story it pays tribute to the many of moms and babies who aren’t here to do so.
Don’t have any more children
KB wants more children and I would love to oblige! It hurts my heart every time I have to rationalize that another pregnancy could be the one that I don’t survive. Another pregnancy could kill me.
Birthing Story #1
I was 24-years-old and my marriage was still very fresh but if I was unsure about anything in my life knowing that I wanted to be a Mom wasn’t one of them. So imagine the excitement I felt knowing that I had created life, that my baby girl was growing inside of me day by day and that I was about to be a Mommy!
My pregnancy was so perfect! I experienced no morning sickness, no aches, no pains, and no decrease in energy, no anything.
So imagine my surprise when at 31 weeks I experienced a burning sensation in my back that was almost too much to bear! The only thing that would subside the pain was if someone was rubbing my back. I was scheduled to go shopping with my mother and sister on Saturday afternoon, March 17, 2007 to shop for a fashionable item to wear to my baby shower. As a result of me feeling great my entire pregnancy, when I called to cancel our shopping date they were immediately concerned. Instead, they came over Saturday to check on me while KB worked.
Imagine my surprise when I vomited for the very first time! My mom called my doctor and explained to her my symptoms and she instructed me to drink plenty of water and to lay on my left side. I presume she thought it was the normal back discomfort that comes with pregnancy. I was young, it was my first pregnancy, I didn’t know what was right or what was wrong. I just trusted my doctor! Between the back rubs and heating pad I found comfort but soon the burning sensation traveled from my back to my chest. A total double whammy!
By morning things had took a turn for the worst. Imagine my surprise when I discovered blood in my urine! Imagine my surprise when I became swollen beyond belief! I rushed to the emergency room. There, everything moved so fast! Imagine my surprise when my blood pressure was through the roof! I was told that I had developed Toxemia and that I had made it to the hospital just in time or I wouldn’t have survived. Toxemia is defined as an abnormal condition associated with the presence of toxic substances in the blood.
As a result of this nightmare that I thought was just a dream, except I never woke up, Niah was stolen from me on March 18, 2007 at 10:21AM weighing 2lbs 14oz. She went through the normal preemie progression but thanks to God’s Mercy and Grace she did not have one single complication. She had not one surgery, not one scare and not one bad diagnosis. The hospital was her temporary home for five weeks. As a toddler she didn’t get her first tooth until she was 12 months and she didn’t start walking until 15 months but other than that she was right on target.
Today, she’s almost 11-years-old and you can’t tell that she was ever a preemie. She has no learning challenges; she’s smart, vibrant and right on target with her peers.
After giving birth, there was still a question mark after my name. My baby was okay but my life was in question, whether I would survive was a question. I was in the hospital for a week. I couldn’t see my daughter until she was already 3 days old. My blood pressure was steady rising, there were days I couldn’t eat. Magnesium Drips and Popsicle’s became my best friend.
It’s not almost a day that goes by that those words from the doctor don’t replay in my head “You made it here just in time” or “The Baby is well BUT THE MOM”??? No, BUT GOD and don’t ever forget it!! No matter the circumstances, no matter the diagnosis, no matter how things may seem always remember God has the final say so. So I pray for every Preemie, every Mother of a Preemie and every Mother or Preemie that didn’t survive to share their story.
Birthing Story #2
It’s A Boy!! KB and I were so excited! I remember him going out to purchase the bubble gum cigars to pass out to this friends. Corny, I know!
I was 27-years-old and this go round my pregnancy was a little rough compared to my first one. I experienced periods of not feeling well that I didn’t experience with my first pregnancy but overall I pushed through. I couldn’t help but worry about whether history would repeat itself. After surpassing 31 weeks I was relieved! As each week passed, my worry lessened and my excitement quickened. After a failed attempt for a VBAC my Cesarean was scheduled for a 38 -week delivery and I couldn’t wait to meet my baby boy.
To be honest, I was very disappointed that I couldn’t experience a vaginal delivery. I was very disappointed that I may never know what a contraction feels like. However, my only goal was to achieve an uncomplicated delivery and deliver a healthy bouncing baby boy.
I thought my goals were being accomplished on the day of my scheduled delivery. I lay in the frigid hospital bed going through the presurgical procedures. I held my arm out for my blood to be drawn, not knowing that this simple task that has been completed on me many times before ultimately saved my life.
I could cut the air in the room with a knife after my doctor explained her concern with my blood test. She wanted to have it drawn one more time just to confirm the results.
In an instance history repeated itself in an unforeseen way. I had no platelets! I can bleed to death. I could have bled to death. After life stripped KB’s only opportunity to ever see one of his children born, I was given a Platelet transfusion and was then put to sleep so that my baby could be stolen from me once again.
My KJ was just fine, born a whopping 6lbs, 11oz! As for me, I had to have another platelet transfusion.
I saw specialists who could never answer why what happened took place. After looking over my pregnancy history, the recommendation was not have any more children. I was sad, I still am sad.
My blood pressure continued to climb. I was sent home on steroids and blood pressure medicine. I had to visit the specialist once a week to have my blood drawn for them to see if my platelet count was rising.
After being home for less than a week I found myself admitted back into the hospital because of my blood pressure. My baby was not even a week old! He needed his mother. I needed my son. I needed my daughter. I checked myself out the next day, such a stupid move. I could have died.
I found myself back in the E.R again with them wanting to admit me but I declined because I wanted to be with my babies. Another stupid move. I could have died again.
Eventually, my health became normal again….but my story will never be.
ERASE THESE THOUGHTS FROM YOUR MIND:
I don’t measure up, I’m not woman enough, I’m a failure, Why me, I should have done XYZ differently, I’m a bad mom, etc
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.-Jeremiah 29:11
6 Ways To Help You Overcome The Disappointment Of Your Difficult Pregnancy
1.) Talk About It
It’s okay to share your birthing story for so many reasons. Talking about difficult moments in your life is truly emotional therapy. Get it out! You never know who you are helping by being brave and transparent enough to let strangers into the most vulnerable moments of your life. Talking to other moms has been instrumental in helping me to cope with the end result of my childbearing narrative. There are countless groups, forums, and organizations out there with moms who are going through what you went through. Our stories are all different but our goals are all the same and that is we just want to heal. Find your tribe and talk it out!
2.) Pray About It
There is nothing like a peace of mind! The only thing that brings this conclusion for me is prayer and supplication. When I feel like my mind is being consumed with the negative memories that will live with me forever, all I can do is pray. I am way past the stage of asking God, why me ? I pray now for peace with accepting this role and how I can be a blessing to others who have went through the same things or are currently going through the same things that I went through. In all things, go to God in prayer.
3.) Write About It
Paper and pen is truly life changing. When combined properly with great intellect its truly magic. Grab yourself a good journal and get your thoughts out! This is great for many reasons. Writing is therapeutic, it helps to clear your mind and journaling your story is a great way to past your legacy down to your children.
4.) Look Back Over Your Pregnancy Memories
I have a little keepsake box with all of my birthing memories. Sometime when I’m feeling low, I will shuffle through the box to look back over all the memories. I also look over old pictures to find comfort and joy. It works! So if you are ever feeling low pull out your birthing memories and give it a try.
5.) Do Your Research
Why things happen the way they happen aren’t always clear. When doing research you may never find the answers you are searching for and that’s okay. For me, I found comfort in looking deeper into the illnesses I developed. I found joy in becoming more knowledgeable in what almost killed me. I wanted to know the statistics of the conditions I had. I wanted to hear real stories from real people who also went through what I did. Doing my research was my way of fighting back and it helped! Try it.
6.) Embrace Your Blessings
I don’t know how many times I’ve had to just hug and kiss on my children for no other reason then to show how grateful I am that we survived. Somehow when you realize just how blessed you are it helps out weigh all of the negative memories. We survived, we’re alive, and we’re healthy! Count your blessings and embrace the positivity in your story.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
Are you a mom who has had a difficult pregnancy? I would love to hear your story.
What Are You Waiting For!?! GO OWN YOUR FANCY!!!