We all know that are different ways to become a parent. But, we tend to believe that we have it all figured out, that we can plan every detail and the pregnancy will be an enjoyable part of our lives, full of those sweet moments of happiness and excitement. Some may think, “when I get pregnant it will be like this” or “I will do this”. We imagine the first kick, the first time our belly begins to show, the first second after birth we’ll have our crying babies in our arms, ignoring all the natural suffering of pregnancy.
The True Color of My Pregnancy
However for some mothers-to-be, fatigue, nausea, vomit, back pain and low blood pressure are just a few insignificant details.Some mothers have to fight to keep themselves and their babies alive in order to live the beauty and joy of motherhood. Two years ago I was one of those mothers. I experienced depression, and other health conditions such as Placenta Previa and two Fibroid Tumors and a Dermoid Cyst were part of a very painful journey.Things were hard during that time. My husband and I were facing a very difficult financial situation, I was working in an intoxicating job and I had lost my mother-in-law; somebody that I loved deeply and I have a full story of physical and verbal parental abuse. All this mixed with the “hey, you’ll have a baby!”. I wasn’t prepared for that or at least I thought I wasn’t. My first reaction was “how can I take care of a child when I can’t even take care of myself?”. All of these conflicts came to me all at once, combined with the fact that I had lost to cancer one of the most amazing women I ever met in my life, who happened to teach me what a mother’s love feels like.
During that time, I was working in a call center, making little money, combined with stressful goals to accomplish at the end of every month. I was also diagnosed in the same period with two fibroid tumors in my uterus (First: 6 inches, Second: 2 inches, 3: 3 inches for a dermoid cyst in my right ovary) and before I could take any action to prepare myself for a surgery I discovered that I was pregnant, just one month later.
With my internal distractions and everything else happening in my life at that time, I spent the first trimester questioning myself on how I would handle taking care of a baby. I avoided touching my belly and hated it when somebody complimented me on my pregnancy. I never thought seriously on having an abortion as I know God wouldn’t be pleased with that. One day my husband left me a note saying how happy he was for soon to become a father. And these two guys (God and hubby) made me accept my fate and trust that everything would be alright.
Miracles Happens: A Whisper Saved My Baby’s Life
My pregnancy, wasn’t a normal pregnancy from the beginning. I have a testimony of things that would be hard to explain by human logic. I was seeing a therapist that tried to help me to see my values, but something was missing. Something inside of me was just too broken to be fixed. I had everything I dreamed of, a wonderful husband, a home, a baby on the way and I simply wasn’t happy and did not know why. I did not know any way out. Until one day, I noticed that I was not sad anymore. Without being aware of the situation, I started touching my belly, enjoying the baby’s kicks. I would go to a store to look for baby’s clothing. The depression was gone along with suicidal thoughts and I owe that to my pregnancy. By saying that, I am not implying that if you have depression you should get pregnant. But, that is what happened to me.
My journey commenced as the tumor grew to a point that it could be seen protruding from my abdomen, next to the baby. The pain was unbearable. I could not even walk, as every step would cause my entire body to suffer. At my next doctor appointment, it was explained to me that I had only two options: to not remove the tumors in my uterus and try to handle the pain with drugs or undergo surgery to remove it but, this would probably kill my baby. My response was emphatic, ”this is not even an option.”
They also found out that I had another problem, placenta previa, which can cause preterm birth and severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery, a risk to the baby and mostly to the mother.
I was 21 weeks pregnant when after three days of an intense pain in my stomach I found out that the tumors may have caused an infection in my uterus. A month later, my water leaked with blood while I was working and when I got to the hospital, miraculously the leaking stopped and I was good to go home but, with the terrifying notion that from that point on my baby could be born prematurely. Contrasting to medical opinion the Placenta Previa had dissipated a couple of months later at which point I survived 37 weeks of pregnancy and this is where all the miracles became more apparent. On August 3th, 2015, at 7:25pm, weighing in at 7bs 6 oz, my daughter was born in a scary way. I was home talking to my mother over the Skype, when I literally heard a voice in my mind saying: “Marie is not moving”. A very quiet and clear voice that spoke to me just once. I believe in the whisper of the Holy Ghost and this voice was what made me aware of the situation and prompted me to pay attention to my womb, which I then pressed hard in order to make my baby to move and nothing. No response.
After calling my doctor’s office, I was advised to get to the hospital as soon as possible. All the clinic staff had left for the day, as it was after 5 pm. Therefore, it was just me and my doctor and his nurse. They monitored my heart and my baby’s heartbeat for an hour. Thankfully, I was fine but my baby’s heartbeat varied within a minute to another from 60 to 120 BPM. My doctor decided to perform a C-section in 30 minutes, which would give my husband only 15 minutes to navigate across the valley during rush hour traffic in order to get to the hospital in time. Despite the heavy traffic in SLC, he made it. Later he told me that all the lights on his way to the hospital were green.
I remember that day very clearly, I never felt so afraid before. My body was shaking from head to toe. There was a high risk of a severe bleeding to me. I was terrified that my baby or I would not make out of the surgery room and all I could think of was “we did not pray”. I repeated that to my husband who held my hands and said, ”we’ll find a time” and so we did. Fortunately, the surgery was a success. I bleed much, of course, but my baby came out of my womb purple. She wasn’t getting enough oxygen from the umbilical cord, which was found to be working just fine after the doctors tested it. The fibroid tumor, however feeds itself from the same source of oxygen and blood than the fetus, which led my doctor to believe that it was the reason for my baby to almost have died in my womb.
There was a team of more than five people between pediatric doctors and nurses waiting for my baby to come out. I remember the silence. The expected cry did not happen. I took a look at my husband’s face and I saw his expression changing from happiness to preoccupation. What seemed like forever, my baby started to breath about 30 minutes after she came out of the womb and then I heard something that sounded like a cry but, I wasn’t quite sure. The second one sounded loud and clear. She was alive! I had that magical moment of the first contact between a mother and her child and everything looked just fine. Later, however when they brought Marie to me to breastfeed her she stopped breathing again and she was immediately taken to the NICU and stayed there for four days. Thanks to that voice, whatever was, Marie was born alive. Later my doctor said that if I had waited one more hour our story would be different and I’d have a stillborn to mourn.
A Happy Ending
Two years have passed and we are expecting our second baby. My dear little girl, Marie, is a happy, silly, sociable kid, who likes to dance and talk a lot. She speaks some words in Portuguese and English and her best friend is our dog, Daisy. She’s a miracle that filled my life with a happiness never imagined before. She swept away all the darkness in my past and brought me the magical beauty of her smile. I am honored to be her mother in this life. If you ask me if I would do it again my answer is simple: one trillion times.