When thinking about having a second child, I thought long and hard about whether or not it felt right. My first pregnancy was challenging, I dealt with cervical issues and hyperemesis. I didn’t know if I could go through it again. On top of that, I felt okay with having one child. But the idea of my son growing up without a sibling didn’t feel right as I am beyond close to my sister and wanted that for him. Secretly and selfishly I also knew that if something ever happened to my son, I didn’t know if I could go on living. I know this isn’t a healthy reason to decide to have a second child but a second child would give me another reason to live. So, we decided to do infertility treatments like we did with our first child. We were lucky and I became pregnant after one round of hormones and IUI.
The hyperemesis set in early once more but at 18 weeks, I started feeling lucky because I had not had any bleeding or scary hospital visits. By this time my first pregnancy, I had been in the hospital three times with complications. Then after speaking too soon, 19 weeks hit and I ended up in the hospital for severe dehydration. For me, my hyperemesis does not cause vomiting every day, but when the episodes hit, I can’t stop. That same week I began to bleed and found out I had a cervical rupture. This was not just a little spotting; it was full on bleeding. My OB brought me in right away and I of course felt like maybe I was overreacting or being silly…why is it so hard for me to own my feelings, especially when they aren’t happy go lucky??
It wasn’t until blood was running down my leg that my visit felt justified. My OB confirmed a rupture, but assured me that everything would be okay after a treatment to stop the bleeding. While there were no major restrictions given, it was recommended for me to slow down. With so much going on in my life (launching Anook and a busy toddler) I of course did not listen and the bleeding came back which landed me back in the hospital again.
Around 23 weeks we did another ultrasound to check my cervix. My cervix was fine but the baby was really small (5th percentile to be exact) and I was sent to a specialist for growth restriction issues. The idea of having a baby in the NICU with a three-year-old seemed unimaginable. I began to notice my anxiety hitting a high it had not in years. We have since had weekly appointments with both our OB and specialist.
Around 28 weeks we got another call from the doctor that my placenta was now having issues processing sugars. This was when I reached my breaking point and I just remember holding back the tears. I was telling myself I was fine and I was okay but inside, it felt like I couldn’t get anything right. I hung up with my doctor and found myself throwing a plate from the sink on the floor as hard as I could.
As women there is this pressure to hold it all together, to always be okay. The truth is I wasn’t okay… I was scared and my anxiety was through-the-roof. My normal coping mechanisms of yoga, wine nights with friends and hot baths were all gone because of my pregnancy. After a few months of taking a break from my counselor, I got back into my therapy. I began meditating again, praying again, saying no to things and making time for me. Currently, we are patiently waiting for our baby to arrive any day now. A point we weren’t sure we would get to. I am grateful. I am working on meeting this pregnancy with acceptance and I trust the process. It is scary and filled with ambiguity but it is my path and I have the confidence in myself that I am strong enough to meet it head on. BUT I also honor that sometimes I do not want to be strong and I need to throw the plate, and that’s okay too.