My Story: I wasn't ready to quit being me

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I was in a hurry to have a child, or never get the chance.

I was 21 when I started trying to conceive. I had this idea of what motherhood was supposed to be like. I believed all the stories about how it was the best experience ever. It was to be love at first sight! I was to gush with joy and willingly accept my new baby with floods of excitement.

To everyone who has ever said that or implied it's really like that, I have two words: Get Real. 

The birth of a child changes who you are. You lose touch with what was once "you." Your world is no longer yours anymore. Your world now revolves around a completely helpless and dependent stranger. For some, the journey to motherhood is just as traumatic, if not more so.

I was born with a birth defect of the uterus in which I was unaware of at the time. I had always had "female issues" and was told my chances were slim to have a child due to hormonal and ovarian factors. After two years of trying to conceive, I finally became pregnant with the help of Clomid.

I was ecstatic. I tried to get my OB to do an early ultrasound around but she wanted to wait. I "was in perfect health," and she was going on vacation so the ultrasound was pushed out to 13 weeks. 


When I went for the first ultrasound, the tech was silent. I got a look at the screen before she turned it away and I knew right then and there the baby didn't have a heartbeat. I was devastated. Everyone kept telling me I was just worried and my baby was alive. I knew otherwise. I got the dreaded phone call from my OB 2 days later. Of course in my grief and anger I blew up on everyone who said I was "just worried." Always trust your gut.

We continued trying to conceive and lost the next one as well. I had all the feelings of failure, grief, disappointment, anger, you name it. I had so many unanswered questions. Why? How? Is it something I did? Can I do something differently? Perhaps I am not meant to be a mother?

A few months later on my sixth cycle with Clomid, I decided that it was time to give up trying. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and my marriage was failing before my eyes. The relationship was increasingly abusive. I was just... done.

I stopped my progesterone early and later on through a blood test found out I was pregnant. I had to start the progesterone again. After all I had been through, I was not willing to risk the life of this baby. I went for multiple blood tests. The blood work "looked fantastic" according to my doctor.

Pregnancy didn't come easily or without complications. I was terrified every day I would lose this baby also. I found out at 21 weeks when they sent me to Maternal Fetal Medicine that I had a bicornuate septate uterus. To top it off, my OB knew about it and never told me! I was placed on bed rest for that and placenta previa. Due to the previous losses and the news I received, I was on pins and needles. I bought a fetal doppler to hear my baby's heartbeat every day. I prayed for God to wrap his hands around my unborn child and make sure he made it safely into the world.

I went for scheduled c-section at 38 weeks and 6 days. My son was born healthy and he was my miracle baby!

Then the hormonal downturn struck. Like a ton of bricks, it hit me. What have I done? I knew the father and I would be getting a divorce. For that I felt extremely guilty. I attempted breastfeeding and gave up after the first month. Again I was a failure in my own eyes. I sat in the chair in the back room with a screaming infant 12 hours of every day, who screamed, puked, then screamed for more feedings. I was in pain physically and emotionally. His screams upset me. My son and I sat in the back room in the dark and cried together.

I grew to resent him. This little stranger came into my life (although completely planned) and changed everything. I felt "stuck." I knew that getting a divorce would now be much harder to do. I felt like a bad mother for bringing him into the world at this point in my life.  I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to quit being me. I felt like at the drop of a hat, I lost my identity. I lost my ability to just get up and go whenever I needed to. My son now dictated my schedule and I was stuck in the house and stuck in a bad marriage. I called on my mom to take him for a while so I could regroup. I needed to make our escape plan. I needed to make it out of the marriage alive so that I could raise my son. I knew it was the right thing to do.

With the help and support of my mom, we made it through. If it wasn't for her, I have no idea how things would have ended up.

I got the divorce and years later have remarried. My son is now a very bright boy and gets awesome grades in school. My new husband is an awesome dad. My son and I are now inseparable. We are two peas in a pod, and looking back, he came into my life for a reason. That reason was to keep me focused and on the right track. I was already in a dark place before he came along. He brought light into my life, and although the beginning was pretty rough, he helped me get on the right track. If things had not happened the way they did, who knows where I would've ended up.

Jess