If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know the infertility struggles I have endured, and you know that I have experienced a BIG unexpected twist in my journey. For those of you who are new to my blog, I’ll give a little background.
My husband and I struggled with six years of fertility problems, and suffered through three pregnancy losses. The use of fertility treatments didn’t solve our problems either. Our hearts were broken and it took years for the pain to subside enough for us to let go of our dreams of building a family.
After the initial six years of fertility challenges, three MORE years passed. Let me say it again. Three MORE long years passed. The idea of doing IVF was in the past. We were done on that frontier. My eggs were few and far between. Doctors gave us no hope.
We had moved on. We were traveling and enjoying skiing, knowing we weren’t getting any younger. Knowing we would never have the opportunity to share our love and knowledge of skiing with a little one. So, we had decided to make the best of what we had — each other.
Then, three LONG years later, I became pregnant the old fashioned way. No, we weren’t trying. I only have one tube and my eggs are older than the ancient tombs in Egypt, so we didn’t think it could happen. The doctors told us I could not get pregnant with my aging reproductive system and Brian’s sperm quality.
So, the good news is that doctors don’t know everything. In fact, they know very little in the grand scheme of things.
(Side note: Feel free to go back and read my gut-level-honest blogs that I wrote while I was pregnant during my fourth pregnancy. I didn’t think my pregnancy would last, since my first three ones failed. So, I was scared to death and sick. Pregnancy after infertility is a very difficult journey. Please read a Blog I posted on pregnancy after infertility. It’s a great read.)
I have not written much about the last days of my pregnancy and delivery and the last 10 months of raising my baby. I’ve kept a personal journey to record the experience, but I have not shared about it openly in my blog. I’ve wanted to be considerate of my blog readers who are in the midst of fertility challenges. I know how hard it is to hear about someone else’s pregnancy and birth of a baby when that’s your heart’s desire.
But many of you have asked me to share details about my pregnancy and want to know how it all turned out. Thank you for your concern and for your warm wishes during this journey. I’m sorry for not blogging sooner to let you know how things have been going.
Unfortunately, during my pregnancy I also received a few emails from women who were upset with me for blogging about my pregnancy. Since I’ve written a book about infertility, they didn’t think I should write about my pregnancy on my blog.
While I understand their pain and I understand how hard it is to hear about someone having a baby when you yourself are struggling with infertility (as I have been there front and center), my mission is to share my journey — both the struggles and the joys.
My hope is to encourage all women and men by sharing both my struggles and my joys. I have been encouraged along the way by hearing other women’s stories. We have to have hope if we are to get through the journey. And our hope must be placed in our faith. Faith that the sun will come up tomorrow. Faith that things will get better. Faith that I will get through pregnancy loss. Faith that my marriage can survive. Faith that even though the doctors say “this” or “that,” they are not all-knowing and all-seeing. Doctors don’t have all the answers. They can be WRONG. You gotta have faith, because without faith you will live a miserable life.
I put my faith in God and that gives me a sense of direction and purpose. But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms that I don’t want to open in this particular post.
I am chasing rabbits, so let me get back to my point. I just want to update y’all on what happened. That’s been the question I’ve gotten over and over. What happened?
Finding a New Happy Ending
I was 36 weeks along in my pregnancy the last time I blogged about it. About four days after that post (and four days after Christmas) my water broke at midnight and I went into labor.
Brian and I got to the hospital at 3:15 a.m. and my doctor began prepping me for a c-section. I was already having contractions and things were happening very fast. I felt enough pains to know that I would never want to experience a vaginal birth.
Early on the morning of Dec. 29th my baby made her debut. She was three-and-a-half weeks early. She weighed 6 pounds and 4 ounces at birth and 18.5 inches long. Thankfully she was in great health with fully developed lungs. We named her Ruby after my paternal Grandmother ~ Ruby Florine Shannon Vance.
I had an emergency c-section because the baby had velamentous cord insertion. What it means is that the umbilical cord vessels separated at the end where they implanted and inserted into the placenta as three separate vessels. Normally, the umbilical cord is one solid cord and implants as such. So, the three vessels were more fragile. When someone with velamentous cord insertion goes into delivery the vessels could rupture and cut off oxygen and blood to the baby (which could result in brain damage or stillbirth). Hence, the best thing to do is a c-section before going into labor.
We were in the hospital for four days. I had great nurses and Brian stayed with me round the clock. My brother, Chris, took care of our bichon named Dixie.
Since Ruby was born early and in the middle of winter, my husband and I were careful the first three months of her life to protect her from flu and cold bugs. Our pediatrician was adamant about making sure her care-givers have the flu and whooping cough shots.
Unfortunately, we had to take Ruby to the ER because she got bronchiolitis. I had to hold her head while the nurse put a tube down her little nose and throat and chest to drain her passages. It was a scary experience to have with a newborn.
I will bring this post to a close, because I’ve broken my own rule: don’t write posts over 500-700 words. Less is more! But Ruby is sleeping and I’m trying to cram a lot into this one post to catch y’all up!!
My story has been one of having certain expectations, experiencing deep disappointment, walking through saddness, letting go of my dreams to have a family, finally being able to move on and accept my fate, finding happiness again, embracing new opportunities, and then to my surprise I conceived and had a beautiful baby.
I hope my story encourages YOU and others who are longing to build a family of their own. I had a certain idea and image in my head about how my family would come into existence. It didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen, and I went through hell along the way trying to make it happen. Nevertheless, eventually when I least expected it…..I got my family.
So, I encourage you to please take a step back in your own life and allow things to happen in unexpected ways. I know its scary but you may be delighted and thrilled with what follows. Where there is hope, joy will always follow. Allow the “joy” in whatever shape or form to enter into your life, and you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.
Photo: Ruby, 4 days old