Hello there! I am so excited to start the month of February with my very first blog of the year! Yes, I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but hey! life REALLY got in the way this past year in both good and bad ways. Last year I welcomed my first baby, Andy, and just a month after I had to say goodbye to my mom. Needless to say it has been an emotional year for me, and I needed a break to soak it all in. I am hoping to share some more on that soon; I just need to find the right words.
I was planning to share something else, but I just decided I would like to share my birth story with you instead. This year, I am making a conscious effort to be more of an open book, sharing more of me, and my experiences in hopes that I can bring some light and inspiration to some. As some of you know, my husband and I have been trying to conceive for a while, actually we stopped birth control at the end of 2011. We found out we were pregnant in December of 2012. It was such a great surprise, and our excitement was uncontainable. We made an appointment with my OBGYN and scheduled an ultrasound to hear the heartbeat. During the ultrasound, the tech took a long time looking around and called the doctor in, we both new then there was something wrong. The doctor told us that unfortunately there was no heartbeat, and that the baby had stopped growing just a few days before. She also mentioned that having a miscarriage was not that uncommon at all, that roughly 20% of first pregnancies can end up in a miscarriage. We were so heartbroken, as in those short weeks we had imagined ourselves as parents and having a baby in 9 months. Little did we know the longest wait was ahead of us.
In November of 2013 we found out we were pregnant again! This time we were excited but hesitant at the same time. That’s the thing about having a miscarriage, it really sticks with you and makes you worry. About a week later, I had another miscarriage. This time was even harder as we felt something wasn’t right. After that, my doctor sent us both for infertility and genetic screening. We were called to come in for genetic counseling as something wasn’t right in one of my tests. The morning of our genetic counseling appointment, I took a pregnancy test only to find out I was pregnant again! This time I was terrified since I really didn’t know what was going on, if the baby was going to be ok, if it was going to end up in another miscarriage, I was feeling “all the feels” as they say. In the appointment they went on to explain that I had a balanced pericentric inversion in one of my X chromosomes. Yeah, we had not idea what that meant, and even after the genetic counselor explained it, I had to google and read tons of info about it. Without getting all scientific, the bottom line is that part of the information in one of my X chromosomes is inverted, and that causes a 50% percent chance of a miscarriage every time I get pregnant. Also, due to that, I have a higher percentage of miscarriage if the embryo is a boy. We were told that we could obviously get pregnant, but that one of the best chances we had to have a successful pregnancy would be to consider IVF.
By now, I was expecting the worse as I had become very pessimistic, and unfortunately ten days after that I had my third miscarriage. We were devastated again, and we started thinking of consulting an IVF doctor to explore our options. The price of IVF had us sticker shocked and looking for options abroad. We found Barbados Fertility Center after weeks of research and reading review from other patients. We had a phone consultation, and felt incredibly comfortable with the Doctor, their practice, and their success rates, however, even though the price was lower even with travel fees, we still did not know how we were going to be able to afford it. After talking to my dad and my step mom about it, they offered we both stay at their vacation townhouse to save money on rent. In the meantime, we found out we were pregnant for the fourth time in April of 2015. As expected, I had a miscarriage several days later. We then for sure knew that we did not ant to go through a miscarriage again, so we continued saving and saving and saving.
We saved for several months, scheduled our trip to Barbados, and bought tickets and reserved an apartment for our egg retrieval round scheduled to happen in December of 2015. I was scheduled to start fertility stimulation drugs in November, but in September 6th we found out we were pregnant for the fifth time. Instead of being happy, I actually cried because I thought I knew the same thing was going to happen, and this time it might delay the timeline for IVF. Usually my miscarriages happen between five and a half to six weeks, so we were waiting for it to happen soon. Only this time the 5 and a half weeks went by, the six weeks went by and I was still pregnant. We went to the ultrasound that would tell us if there was a heartbeat with little to no hopes at all, and to our surprise this time there was a heartbeat! The sound of our baby’s heart was the most beautiful sound to our ears. We were excited, happy, scared, petrified, again all the feels!!!
The months continued to pass by, and our fears were always there, but as time continued to passed by we were more reassured that maybe this time it would be ok. I got to full term and we still couldn’t believe it! Since I was high risk, I was induced on May 10th. We couldn’t have asked for a better birth experience, and a better team at Winnie Palmer and from my OBGyn team, Dr. Kareem and Dr. Forde-Kelley at The Women’s Center. We finally welcomed our healthy rainbow baby on May 11th at 2:45pm. Needless to say he was perfect, and my mom was able to be there to experience it all. It was by far the happiest day of our lives hands down. We documented our birth story ourselves (My husband and I would take turns to take photos haha!), and my friend Asha of Bright Frame Films was there to capture it in film. She created the most meaningful keepsake as she not only captured Andy’s first moments with us, but also with my mom!
Bringing Andy home was the best feeling! Being able to capture the moments when my mom was holding Andy and now being able to relive them is more than I could ask for for sure.
I love how Andy’s nursery turned out! We wanted it to be warm, inviting, and modern. My love for black and white and geometrics is pretty evident 😉
Here is the amazing video my friend Asha from Bright Frame Films captured for us!
Andy has filled our hearts with the biggest happiness. We are so proud and honored to get to parent him and be with him every day. He has given hope and a new meaning to our lives!