“I have been pro-life my entire life. As far back as I can remember, I was hauling around little rubber baby models with my mom, to show women what their baby looked like at the gestation they were.
I always wanted kids, so when I found out I was pregnant with our first, I was over the moon excited. But it was awful timing. I was due when my husband was starting his first year of college, after serving in the Marine corps for four years. But we knew God had a plan bigger than ours, so we started prepping for our first baby. My pregnancy ended pretty smoothly, aside from getting preeclampsia at 36 weeks. But she made her grand entrance 24 hours after that diagnosis.
Then a year later, I found out I was pregnant again. I was nervous, but excitement kicked in quickly! We were so excited to give our daughter a sibling. Then at 32 weeks, I went in for a routine check, and they found my blood pressure was high again, and I had protein in my urine. So they admitted me for the remainder of my pregnancy because of preeclampsia. I ended up having our son via c-section after two weeks on bed rest and 24 hours of hard labor, in which he turned transverse. But they had to get him out because my blood pressure was so high.
I had our son at 34 weeks and 6 days. As soon as I had him, he was rushed to the NICU, where he would stay the first week of his life. Luckily, it was quick, and we got out of there faster than the doctors anticipated. We were now enjoying life as a family of four! Girl and a boy.
Another year passed, and we found out I was pregnant again! I was way more nervous this time around, because I did not want to end up on bed rest again. We decided not to find out what we were having because this was going to be our last baby, and we already had stuff for a boy and a girl. We went into our 20 week ultrasound so excited just to see this sweet baby, only to find out they had a club foot. I was born with two club feet, so I knew it was a possibility. But, seeing it on the ultrasound shook me up. It’s obviously not the worst thing to see on an ultrasound, but it still scared me. I constantly have some kind of foot pain and felt so awful our baby would go through the same the rest of their life.
I stayed pregnant with our third baby the longest, making it to 36 weeks and 6 days before we had a perfect baby boy via c-section again. I didn’t even notice his club foot because he was so perfect. We found the best pediatric orthopedic doctor and had his foot corrected within the first two years of his life. We were now a very happy family of five, with no plans to add a fourth baby. Especially with my history of preeclampsia.
Flash forward four and a half years. I had just gone on a vacation with my sister, mom, and our kids to visit relatives in South Dakota. Prior to leaving, I knew I was late starting my period, so I took two pregnancy tests four days apart. They were both negative, so I went on the trip wondering what was going on with my body. I couldn’t be pregnant. We were being so careful!
We got home June 17, 2018 — my husband’s birthday and Father’s Day! I asked the kids to help unload the car, and I went upstairs to go potty. I had one pregnancy test left, and I took it. It went positive almost immediately. I don’t swear much, but I definitely swore in that moment. I ran next door to tell our close friends, because I had to tell someone! My husband was out fishing, and I didn’t want to tell him over the phone or text.
I was shaking, crying, and hyperventilating. Our next door neighbor told me congratulations and gave me a big hug. And all I could say was, ‘No! No! You don’t understand! I get so sick!’ Our neighbor offered to feed my kids lunch while I went home to shower and calm down. I showered, got myself together, prayed, prayed, and prayed some more. I also turned on some worship music to get my mind right before my husband got home.
I went downstairs and started making a pie, because I make my husband a pie every birthday/Father’s Day. I end up cutting out a ‘4’ and putting that on the pie. He came home a few hours later, and I walked him to the kitchen and showed him his pie. He knew immediately. He looked up at me and said, ‘Are you?’ in the softest voice. ‘I am!’ He gave me a huge hug, and we stayed embraced for a while, both knowing this wouldn’t be easy for me and for us.
It was in that moment, I could sense what women felt like when they got pregnant and didn’t want to be. The fear of the unknown. And I even had a stable marriage, wonderful kids, and an amazing extended family. But I was still scared. I wanted to be alive for my other three kids!
Blood pressure issues started way earlier this time around. I also ended up getting hand-foot-and-mouth from my two boys having it, and I was absolutely miserable pretty early in my pregnancy. I kept thinking to myself, ‘I wouldn’t have gotten this if my immune system wasn’t compromised from being pregnant!’ I am ashamed to say, from the get go, I didn’t have a happy heart about being pregnant.
A week after that awful virus, I started bleeding. I thought for sure this virus killed our baby, because it was that awful! I immediately went into the doctor, and she took an ultrasound. Our baby waved its little hand almost right away! At 10 weeks, they were waving at me, as if to say, ‘I’m okay mom!’ I cried. I felt awful for wishing I wasn’t pregnant.
My pregnancy continued, the bleeding continued, but the specialist couldn’t find anything ‘wrong.’ So we didn’t do anything to stop it. I borrowed a blood pressure cuff from good friends of ours, to keep track of my blood pressure throughout my pregnancy. All while still thinking, ‘Life would be so much easier without being pregnant.’ But then, thinking, ‘If this baby would be taken away from me, I’d be heartbroken.
Then one night, on November 5, 2018, only 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I sat on my bed to take my blood pressure before I went to bed for the night. It was 189/105. My doctor told me to call if it went over 160 for the top number. So, I called my doctor who told me to go to labor and delivery to get on blood pressure medication as soon as possible. I told my husband I’d be right back, but he refused to let me go alone. I called my friend down the street at 11 at night to sit with the kids until my mom could come in. Then I called my mom, who lived an hour away, to come stay the night.
I was admitted into labor and delivery where they started me on blood pressure medication. We spent the night there, and then my specialist came in the next morning to chat. He said if we couldn’t get my blood pressure under control, they would deliver our baby within the next 24 hours. Our baby would be born at 24 weeks. The baby I had gone back and forth over whether or not I even WANTED, might not survive.
I quickly prayed God would give me the strength to make it longer, and would help change my frame of mind for this child. After all, He had been knitting this perfect creation together in my womb for the last 5 months. From the help of a village of amazing people in my life, and God’s forgiving power, I ended up willing myself to hold our child in my womb for another month! Our precious boy was born on December 3, 2018 at 27 weeks and 5 days. He weighed 1 lb. 13 oz., and came out crying!
Our NICU journey started. It blew me away the measures they went through to keep our son alive. He was hooked up to so many cords, a breathing tube, IV, feeding tube, heart monitor, and an oxygen monitor. These babies. They feel pain. They are PEOPLE! They go through so much to keep them alive. These sweet, innocent lives. It is so hard for me to comprehend.
He went on to surpass all of the doctors expectations and went home ON HIS DUE DATE! We brought our fourth child home on February 27, 2019. He weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz., and he is the sweetest boy. He was meant to be here, and I know God has big things in store for our miracle baby. So, now we start our journey as a family of SIX! And yes, we are now done having babies.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jacqueline Rose. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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