“October 28, 2016 is when my life changed forever. Two pink lines on stick. I was actually pregnant. I had only been dreaming about it my whole life. My husband of 5 months was at the store. I planned to tell him in a really cute way, but instead as soon as he walked in, I blurted it out like an idiot.
We were scared, considering my husband had just lost his long-time job a few weeks before and was starting a new one he wasn’t happy about; but nevertheless, we were ecstatic. That night, I said my bedtime prayers for the first time in a long time, praying for my new precious baby. I took a belly picture that night (at 4.5 weeks pregnant). I look back at that picture now and think about how naive I was.
We were both in our good friends’ wedding the following day. We vowed not to tell anyone. I made an excuse about not drinking, secretly praying someone would ask so I could share the exciting news. Why did we have to wait until 12 weeks? That was a stupid rule.
After the wedding, we ended up telling pretty much everyone. Family, friends, I even told two people at school who I was just partnered with for a group project. Anyone who would listen would know we were expecting our first child.
Then came November 12, 2016. I woke up to use the bathroom. When I looked down, I saw blood. Nothing major, but still blood. I frantically called the doctor. She told me not to worry, spotting is normal, just keep an eye on it. I crawled back in bed with my husband, and fell back to sleep. Then I had a dream that when I think about it still makes me cry. I dreamed of a child telling me not to worry. They were trying to come to me. Everything would be okay. ‘I’m trying mommy, I’m trying. I love you.’ I woke up again, went to the bathroom, and this time there was more.
After a horrible two days of doctors telling me they weren’t exactly sure, I was finally diagnosed with a missed miscarriage. I was only 7 weeks pregnant, but I loved that baby more than anything I had ever loved before. After my D&C, I found out the baby was a girl with a diagnosis of Triploidy that was incompatible with life. We named her Lily. I still talk to her every night before I go to bed.
As soon as we were given the go ahead, we started trying again. I joined Facebook and found a group of amazing women who were going through the same thing. Ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, temperature checking. Being only 23, and never on birth control in my life, I assumed I would get pregnant right away! I assumed wrong. Month after month, the tests were negative. Two of my really good friends announced pregnancies. I wanted to be happy for them, but I felt such an ache in my heart. What did I do to deserve this? I kept asking God if I did something to upset him. I had stopped saying my prayers before bed, was that why I lost my baby? I go to church every Sunday, God. I donate to charity, God. I try my hardest to love others as you love me, God. Why am I being punished?
I felt true jealousy and envy for the first time in my life. I was not proud of myself for that. I even felt maybe I had been given so much already, and this was too much to ask for. I have amazing parents, 3 siblings, a husband who loves me more than anything in the world. But I was missing something.
After May 2017 came, I decided I didn’t want to try anymore. We could just see what happened. I needed to focus on other things. We took a cruise last minute. My husband got into the police academy (a job he dreamed of), and I got the opportunity to go on a trip to South Africa. I was so much happier not constantly focusing on conceiving, but I would still bawl my eyes out every time I saw a baby announcement on Facebook.
We decided I would make an appointment with a fertility doctor in December after a year of trying. My initial appointment was on December 4th. The doctor talked to us and told me to call him once my cycle started, he was going to put me on ovulation medicine. Well, my cycle never started, because on December 9th I found out I was pregnant.
Cue the insane, irrational fear. I was so happy and so incredibly scared at the same time. I had weekly ultrasounds until 10 weeks. I had a bleeding episode on Christmas Eve which ended with an ER trip where they found my perfect baby’s heartbeat.
The weeks passed but my anxiety got worse and worse. Due to the fact I was on anxiety medicine when I conceived, I was sent to a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor for ultrasounds every month. I ended up back on the medicine, because after 4 trips to the ER from convincing myself something was wrong with the baby, I decided I needed some help. Thankfully the medicine kicked in quickly ,and I started to relax a bit. We announced our pregnancy, and everything was going great.
The anatomy ultrasound went well. We decided to keep the sex of the baby a surprise. They couldn’t get all of the pictures they wanted, but that was normal, the baby was positioned weird. 4 weeks later we had the fetal echo. I noticed they were taking pictures of baby’s brain. They’re being thorough, that’s good. Heart looks great! They’re having some trouble getting a good image of baby’s brain but it’s okay, baby likes to shove its head under your ribs. Come back in 4 weeks.
May 17. This was the first ultrasound I wasn’t nervous for. Ultrasound tech is taking pictures. Everything seems normal. She says she’ll be right back. When she returns, the doctor is with her. Nothing unusual. That is, until he grabs my hand. ‘We’re having some trouble finding pieces of your baby’s brain.’
Not again. I cannot lose this child. I thought a miscarriage at 7 weeks was bad? I have felt this child move within me for 29 weeks. My life will be over if I lose this baby.
‘Will the baby die?’ I asked. Thankfully, he said no. ‘Will the baby be severely disabled?’ That’s a possibility. I pretty much zoned out at this point. Thankfully, my mom was there and got the information for me. I would have to go for a fetal MRI at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia the following week. My mom said they were having trouble finding the Corpus Callosum. Corpus callosum?? I had my bachelor’s degree in health sciences. That is the part of the brain which connects both hemispheres. How could a person live without this? She must’ve heard wrong.
Obsessive Googling came next. Turns out, there are people who live without a corpus callosum. However, everything I was finding was severe. Horrible genetic conditions. Children on ventilators, in wheelchairs. Yes, there were some that were ‘normal,’ but of course I skipped over those. I had convinced myself my child would be severely disabled. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. I told my parents to pray, my siblings to pray, my husband and his family to pray. We barely told anyone because I couldn’t bear to speak about what I was going through. I begged God to let them find this missing piece or at least let it be a mild case!
After a gruesome, 9-hour day of testing, it was time to sit down with the doctor. ‘The baby is definitely missing its corpus callosum, however, we believe it is isolated.’ I was informed they could not tell me for sure, because I declined any genetic testing. ‘The head looks small, and the ears look low set, but it could just be isolated.’ Would my baby know love? Yes. Would it be able to walk, talk, and live a normal life? Hopefully. I chose to focus on the love. I thanked God about a million times.
I felt relieved for all of 10 minutes, until we got in the car. Then came the over analyzing, which lasted the remaining almost 13 weeks of pregnancy. Thank God for my saint of a husband and amazingly patient parents. And also for Facebook groups. Parents of babies given horrible prognoses who ended up perfectly fine. A wonderful woman would message me daily with pictures of her son, giving me so much hope. All of the people in the group would say, ‘All of your fear will disappear once you see your baby.’ And boy, were they right.
August 21, 2018, our perfect little girl came into the world weighing 8lbs 4oz. The second I saw her, I knew God had answered all of my prayers and then some. She was the most perfect, beautiful person I had ever seen. The doctors even said so. She was perfect. No signs of any syndrome or genetic abnormality. Isolated. Thank you, Jesus.
I held her for an hour until I had some complications. Placenta accreta caused me to hemorrhage twice, and I needed 2 blood transfusions while in the OR. But then, I got to hold my girl again. I would do it over and over again for her.
Baby girl’s diagnosis was confirmed by MRI a few months ago, but she was cleared by her neurologist. We have learned from these doctors that the brain is an amazing organ. When missing the corpus callosum, the brain finds other ways to make connections! No need to see the neurologist again unless there are any issues. She is hitting all of her milestones and then some. Every milestone she makes brings tears to my eyes. This baby who I feared would never lift her head is sitting up a smiling at me, climbing on our dog, babbling, and giving kisses. When she reaches for me, it melts my heart. I was so afraid I would never experience this life-altering love.
My miscarriage wasn’t God punishing me. God didn’t think a baby was too much to ask for. He just needed me to wait for the baby who was meant for earth. I have one angel in heaven who will always look down on me, and I have an angel on earth who, God willing, will be by my side until I die. I have not missed one bedtime prayer since October 28, 2016. I thank God every night for the amazing blessings that He has given me.
Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mariah Martinez, 26, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Follow her journey on Instagram here. 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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