Kelsie’s Story

1 in 4. 1 in 8. 1 in 160. All statistics I never thought I would be a part of.

I was diagnosed with a uterine issue at 14, and was told that I would either never be able to have children or that at a minimum I would need medical intervention in order to get pregnant. My husband and I got married in October 2017, I had surgery to hopefully correct this issue two months later. During the surgery my doctor got a better look at my anatomy, and again reiterated that it would take fertility treatment to get pregnant. So as you can imagine, we were so surprised when we got pregnant with our son, Declan, without even trying. He was our miracle.

Fast forward to not long after Declan’s first birthday… We were ready to start trying. We figured it would go easily again. Lies. Six months later, we finally had a positive test. A week later Ellie was gone. You have to wait at least one cycle after a loss to try again, so we waited and then in December we had another positive test. After an ER trip and bleeding from a subchorionic hematoma, at nine weeks Finley was gone too. 

After lots of back and forth with insurance, we were able to get a portion of our recurrent loss panel covered. The results showed that I have an autoimmune clotting disorder, APL. In which my body senses a growing baby, recognizes it as foreign, and throws micro clots to attack it.  The pain that comes with knowing that your body is the reason your babies are gone, is immeasurable. I felt responsible. I felt inadequate. I felt infuriated. I felt broken.

On the bright side, APL is treatable with blood thinners throughout pregnancy. Whenever that time would come. July 2021 – the positive test came. Immediately I was started on progesterone injections and blood thinners.  Genetics came back perfectly. Anatomy scan was perfect. Our second son, finally we would get to hold a baby earthside.

Then on November 10, 2021 the most beautiful but worst day of our lives occurred. I went into my OB believing I was in preterm labor at 21&5. It turns out, I was, and our son had already passed away in utero.  We delivered our perfect sleeping baby, Elijah Robert, later that day.  The placenta had clotted off causing him to pass. I keep going back to that day. Replaying it in my mind. Over and over. It was beautiful, but so traumatic. I sit and remember the weight of him laying on my chest and see the perfection. I would give anything to hold him again. I didn’t even recall the trauma that came after he was delivered until my husband and I sat down and replayed it all in efforts to process.  What I thought was a few minutes of bleeding afterwards, was in reality close to 2 hours. I nearly ended up in the operating room from bleeding. 

2022 was a whirlwind.. January 2022, we found out about a surprise pregnancy only to lose it a few days later. Then again in March 2022 – we went to a routine appointment at 9 weeks, only to find out another precious baby was gone without any warning.  After testing, it was determined it was a perfect little boy. And he died due to a clot, again. A month later, I had retained tissue and hemorrhaged ending in an emergency D&C. Followed by a month later finding a blood clot in my left ovary.  3 months of therapeutic blood thinners later, it was gone and we were cleared to try. 

At this point, I was determined to completed our family. We now had the doctors on board with doing therapeutic blood thinners whenever we got pregnant again instead of the low dose we had been trying. We got pregnant on the first try and had our third chemical pregnancy.  Our 6th loss. Our high risk OB agreed that it was okay to still try due to the fact that our losses had all been similar yet so different.  We got pregnant the next month. 

The pregnancy tested every ounce of faith we had. Bleeding in the first trimester from a SCH. Then COVID in pregnancy. Two rounds of kidney stones. Then a tennis ball sized clot sitting on my cervix – which somehow my body passed without breaking my water or dilating my cervix. And then a placental lake covering the entire placenta – this is the exact scenario we lost Elijah to in 2021.  After weekly ultrasounds since 18 weeks – then up to twice weekly at 24 weeks. An admission for steroids to help develop baby in preparation for a very premature delivery.  Somehow she was growing and thriving.  Multiple times our Maternal Fetal Doc has been amazed and had no explanation for.  The placenta had somehow healed itself and looked nearly normal.  I was induced at 33&6 – and our rainbow arrived safely the next morning screaming. The most beautiful sound. We finally could breathe. 

Our daughter, Evelyn Grace – meaning “for this child I’ve prayed” and serving as a reminder of Gods relentless love for us. She is an absolute miracle. Pathology showed that only 15% of the placenta was still functioning at delivery – that is considered incompatible with life.  She “shouldn’t” be alive. But she is, and we cannot thank God enough.

Kelsie wears the rainbow skirt.  She holds her son on her hip and her pregnant belly with the other hand.

Kelsie wears the rainbow skirt. She holds her pregnant belly with her hands.

Kelsie wears the rainbow skirt.  Her son sits on her shoulders.

Kelsie's son and newborn daughter sit on a bed.  There is a framed photo of the baby they lost.

Kelsie's newborn daughter is laying on a white pillow surrounded by IVF injections.  There is a framed photo of the baby they lost and she is holding a rainbow.

Photos taken by Sydney Troudt Photography and Nikki Southworth Photography.

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