Getting pregnant was fairly easy for us, especially considering I have PCOS. Staying pregnant was the harder part.
My first pregnancy ended before it felt like we could even get started. I tested very early and got a positive right at 4 weeks, we were so shocked and excited that PCOS wasn’t as big of a hurdle as we thought it’d be. But around 5 weeks 4 days I had sharp cramps and soon after started miscarrying. We were sad but hoped to get pregnant quickly and were cleared to try again immediately if emotionally ready. We were 1 in 4 but still optimistic for the future.
We tried again immediately and were in tears when we got a positive test again the next month. Our rainbow baby was due Sept 22nd! It even was the same birthday as my favorite grandpa who had just passed away. I was moderately sick for the 1st trimester and lost about 10 lbs but was slowly gaining it back in the 2nd trimester.
We had our anatomy scan and everything looked perfect! Baby boy was growing right on track at 20 weeks. But only 2 short weeks later my water broke in the middle of the night. The doctors were afraid I had an infection and I was dilated to 2 cm. We were hospitalized and on strict bed rest to try and keep baby in. Two days later on May 18th our precious baby boy Mac was born alive but too little for any neonatal intervention.
He passed within two hours in his daddy’s arms. The doctors were fairly certain that since I had no contractions or labor indications, my cervix had weakened, caused the PPROM and allowed the infection.
Our hospital was the best I could imagine, we had access to a Caring Cradle and were able to see Mac for as long as we liked, anytime we wanted. We spent hours with him over the next two days until I was discharged. They made hand and feet imprints in clay and ink for us. Took professional pictures, gave us a weighted lamb, and said his name as often as they could. We even have a brick from their memorial garden with Mac’s name on it.
Our family and friends have rallied around us and say Mac’s name constantly even now. That means the world to us.
After Mac died we felt completely defeated. We were 1 in 4 and now we are 1 in thousands. It was “so rare” that this would happen. Were the odds always going to be stacked against us?
I’m not sure we knew if we were ready to try again through our grief, but we decided to try regardless. A few months later we got our 3rd positive test with no living children yet. Just a few days before Mac’s due date.
This 3rd pregnancy was much harder than the others, emotionally and physically. I developed HG in the first trimester, lost 25 lbs in a few weeks and was hospitalized for dehydration on our wedding anniversary. The HG caused my blood pressure to spike and not return to normal levels without medication. And due to the suspicion of weakened cervix, I had a cerclage placed at 14 weeks. Since then it’s been pretty smooth sailing and I am officially in the 3rd trimester with nothing new or major to report! I am so grateful for the doctors who were aggressive in their vigilance and preventative treatment this pregnancy.
I pushed off my connection to this baby for a long time, but one of my friends lovingly called him “Little Bro” and ever since then I have been able to embrace love for both of my boys on a much deeper level. Mac and his Little Bro. We hope to welcome Little Bro home in early May.
We remember Mac by spreading awareness via @alwaysmamasbaby and will be getting ritual tattoos infused with his ashes after Mama recovers from having little bro.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
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