In March 2018 we welcomed our first daughter. The pregnancy had been healthy & uncomplicated. As an occupational therapist working at a trauma hospital, I felt very prepared for anything medical, anything but a C-section. I had a C-section due to “failure to progress” from an induction. I felt like my body and I weren’t on the same team anymore, and I found a support group around 10 months postpartum and started working through those feelings.
In March 2020, my daughter turned 2 years old and I was finally able to envision another pregnancy. We were successful right away, but didn’t find out until May 21 when I had some abdominal pain and went to the emergency room. On my 36th birthday, 5/26/2020, I was rushed in for emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding caused by a right distal tube ectopic pregnancy. I decided to name baby Taylor Noel, it’s gender neutral and Google said the biblical meaning of Taylor translates to “clothed with salvation” and eternal beauty. Noel means Christmas or birthday as 5/26 is my birthday. Due to the pandemic, my husband could only be with me on a limited basis. I’m so grateful for the friend who came over to stay with my daughter overnight. It was very hard. It also happened to be the same 24 hr period of the George Floyd murder.
Over the next 2 months, I learned the doctor left my damaged right tube which then filled with fluid toxic to embryos called a hydrosalpinx. I was devastated I needed to have the same surgery again. I advocated for myself to have the surgery as soon as possible, the same surgery, again. That was completed in September 2020, and it was somewhat healing and calmer to have it scheduled ahead of time. Throughout this time, my emotions and hormones were just a roller coaster. I felt disconnected from my daughter and my body and did my best to work on that in therapy. I dove into some racial activism by having some socially distanced story times at the neighborhood park with friends. I bought and checked out from the library BIPOC books and read them, and it gave me purpose and comfort to “do something.”
On 12/31/2020, I had a positive pregnancy test! I found out the EDD would be 9/8/2021 and I thoroughly enjoyed planning for another baby. It was a great way to end 2020. We announced the pregnancy on Valentine’s Day, and really enjoyed seeing our family members’ reactions over zoom. We did a gender reveal over zoom with our family members as well, and it was amazing to discover this baby is a boy together. It was a joyous way to find out, all together, in contrast to finding out about my last pregnancy when I was alone.
We were so grateful to be able to use this skirt for our maternity photos. It is just beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed sending it along to the next mama to use! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this amazing project.
Update: Samuel was born 9/20/2021 via repeat C-section. He did spend 36 hours in the NICU for fluids and monitoring, and we were discharged to go home the very next day.
Photos taken by Elizabeth Stanley Photography.
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