As I've been working to put together an "about me" section, I have been searching through my archives to find posts related to my health history. I know that sometimes I click over to a blog to learn more about someone but find it overwhelming to dig through post after post, just to get their full story. So all that to say that I realized I never have blogged about my "journey to motherhood" and how amazing it is that I've been able to experience pregnancy.
And while I have you here to read about a brief summary of our journey to be the parents of 6, I thought I'd also share some pictures I took with Evangeline a few weeks ago with the tripod and a camera remote (that you can see a couple of times haha.) They're all similar but I can't just pick one to share! And of course the boys had to join in, even in their pajamas.
If you haven't already, you can read my other posts about my health history here, here, and here. And while it's incredible that I am alive and in good health, it's even more amazing that I have been able to have children.
Thankfully, (and I don't take this for granted) I never knew the fact that I was supposedly infertile until I found out I was pregnant with our first child, 3 months after we got married. I called my brother to tell him the good news and that's when he said "That's amazing! The doctors told us they didn't think you'd ever be able to have children." It was news to me because at 14 years old with an 8% chance of living, I was never told. In fact, I told my family that I didn't want to know any bad news that was associated with my cancer. So it made sense that no one had ever told me. I'm very thankful that I didn't have to spend time worrying about the fact that I may never be able to biologically have children.
A few years later, at a check up with the oncology department, a nurse pulled out my records and explained why they were so amazed that I had had no issues with fertility. One of the chemo drugs, at a "normal" dose, has a very high chance of causing infertility. The dosage I was given was 5 times that amount. Given at that age (in my teenage years) should have also intensified that side effect. The fact that I have been able to get pregnant at all is a miracle.
Many times throughout my treatment, I would tell my family that I never wanted biological children. After all the pain that the cancer/chemo caused, I couldn't imagine voluntarily enduring pain. That shows how naive I was at the time because I would endure this pain a million times to have children, but it also makes me hurt for all the women who don't have the option to have biological children.
Here I am, 14 years after my diagnosis, and we're about to have our 6th baby. But that doesn't mean that I've gotten here without pain and loss. I have had 10 pregnancies--I've lost 4 of them in the first trimesters. Losing a child at any stage of pregnancy is truly heartbreaking. I think it's important to share that part of my journey because when you're in the midst of that loss, you feel so alone in your struggles. I know it has always been helpful to me to know that there are others out there who know the deep heartache you're feeling. And while I do think about those children who I never got to meet, and wonder what life would have been like if we had gotten the chance to meet those babies, I can say that the pain has lessened. And I can credit that to God giving me all the grace I've needed. So if you're currently enduring the pain of loss, know that you are not alone and the pain will ease with time!
So that's the my pregnancy history--it's very condensed and all over the place because that's how my brain has been working these days and I honestly don't know how to even write this type of post without it sounding boring or rehearsed, but it is a very important piece of who I am. I'm always happy to answer any questions--about this, or anything else! And if there's ever anything you would like me to blog about, let me know! I'm always open to suggestions!