Mothers Day….Is Bittersweet

Mothers-Day-Infertility-Miscarriage-Pregnancy-Loss

Mother’s Day is Bittersweet 

Every year on the second Sunday in May, people across the US celebrate Mother’s Day. A time to honor mothers for all their hard work throughout the year, and to show gratitude for all their efforts. But it’s a percentage of women who don’t get to enjoy the gifts, flowers, cards or cuddles with their babies….because they can’t have any. 

I have three children, whom I’ve been blessed with. I’ve suffered from infertility, as well as secondary infertility, and today I decided to share my personal story.

Over the years, since 2004, I’ve had 10 miscarriages. Three before I got pregnant with my oldest son, three before I got pregnant with my daughter, and four losses in 2013.

Mother's Day is Bittersweet: My Personal Story of Infertility, Secondary Infertility, and Pregnancy Loss

I got pregnant in August 2013, and guess what?! My due date was Mother’s Day! I was really happy. Felt like what I thought was a normal pregnancy. My children and I went to visit my in-laws in Philadelphia, something we do several times a year. One day we were at the Please Touch Museum, the kids were having a good time, but I just didn’t feel right. I was in a lot of pain. I could barely walk. But this couldn’t be a normal miscarriage. I had never felt this way before. I just knew I had to have my gallbladder removed! The next day the pain was just unbearable. I woke up at 4am with hot flashes, could barely get out of bed, felt like I was going to pass out. What kind of pregnancy was this, and why was this happening to me??? I decided to take Tylenol and go back to bed. I didn’t want to disturb anyone. I would be alright. But I wasn’t……

Later that afternoon my sister in law took me to the University of Pennsylvania hospital. I sat in the waiting room for four hours….in excruciating pain. What I was told by nurses was that they are calling people back in order of emergency. If I was having a normal miscarriage, it’s nothing they can do to save it anyway. I wasn’t having a normal miscarriage. I had an Ectopic Pregnancy. The baby had been lodged in my tube, and there was no way it would survive. At that point though, my tube had already ruptured, and blood was pooling out into my abdomen. I could have bled to death and died. I had to be rushed into emergency surgery. Me being afraid was an understatement. My husband was back in Atlanta, what if I didn’t make it out of the surgery alive???? I made it out alive, but not without more complications. It came with a 2 day hospital stay, and removal of one of my Fallopian tubes. The possibility of being rushed back to the operating room because I had a Hematoma. Also a blood transfusion because I lost 288cc’s of blood which is a little over an 8oz glass full. The road to recovery was difficult to say the least. 

I wanted to share my story, because miscarriage and infertility is something people normally brush under the rug. It’s not discussed, and after someone has a miscarriage a lot of the people around them like to pretend it didn’t happen. Statistics show that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and a lot of times it happens before a woman knows that she is pregnant. It happens to healthy women, and it happens with no reason as to why, most of the time. Let’s start the conversations so that women who have experienced this tragedy don’t have to be alone. 

Ashley 

 

44 Comments

  1. Vee

    May 10, 2014 at 12:42 am

    You already know how I feel Ashley, but thank you for sharing this post and sharing your story <3

  2. Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Thank you for all of your support, Vee! We have to start these conversations somewhere 🙂 xoxoxo

  3. MJ

    May 10, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Ditto to what Vee said. Thank you for sharing Ashley. Your children are blessed to have you. I pray you have lots of hugs, love and laughter for Mother’s Day.

  4. Ashley

    May 10, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Thank you for reading & the prayers, MJ! xoxoxo

  5. Kimberly Marie

    May 10, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Oh wow Ashley *hugs* to you for sharing your story and being transparent. I think this is definitely not something freely talked about and especially when you already children and can’t conceive again. It has to be as equally frustrating but in a different way for a woman who can’t conceive at all. Thank you for telling your story and opening the dialogue

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Kim, you know what, it is because sometimes when I’m down I just feel broken. But the little ones that I have make me realize that I’m not 🙂

  6. LadySonya

    May 10, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Wow, thanks for sharing that and being transparent.
    There’s a plan and purpose inside of all of us. I believe you were given “Mommy Week” to share your testimony and touch women who suffer and have suffered. Perfect timing post and very fitting. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Thank you, Sonya! I always hope to inspire women here 🙂

  7. Jackee

    May 10, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Ashley, thank you for sharing this very personal story. Between miscarriages and hysterectomies, reproductive issues are prevalent in our community and need to be acknowledged, so that we can begin to educate ourselves on what goes on inside a woman’s body.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Thank you for reading, Jackee! There are a lot of things that happen to our bodies that women just let go, or not even seek medical treatment for. I hope to help bring about some change.

  8. Diane

    May 10, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Thank you. Miscarriages are so common, yet we all feel so alone when we have them. ((Hugs))

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Thank you for reading, Diane!

  9. Kymberli

    May 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Much love and hugs to you. It took incredible bravery to share your experiences in a much broader light. (((hugs)), my friend.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Thank you, Kymberli 🙂 Talking to you really gave me a little push to share my story. <3

  10. Sharina

    May 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Appreciate you sharing your story Ashley. I have not personally dealt with infertility but do have a friend who has. She is thankfully now also the mother to three beautiful children. She went through a lot to get there but she did it just like you. I agree it is something that shouldn’t be so taboo to discuss. Knowing that there are women who do have such a hard time conceiving does make you appreciate yourbabies even more. We can’t take them for granted.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Children certainly are a blessing. Thank you for reading, Sharina 🙂

  11. Keyonda Pyles

    May 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Wow. Your testimony is amazing. You are truly an inspiration. Your relationship with your children is one to be envied you can see the love and connection you have with them.

    Thanks for sharing such a private part of your life with us.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Thank you, Keyonda 🙂

  12. I was taken aback when you told me your struggles with infertility the first time we met. I’d expect someone who’d been through that much loss wouldn’t be as positive and upbeat as you are.
    I’d love to hear your perspective on what we should/should not say to a friend who’s had a miscarriage.
    A friend didn’t tell me about her loss until a year or more later, because it happened to her around the same time I gave birth to A.J.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Joyce, it’s hard when friends are pregnant at the same time you are experiencing a loss. I’ve done that before. It’s best to be sympathetic even though you may not understand what they are going through. Just being there is enough to let them know you care about them.

  13. Maurissa

    May 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a heart-felt and personal experience. You have such strength! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Thank you for reading, Maurissa! Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

  14. Suzanne

    May 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heart. We women talk about most anything but this is still a topic we don’t really deal with. Thank you for getting this out in the open so we can talk about it and help each other heal. I had two miscarriages last year and wanted to talk about it. If we can share in these most difficult times we are stronger for it. Prayers for you as you celebrate with your kids tomorrow and remember those babies that are not with you.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Suzanne, I’m sorry you had to experience loss as well. It’s something I’d never wish on anyone. Opening up is definitely apart of the healing process.

  15. Antionette Blake

    May 10, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    God bless you, thank you for sharing. Mother’s Day is bittersweet for us as well.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Thank you for reading, Antionette <3

  16. Trish

    May 11, 2014 at 12:32 am

    I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. I just can’t even imagine. And I do think you’re right, women need to talk about this more. If only so we know that we’re not alone, God-forbid it ever happens to us.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Thank you, Trish 🙂 It’s so many women that experience loss alone, but there are women like me who can relate and offer support to others.

  17. Marilyn Foster

    May 11, 2014 at 1:22 am

    I have experienced a miscarriage. It is an awful feeling. I couldn’t imagine going through it as many times as you have. My story ended never having children. I never imagined my life without children and here I am. So I am a mother to two dogs. I wrote a blog also with the word bittersweet in it.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Marilyn, can you share the link to your post? I would love to read it. I sympathize with you <3

  18. Nadeen

    May 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Thank you for sharing. I am sure this is not something to easy to be so open about. I was surprised having seen so many pictures of your 3 beautiful children! You never know someone’s struggles. As a pediatrician I love children and people often assume I have many of my own. I am fortunate and grateful to care for them but do sadly do not have any of my own so as you mentioned Mother’s Day is often difficult especially after losing my own. I hope reading this women treasure even more how much of a blessing it is to experience motherhood.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Yes, Nadeen! People often don’t know our struggles as women or the stories that we have. It’s wonderful that you can give apart of yourself in helping children everyday. You are definitely playing the role of mother through your work <3

  19. Chereen

    May 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I am so sorry for your losses, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing your story… I agree with you. Considering that so many women do experience miscarriages, it’s sad how little we speak about it. We need to put it out there and offer support and love where needed.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you, Chereen! It wasn’t always this easy for me to talk about it either. It’s a lot of embarrassment that goes with loss as well. Women just don’t feel like a woman if they can’t carry a baby. Hopefully I can help others know that it’s okay.

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you for reading, Lynda! Your story is beautiful! We definitely have to have faith on this journey. Bless you and your miracle baby. Happy Mother’s Day!

  20. Elle

    May 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing your personal story. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all you have. I miscarried my very first pregnancy and will never forget the experience. 🙁

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      No matter how many children we may have, we can never forget the experience of loss. Thank you for reading, Elle 🙂

  21. Mandi Buckner

    May 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I really loved this Ashley. It’s so important to share our stories because when you are “in it” you feel like you are alone and no has experienced what you are going through. I have has several miscarriages over the years and a stillbirth at 34 weeks so even though I love and enjoy my three beautiful healthy kids I know all to we’ll how bittersweet Mother’s Day can be. I love your blog and your unique voice. Continue to share your heart. ♡

    • Ashley

      May 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Wow Mandy, if I didn’t write this I wouldn’t have known we share similar paths. I’m sorry that we have to be apart of this sucky club, but it’s made us stronger I’m sure. Thank you for reading and much love to you this Mother’s Day!

  22. EboniJoy

    May 12, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Peace Ashley! All my love to you, appreciate your candidness. I’ve never experienced the burden and loss of miscarriage, but because I didn’t get pregnant until I was 33, I was afraid for many years that I was infertile and had truly believed the only way I would be blessed to experience motherhood would be to adopt. thankfully, the right man came along and I was wrong!

    There are so many women who, due to various reasons, experience these losses, like you (two friends were pregnant at the same time I was and one had a miscarriage, one of many, and the other lost her baby during a tragic home birth). On mother’s day, I always think of my cousins whose mother (my aunt) died on her 44th birthday, and I think of all the mothers who have lost their children, whether by death or miscarriage, it is the gravest loss for anyone. My love goes out to you!

    Eboni

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  24. Melinda

    July 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

    May God richly bless you for sharing your story! I truly believe that you have helped somebody heal by being so open and transparent. I’ve never experienced a loss of a baby, I’m struggling to conceive, but I can imagine how tough it might have been to keep going! God gave you strength to keep pushing and you did and look what blessings and miracles you were blessed with!!! 3 beauties! Keep sharing, keep healing! God bless

    Melinda

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