I read that quote, and it immediately touched my heart. I believe it is important to acknowledge that this terrible thing called HELLP did indeed really exist, but I chose not to be a victim, I chose to heal and recover. I’m in a few HELLP Syndrome awareness and survivor groups and I love having ladies who can relate on a different level than the average mother or even person for that matter. I have posted about being pregnant again. Some women say they’re still deciding, some women say their doctors told them not to, but what I see the most is fear of becoming pregnant again. Far worse things have happened to women beyond what I’ve experienced, and I am in no way judging, but it will never get better until YOU decide it doesn’t control you.
Many women are afraid of becoming pregnant again, and so was I. Randy and I had a few conversations about maybe wanting another, or maybe not. We WERE taking precautions, and this current pregnancy post-HELLP was in no way planned. I have received both negative and positive comments about being pregnant again after what we experienced. I can’t lie, I was absolutely TERRIFIED!! I always enjoyed being pregnant. It was wonderful to feel this little amazing thing growing inside me, knowing I was creating a life. Not this time. I felt because of HELLP I would never enjoy pregnancy again.
I cried and cried, and cried, then cried more. My OB reassured me I would get through this. I really wasn’t so sure. All I knew was fear and doubt. Then receiving negative comments about being pregnant again, I realized I was allowing my fear control me. As long as I feared it, I wasn’t going to love it.
After seeing my OB, Randy and I decided to start looking for another group to see. I had the same OB for 10years and this was quite difficult. But I was told since I had an emergency c section, I would be “SCHEDULED” for another this time. Ummm, excuse me, but last I checked it was MY body who was having this baby and I’ll be damned if it is going to be scheduled and cut out of me. I have given birth naturally twice, prior to my c section, and my body IS capable of doing it again!! I couldn’t believe the nerve…
I asked around in our area, asked friends, etc. Randy and I decided to see Dr. Guy and his midwives. We scheduled and apt to discuss our fears, concerns, expectations, and wants. Dr. Guy sat with us as long as we needed, answered every single question we had, and explained to us how he felt as an OB with this pregnancy. He is a High Risk OB, but he’s also one of the most hands off and natural friendly physicians in the area. There’s a local birthing center (we had planned a water birth with Laileigh there-didn’t happen, she had her own plans), but Dr. Guy is one of the founders of this. We explained what we wanted. We want the best care possible, but we also want options, we don’t want told what we HAVE to do. He fully agreed with us. We requested to also be followed via Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) for growth monitoring, since Laileigh had stopped growing, but we didn’t know until she was born. I was sold, I wanted this practice. I’m a candidate for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c section), and he supports this along with all the midwives in the practice. I can labor and deliver in the water, with continuous fetal monitoring. No other group in the area supports this, they want to simply schedule another c section. We agree if things turn bad (and we are aware this *could* happen) then that’s when a c section would be performed, when/if it is really needed.
I also decided I wanted a doula. I wanted a doula with Laileigh, but yeah she had her own plans. I wanted one with Laileigh because she was Randy’s first child and he had no idea what really happens during child birth. I felt we could both benefit from one. Since we didn’t get to the point of needing a doula, I decided to look early this time. I decided this time around a doula would be essential to making this natural birth happen. I need support because I’m terrified, and Randy still doesn’t know what really happens with birth because his experience was a traumatic emergency c section. I had a mother of 6, who is a doula currently obtaining her certification, out me me. My story and experienced had touched her. I had no idea she was a doula. We talked, and I fell in love. She shared something with me. She had experienced a c-section, she went on to have VBAC, and she also experienced complications with a birth. When she fell pregnant following her complicated birth, she had the same feelings of fear I had. She UNDERSTOOD me, it’s almost like we were meant to cross each others path…She also switched OB’s to Dr. Guy, and she went from feeling the most fearful she had ever been pregnant to experiencing the BEST birth she had ever had. I asked her what she feels helped her, and she told me I can’t be afraid because the fear will rob me of what I need to embrace and love. I can’t love this experience if I’m afraid of it. She explained she simply let go, she turned to her faith, and learned to love more than anything. Fear no longer controlled her, she was in control…
She offered to be our doula, and I gladly accepted. This lady had taught me so much in our conversation. If she could teach me this in the matter of an hour of chatting, I decided I want her, I actually need her. I had let HELLP control my mind, and myself. I’m taking back the control, I am in control. I love this pregnancy and this WILL be the best pregnancy I have experienced yet.
I may cry, I may have my moments of doubt, and I may have moments of fear. I’m only human. I told her I may panic, become afraid again, and may blow up her phone, and I apologized. She said that’s what she is here for, and she will always be here, and she will support me when it is time to welcome this little girl into this world. I hugged her, and cried a little..well a lot.
I have since had my ups and down the past few months. We have had test results come back requiring more test to confirm or dismiss things, We have had scares, and by scares I mean appointments where I think Randy and I aged 10years while sitting there…I’ve cried, I’ve pretended I’m okay, but really I wasn’t, I was panicking inside, having doubts. I would then go to my doula and let it all out, and she has a way of bringing me out of my fears, bringing me back to having faith and believing in myself and my body. Every little thing I was fearing disappeared. She was my rock during the difficult times. Waiting on results of tests, I obsess, I wonder what if, I doubt my ability to do this, and when I allow myself to think like this, I allow HELLP and the damage it has caused to control me. I refuse to be a victim.
I am healing, I am no longer afraid.