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Anonymous Uterine Atony and Surrogacy Story

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

My story is still being written. I truly can’t say at what point I am on in my journey, but I wanted to share my story, as unique as it is,  in case that maybe, just maybe there is someone else out there who is looking for hope too. 

I walked into the hospital on May 6th about 20 minutes after my water broke. It was late, at least by the standards of a woman who was nine months pregnant with her first child. I was nervous but excited, he was finally on his way. The little boy that I hoped, dreamed, and prayed for. 

I wish I could sit here and write about the perfect birth story, filled with my husband crying when he saw his little boy, to the smiles on my parents' faces when they became grandparents. But that isn’t how my story unfolded. From the moment that I arrived on the labor and delivery floor, everything went wrong. My doctor's group was off that weekend. They have one day a month where they are off, and that was the night. I was so incredibly exhausted, swollen - I truly couldn’t make sense of everything the nurse was asking me. 

 Hours went by, and different events occurred, I won’t elaborate on them all. But the common point was - no one was listening to me. I had brought in my birth plan, but everything was written - I was made to second guess. I knew my body, I knew what choices I wanted to make-but every time I made a choice, I was made to second guess my choices. A regret that I harbor deep in my soul to this day.

Hours went by and into the next day when I remember the nurses rushing into my room, instructing me to kneel on all fours that my son's heart rate had dropped significantly. Through the epidural, I could feel them intensely pushing on my huge belly to try and stimulate my son to move and get his heart rate up. After a few of the longest minutes of my life, his heart rate went up and the nurses said: “we’re ok for now” That wasn’t good enough for me. This was hour 12 of labor, I was scared, tired, and wanted him out.  I will never forget the look on her face when she looked at me with such repugnance and said, “So you just want a c-section then and be done?”  I looked at her and said, “I want him out now. Just get him out!”

I won’t go into further detail of the argument that I endured with the nurse as tears streamed from my face, and my heart raced with fear. My husband had just moved to the United States about 2 years prior, so his English wasn’t strong enough to be able to understand what was going on, and I didn’t have the energy or mental capacity to translate. 

After much debate with the on-call doctor and nurse, they wheeled me into the operating room to begin the c-section. After a few moments, I hear the doctor say, “Just put her under,  there are a lot of patients today.” I begged them to wait, I knew my body didn’t react well to anesthesia, I just needed a few more moments- but no one would listen. Before I knew it, it all went dark. 

I woke up to a dark room, the only thing I could see was the monitors that were lit up around me. My arms were constrained to the bed, I could barely move. Where was the baby? What happened to my son? But I couldn’t speak, something was stopping me but I couldn’t figure out what it was, what happened, or where I was. I tried my best to scream, to break free, but I couldn’t. (I later learned I had been incubated. Later on, as the anesthesia wore off, I tried to take out the tube, which is why my arms were constrained.)

My mom appeared at my side. I tried to ask her what happened, but I couldn’t speak. I finally got her to understand as I strained to point to my stomach, and she said: “He is perfect and fine.” The nurse appeared, and everything went dark. 

I woke up to a bright room, with my hands no longer tied, I was able to swallow and speak, but my throat was so sore. But still, no baby. I assumed he was in the nursery and they left me alone to sleep. My husband walks in, with my original OBGYN. Nothing in this world could have ever, ever prepared me for what he was about to say. 

All eyes were on me, as my OB explained what happened. During the c-section, I hemorrhaged severely, known as uterine atony.  Essentially, my uterus wouldn’t shrink back down to its original size, no matter what they tried to do, and I continued to lose blood. From all the blood loss, I needed three blood transfusions and ultimately went into cardiac arrest. He said it came down to a decision of life or death, and they had to remove my uterus to stop the bleeding and save my life. 

After the birth of my first child, at 26 years old, after no issues conceiving, no issues during pregnancy, I would never, ever carry another child. I survived, my son survived (thank God), but my uterus didn't. 

Now you might be reading this and saying- wow, you’re alive, your child is- everything worked out. I am grateful beyond words that my son is here and well, and that I am here to see him grow. But something incredibly precious was also taken from me, without warning, and it is a loss I grieve everyday. 

 Life became very dark for a long, long time. 3 years later; I wish I could tell you I have made peace with the situation. I wish I could tell you that I can pass that hospital without crying. I wish I could tell you that the night terrors have subsided, and I don’t wake up almost every night screaming. I wish I could tell you that the guilt I feel has somewhat diminished. That the actual angst and physical pain that I feel in my heart has begun to heal. That the woman I was before all of this happened has returned, that I don’t miss her - her faith, her determination, her profound belief in fate. I miss and mourn her every single day. In this journey many people have made me feel as if my grief is not justified, that I don’t have a right to be sad because I did have a child, I did carry him myself. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard, “Some people can’t have children at all. You have a child, be happy.”  But I have come to learn that I am entitled to feel, however it is that I feel. I don’t have to justify it or explain it to anyone. 

But, what I can tell you is that I have found joy, in the smile, hugs, and laughter of my precious little boy. I have been able to laugh and smile with my husband again. I have tried therapy, more than once, and although it doesn’t seem like the avenue for me, I will continue to explore different methods to help me navigate the pain. Every day I wake up and sincerely try my absolute best - for me, for my son and our family.  

This type of infertility is one in which there is no other option other than a gestational carrier or adoption, and that in of itself is difficult. There is minimal hope. You could be reading this and saying, what is she crying about? She has a kid. And I am thankful - more than I can ever express. 

But, I want another child. I don’t feel as if I need to justify my reasons to anyone. My husband asked me, “Why MUST you have another one? It is going to take a lot of pain, money, and a lot of fear.” I looked at him and said, “If this never happened - would you ever ask me WHY I wanted another child? Would you have EVER questioned us trying for a second child?”

If I wasn’t in this situation, no one would ever ask me my reasons for wanting another child. No one would ever ask me to justify to them the expense of another child. So why now? Why does infertility give people the right to dictate what I want for my family?  It doesn't and I don’t need to justify my desires. 

My husband and I have decided that if we were to have another child, we would go through the process of using a gestational carrier rather than adoption. Again, it isn’t a choice that we need to justify or explain. However, it is an extremely difficult choice when your options are so limited. 

Not many people know what happened to me that day. It is an incredibly personal story that I am not ready to share with others. I am not sure if I will ever be ready, but I am proud of myself for sharing my story with you. 

It is going to take a lot - a lot of money, time, effort, pain - but,  I will do anything to have another child. We have begun the process of getting an estimate of cost and looking into reputable agencies that will help to guide us. We are willing to do whatever it takes to complete our family. 

My story is far from over, and I truly have no idea what the future may hold, but what I do know is that when something is so important to you, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen, even when the odds are not in your favor. I will never give up on growing our family. 

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

To read Keisha McGowan's infertlity journey, click HERE.

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