My Journey to Motherhood was NOT Pretty and Bright

Where do I begin? Let’s go all the way all the way back to 2010 I was in a fairly new relationship about seven months in to be exact when I found out my fun filled night at a NYE party had left me with more than just a hangover. I was
pregnant, 21 and terrified. I was still in college and on a track scholarship I couldn’t wrap my brain around and it
and I was too ashamed of how I would be viewed to tell anyone. I knew almost immediately I had to do something
that I ALWAYS said I never wanted to do. I had to have an abortion. I reached out to my brothers in tears and told
them the news and asked for two things money and to never speak of this again. My plan was to DIE with this
secret and guilt. I got the money and abortion, but the guilt messed with my head I couldn’t function. ALL I could do
was think of the life I took. I grieved for that baby; I wrote to that baby, but the pain consumed me.

Sweet Baby

My sweetest first conceived!
If only you knew how much I have prayed for God to send you back to me!
But I often wonder if I ever deserved a gift such as thee?
I loved you so much and only wanted the truly best you see.
The problem was my judgment was so cloudy I couldn’t see past the tears.
As a little thought inside of me I shared with you my fears.
Although we didn’t have much time together I feel you knew me well.
You knew the love I had for you and the doubt with it I held.
I wanted you to know that you deserved the world and more.
At the point in my life I could not give you what you needed nor deserved.
I in return robbed my world from joy that you could bring.
I failed you as your mother I might never get past this pain it seems.
I will find comfort in knowing you got your wings that day.
Again I say I love you Sweet Baby and sorry for the mess I have caused.
We will meet again one day and that very day we meet I will be sure to take a pause For you and the world to see the woman you made MOMMY be!!

A day I will never forget

I fell into a depression that no one could understand. I tried my best to hide it but I was angry…… Let’s fast forward April 1st, 2013, a day I will never forget. I got off work and went for a run. Running has always been my happy place. That run felt more amazing than any run I have EVER taken. If you are a runner, you know that feeling when everything aligns you feel light on your feet, no aches or pains just you are doing what you love no care in the WORLD.

Well, that was that run for me! When I returned to my apartment it all came tumbling down, I felt sick! Headache, dizzy and I just couldn’t cool off. I immediately call my mom our self-proclaimed Dr. of Google Medicine and she says you are Pregnant. I’m like really Mom how does those symptoms equal pregnant. But little to my knowledge at the time Mom read between the lines just eight months prior I had packed up and left my hometown and my family to move closer to my now husband.

I had learned from my first pregnancy to always keep so pregnancy test on hand, and I literally crawled up my steps to take this test it immediately said POSITIVE. Here I had again found myself unmarried and pregnant. I tried my best to sleep that night, but I was in a panic. The next morning, I made an emergency appointment with my primary care doctor who sent me across town to an OB doctor to confirm I was indeed pregnant.

Pregnant and terrified

Terrified all the same as the 1st time one thing was different, I knew I could not survive another abortion. So, at this point I call my family and friends and tell them the news I am going to officially be a Mommy. June 12th, I got the news my body had partially miscarried, and I would need a D&C to extract the fetal tissue. I scheduled it for two days later. Just two days before my 25th Birthday which just so happened to fall on Father’s Day that year! It was tough I grieved for yet another baby I would never get to hold. I again did the only thing I knew to do I wrote to my second angel.

A Mother Unknown

I am a mother unknown to most originally, I was really mortified to be.
I am smart and careful I just knew this could not be.
One thing I feared for sure was that society and my family would only judge me.
I was merely just a child alone; scared and afraid you see.
I had no idea what was to come my way plus taking care of a baby.
I knew I loved the baby with every ounce of me.
But what kind of mother would I be if I could not help thee?
I could not provide for a child …I could not provide for me!!
I had no other option in my eyes the blessing I did not see.
For three years now my choice has haunted me!
A dose of my own medicine it what God would give to me.
Another baby he would send for me and my family!
I made a promise to myself I would do right this time a good mother I would be.
I would make sure and take care of my responsibility!
Although still scared and afraid this child I would give my best I believed.
I started to plan our future with a perfect certainty!
Then the choice that I had previously made would rear its head to try and destroy me.
My sweet little baby would just STOP growing deep inside of me!
My heart full of pain again I am sure that no one else can see.
I am a mother unknown because at one point I didn’t see the true blessing.
God will send more my way!
I am sure of what I say!
I know he has forgiving me and I must forgive myself one day.
The day that I can truly say I forgive myself and move past the disarray
Will be the day God starts to send another gift my way.
Until that day has come I will remain a mother unknown to most is true
Because my babies never got to see their day!!

Pregnant and anxious

Just six months later I found out yet again I was pregnant. I was not ready! My heart still longed for the baby I had
just loss. I didn’t think I could love or bond with another child so soon. My first episode with anxiety was about to
begin. I could not get a case of hiccups without shear panic. I just didn’t think I would be able to take care of this
child inside me and I didn’t want to get attached. I didn’t want to grieve another child.

When I went for my first ultrasound, I was already nine weeks and baby was active. So, I allowed myself to feel the excitement. One month later for my follow up and repeat ultrasound I was told I had Placentia Previa. I was then informed I would need to be seen at the high-risk clinic but not to worry. At this point Ms. Worry could have been my name that is all I did in between appointments. Each appointment gave me a little hope then the worry was back.

Things took a turn for the worst

Early June in a routine grocery trip I start to feel like my body was being torn apart. It came in waves it took me about 30 minutes to realize I might need to see a doctor. So, I drove myself 45 minutes across town to my OB of course I called my mom who was eight hours away and my now husband who was 3 hours away working to let them know where I was headed. They hooked me up and notified me I was having contractions and I was believed to be in preterm labor I was 24 weeks pregnant it was too early! They gave me meds and sent me home on bed rest. Where I stayed until I turned nine months.

My rainbow baby was born

You better believe the depression was REAL, but I knew that at the end of all of this darkness I would hold my rainbow. On September 8,2014 I did just that I loved on my sweet Babygirl. That should be the end right! Well, we are going to jump ahead again.

The surprise of a lifetime

July 2018, I get a phone call from my very angry mother who is upset to find out about my pregnancy from my tell it ALL baby girl. BTW this is my first-time hearing of said pregnancy. I inform my mother that it was wishful thinking on the behalf of my then 3-year-old.

Well after putting a little thought to it Hubby and I had partied pretty hard for my 30th Birthday and I was a couple
days late on my cycle. I took a pregnancy test, but it came back negative. I waited a few more days and got what
look to me like a faint positive but Hubby said he didn’t see.

My exact words to him were “well time will tell”. When I tell you it did just that after a few days of nausea followed by what I thought was a kidney stone I found out not only was I pregnant it was TWINS! Oh boy the shock and anxiety were in overload. But I was determined to have an active pregnancy as I had just loss 50lbs for my Birthday and didn’t want to gain all of it back. The twins took over 1st trimester they let me know very quickly they were in charge.

Lots of bleeding early on. Again, I was high risk and had to be seen by specialist. I remember taking to Facebook in a couple of my Mommy groups with this rant:

TMI VENT: My husband and I have not had sex in weeks!! I am so frustrated he does not even ask for it anymore
which makes me so sad! I don’t know what to do! I had bleeding 1st trimester and they said it was a Sub Chronic
Hematoma that resolved itself. I have been to L&D twice and Once to a problem visit with MFM and still no
answers. Now I am 26 weeks tomorrow and I have had a brown mucus like discharge for a week and doc says don’t
worry about it. Now I am seeing more fresh-looking blood in the mucus, and I feel like no one cares but me. Has
anyone experienced anything similar?

Looking for assurance

I wanted comfort and understanding from someone who could relate. My doctors would not listen and my body
was speaking to me but I couldn’t figure it out. December has always been one of my favorite months! I enjoy
family time. As a teacher the mid-year break gives me a much need pick me up!

December 2018 was more than just rough! I was beyond stressed with several emergency trips to the hospital always being told it was in my head and I was just paranoid because I was pregnant with twins. Later to find out this happens to black mothers more than we hear about.

Another trip to the hospital…this time was different

The week of Christmas I took three separate trips to the hospital. December 27th when I noticed I was bleeding I woke my husband in tears. He is always the calm in the mist of my self- inflected storms. He simply
says Asha take a bath and call the doc tomorrow. I did as I was told which is rare for me!!

The next day after going back and forth with my Doc about why I should go back to the Maternal Emergency Unit for a fourth time my mother took me back. The staff was all but pleased to see me again after being told they were busy, and I would have to wait we did just that….waited over an hour and when they finally got me back to be examined.

The nurse wanted me to understand they had actual emergencies and she would get me examined so I could return home. Emotionally I was at my worst but hoping for the best the examination found that I was 4cm dilated at only 26 weeks. The same nurse who was so cavalier about my care was now in a panic as I was being told I would not be going home but that I would have to stay in the hospital until my boys were delivered.

The doctor was not sure when that would be but at that very moment their concern was stopping my contractions that I could not feel. I was given an emergency dose steroid shot to help grow the boys’ lungs just in case we didn’t make the next 3 months to their due date.

Three months early and there was nothing more I could do

I was on bedrest in the hospital all of the Friday night and all of Saturday. Saturday night I was allowed to shower and tried to rest. Early Sunday morning I notice more bleeding and asked to be put back on the monitor. When Doctor on call made it in to check me to honor my request for the monitor to both of our surprise, I was 10cm dilated and had to be rush to emergency C-Section my boys were coming 3 months early and there was
nothing I could do.

I was terrified. I cried and I prayed…. On that day December 30, 2018, I became a mom of three. So,, although my journey to motherhood was not sunny skies, back rubs and my favorite snack. It was full of self-discovery, learning to love my self unconditionally and forgiveness. I battled hospital stays, NICU months, A child on oxygen, dozens of appointments with specialist, Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety, PTSD and it has been stressful. Knowing what I know now I would do it ALL over the exact same way because it made me a stronger person, a better wife and a great MOM.

Thank you for reading

Mommi Cleasha