Our journey to parenthood has not been easy or straightforward. Taylor and I had 3 losses before our son was born in 2019. This fourth pregnancy was not an easy one. I developed preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome and got extremely sick. Eventually, there was no other option but for our son to be brought into the world 6 weeks early. Luckily he had no major complications, but spent 5 weeks in the NICU before coming home with us. It was a tough beginning to what we had imagined our start to parenthood would be, but we were so thankful that we both recovered well (thanks to our wonderful Doctors and nurses). Even having gone through all of this, we knew that we still wanted to grow our family. We were also told, despite all the challenges and risks, that my body could do it (with the proper care from our amazing specialists). Unfortunately, we went on to have 6 more losses. During all of this, I had multiple surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, was put on different medications, and had endless blood draws. As well as my heart being broken over and over again, my body also felt broken. Each loss took a huge toll on my body. I was worn down, mentally and physically, and so very tired of the rollercoaster that wouldn’t stop. Even when I had given up hope, Taylor had not. Miraculously, my 11th pregnancy was uncomplicated, and our daughter was born in 2023. We count ourselves extremely blessed, because we know that not everyone will have that final outcome that we had dreamt about for so long.
With the first pregnancies, there was excitement, preparations, and dreaming of a future filled with joy and happiness of carrying a baby in our arms. Maybe that was naive, because suddenly our reality took hold and that joy and happiness was all taken away, all too soon. The more losses we had, the less excitement there was. We were robbed of the happiness that comes with seeing those two pink lines on the pregnancy test. Robbed of so many things. We were careful of having any sort of excitement, for fear of disappointment when we would inevitably get that heartbreaking news. However, we got used to hearing the bad news, sitting in the ER waiting rooms for hours on end, and fearing the worst and having it come true, time and time again. I got used to the view from the all too familiar hospital bed. We eventually became numb to it. No one should ever become used to what we’ve experienced. In our journey, we felt so isolated and it was hard to know where to find support and resources. After finding the Butterfly Run, we’ve realized we’re not alone and that many others have walked similar paths of loss and trauma. We hope that more awareness will be raised for the support and community that is able to help others going through such devastating times.