Growing up I was told that I would never be able to have kids due to living with sickle cell disease. When I found out that I had an unexpected miscarriage, in my late twenties, I was shocked. I didn’t believe it was possible, so when the doctor told me I had already been 4 months along, before miscarrying, I mourned for my loss, but at the same time I was hopeful. With this hope, I decided to try again.
For the second time, I got pregnant on purpose. I tried for this baby and for the second time I suffered a miscarriage. I was heartbroken, but wasn’t deterred from my goal of becoming a mother. I tried again, and for the third time I suffered a miscarriage. I had noticed that besides my first pregnancy, I couldn’t make it past the first trimester.
At a post pregnancy doctor’s appointment, my doctor asked if I was going to stop trying because it was “not working and we don’t need any more people with sickle cell in this world.” I was stunned by his words. After suffering such loss I couldn’t believe how insensitive he was. I thought to myself, “How dare he say things like that to my face.” Again, I was heartbroken.
My cousin offered to be a surrogate for me, which was incredible of her, but I wanted to carry my own child. I wanted to feel my baby kick and move inside of me; and it had been tough with each pregnancy never making it far enough to feel my baby move.
Sadly, I had a total of six miscarriages when I decided I wouldn’t try anymore. Each was more painful than the last, and I suffered extreme blood loss that was physically excruciating. In my final miscarriage I was getting ready for a doctor’s appointment to see the baby, and as I got dressed, a pool of blood slid out of me. I looked down and I could see the tiny baby inside of the sack. At that moment, I broke down crying.
I asked God, “Why me? What’s so wrong with me? I would be a great mother.” I was ready and willing to love a child, but instead He and the world were playing a cruel joke on me. I decided I wasn’t going to try anymore. I was tired of telling people who reached out to my stomach that I wasn’t pregnant anymore and had suffered a miscarriage. I was tired of reliving my horrific story over and over again.
A few months later I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant again, I was scared, but still had a sliver of hope. After researching and talking with my OBGYN about making changes, before I knew it I made it past my first trimester. I am so happy to say that I am a proud mother of not just one, but two children. Ayanna was born two months premature, but is my healthy beautiful girl. My son handsome son Jaylyn, was born one month premature. For both pregnancies I got monthly exchange transfusions to protect me and the babies. It was all worth it to be able to hold my babies in my arms, they are my miracles.
This experience made me stronger, taught me how to fight harder than ever before, and taught me to trust in myself more. This is just one of the many, many times I did not let sickle cell disease beat me. I’ve survived instances were I was told I shouldn’t be alive, but here I am beating the odds. Never give up no matter how hard or long the struggle. God always has the last say and miracles do happen. Sickle cell is a bitch, but we are even bigger, badder, stronger, we won’t go down without a fight, and we know how to get back up swinging.
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