Jason and I had not planned to get pregnant after dating less than a year but it happened none the less. Our oldest daughter would have been 13 this year.....13.years.old. Crazy
It's hard to think where our lives would have gone compared to where we are now. I am firm in my belief that Mayson came to create the Taylor Family, to give Jason and I a bond to stay together because one day two amazing little girls would come our way. With October upon us and pregnancy and infant loss awareness month being this month, I always find myself thinking about sharing the full story of Mayson and our lives there after.
Mayson's name comes from my fascination with Freemasonry, when I found out that women were "not allowed" to be Masons I declared all proud of myself that one day my daughter will be a Mason. Foot stomp, take that you morons.
Being only 24 and not expecting to get pregnant I had gone to the doctor with bad cramping, not thinking I'd be told to go buy a pregnancy test! Well, to our surprise there we were shocked but super happy. From here the story moves pretty quick but so long and drawn out for us.
I went for my 3 month doctors appointment with my family doctor at the time, she couldn't hear the babies heartbeat with the Doppler so immediately sent me to radiology for an ultrasound....in the ultrasound I was told nothing but was very quickly whisked away and admitted to the hospital without being told why.
What seemed like hours later a doctor came in to tell me that yes the baby was alive but that the head was too small, "go see your doctor tomorrow and get more info." He then left the room and I went home.
The following day I saw our family doctor at the time, she told me Mayson's head was too big and that we'll now need to start seeing Dr. Murphy-Kaulbeck at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit at the Moncton Hospital. These women are heaven sent, though the outcome of our story isn't a good one I felt loved and cared for and that we were in the most knowledgeable hands available.
I don't know how long we waited before our initial appointment but we were able to see Mayson for the first time together, if I had to guess I'd say we were 4 months along at this time. She was obviously tiny but to even the untrained eye you knew there was something wrong. Her head was not too big OR too small but did contain water, Mayson had Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). The Dr mentioned that that can be symptom of Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) so began to keep watch for other symptoms.
We saw her weekly for the next 2 months and had an Amniocentesis test done to confirm her chromosomal abnormalities.
We watched her grow and learned as much as we could about raising a child with Down Syndrome, during our visits our Doctors always mentioned that we had "options"....as far as I was concerned we had one option only and tuned them out.
Now listen, I'm stubborn....wicked stubborn but there came a time that as the Mother of this tiny being I had to open my eyes and do what was going to be best for her. With every week she grew but her Hydrocephalus did as well, at 19 weeks her skull was filled with almost all water. That day Jason and I listened to the Doctors for the 1st time about our options. We knew that IF she made it to term she would have no life, we knew what she needed and that she had succeeded in her job here on the earth side even though she wasn't here.
That day we made a decision that parents should never have to make, that 24 year olds should never have to make. We chose to end our pregnancy.
Then we had to wait a week before the hospital could "schedule" us in. Longest week ever, I remember sleepless nights, endless tears and changing my mind a million times. Sept 19th 2006 finally came, we were given the results of her amniocentesis test before which confirmed her Trisomy 21. (not rare but definitely few 24 year old women have children with Down Syndrome) We went ahead and induced labour, memories from this are gone, beyond the doctor being a horrible human and having zero sympathy at all. He did not agree with what we were doing and though he didn't say it you could feel it. Luckily the nursing staff was incredible and understood our situation. I was asked if I'd like to hold her....people say you should never have regrets "live your life with no regrets" SHUT UP, just shut up.
I chose not to hold our daughter, I chose not to open my eyes and see her, I chose to never look at the photos the hospital staff gave us. I didn't want to know what I had given up or what our future children would look like. All of these excuses, now that I'm older and wiser and more in control I think are all silly reasons but these are my regrets and I'll live with them.
We went home and life carried on, except I was bleeding and bleeding and bleeding. I was weak and sick and not getting better. Since I'd never had a baby before it took weeks before I went back to a doctor. I got an ultrasound and low and behold that delivery doctor left half of her placenta in me. So now on top of it all I got to have a D&C. I was pissed! I'm still pissed frankly
It took a long time before Jay and I even talked about kids again, we grieved each in our own way, both of us will never fully heal but in that time we got married, I traveled Ireland, started my career, Jason finished trade school and we started to feel normal again. In 2010 we started trying again, trying to get pregnant is not for the weak or in my case someone who is a stress ball. After a year of trying and fertility acupuncture we were pregnant with Sarah. Her pregnancy was bumpy and thanks to Mayson I am labeled as "high risk"...which is amazing honestly...This meant we got early ultrasounds and testing! Sarah looked to be growing normally but because of our past I had Non Invasive Prenatal Testing done, they test the Mothers blood for abnormalities in the babies DNA. When Sarah's results came back we were devastated to learn that her DNA showed her being a "higher risk" for Trisomy 21 as well. Dr Murphy-Kaulbeck stuck with us through and through, explaining that physically she was NOT showing signs and that we would keep vigilant with her ultrasounds. I would never trust another human with my child's life like I trusted that woman AND thank goodness we did! Sarah grew and grew and grew...and trust me GREW! (so did I btw haha) She got so big she couldn't flip herself head down so we even got so lucky as to have an external cephalic version (ECV) done! (sarcasm) Around 36 weeks Sarah was manually turned from the outside of my belly...no reading up on this will prepare you btw! In the states you get an epidural for it. Here, NOTHING
We knew Sarah could be born with Down Syndrome but also knew she was healthy and strong and that was all that mattered.
On May 29th 2012 (a week late) Sarah came into this world...all 9lbs 7ozs of her. Her blood tests gave us a scare but she did not have Down Syndrome.
I was 29 when Sarah was born and as scary and stressful as her pregnancy was I wanted another baby right away. My brother and I are very close in age and I loved that growing up. Jay and I agreed we'd wait a year to try again. Thinking back on it now we enjoyed as a small family one of the best years of my life. We had no idea that even more was coming our way.
We started trying again May 1st 2013 and I got pregnant right away. I carried that baby for 11 weeks before we lost him or her. Not long after I was pregnant again and carried that baby for 8 weeks before miscarrying on Christmas Eve. 2013 proved to be one hell of a year but not long into 2014 we found out that another baby was on the the way. At 8 weeks our doctor gave us an ultrasound and we got to hear Erins heartbeat for the first time. A heartbeat means a lower chance of miscarriage but does not count it out!
I walked on pins and needles until out first appointment with Dr Murphy Kaulbeck and there she was, rainbow baby number 2. Erin's pregnancy believe it or not was not unlike her sister! Because of Mayson I know now that all my pregnancy NIPT blood screens will show positive for Trisomy. In Erin's case she showed positive for Trisomy 18, a potentially lethal chromosomal disorder. Again the Dr watched her closely and reported that she was not showing signs, for example an indicator would be clenched fists....Erin always gave the peace sign at each ultrasound, I thought we'd have this wicked old hippie soul child because of this LOL WRONG! She might be an old soul but man is she high strung! #SecondChildSyndrome
Erin graced us with her presence on Dec 16th 2014, a little more than a week late and much bigger than expected. She was measuring 6lbs but no, she was 8lbs 10oz (She hides it well even still) and she was free of Trisomy 18.
Women need to talk more about how it's not easy to get pregnant and stay pregnant! I drove myself to madness after both loses....stress hives suck PS.....This was hard to write and it's not for sympathy or for you to look at us differently. It's just our story that needs to be told so other women currently driving themselves crazy know that they're not alone. Wanting to be a Mom and getting to be one are sometimes not on the same page at the same time. People will sometimes look at me funny when I say I didn't enjoy pregnancy and now you know why....also when I'm complaining about my kids just know, I do mean it. They might have been hard to bring to this earth but they're still annoying, super cute, full of my whole heart but annoying none the less.
October 20th at the Moncton Hospital Atrium please join us for the 2019 Walk to Remember in support of Pregnancy and Infant Loss https://www.facebook.com/groups/914370722028697/