Guest Post - Motherhood

10:08 AM

I'm excited to share a SECOND guest post with you today!
I didn't want to pester my friends time and time again, so I finally posted the one 'guest post' I had. Then one of my best friends became inspired and WA-LA, I have another one to share with you! Here is my first guest post if you'd like to read that as well.

Carolyn was the prettiest girl in high school and wore some of the craziest shirts that I still tease her about to this day. Although she had all the attention, she shied away from it. She was really quiet to most, but once you got to know her, it's a whole different story. We met our first year of high school and have been friends ever since. I was there for her decade long relationship, which turned into her marrying her best friend...who was my neighbor for my entire childhood (and they are both the reason J and I started dating). Their Lovebug is the one that makes frequent appearances on the blog. Our friendship really started on the soccer field and still continues there to this day. She is one of my favorite humans, who puts everyone before herself, tells raunchy jokes, and is always there for pretty much anyone we know!
Levi's newborn photo session
Photo by Jenn Bartell
Enjoy...

Motherhood: Something that I’ll never take for granted.

As far back as I could remember, I loved being around children.  I couldn’t wait to be a mom.  I envisioned getting married at age 25, having kids at 27 and possibly being a stay at home mom.  I made up my mind.  I wanted to have 3 children.  That was that.  In 2011-2012, I got married to my high-school sweetheart, finished grad school, got pregnant and purchased our first home--all in a span of one year.  Everything was lining up perfectly.  I thought to myself, “This is too good to be true.  Something bad is sure to come...”  I didn’t wish to be pessimistic, however I just felt like my life was too surreal and just, well—simply put, too good to be true.

In December of 2012, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, Levi Mason “Sonny” Cervantes. Words can’t describe the immense love that I felt for this little guy.  I remember snuggling this 6lb. 14 oz. naked, wrinkly baby boy inside my maternity tank, relishing in the skin to skin contact—as that is what the nurses recommended.  It was the most incredible feeling in the world.  A feeling that only a mother would understand.  The next several months were full of emotions, smiles and tears, trials and errors, and feelings of desperation while raising a newborn baby for the first time.   My husband and I were in awe of our little boy and all of the new things he learned and did his first year.  Levi’s spirited personality was quite prevalent from the very beginning.  He smiled at 2 days old, rolled over at 2 months, and was talking up a storm before age 2.  Levi loves to be around other kids and others love to be around him.  He is a fun-loving, extroverted little boy who has lots of energy and enthusiasm for anything Hulk.

In November 2014, Levi was just shy of 2 years old.  My husband and I decided that we were ready to try for another baby.  I stopped taking birth control thinking that I would get pregnant right away like I did the first time.  A few months go by, but nothing.  January 2015 I begin to notice symptoms of hot flashes.  Not any old hot flashes.  I’m talking about full-blown, break-a-sweat in the middle of the workday, is-this-really-happening-to-me kind of hot flashes. And they woke me up in the middle of the night! They lasted for about 3 weeks before I decided to email my doctor.  As I expected, my PCP told me that “I was too young” to be going through these so-called menopausal symptoms.  He referred me to my OB/GYN, who also said the same thing, “Oh, you’re too young…” when I told her of my symptoms and that I was concerned that I was pre-menopausal given my family history.   Long story short, she agreed to order blood work.  Results came back and she called me and told me that she spoke with some specialists and wanted to run some further tests.  My heart sank.  I knew that things weren’t looking good.

I went back to the lab and they drew 8 more vials of blood.  10 very long and agonizing days later—March 6, 2015—I received the dreadful news that I had feared the most.  I could not have any more kids.  My heart sank once more.  I remember being in a state of shock as I listened to my doctor on the other line explaining that I had a rare condition known as Premature Ovarian Failure, or POF for short.  I had a giant lump in my throat as I listened to the doctor on the other line explain what this meant for me and my future plans of having more children. I remained quiet, trying to process everything.  I remember her telling me that she had seen only one or two women with POF and that she was shocked herself when she got the results.  I remained calm and collected as I thanked her and hung up the phone, but I was falling apart inside.

The next several months consisted of feelings of confusion, anger and sadness, followed by a wave of emotions that will always be with me.  Part of me thought that I shouldn’t feel too badly--because after all, I did have one healthy son.  Then the other part of me wished to grieve for the mere fact that I so desperately wanted for Levi to have at least one sibling—to share that special bond that both my husband and I had experienced growing up with multiple siblings.

After researching POF, and experiencing the unpleasant side-effects that came along with it (e.g. pre-menopausal symptoms of weight gain, mood swings from the lack of estrogen to say the least) I had to make the difficult decision to get back on birth control in order to get the estrogen that my body needed to regulate my hormones.  For the first couple months, I was in denial.  I still held on to the hope and possibility of getting pregnant.  That all changed when I went to see a fertility specialist in August 2015.   The doctor explained that, based on my lab results, my levels showed that I have a 0-0.5% chance of ever getting pregnant.  He told me that if I would have checked my hormone levels maybe one or two years prior, I may have had a greater chance of responding to fertility treatments.  I sat and talked with the doctor for an hour or so.  I asked many questions and appreciated that he was so straight-forward with me.  Not only was that visit to the fertility specialist a very informative one, but it brought a sense of closure to all of the anguish and all of the questions that I had.  It put aside the “what if” thoughts that constantly popped in my head.  From that day forward, I decided to accept the fact that I would never have another child--at least one who was biologically mine, anyway.

I found that once I accepted the fact that “it is what it is” I learned to be a better mom.  I didn’t want to waste any opportunity to spend watching my son grow.  I also found the news to be a reminder that I did have one child, after all.  Not every woman who struggles with fertility is fortunate enough to have a child, let alone a healthy child.  I thank God every day that he gave me Levi.  He is my whole world.  My best friend. My constant reminder to not take motherhood for granted.

Thank you for sharing such a raw and emotional moment in your life. It pained me to watch you go through this and not be able to do anything, other than offer kind words and my heartfelt love. I'm not sure you understand how much I appreciate your honesty and openness in writing this post - it takes a lot to put your feelings and your life out there for others to read (re:judge). I admire what you did and love Levi to the moon and back!
I am completely in awe of my friends and their written word!

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2 comments

  1. Stephanie, thank you for allowing me to read a very personal and heartfelt story that brought tears to my eyes. I never got a chance to really talk about the diagnosis with my daughter even though we had some conversations and she told me the final lab results. Carolyn is a great mother and I know God will continue to bless her with all the joys that come along with motherhood. I love you Muñeca.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Momma T! You're very welcome. I didn't know what to expect when I offered this outlet to my girlfriends, but they have done such an amazing job. I have such strong, smart, and talented friends...with awesome parents too :) xoxo, ganeeban

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