GUEST POST By: Cristina Ward, Mom of 3-year-old Sofia
To My Sofia,
Yes I wanted a child. I wanted Sofia so badly, I promise. It took me a very long time to get pregnant and we didn’t know how it wasn’t happening. My husband and I had been married for 5 years and we both felt it was time, we were both ready.
Turns out I couldn’t get pregnant because I had severe endometriosis in both ovaries. The bad news is that we found that out after I got pregnant. Please, make sure you get an ultrasound BEFORE pregnancy, even if your insurance doesn’t cover it.
Bottom line: I had to have surgery when I was 16 weeks pregnant. Laparoscopy, full anesthesia but at least not intrusive. However, after surgery I had an internal hemorrhage. The next day I had to have emergency surgery, and yes, this time they cut me open.
I remember being very sick. The doctors and nurses made me sign all this paperwork that stated that they didn’t know what was wrong, so I might lose the baby and my both ovaries. I remember my husband’s look. I had never seen that expression from him before. We were both extremely frightened. But I, my husband and my baby survived it.
I have to admit that at this point I was upset at my poor baby. I remember thinking I wanted to get well and if that meant that I had to lose the baby so that be it. I remember thinking that the baby had caused all of this trouble. Maybe that was a first sign.
It took me a couple of weeks to recuperate from the ordeal but we made it! So I was back to happy me and extremely grateful that I was still pregnant.
Two weeks before my due date I started vomiting, and kept vomiting and vomiting during my 10 hour wait to dilate. I ended up having emergency C Section to the sound of: “Something is extremely wrong, we don’t know if it is you or the baby but we need to get the baby out right now.”
Sofia was born, but I kept vomiting. Anytime I would even try to drink water I ended up vomiting. I was extremely sick, so sick that I could not care for my newborn. Nurses kept telling me that I needed to hold Sofia and care for her, but I COULD NOT CARE FOR MYSELF. They kept bringing her to my room, and I kept sending her back to the nursery. Weather it was PPD, PTSD or me being extremely sick or a combination I guess I’ll never be 100% sure. But it doesn’t matter, I should have gotten help right away.
I breastfed one day and they started me on antibiotics. So I pumped milk for 4 days until I was dehydrated. On day number 10, after being dehydrated and transfered to the ICU unit they sent Sofia home. My husband, my family and my husband’s family were in charge of Sofia.
In the meantime an awful doctor was in charge of me. He kept misdiagnosing me and refused to do surgery on what was clearly bowel obstruction. He kept insisting it was an illus that would resolve on its own. On the day 22 we were finally able to bring another team of doctors in. On day 23, after my body had stopped all its basic functions I had an emergency surgery that saved my life. Had they waited till day 24 I wouldn’t be writing this post.
On day 33 they sent me home. And I say they sent me because at that point I did not want to go home. I went extremely depressed during this entire ordeal. I went “insane” at the hospital. When Sofia turned 1 month my husband brought her to the hospital so I could see her. I was not attached to this little thing at all. I could barely pick her up. I was in total pain. I could not care for her. So I had decided to give her up for adoption. It made total sense to me.
My husband and everybody else around me thought that once I was with her I would feel different. But I didn’t. Physically I could not hold her or change her. Emotionally I did not feel any attachment to her. I called my OBGYN and told him I wanted to give her up for adoption. They sent me straight to the psychiatrist, who immediately put me on medication.
I was lucky enough to have an amazing mom who could live with us temporarily and care for Sofia like a daughter. So I don’t think Sofia really missed me during the first 2 months that I was not present in her life.
By the third month I started feeling a little bit better physically so I started holding her. I guess by then the medication had kicked in and I also started feeling a little less sad and devastated. But I still remember that I wanted my old life back. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to Sofia, and at that point, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give her away or not, but I sure missed my life without her.
From 3 to 6 months I remember bumping into other moms, every mom holding the biggest smile and just talking about how great it is to be a mom. I did not feel that way at all. I did not love Sofia like what they were describing. I wish I did, but I will be lying to you if I tell you I did. What was so great about a little person pooping and crying? But I started getting used to her. I did not love her but I started enjoying her.
After month number six, everything started making more sense. I started liking her more and more. The psychiatrist weaned me off of my medication by the time she was 1. Probably the longest year of my life, yet the shortest.
Sofia is 3 years old now, and I still regret every minute I was not able to spend with her. I like to think that I have made up for the time we were apart. It is still extremely hard for me to think that I didn’t love my little girl right away, especially because I now KNOW I would give my life for her no questions asked at anytime. I have never loved the way I love Sofia.
I am extremely grateful my doctor recognized the problem and gave me the medication I so greatly needed.I don’t think I would be where I am today with my beautiful Sofia without it. I remember my psychiatrist telling me: IT ONLY GETS BETTER. And it does, every day.