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This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood (Maya)

June 29, 2011

~Age 34
~Number of pregnancies and births: 4 pregnancies, 2 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4.5 years, 7 months

I thought I was either going to jump out my second story window or smash all the plates in my house. I was just crazy with grief. Imagine finding out you’re pregnant with twins and losing them the same day.

I have a rare condition called incompetent cervix that means the baby is born in the second trimester. Unfortunately that’s way to early to save the baby. I was four months along when I gave birth to a little girl and boy. Immediately after their birth, I went into emergency surgery because I was hemorrhaging through the placenta.

As other people reached out to help me make sense of what happened, I found myself on a journey of self-discovery. Through all the suffering I started to recognize compassion in others regarding problems with pregnancy. It felt like the coolest balm on a hot day.

Instead of jumping out the window, I bought a punching bag. Whenever I got angry about losing the twins, I’d do a few rounds on the bag. I went back to my karate dojo. Four months after my loss, I took part in a karate tournament. Reaching small goals like that kindled a fire that I would one day hold my healthy baby in my arms.

I became pregnant with my son Samuel seven months after losing the twins. I had to get a stitch placed in my cervix to keep the baby in until the ninth month of pregnancy. The operation is called a cerclage. It was hard to go in that operating room knowing it could all end there, but everything turned out fine.

A couple years later I got pregnant by accident and miscarried at the fifth week. I had just earned my Master’s degree. It felt like a rollercoaster not being ready for the pregnancy, then wanting it to continue and grieving for it when it ended.

Three years after Sam’s birth, I became pregnant with my son Levi. The pregnancy started out with twins but the second twin miscarried – it’s called vanishing twin syndrome. I continued to read up on pregnancy and resolved to take charge of the things I could control. My doula, the midwife, the nurse and my husband helped me through a natural birth. I was walking around 20 minutes after Levi’s birth, so that was a victory after all the trouble.

My two sons are healthy and full of spit and vinegar. I love them so much. Even when they make me swear. Through this crazy road to motherhood I’ve learned to fight for the impossible one day at a time.

I’m now seven months postpartum and liking my body. I still have fitness goals I want to reach and some clothes I’d like to fit into, but I think I’m a hot mama. I accept the faded stretch marks, the soft skin on my lower belly, the bigger belly button, the stretchy breasts. I don’t want to look like a teenager all my life.

It usually takes me a year to get back into shape through jogging, aerobics, situps and pushups. I’ve learned to practice kindness toward my body, patience, forgiveness – all the good stuff I’d want from my closest friends.

Also I love food. Since I’m breastfeeding I have quite the appetite. I’m not going to take shortcuts on that delicious carrot cake or sizzling Hawaiian pizza just to be a skinny mini! Sometimes I talk to my belly – “That’s ok if you had to have two sandwiches for lunch. You’re amazing.”

Pictures:
Bathing suit before kids
Bathing suit after 2 kids
Doing the hoola after having one kid – 2 years postpartum
Belly pic after having second kid – 3 months postpartum
Sunglasses for everyone

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12 Responses to “This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood (Maya)”

  1. Megan Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Your optimism despite your losses, is beautiful :) I love the way you love your body and eat when you are hungry – the right attitude all the way around!

  2. Dee Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Love this post. You definitely are a hot mama. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and are stronger because of it.

  3. amber h Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    hot mama!!!

  4. Sarah Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I found it very inspiring as my husband and I lost our little boy, Ethan, due to incompetent cervix a little over two months ago. He is our first child and we are still grieving his death. I too will have to get a cerclage in my future pregnancies, which I am nervous about, but your story encourages me. Thank you and yes, you look wonderful!

  5. L Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Wow thanks for sharing your story. It really touched me. Im sorry for the loss of your children. You look great before and after pregnancy. I am thinking of getting a punching bag we are going to put our son into martial arts I believe its a great sport. Keep up the great work mama!

  6. Mary V Says:
    June 30th, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Love Love Love your post! So sorry for all your loss, but your attitude toward you body is inspiring! And I love that you talk to your belly, maybe its time I send some kind words to mine :)

  7. Holly Says:
    July 1st, 2011 at 2:33 am

    LIKE.

  8. Maya Says:
    July 1st, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for your kind words! Sarah – my prayers are with you on getting a cerclage in the future. It was hard to go through, but it did work out for me.

  9. C Says:
    July 2nd, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I lost my first to an incompetent cervix during the second trimester too. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through but I like to think of that baby as the world’s greatest big brother. He gave his life so that his future siblings would make it to this world safely. I have an 8 year old daughter that I carried to term with a cerclage and I’m currently in my third trimester with a baby boy thanks again to the cerclage.

  10. Maya Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 4:25 am

    So excited for you C!

  11. Carmel Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    You have me crying with recognition, and cheering you on with gusto, and inspired to do the same for myself.
    My babies too are my joy, and my losses my depth of despair…you’re amazing and THANK YOU for sharing x

  12. Alleesha Says:
    July 25th, 2011 at 12:50 am

    MY GOD YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

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