“Two anxious minutes. Two blue lines. Pregnant. I was suddenly overcome with happiness, nervousness, fear, excitement, all the emotions. I called the doctor, scheduled my ultrasound, and told my family the news. I married my high school sweetheart, because, living in the Bible Belt, that’s what you’re supposed to do. We would have done it anyway, but those two blue lines rushed us along. We were young, he had just graduated from Marine Corps boot camp, I was in college at the University of West Florida. We had already planned a life together, so a baby wasn’t out of the plan, it was just a little early, but God had our lives already planned for us and He knew what He was doing. Two weeks later, I had my first ultrasound. The doctor ‘couldn’t find the baby’, she said I wasn’t far along enough, but she was certain that everything was ok. A blood test confirmed that I was, indeed, pregnant, but my hCg levels were low, so I couldn’t have been more than 2 weeks along. I thought that was weird because my belly was already starting to show, but I was told that I was ‘poking my belly out’ because it was my first pregnancy. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
About a week later, I was taking a shower and I felt a pain in my stomach like I had never felt before. Blood trickled down my legs. I felt dizzy. I collapsed. My new husband drove me to the emergency room, where another ultrasound confirmed the worst- an ectopic pregnancy, a ruptured fallopian tube. I remember the ambulance ride to the hospital in Pensacola, which was better equipped for my situation, but I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up from surgery the next day. My baby was gone. I almost died. They said that when they opened me up, blood spilled out everywhere. Had I waited another 12 hours, I would have bled to death. The blood pooled up in my belly was the reason I was ‘showing’. I was closer to 10 weeks along, but not anymore.
Nine months later, there were 2 anxious minutes, and 2 blue lines. I was pregnant again. The fear and anxiety was overwhelming. I called my doctor, who immediately scheduled my ultrasound. Before I could make it to my appointment, I started spotting. I thought to myself, no, not again. My husband drove me to the emergency room. It was late evening, maybe 8pm. My OBGYN called me on the phone in the ultrasound room with a disturbingly chipper voice. ‘Mrs. Pinner, it looks like we have a long night ahead of us, we are heading into surgery! It’s ectopic!’ I panicked. No, this can’t be happening again! What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my body?? What have I done to deserve this? I snatched the phone off the wall. My husband and the poor Navy kid working the desk had to restrain me. I was taken directly into surgery. I woke up the next morning, again, no longer with child. The baby was stuck in my fallopian tube behind the scar tissue left behind by my first. Of course, they had to take the baby, but this time, they took my tube, and left me with a scar from hip to hip, a reminder that I still see every day of my life.
Nine months later, another anxious two minutes, another two blue lines. I am now considered high risk, so my doctor performed the ultrasound that day. The baby was in my uterus!! Finally, my body is doing what it’s supposed to do! I really am pregnant!!! We discussed names, talked about the future, how nervous we were to really be parents… and then, it happened. It was 2 a.m., I needed to pee. I got out of the bed and somehow, I knew something wasn’t right. I sat down on the toilet and I felt it. It slipped right out. I didn’t want to look. I knew what had just happened. I had to look. I stood up and saw a blood-filled toilet, and my baby. I reached down and picked my baby up out of the water. I saw little hands and little feet and little eyes. Little arms and legs. The tiniest little fingers and toes. My baby was about the size of my palm. This can’t be real. I panicked. I dropped my baby into the water and flushed. As soon as I realized what I had done, I tried to get it back, but it was too late. My baby was gone. I woke my husband and told him what happened. We cried together. The next day, the ultrasound confirmed what we already knew. I had miscarried. Again.
Four months later, two anxious minutes, two blue lines. Pregnant. Again. I was not happy. I was not excited. I was on birth control, trying to prevent the sadness and depression and mental instability caused by my body failing my babies. Three heavenly babies, and this would be my fourth, because clearly, my body is not capable of carrying a child. I had my ultrasound. There was a heartbeat. Ok, so what? It’s not going to matter in a few weeks anyway. My belly grew a little, but it was from depression eating, all the hot dogs with extra mustard and raw onions (I HATED hot dogs) and Fruit Gushers and watermelon that I had been craving, not a growing baby. Right? I mean, that’s always the outcome anyway. I didn’t have a baby shower, I wouldn’t allow my friends to give me gifts, because why would I want all that baby gear lying around? There wouldn’t be a baby anyway, right? 6 months go by, there’s still a heartbeat. It’s strong. It’s a boy. I feel him kick. I bought a couple of outfits for him, just in case. Goodness, this child is strong. He keeps me up at night. He. He is real. My baby is still there, reminding my daily. We choose a name. Logan, after Wolverine. I’m wearing maternity clothes. My belly is huge. 40 weeks. 41 weeks.
At 41 weeks and 5 days, I was induced. I still wasn’t convinced that he was real. I wouldn’t allow myself to be happy. I couldn’t. After 16 hours of labor, I was told my baby’s heart rate was dropping and I was not dilating. He needed to come out, right now. I just knew that this was it, this was the end, I was right all along, my body is not capable of having a baby and God just does not want me to be a mother. The doctor wanted to take me in to have a cesarean. I felt the need to push. My body was forcing it. The nurse told me to stop pushing, that it wasn’t going to help, that they just needed to prep me for my emergency C-section and the baby would be out. She said she would check me one more time, but she could promise me that I had not progressed in the 10 minutes since I had been checked last. Before she could pull the sheet back, my baby was crowning, and in just 3 big pushes, my baby was here. I heard him cry. He had the sweetest little cry! He is really here, and living, and breathing. He’s ok! My baby. After everything it had put me through, my body finally did its job. I cried, but this time, it was tears of joy! The doctor placed him on my chest, and my heart exploded with love for this tiny, pink, fuzzy little human that I created. I have a son. He is beautiful and perfect, ten little fingers, ten little toes. His name is Logan. He is my angel sent from Heaven, he is my rainbow baby.
Logan is 15 years old now. He stands almost a foot taller than me and has the biggest feet I have ever bought shoes for. He is one of the smartest people I know, smarter than most adults even. He excels at football and basketball, and he’s really good at weightlifting too. He could out-commentate any ESPN commentator; he knows his sports stats better than anyone. He is proud to be a self-proclaimed ‘mama’s boy’ and has always been sweet and helpful. He holds the door and makes sure that I am taken care of.
He talks about joining the Army or the Air Force and working his way through college and earn a business degree, and his dream is to work for ESPN. I have always told him about his siblings in heaven, and how God took all the beauty and goodness from those babies and put them into him and gave him to me. I never birthed another child, but God has also blessed me with two beautiful bonus kids with my second husband. My family is complete. I have everything I ever wanted. Maybe God knew I wasn’t ready back then. Maybe this world would have been too harsh for my angel babies’ souls. It was so hard, going through so much loss in such a short time. My experiences, however, have made a positive mark on my life- they have made me a stronger person and a better mother for my kids. The pain doesn’t go away, but it does get easier, especially knowing that they are with God, and one day, I will get to hold all of my babies in my arms.”
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