The stunning Sally Moser, TJ (5), Hannah (2) and Zechariah (7 months). Sally also has two angel babies the first lost in November 2007 and the second in July 2009.
Sally comes from a large blended family and it never occurred to her that a woman couldn't have a baby. Infertility was not in her vocabulary. She and her husband knew they wanted children even before they got married, so they started trying right away. They got married in 2005 and her husband left for basic training soon after, so there was a full year they couldn't try. Sally educated herself about infertility and they eventually went to a reproductive endocrinologist who diagnosed them with unexplained infertility. There was nothing more frustrating than not having an answer.
Sally's husband deployed to Iraq in 2007, came home for R&R and she got pregnant. She had a positive test on a Friday, called her husband on his phone in Iraq and told him she was pregnant but there was something in her heart that told her it wasn't going to happen. A week later she started to feel poorly and was in so much pain. She crawled across the hallway and had her neighbor who was 8 months pregnant take her to the ER on base. As a dependent of a solider she wasn't a priority. Everyone who came in uniform went before her and she sat there bleeding alone. She was given a pregnancy test that they couldn't interpret, was prepped for a pelvic exam and left there for 8 hours. She didn't know what to do and lay there until she couldn't possibly lay there anymore. When she got up and went to the nurses station only to learn that the doctor had left three hours prior, they forgot she was there. They sent her home telling her she was miscarrying and there was nothing they could do. That night she wrote in her journal pleading to God for her baby. Sally's friend took her back to the hospital and this time right to the OB floor and refused to leave until she was seen. It turned out Sally had an ectopic pregnancy in her fallopian tube. To her, she was losing a baby but the doctors kept saying she had a mass of trophoblastic cells which was really painful. They gave her injections to help clear the pregnancy.
It had taken years for Sally to even get that far and she was devastated. Her husband redeployed and they moved to Germany. She began to see a German doctor who flushed her tubes and discovered she had scar tissue that was adhering intestinal matter to her fallopian tubes. He called it an easy fix and cleared it all out. Soon after, Sally conceived again but learned it was a partial molar pregnancy. There was an embryo that had been overtaken by cancer cells but never turned into cancer. She was numb, cried and grieved and couldn't believe it was happening again. She told her husband she didn't want to have a baby, she couldn't do it.
Struggling as an Army wife dealing with infertility was very difficult. Everyone around her was pregnant at the same time as their husbands were home between deployments and she was not. It was hard to not be a part of that. She had to have a D&C on the mother and baby ward which was excruciating but the German doctor told her to give herself a month and promised she would get pregnant again. About 6 weeks later she took a pregnancy test and was angry. It was positive and she thought they had missed something and she was having residual hormones. They went in to the doctor 2 or 3 weeks later and asked for an ultrasound due to her history. They looked and amazingly, saw a little heartbeat.
TJ was born in a military hospital but almost didn't make it. Her water broke spontaneously at 39 weeks and she labored at home for as long as she could. To a degree, she says she let fear and lack of faith in herself dictate her actions. Sally was in the hospital for about 24 hours before TJ was born. In that time she was given incorrect doses of medication, vaginal exams with consent after the fact, and she requested an epidural but two anesthesiologist's failed numbing her from her lungs to toes, everywhere except her abdomen where she was contracting. TJ was born after 2.5 hours of pushing, lifeless other than a very faint, low heart rate. His first apgar score was 2 and it took two minutes to resuscitate him. They told her he would be taken away for 15 minutes which turned to 15 hours. She had no control over when she could see him or if she could feed him. She had to fight to get to him and was told she couldn't produce colostrum or nurse him but the fight continued and he was breastfeeding by that eventing.
When Sally's husband was medically discharged from the Army and they moved back to the states she told him if they ever had another baby she was going to deliver at home. She educated herself and began to realize how different things could be. They were diagnosed with secondary infertility and it took two years to conceived Hannah. Once pregnant, Sally worked to find a midwife who would work with her because of her weight. Several midwives turned her down saying her BMI automatically made her high risk but she finally found someone who she loved. Hannah was born at home after just 6 hours of labor from start to finish. Sally screamed her out and everything went well. With her birth, however, came postpartum anxiety. She started to wonder why she was afraid to carry her baby up the stairs, their safety was always a concern and her midwife encouraged her to see someone. At the same time her husband was going through his own struggles with losing his identity after leaving the Army, so she couldn't rely on him to help her through it. It took almost a year for her to start feeling like herself again.
Just as she settled in to a place where she wasn't tense 24/7 she found she was pregnant with Zechariah. Her first reaction was not a happy one. She was just getting herself back and her daughter doesn't sleep. Sally had been taking her encapsulated placenta and called her midwife to see if that could lead to a positive pregnancy test. Her midwife hesitantly said it may be possible but highly unlikely and she'd never heard of it. She was definitely pregnant. They planned to also deliver Zechariah at home. Sally was in latent labor for a week and active labor for two days but he was stuck. At nearly 10lbs and 24 inches long he had developed shoulder dystocia and they needed to transfer to the hospital. Her midwife stayed with her and as Sally entered the hospital she had a flashback. Her midwife had to tell her she wasn't in Germany, she was pregnant with Zech and she was okay. The hospital had just received baby friendly certification and were very responsive to Sally's wishes. Sally had the attending doctor, the resident and the midwife between her legs, holding and adjusting and when they got his arm out they had her reach down and pull him up to her chest. What could have turned into a traumatic event was a wonderful full circle moment that helped her to heal.