Nicole Mitchell (33), mother to Cameron Beau (19 months - pictured), twins Brady James and Carter Vincent (would be 3 in June), 5 weeks pregnant.
Nicole shares -
" Update: We did confirm that the pregnancy I was carrying was not tubal and that we would be due in January 2019. Unfortunately at about 7 weeks we found out that the baby was not growing properly. We ultimately lost the pregnancy and I opted for a D&E a few weeks later. The timing of the loss coincided with the third anniversary of the birth and loss of our twins almost exactly. I was even admitted to the same hospital in which they were born on the same day on which they were born, only three years later, due to complications of the miscarriage. After all we've been through it still feels like a shameful and somewhat taboo topic which honestly I'm sick of. This loss was hard physically, mentally and emotionally and I'm tired of feeling like this is something we're meant to go through alone.
Through the D&E our doctor was able to determine that we lost a baby boy due to a chromosomal abnormality. This picture is dedicated to him and his brothers and to all those mourning a loss.
My husband and I tried for quite a while to conceive. We had a really early miscarriage in November 2014. After some luck, love and science we were pregnant with our twin boys Brady and Carter, due in October 2015. After some complications arose, I delivered the boys prematurely at 23 weeks and 2 days on June 15, 2015. They survive just under 24 hours in the NICU and we were able to hold them both as they left us on June 16, 2015. We became pregnant with our rainbow baby Cameron Beau (named with his brothers' initials and Beau being a play on rainbow baby) in January and he was born just over a year after I was due with his older brothers. The three boys all coming from the same IVF cycle, but Cameron was frozen for a year. I am currently pregnant, just about 5 weeks, and this time it was completely natural and unexpected! We are being closely monitored and go for our first ultrasound tomorrow morning to ensure that it is not a tubal pregnancy since I have a partial blockage.
I was always an athletic person and very muscular when I was younger. I struggled with accepting my big muscular legs as being feminine. Now, I have lost a lot of that muscle and I am trying to accept my body for what it is. I don't have an overly negative self-image, but I do struggle with the baby belly, cellulite and flabby arms that I see in the mirror. At the same time, I have been pregnant 4 times in just under 4 years so I am trying to be patient with myself and appreciative of what my body can do. Having lost the twins I felt that my body had failed me and them in a lot of ways, but after being able to carry my son to term (41 weeks, no less!) I am working through some of that guilt. I am also trying to come to terms with my chest as it dramatically different. Granted, I was able to nurse my son for 14 months so there is a give and take that I am working on!
After the twins were born I did not notice much of a difference in my body. They were delivered vaginally, but were small and so no tearing or stitches were needed. After 9+ pound Cameron, I needed stitches and had bad hemorrhoids that made recovery difficult. Trying to nurse at all time of day and night while sitting was difficult for the first 1-2 weeks. Once I was past that point I was so proud that my body was able to nurse him. In fact, nursing helped me to lose the baby weight pretty quickly which was great. After I stopped nursing though some of the weight came back. I was in the process of trying to lose those few extra pounds when I found out that I am pregnant. So I will be happy with the weight gain!
I want everyone out there to know that infertility is nothing to be ashamed of and that they are not alone. Not until after our losses and the IVF journey did we realize that so many people around us shared similar stories or heartache. And why should we suffer alone and in silence? The other reason, and one of the biggest reasons that I do a lot of things that would normally be outside of my comfort zone is that this is an opportunity to honor my son and remember my twins. I did all of this because I was meant to be called "mom" and I want to honor that title by celebrating my boys as often as possible."