Please share your story:

All my life I have struggled with issues related to my reproductive system. At age 25, I was diagnosed with infertility due to my overweight interfering with my hormone levels. To make a long story short, I have had 2 miscarriages (one of which was a set of twins), one stillborn at 23 weeks and a premature baby born at 27 weeks. I have gone through 2 sets of IVF treatments, a long period or ignoring my desire to be a mother and 2 natural pregnancies, one which I lost and one that I almost lost despite all efforts.

One thing I have learned during this long 12 year journey is that you cannot help but love your child. Women are scared to shared the wonderful news of a pregnancy before 12 weeks, as if somehow, losing your child before then has no impact. Then, most times women suffer in silence as to not disturb the comfort levels of others. I have learned that having a child doesn't minimize the pain of losing a child, whether at 23 weeks, 11 weeks or 8... as a matter of fact today completes a year since I lost my Alahna Maia... and even though I'm grateful for my Anayah, and her rolling over today, my heart still aches for the one I held for only a brief moment... my heart aches for her and my other 3 angels whom I didn't even get to see...

My Anayah spent 97 days in the hospital and every day was scarier than the first... as the days passed the more attached I became and the more frightening the idea of not being able to bring her home was. Her dad, usually quiet about these matters, even expressed to me, "The more time passes, the scarier it becomes."


How has your story shaped who you are today?:

A child makes his/her presence known almost immediately after conception. They make you feel sick, tired, emotional and ever so hungry. Then, as they grow, they stretch your body, they move and kick and even respond to your voice or a special song... I know my Alahna did! Just because she did not grow in the outside world, doesn't mean she will not be missed. She certainly left a deep imprint in our lives.

Now, and even more than ever, I am grateful for each new day and the little things that may be a bother sometimes: my baby crying all night, lack of sleep and trying to figure out why she is crying when I have done everything I could possibly do...those are blessings too; I get to hold Anayah and she is alive and expressing her needs... nothing tops that!

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What compelled you to want to share your story with us?:

I want the mothers of little angels to know that contrary to what many may think, they are in fact mothers. I want them to know that there's no need to suffer in silence: someone is willing to listen. I also want to commend you because it takes immense strength to keep on living, smiling and putting on a brave face even when a whole lifetime of dreams came crumbling under you... I also want to share that prayer and worship were my refuge, and my strengthening force... He really is our comforter... seek HIM...

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:

Do not lose hope... God answers... He can give you the desires of your heart, and as you wait, he can fill you with peace and joy. In the meantime, do not be afraid to feel. Acknowledge your loss. I can't stress enough that there is no need to go through this alone, nor should you.