I wasn’t always a REAL mom

My journey for motherhood began seven years and three months ago. I had no intention of becoming a mother. NONE. My mother told me for MANY years that I would reap every hell I had sown to her. I would reap because of my own children that “One day, your kids will do the exact same thing you have done to me!!” And so I vowed to never have children. I vowed to never get married.Eating all of those words will probably explain why I am on a diet!

I met my husband in the spring of 1997 in Albuquerque. Of all places, a bar. I know, such a bad cliche. He was married in the process of a divorce. I, was a hot young thing with no intention of settling, he was looking for fun and so was I. Needless to say we have been having fun together since then! We married in the fall of 2000.

Shortly before we were married we discussed children. I still did not really want children. I did not feel I was mother material. I was very set in my ways, a control freak by all means, perfectionist on every level, I was jaded, harsh, young, and could not be bothered. I worked long hours as a finance manager in the car business. That lifestyle was no place for children, my father was living proof, as was I since I was third generation “car guy.” As we talked more and discussed our future life, goals, and dreams, I began to crumble under my inherent calling of womanhood and the “clock.” So we agreed on children, well I did. I demanded no more than two, and of course if we could get it done in one shot with twins I would be more than satisfied.
Like I truly had any control over my conception of a child, you can tell I was a TRUE control freak back then. You can also tell I have had LOTS of therapy since then! HA

In June of 2000 I went off the pill. For a few reasons, one which was to lose the 15 pounds I had gained on the pill so that I could get into my perfect wedding dress. Right now I would kill to look like that again….but that in itself is another post. The other reason I went off the pill was to begin our unprotected sex journey to conception.

The journey took TWO LONG years before I even got pregnant.

One March Sunday I awoke and just had “that feeling”, the one where you KNOW to take a pregnancy test, where you know your heart will jump out of your chest in complete disbelief? I called my boss and told him I would be late to work that day…..I was pregnant!! DH was already at work that morning, he worked the first shift at Home Depot. I being the sentimental little miss I was ran over to Wal-Mart, picked up an “I Love Daddy” bib and took that to him at work. I arrived and walked to the millwork desk where I found him loading doors into an overhead display. He seemed worried as to why I was stopping by to see him on my way to work. My eyes began to well and I handed him the bib. He pulled the bib out of the bag and looked at it in disbelief……just as I did with the stick I just peed on not 45 minutes earlier….and he asked what this meant. I asked him what did he think it meant? We went around and around for a minute and then I told him I was pregnant. We just stared at each other for a minute and then hugged like there was no end. Our movie moment was over and then we both had to get to work.

I was beaming! I beamed for about a week, maybe two. I hadn’t even had a chance to have my first doctors appointment to confirm via ultrasound that I was pregnant. Complications set in…..fast!!

While at WORK, work of all places. Nothing but men, jaded, alcoholic, mean, self centered asshole men. I began to show signs of a miscarriage. I ran out of work, grateful my boss was a good, kind hearted man! I went to the ER with DH where they said that I was having a “threatened” miscarriage and that all appeared fine, but to take things easy. Another week passed, and again while at work, signs, signs that I had no idea about with cramping, spotting, I was a train wreck! I was sick, nauseous, not nauseous, not sick, I was a pregnantly confused young woman. My body was telling me yes and no to pregnancy. I waited until I was out of work and things seemed fine. I knew then it was stress from work. So I called in sick to take things easy on a Saturday. This was UNHEARD OF in the car business. I took the day easy watching TV, not worrying. Until that night and I knew we had to go to the ER. Something was terribly wrong. DH and I sat in the ER for over 10 hours. Grueling tests, pokes, prods, no drugs, ultrasounds, more tests, LOTS of waiting. My HCG was off the charts, so they said I was definitely pregnant, maybe a little farther along than I had calculated. But the bad news came at just before dawn. Just before dawn on Easter Sunday. We were miscarrying. We looked at each other in silence, in love. Our first loss as a couple. We had never experienced the grief and loss we experienced that day. I called my mother…..and I called into work for Monday. We were in mourning. To add injury to insult, we were also told I had LARGE ovarian cysts. WHAT?!!

And so we sat…..waiting for the inevitable. Waiting for the “miscarriage” to happen. I was writhing in pain for DAYS. Emotional and physical. I had returned to work on Tuesday only go go home. I was in the worst pain, somewhat spotty. I called my doctor only to get the run around THREE different times by the nurse who answered when I finally put my foot down and was my normal bitch self. I told her I was in pain. I told her I had NOT lost the baby yet, not enough substance. I TOLD HER I FELT LIKE MY LEGS WERE BURNING!!! I went to the doctors where they did an ultrasound. OH SHIT, is what the tech told us.

GREAT! WTF is that suppose to mean?

The doctor came in, told us to rush to the hospital for surgery I had an ectopic pregnancy and I was bleeding out. If I did not go into surgery that day I would surely bleed to death.

FANTASTIC!

After all was said and done I had found I was pregnant with twins. Fraternal quite obviously, one in the womb which was my “blighted ovum” as they called it and the second became entombed in my right fallopian tube which is nonexistent to this day. Thanks to a ruptured appendix four years prior that left scar tissue which choked off the path to the uterus. I researched from then on all about pregnancy after an ectopic……the results were dim at best. 37% success rate.

SUPERB!

I was looking forward to struggling to get pregnant once again. However, I endured great pain in order to conceive. You see I never did fertility. Crossed my mind, but never did. I knew I was fertile, but standing on my head and raising my pelvis were not assisting in the dates of DH’s sperm and my ripe eggs. I had to be tested before I attempted to conceive again, the doctors had to test whether or not my left tube was open for business. There I lay…on a cold, sterile, flat bed with my “Frieda” exposed to some random lab guy who was inserting an instrument into my vagina and met my cervix. He explained how a “balloon” at the end of this tube would inflate to open my cervix and a dye would enter to check the tube. GREAT, sounds easy. Nope. I begged for more rectal exams before enduring that test again. But the results were life changing. We had an open tube that was ready for traffic. That was July of 2002…..by December, when we thought we would NEVER get pregnant, we conceived. I know the date. Christmas Eve. Such a beautiful night.

Yet in the time that we found the results and conceived we put our house in Albuquerque up for sale, started job hunting and decided Arizona was the place to move. My family lives here (there) and so we thought, that would be perfect. Still close to family.

In January of 2003 I scheduled a trip to Arizona to interview with car dealerships, at least three, and a few mortgage companies. I met with almost all of them but settled with the dealership since I would be making the most money. (Wrong! Thats a whole story in itself) I returned home and went to work the following day. My general manager and the owner of the dealership I was working for found I was job hunting, they knew I was going to give notice. They let me go with my vacation pay and the pay for the rest of the month! So I was well on my way to moving. I got home that day and knew….just knew in my gut to take a pregnancy test, I was only like a day late if that.

EUREKA!!

I called DH at work….told him the great news about being let go early. He was shocked. I told him about all the money being paid out. He was relieved. I told him I was pregnant!

***********CRICKETS***********

But we moved anyway and I had an ultrasound and this baby was a keeper. My Big G!
On September 14, 2003 at 2:22pm weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces and 19.25 inches long, DH and I welcomed Grant Thomas Herring to the world. Big G!

I couldn’t believe I did it! I made it through 10 months, 8 hours of labor, 45 minutes of hard pushing, and I did it! I was a mom. But I never felt it. Something was there, but not there. I have pictures where you can see I adored the boy (and still do), just gazing at him. Yet, something felt missing. I went back to work at 7 weeks and he went to daycare. I was crushed. I cried a week straight dropping him off, but that slowly eased.

DH and I met troubled waters after having Big G. We went from living in a house to an apartment when we moved to Arizona, so cramming all your house furniture into a tiny apartment with two dogs was not ideal. Plus we began to grow apart. We finally bought a house though in February of 2004. We still live in the same house we bought, the house is home. DH and I started to come back to center with each other, things were mending, I was struggling personally. I felt something was wrong with me. And then we had another blow. In May of 2004 we found we were pregnant………AGAIN! I was furious. I was just barely done being pregnant. DH was excited, I was pissed. He was crushed. After some time and just before our first appointment (since I am high risk I had to go in right away) I finally accepted and was happy to be pregnant. Then the doctor did an ultrasound. He took forever. I wanted to know what was going on. And then I heard the words…………………..

You have TWO in there………..You see?!

Then I wanted to lose my mind. I couldn’t believe it. But we had another quick jab. I was asked how far along I was…..because the yolks did not look big enough. So we rescheduled to come back in a few weeks to check. Those were the longest.weeks.ever! The following ultrasound was killing me. I lay in wait for weeks to tell people we were pregnant, I told some, I need positive affirmations. The power of positive did not yield. The twins were mono-amniotic (sharing the same sac, quite possibly identical twins) and they were not growing. No heartbeat. No babies. No healthy babies even if the pregnancy took and went to term. I was warned of Twin to Twin Transfusion, heart problems, a whole spectrum of medical mumbo jumbo that I immediately heard “wah wah, wah wah wah wah.” We were devastated again. To add more injury I was sent home with a script to help ease along the miscarriage.

TWO THUMBS UP!

Within a few days of that appointment I was fired, over the phone, by my boss at the time. So that was great. I had lots to contend with. Luckily one of my old bosses (at a different employers) offered me to come back and I worked for them for a year and when I was pregnant with Big G, so I was happy to oblige. They were also very sympathetic of what I was having to endure…..as the process was not moving along. But then it did….and I never wish the experience upon any woman in my life. I awoke to labor pains at 16 weeks gestation. Awful. I could not wake DH. I would not. So for hours I suffered alone until the ordeal was done. I writhed, cried, hid, felt shameful, prayed for mercy. And then I suffered more as I began my awful bout with depression which lasted me some time and then the nasty medication that completely ruined me.

I had a breakdown in 2006. I nearly lost my mind. I almost had myself committed. I detoxed off of the worst anti-depressants known to man. I searched, I fought, I lost, I won, and then I was saved by a wonderful woman. She told me how to deal with myself. That feeling was OK. All that I had learned was wrong, and I have been every sort of medication (except the occasional motrin for headaches, etc) free since March of 2006.

In 2007, DH and I went to our friends wedding in Reno. We. Had. A. BLAST! Big G free weekend to enjoy ourselves. And we did. And we got loaded on many occassions. And DH told me he wanted another baby. And so after celebrating a wedding and in the nostalgia we worked towards another baby.

June 2007 came upon us fast. This was the year The Police were on their reunion tour. GET. OUT. OF. TOWN. We got tickets. On the floor. We rocked out to The Police that year. And that night, nostalgic from the concert, we conceived. June 18th 2007.

July rolls around and we were planning the 4th. Somehow DH and I got into an argument. I ran to the store to get smokes (I was smoking at the time) and a pregnancy test. I know, great combo! Like a salad and a double cheeseburger.

I get home from cooling off, take the test. DH and I are still battling. We were on the brink of the BIG D coming to our lips when I return to the bathroom. I was in tears. Still. From the fight. From the results. I stood there as we were half assed deciding our fate when I whipped out the pee stick. His jaw dropped. We laughed. We mended our stupid fight. We started going back to counseling.

The pregnancy seemed to be your regular run of the mill, feel like crap, look like crap, eat like crap. But I felt like something was going wrong again! I know right…a running theme. I go to the Urgent care thinking I had a UTI or a bladder infection. The ass hat doctor tells me I have back pain. WTF?! Dude….I have pain….not back pain….the pain is near my back…..but not my back. We go to the ER. I couldn’t take it, granted the doctors appointment was in 2 days, but I had not eaten in those two days and could not keep anything down. I knew I was having a girl, but did not want to be so seriously ill. We went through tests again in the ER, but thankfully in a hospital that is knowledgeable unlike the ones in Albuquerque.

Tests, tests, lots of tests. Pain, pain, and lots of pain. I accepted their drugs. I needed their drugs, I felt like I was going to die. Now I can handle A LOT of pain. I went to 7 during my BACK LABOR with Big G before I crumbled for the epidural. The tests were run, and now I just wanted results and I wanted to go home. The doctor came in with the nurse, the time was just after midnight, approaching 1 am.

“Well folks, everything looks totally normal. So you have nothing to worry about.”
Me and DH “Whew so everything is A-Ok, the pregnancy is alright, I am alright?”
“Yeah nothing wrong with you………you just have two babies in there so that will cause a bit more discomfort.”

***********CRICKETS***********

“Um two babies?” I asked in disbelief….brinking on the edge of tears. DH, “TWO BABIES!? OMG babe did you hear that?”
“Are you sure?” I asked again.
“Oh, you didn’t know?” the doctor said. We both shook our heads unable to speak a word.
“Yeah you are looking good, we saw two heartbeats in there, so can’t ever say you didn’t get good news in the ER.”

And we left still dragging our jaws on the ground. Slid into the car and screamed. Then we called everyone. We woke them up. We told them our shocking good news.

On February 15th 2008, at 36 weeks and 4 days by Casearean section I delivered Seth Michael at 4:53pm weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces 19.75 inches long and at 4:54pm I delivered Sara Noel weighing 6 pounds even and 19.25 inches long.

From them on my job as a mom has changed. I have been able to see and enjoy all the firsts. I was robbed with Big G because I had to go back to work. I was robbed based on my own selfishness of failing to accept I was a mom, I wanted my DINK lifestyle. I robbed my oldest of a healthy, well adjust mom the first few years of his life. But I feel like I am making that up to him. I am a 30 somethings mom now who has no desire to keep up with fashion….I mean I am lucky if I match at all some days. I have two more children that I am learning from everyday, watching grow like I should have with Big G. I should have just stopped to watch, what was my hurry?

I am better with compassion to my children, I am patient, kind, and I am always listening. I listen to the sound of the giggles. I listen to the cries, I know which ones are pain, hurt, hunger, tired, thirsty, or the ones that mean I just need a hug. I didn’t always know these things. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, but felt obligated to do so. Now, I love it. I look back at how BORING my life was before kids. My house was always clean, I mean I vacuumed dog hair…big woop. Meals were boring, we sat and watched TV never speaking. Now, dinner is like a three ring circus with Big G and the twins, never a dull or lifeless dinner. I no longer go days or weeks without a hug from someone, as I get hugs all day everyday. I used to spend money on excess fashion, where now that is spent on school clothes, school shoes, and play clothes for my kids, now I spend on their fashion. I used to never worry about what time I went to bed, and now, I am lucky to stay up past 11pm.

Some women claim they were “born to be a mom,” I think we are all born to be a mom based on gender makeup. But moms are made. My kids made me the mom I am today. I love them more than words can say and I never regret, wish, or ask for anything different with them or in for myself in my life. Each and everyday I try to stop a little longer to cherish, love, and memorize them just as they are in that moment, on that day, because they grow so fast.

Meet the Author

Karie Herring

Karie Herring rambles of a former life in Phoenix, AZ while raising a teen and tween twins in their new home in Orlando, FL. She has been featured in AOL Money & Finance, Betty Confidential and Career School Now. She's a full-time technical writer, functional fitness athlete, overachieving wife and mom. She loves talking about maneuvering motherhood, womanhood, and her passion for essential oils and natural living.

9 comments… add one
  • Another Suburban Mom Jun 14, 2009, 2:07 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey to motherhood with us.

    You are giving some hope to those who have had problems getting and staying pregnant.

  • Lizz Jun 14, 2009, 3:28 pm

    Holy moly.

    First, I'm sorry about your miscarriages. It's a sucky club to be in (also a member).

    Second, wow! You are prone to conceiving twins huh? That's crazy.

    What a journey motherhood is. Thanks for sharing.

  • ModernMom Jun 14, 2009, 3:57 pm

    Wow. You have been on one unbelievable rollercoaster ride. I read through this post with tears in my eyes…
    Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  • Tess Jun 14, 2009, 4:23 pm

    What an awesome story. I married later in life when I finally decided to settle down and I think the was the best decision ever!

  • Amy Jun 14, 2009, 7:31 pm

    What an amazing story!I read it in my email box and decided to come here to comment. I had a similiar story. My clock never went off – it was broken . I was budy adventuring, pulling up stakes and moving at the drop of a hat with one suitcase of clothes, the other of writing with little else save a plane ticket and a job offer. Then I stayed in one place for more then a year to go to Massage Therapy school – to hadd to my adventures – I could work on resorts all over the world and live there and save lotsov money. And I would be adding healing and relaxation to people's lives.

    But then, my husband caught me. My methodical husband asked me to marry him in a spontaneous way – lets go to vegas. He wanted to kids, I told him he needed to find someone else for that! But he chose me. Six months later, I changed my mind and booked passage for my little boy, providing comfy transport for him for 9-10 months before delivering him to the world!

    And now I wish I had had him so much earlier so that I would have more time and youth and energy – I'll be forty next year and he'll be three. I'm very happy.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Stesha Jun 15, 2009, 4:05 am

    Beautiful story. I know it took a lot of courage to share it. Through it all, you and your husband rode out the storm hand in hand.

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha

  • Chelsea Jun 15, 2009, 3:00 pm

    That is an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing. It is an inspiration to any of us who have that bit of guilt.

  • Equidae Jun 16, 2009, 1:57 pm

    you had a difficult journey but i drr it was worth the while…thanks for sharing

  • fashionable-exciting-sparkling Jun 17, 2009, 3:42 am

    Hi
    Thanks for leaving me a comment and I'm glad you liked my post. I plan to do lots more tips on jewelry. I love this website, and plan to check your other site out also. My mom used to tell me the exact same thing,"One day, your kids will do the exact same thing you have done to me!!
    I have two wonderful daughters and yes at times they did remind me of the things I used to do, especially when they would try to reverse the rolls. I now have two grandchildren and I wouldn't want to change anything. I look forward to reading more of your site. Take care for now….

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