Hello! I’m Katelyn from What’s up Fagans? and I am so excited to write for this series. I know that being a strong mom is not always easy, but it is totally possible to be a strong mom in our own way to our own children.
My induction into motherhood came with a bang. I was blessed with fraternal girl/girl twins as my first (and second). I managed to carry these two babies inside me for 37 weeks 6 days, all while attending school full-time, even playing the French horn in the marching band, during the first trimester (going through three pairs of pants in the process), and walking uphill and upstairs each day, lugging around art supplies. It wasn’t easy doing so, and it wasn’t comfortable sitting on stools and art horse easels. But, I did it for nine long months.
I ended up gaining about 50lbs with my twin pregnancy, forever ruining my once awesome rock-hard abs, leaving me with a saggy, loose, stretch-marked, hernia clad stomach. But, my twins, born via planned Cesarean section, were totally worth it. Only one spent any time in the NICU, and only for two days. As a twin mom I was super lucky in that regard. One was born at a whopping 6lbs 15oz and 18.5” long and the other at a whopping 6lbs 14oz and 19” long. I had almost 14lbs of baby inside of me. I like to joke that giving birth to twins is a great weight loss program, as I instantly lost about 20lbs on the operating table. Carrying twins and recovering from C-section delivery were rough, but I did it, and mostly with a smile.
Six weeks after their births I moved across the country, lived with the in-laws for two months, and then moved to Indianapolis, where my husband landing his first post-graduation job as a high school math teacher. We, however, didn’t know anyone in Indianapolis, and I was no longer a full-time student, for the first time in 17 years, but now a full-time, stay-at-home mom. It was a rough transition. I was lonely and overwhelmed, but also bored at times too. I lacked transportation during the day (we were a one-car family), as well as lacked funds to do much of anything anyways (we weren’t making much and were in debt). But, we made it through that first year of twindom, almost exclusively breastfeeding for 13 months, and did so without too much pain, and in fact, a lot of joy.
When we decided to add on to our family, we were met with disappointment and heartache as we miscarried a baby at 7 weeks. And it just so happened to be right after my husband got into a rather lousy car accident that totaled our (one and only) vehicle and broke his sternum. He ended up missing a full month of work, limiting our already limited income and resources. We thought this pregnancy, which we had just confirmed the weekend before the accident, was the one shining hope through this difficult part in our lives, but the pregnancy didn’t last either. Needless to say, it was a pretty dark time in our marriage. But, we got through it, and it would all eventually work out the way it was supposed to (we are now debt free, minus student loans).
Several months after the accident and my husband’s recovery, we tried again and got pregnant with a single (hooray!) baby boy. And I was determined to avoid having another C-section, especially as I now had two children, who would be a month shy of three years old, when he was born, to take care of, mostly by myself as my husband would still be teaching and taking classes (he’s currently working on a Master’s degree).
But, in order to have a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean or VBAC, I had to play the waiting game. I could not be induced with Pitocin, as that would increase my risk of uterine rupture, the major risk associated with a VBAC.
So, my due date came, and then it went. My midwife couldn’t get in there enough to strip my membranes. So I just had to wait some more, trying to get things to move along on their own with sex, spicy foods, and walking. But, nothing worked. I still wasn’t dilating. And that baby boy was still not coming, even though my husband had spring break and it would’ve been the perfect week for him to make his big arrival.
So, soon we hit the 41 week mark, my husband returned to school and work, and still no baby. At 41 weeks 4 days, my midwife was finally able to strip my membranes, and it worked! Labor pains finally started and I was never happier to be finally nearing the end of this pregnancy.
However, this baby boy decided to make a slow entrance into the world; I was in labor for 40 long hours. Fortunately, there were no complications, and I was able to push all 9lbs 8oz, 22” of baby out vaginally, sunny-side up, and did not have to have a repeat Cesarean section. I just had to be pregnant for 41 weeks and 6 days and have some tearing. It was totally worth the wait, and the recovery was so much better.
My body and my life have forever been changed by my pregnancies, miscarriage, births, and difficulties of newly-wed life. But, I’ve handled them like a champ. I’ve stayed strong and preserved through the hard times, and been so richly blessed and rewarded for it. I now have three, beautiful, healthy children who are the love of my life. I am a strong mom. And I bet you are too.
Katelyn is a stay-at-home mom to fraternal 3.5 year old g/g twins, and a 6 month old baby boy. She loves her simple, frugal life, and doesn’t let things get her down. She loves her husband of almost 5 years, and greatly enjoys blogging about their life and adventures on her blog “What’s up Fagans.” You can follow her @whatsupfagans on twitter or at facebook.com/whatsupfagans.
If you are a mom and would love to share your strong mom story send me an email at mommyferg02(at)gmail(dot)com!