"Let’s be honest, dealing with pregnancy loss and chronic illness, it takes a toll on your mentally and physically."
Gianni’s Journey : Pregnancy Loss and Illness
Warning, this post contains details of miscarriage and illness that some might find upsetting.
"I am currently pregnant with my third birth child and to be honest, the journey has been kind of rocky. I’m 29 years old, have been married for two years and I am 31 weeks pregnant with my fifth pregnancy.
I had my first child in 2010 when I was 18 years old, and since I had him so young, I wasn't prepared for labour or breastfeeding. This is something I knew I wanted to change with my next pregnancies. From there I had another pregnancy in 2012 which was an ectopic pregnancy. I ended up having to have one of my tubes removed but luckily, I was able to keep both ovaries. Some years later I unfortunately had a miscarriage. The thing for me wasn't so much being able to get pregnant but being able to stay pregnant, being able to carry your baby to full term.
Before having successful pregnancies, I dealt with endometriosis, and if you know anything about that you know it can be hell. I had so many changes in my body which I knew were not right. I had to have excision surgeries in 2015 and 2016 to have the tissue removed, but once the dust settled, I didn't seek help getting pregnant. The focus for me was regaining my health, changing my diet, my eating habits, working out and going to counselling. Let's be honest, dealing with pregnancy loss and chronic illness, it takes a toll on your mentally and physically.
With my first baby girl, finding out I was pregnant at that time was scary. I was mid-way through cosmetology school and took the test in the bathroom of my school. Clear as day it said, 'girl, you are pregnant'. At the time my now husband was my boyfriend, he immediately called me and asked if I was for real, I responded and said 'this is not April, this is not April fools – yes I am pregnant'. It was scary. Coming from an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage, I always had it in the back of my mind if this pregnancy would be successful – will my baby be ok? Luckily she was and is!
Since I wasn't prepared for my first pregnancy, I knew this time around that I wanted to do things differently. I did research, I got a Doula in my area and just prepared myself with knowledge. It was so long since I had a newborn in the house that I wanted to refresh myself and do as much as I could to prepare. I also knew that I had to prepare for post-partum as much as I could. This is something I was not prepared for when I had my other children – that readjustment period after being pregnant and feeling so out of sync. I prepped myself to ensure I got out of the house, had a self-care day, took a bath, and just did whatever I need to take care of myself.
Fast forward to this pregnancy, we were in another major transition in our lives. I had just opened up a salon and thought to myself ‘this is not the time to be pregnant’. To be honest I was struggling with thinking whether I wanted to keep the baby or not, but had to look back and think, I have a good support system, I have someone by my side who was there for me. Ultimately, I think we were set to be her parents."
If this content reminds you of your own experiences or makes you think of someone you know and you feel concerned or uncomfortable, please head to the PSI website for information about perinatal mental health resources that may be able to help.