by Nicole Ventura
Last November (2019) I found out I was pregnant with baby #3.
I had my 2 daughters in California with an amazing OBGYN that I had been seeing for over 6 years. I moved back to New York shortly after my second was born to be closer to family.
Shortly after being back in New York, I found out I was expecting again with baby number 3. I had to find another OBGYN asap. After carefully searching and reading tons of reviews I found one. My first visit was on a Friday, I told the doctor all my history and this and that and we then processed to do a sonogram. The Doctor had told me that I was not Pregnant. I began to tell him it’s too early and that I had this problem with my second child, where they didn’t see baby till after 8 weeks. He said that it’s unlikely and will check again Monday. I went back that Monday and again, he says no baby, but it looks like I have lots of tissue. He then proceeded to tell me that it was a “molar pregnancy”. “Ugh what”? “What’s a molar pregnancy”? He said I needed to do some blood work and that I need a D&C where they will do a biopsy.
I had the D&C on December 18, 2019 and shortly after that, I fell into a depression. Now filled with thoughts of another loss, now I’m scared that I have cancer too. A week or so later my test came back that it wasn’t a molar pregnancy, just tissue. “Just tissue”?
At this point I’m confused, but relieved. One night a couple of weeks later, as I get up to go to the bathroom, I stared hemorrhaging. I called the doctors and scheduled an appointment for the following day.
I see the doctor and he doesn’t even check me out, he proceeds to tell me that it’s my period, but that he wants me to have a CT (cat scan) to be sure I had no tissue left behind. The next day or two, I had the same issue 2x more, before I decided to the hospital for a second opinion.
This is where I found out I was in fact, 13 weeks pregnant! I cried. I knew deep in my heart, but I ignored it. I wasn’t on prenatal vitamins or eating healthy. I felt as if I failed my baby and my body.
A day later, I found another OBGYN, and started to take care of myself as a pregnant woman should. But just as this crazy journey was beginning and all had seemed okay apart from the bleeding, I had a soft ball sized clot, which irritated my cervix, putting me into preterm labor at 24 weeks. I spent the whole month of April alone, in pain with contractions everyday, every 5 to 10 minutes apart. My two girls were home. I was missing them, and they were missing their mom. They didn’t understand why I was not home. I was a mess, I couldn’t take it anymore, and nor could my body. At 26 weeks I went into full blown labor, I was rushed into the OR begging to call my husband to come, but they said there wasn’t enough time. I was scheduled for a repeat c-section but ended up having a VBAC. I gave birth to my handsome son on May 4th, all alone.
After everything we dealt within the NICU, which included my son, at 12 days old developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis which is an infection in the GI track. He was put on three types of antibiotics which were changed twice. He had to have emergency surgery due to the large intestine rupturing, which cause E-coli. He had 5 cm of large intestine removed and his appendix because it died. The next day he had another surgery for a Broviac line, which is a direct blood line for the 20 plus blood transfusions he received in order to survive. His lungs collapsed two times after his surgery, and was put on a better ventilator.
My son came home August 18th 2020. He was taking liver medicines for his cholestasis which he developed from the long use of TPN. He was around 8 lbs when he came home, he was very yellow, but doing well. We had some hiccups with possible bowel obstructions, which came back fine. Then the entire family all contracted Covid this past January. Thankfully we all did fine. Last month, his blood work came back that he doesn’t need his liver medicines anymore! And we are finally able to feed him baby food 3x day now. We still deal with GI symptoms of gas and such, but it’s gotten better. He is hitting all his milestones, and at 11months, 8weeks adjusted, he’s starting to walk. He currently weighs 20 lbs. Overall, we are doing well. We did have a scare about him coming back with cystic fibrosis but the test came back normal and that he’s a carrier like me.
Nicole Ventura is mom to 3 great kids (2 girls, 8 and 2 and son who is 11 months) and a therapist. Because of her training, she recognizes the signs in PTSD in herself from her traumatic pregnancy, delivery and NICU stay. Nicole, her husband and family reside in New York.