Hi! I'm Tara.
I am a mighty mama with a messy motherhood journey,
and I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
Our stories matter.
Here is mine:
As a five-time Endometriosis surgery recipient, I have known since my diagnosis at 19 that infertility could wreck my dream of having children. After a couple of years of increasingly debilitating pain and misdiagnosis, I had a corrective surgery for Endometriosis attachments on my bowel, bladder, ovaries, abdominal wall, uterus, and appendix in July of 2016. Things started looking up, and I became pregnant that August. The Friday before Thanksgiving, I went to my doctor’s office for a routine second trimester appointment, and we discovered that I had a missed miscarriage between weeks 9 & 10. Two days before Thanksgiving, I had a d & c. Three weeks later, I was still heavily bleeding and clotting, and a complex cyst was discovered on my left ovary. I was told that we should monitor it closely. A follow-up ultrasound the second week of January showed that the mass had grown significantly in size and complexity, and I went in for exploratory surgery later that week.
Thankfully, it wasn’t cancer, but my doctor did discover a complete, overwhelming, totally-destructive regrowth of my Endometriosis. I went from adhesion-free and fertile to Stage IV disease and sterile in five months. This news was completely devastating, and forced us to make a lot of serious decisions very quickly.
Fast-forward through another surgery, 2 rounds of IVF, and 1 FET, and I finally became pregnant again. At week 6 I was put on bedrest for cramping and bleeding, and at week 8 we discovered that only one of the two placed embryos remained. Then, at week 11, I started having breathing issues, elevated urine protein, high blood pressure, and severe swelling. My pregnancy became high-risk as I transitioned into my second trimester.
I was in and out of antepartum care from November of 2017 until the end of my pregnancy. I battled the flu, a severe respiratory infection, horrific swelling, and staggeringly high blood pressures. In February of 2018, I was permanently admitted into antepartum care for severe preeclampsia. My daughter wasn’t due until April 29th.
My hospital stay was filled with magnesium drips, sleepless nights, and blown IVs, until my doctors decided that the pregnancy was too dangerous to continue. I was induced on March 7 at 32 weeks + 3 days. After 54 hours, we declared my induction a failure, and I was quickly wheeled away for a c-section. During the surgery, a surprise placenta accreta was discovered, and I hemorrhaged. My daughter was whisked to the NICU on a separate floor, while I received 4 units of blood and two bags of fresh frozen platelets.
After 4 days, I was released from the hospital, and 15 days after that, we got to bring our daughter home. The weeks that she was in the hospital, and those that immediately followed her NICU Graduation were some of the hardest days of my life. I had been running a multi-year marathon of intense pain, frayed emotions, severe illness, and debilitating anxiety. In the wake of those years, becoming a first time mom of a special needs, 4 pound baby felt like an impossible responsibility most days.
With space, time, and the support of others, I am slowly learning to process and cope with the messy journey that made me a mom. I felt led to found The Mightiest Mamas to help bring healing, support, resources, and love to other moms with messy starts to motherhood.
Your story matters. Start telling it.