The Mala Stories highlight women that use motherhood as a catalyst for personal growth, strength, and connection. Showing that Motherhood isn’t something that robs you of your time and identity, but rather is something that brings to the surface a deeper connection to yourself, your community and the universe. That motherhood can be a time when you shed your insecurities, and self-doubt to step fully into the woman you are meant to be.
Today, we are thrilled to have Jenna's second installment, a courageous and beautiful story about surprises, fears, and ultimately, finding peace and letting go.
Jenna is a mother of 5, a wife and a brilliant photographer of Hobbs Photography.
When the twins were six months, my doctor suggested birth control, and amongst the blur of sleepless nights, breastfeeding them both, plus the energetic older children I had... "Yes." Was my response. "Yes, I do."
The Copper IUD sounded good and just like that I was worry free and content with our family of six. We agreed four kids was a good balance. We agreed that after surviving the newborn stage of twins we were happy to be done with babies and it felt right with each baby item that left the house. We were complete. Happy. Ready for whatever was next...
The twins weren't quite two yet and it was ordinary days. My eldest at school while I got to stay at home and soak up all those amazing moments, days, years with the three littlest. I love these years, I wish they would last forever... I swear I didn't say that out loud.
During these usual days of motherhood and life, I began to feel tired, nauseous and I could describe it no better way than, I was pregnant. We joked and said I must have mono, or an iron deficiency because I was not pregnant, I could not be pregnant, I had an IUD and had for over a year. I went to my doctor who assured me I was not pregnant and sent me for some tests but Travis, my husband, insisted I take the test before he went out of town for a couple weeks. I remember saying, "Okay, but I am 99.4% sure that it's going to be negative." Imagine our surprise. Our shock. Our confusion. Our 0.6%.
After google, nervous laughter, wide eyes and Travis offering to drive the thirty minutes to town to buy another test, I learned that this is rare, but can happen. I learned that actually quite a few women have gotten pregnant with an IUD and it most cases have it removed and go on to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. So I went to the doctor expecting to do so. But it turned into an emergency ultrasound when the IUD couldn't be found. I ironically prayed it fell out and it had not migrated into my uterus. The latter was true.
At this point, I wanted facts. I am a science girl. I wanted numbers, facts and statistics in which to base my emotions. The chances of a miscarriage if I took it out, so deep in my uterus. The chance of having a successful pregnancy and healthy baby. The chance of miscarriage or preterm labour. I didn't get any facts, nor the doctor or OBGYN could give me any. I was told it was rare. I was told that I could have the IUD taken out, but this would probably cause miscarriage or compromise my cervix, unable to carry a baby full term. A pregnancy we didn't really want in the first place. Or I could keep both the IUD and baby, and take the risk of a miscarriage or preterm labour. No percentages. No chances. Just a decision I had to make.
I was mad, upset, confused. I had to make a decision, about a baby I didn't ask for. About a baby I took precautions to not have.
I was a mother. A mother to four, well I saw it as five, I was pregnant. How could I say no? I was capable, and something, some small thing in my gut said I needed to let it be. I was most content in the fact to let whatever may happen - a miscarriage, preterm labour, or a healthy fifth child - happen, without my or anyone's interference. Let nature, fate, whatever it may be, happen. So this baby and this IUD I would keep.
I had to take on the heartache of deciding to have and want this baby, but also with the circumstance of possibly losing this baby. At the same time, I had to let go of my fears of adding another child, becoming a family of seven. Seven. Where would they all sleep? Would they fit in the minivan? How was I suppose to leave the house?
When I attended my first midwife appointment I discovered that one of my midwives, was an IUD baby, an IUD baby that shared a uterus a whole 40 weeks with a similar piece of metal to what I housed, I couldn't help but feel hopeful.
Each week passed by and the fear slowly turned to joy. I was constantly aware of what stage of development the baby was in, in case something happened. When I hit the thirty weeks, thirty two, thirty three, I was confident and most of my fears faded and were replaced with anticipation and joy for what life has brought us. I forget that it's even in there. The IUD. Now 38 weeks.
The experience has taught me so much. So much about life. About how we can try to plan, we can think we have things in our hands, but ultimately it is how we live, how we react to what life gives us. We are so small in this big beautiful thing called life. It has taught me value. To be thankful for everything I do have. For my babies. For my health. For my fertility, for my uterus, for my ability as a women. It has centered me. It has made me a stronger woman. I am a strong woman. A mom to five children. Five. How lucky. How very lucky I am.