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An Extra Big Lesson

By Lauren Bretscher

Hi everyone! I would like to share my appreciation for the work Jess and Taryn (my sister) are doing on Extra Lucky Moms.

Your platform: wisdom, bravery, advocacy, leadership, and so much more, are admirable and inspiring. The community you’ve built and will continue to expand are “extra” lucky to have you (ok, pun intended)! Thank you from a fellow Mama, your friend and little sister, but more importantly on behalf, I’m sure, of all your readers and viewers. I look forward to all that is next for Rhea, Adeline, this community, and you ladies.

My sister approached me a few weeks back to share my story on Postpartum Anxiety. I too am an Extra Lucky Mom with an emphasis on the word “extra.” My first pregnancy ended around 10 weeks due to a miscarriage. Something very common, however not talked about enough. I found strength to continue in my pregnancy journey through many outlets (family, friends, self-care), but mainly through stories so many offered to comfort me - - sharing their own personal miscarriage travails.

I forged on and I am so happy I did because I became pregnant again (about 4-5 months after the miscarriage)! I’ll never forget the day my morning turned a little “extra.” I told my husband not to rearrange his schedule accompanying me to this doctor’s appointment. We had so many visits by now due to the miscarriage and balancing work and appointments became tough. Subconsciously, I think I was afraid of the outcome. Would I hear a heartbeat, or would I face a second loss? I should have realized then my suppressed anxiety was starting to surface. Anxious people tend to worry about the future often conjuring “what if,” scenarios. I was and still am one of those people. Anyway, all checked out well with the doctor and now it was time for a sonogram. My heart was racing as I waited to hear a beat…instead I heard this: “Lauren, I don’t see one, I see two.” My response “two what? two feet?” I was so focused on listening for a heartbeat I don’t think I gave myself a chance to think before I responded. The nurse laughed and said “no, two fetuses.” I WAS PREGNANT WITH TWINS! How extra lucky am I?

For me, pregnancy wasn’t what I had envisioned. I was in the hospital 6 times before I gave birth to two, beautiful, healthy babies. To reflect is challenging because, quite frankly, it was stressful. My doctor and I now attribute my pregnancy rollercoaster to a carrying multiples, but it was rough and something I just powered through. At 21 weeks, during one hospital stay, and before I got placed on bed rest, I had a nurse stand over me telling me the babies could come at any day. Prompted by my many questions, she then shared their survival rates had they to come (too) early. Scared is an understatement. Fast forward, I made it to 37 weeks and on New Year’s Day 2019 my babies were born. They were healthy, required no NICU stay, and all was good again, right? For them and physical me, yes, but mental me, was a strong no.