Meet Allie. We met through an amazing facebook moms group (one that actually meets for playdates!) and we, along with many other mamas, became such great friends. Allie is the mama to 2 wonderful boys. She is kind, loving, generous, hilarious, and through everything she has been through continues to be a warm, radiating light, projecting happiness to those around her.
This is her story.
In July of 2017, Allie found out amazing news. She was going to be having another baby! She and her family were estatic. At the ultrasound they heard the heartbeat, everything sounded great! Baby was measuring a little behind, so the doctor recommended they come back a month later just to be safe.
But, by August, their precious baby had passed. Mama Allie had her first d/c procedure, and pathology showed she had had a partial molar pregnancy. Baby was so chromosomally sick that he/she would never have survived to full term.
A month later, the abnormal cells from her pregnancy proved stubborn, and had spread to her uterine lining. She underwent two more surgeries, medications, and was diagnosed with Gestational Trophoblasic Disease (cancer).
Allie continued to fight against her cancer, even when treatments were causing her to feel ill and tired. Her hair began falling out early into treatment, and she made the decision to shave her head. She was gifted a beautiful wig, but embraced her short hair as it started to grow back in.
She fought against this cancer for 7 months, hoping and praying for the cancer to go away. She would constantly take pregnancy tests, since having a positive pregnancy test meant no more cancer AND that she was going to have a baby!
It was in April when she realized her period was late. Allie took a pregnancy test and was shocked to see it was positive! Her cancer was gone AND she had a baby!
But, she was nervous at each and every doctors appointment and ultrasound. Nervous that this baby wasn't going to make it, that she would suffer as she did before. But every appointment went well, baby was growing just fine. Shorty after, she received the news she was having her first girl! So exciting!
She was suffering from extreme nausea with this pregnancy though. Much different than normal vomiting and nausea. In May she was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. This condition can be so severe that it may require IV meds with anti-nausea medication, and/or hospitalization.
Allie was vomiting frequently. She ended up being hospitalized, and upon discharge was given a midline port for a homecare IV.
As of today, she is still vomiting about 5-50 times per day, but baby girl is happy and healthy, and mama Allie only has a smile on her face. Even after hearing from her doctor that since her HG hasn't let up anytime soon, that it will probably persist throughout the rest of her pregnancy.
Allie is a strong, brave, amazing mama. When I think about the meaning of the word "strong", her face immediately comes to mind. I knew when I had the idea for "celebrate" sessions, she had a big reason to celebrate. So we set up a small makeshift studio space (in a fellow mom-friend's kitchen) and captured her story. Bare skin, IV, everything. This was a moment for her to shine, to celebrate this baby growing inside her, to celebrate her body's sacrifices and journey. To recognize this time in her life and to feel EMPOWERED and strong for all she has gone through as a woman and a mother.
I am lucky to know this woman. Even luckier to call her my friend. This beautiful woman is my inspiration, my hero <3