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‘Being a mother my biggest blessing’

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

‘Being a mother my biggest blessing’

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Natasha Lesprance loves her nieces and nephews. In fact, she is thought of as the super cool aunt by her nephews who she spoils.

But Natasha, while the doting aunt, wanted children of her own – twins in fact. But miscarriage after miscarriage robbed her of that chance, until recently.

Natasha is seven months pregnant, and is happily looking forward to meeting Arriana Helena Rose Hill.

“Arriana was chosen by her dad Freddie. Helena is Freddie’s late mum and Rose is my grandmother’s name. I was really close to my grandmother, who I grew up with here in Barbados,” she told EASY magazine last week Wednesday as she relaxed with feet up, while rubbing her swollen stomach.

“I can’t sit for long, though. This daughter of mine seems to hate me sitting for long periods. She is more so quiet when I am up on my feet.”

Many women might deem it risky to be pregnant at 42, but Natasha sees it as a blessing and really her last chance.

“I am fit physically so I got the go-ahead from my doctor. I had really given up on any chance of becoming pregnant based on my medical history but this time it worked out.”

Natasha story’s is an emotional one, and she herself said it was a surprise she wasn’t crying hysterically throughout the interview.

“I cried so many days. Shut off myself from the world . . .,” she said, explaining how tough it was when she miscarried for the umpteenth time.

Natasha, who moved here 22 years ago from Guyana, said she started having strange periods and ultrasounds would show fibroids. She said she was very young so because they didn’t pose a problem or make her uncomfortable she let them be.

Her first pregnancy was in her early 20s and she lost the baby when she was two and a half months. Then there was another pregnancy – another miscarriage. This became a reoccurring nightmare. She badly wanted, a baby so she kept trying.

She was now in a new relationship and in love with Freddie Hill. Life was good but she still wanted a baby. Eventually she turned 40 and realised that she was on the cusp of the point of no return. It was now or never, according to reports that pregnancies for women 40 and up were high-risk pregnancies.

Remember those fibroids mentioned earlier? Well, they were now a hindrance and needed to be removed to increase chances of conception and long-term pregnancy.

So Natasha scheduled the surgery for October 16, 2016. The night before the surgery while doing prep work, the doctor realised she was pregnant.

“I was in shock. I never imagined I could be. I wasn’t having any symptoms,” said Natasha.

So the surgery was cancelled, but at 12 weeks Natasha started bleeding. The diagnosis was an attempted miscarriage but everything was okay. She spent some time in the hospital in December and went home and went on vacation.

“I started to have complications then and started heavy vomiting and was on Gravol three times a day. I was in Guyana in January and went to do an ultrasound and the doctor said it was a boy.

“I was so happy; even with the complications I had passed my first trimester and I gave him a name and everything.”

Natasha returned to Barbados, still cautious.

She started having severe pains on her first day back to work.

“My mum, who lives in New York, was on the phone with me telling me to go to the doctor. Freddie said the same thing . . . all my friends. But I stubbornly came home and went to bed.”

The pains would increase in the night – sharp and hard and contractions were 20 minutes apart. She went to the bathroom and there she saw blood. She woke up Freddie and called her doctor, who told her come to the clinic.

“I knew we couldn’t make it there so we decided to go to Sunset Crest Medical Centre,” she said.

Here is where she became solemn and the story got heart-rending.

Freddie was at the wheel, driving well past the speed limit. Natasha and a friend were in the back seat. When they reached Haynesville, Natasha said she could feel the baby forcing its way into the world. She shouted that out to Freddie. He replied, “Hold it in!”

That was a lost cause. At the back entrance to Sandy Lane Hotel the baby made its entry out in the back seat.

“I heard whoosh. I didn’t even push. The blood was everywhere. Freddie was turning around and I told him don’t look because I didn’t want him to see me or see the baby like that.

“We drove to Sunset Crest and the doctor came out and cut the umbilical cord. I didn’t even look at the baby because I didn’t want to put a face to it to make that memory hurt even more.”

Natasha said she cried until there were no more tears and then cried some more.

“I went back to work to take my mind off of it. There were nights I cried and no one knew. There were days I didn’t even want to get up and no one knew. While I appreciated the calls from well-wishers I had to turn off my phone so I could be alone with my thoughts.”

Natasha said the doctors said she had to have surgery to remove the fibroids. There were seven huge ones taking up too much space in her stomach. Her boyfriend told her they would try again.

“He said after the surgery we can try again. I said that was my last egg. I am now 41 and I have no more eggs left. And I didn’t feel like going through that again because so far I had no luck carrying a baby full-term.”

The fibroid surgery was successful and after talking it over with the doctors they agreed that she could try one more time to get pregnant after giving her body proper time to heal.

“There were stitches inside so we had to wait six months. Doctors said I was healthy otherwise and fit so we should try. He gave us a conception plan with a time schedule for ovulation and when we should have sex,” she said, laughing while her boyfriend wryly shook his head.

“I have to tell the full thing,” she said, laughing at his embarrassment, as he consented to her finishing the rest of the story.

Natasha made sure they stuck to the schedule, even when Freddie tried to beg off.

“Two tries and we were pregnant,” she said, laughing loudly.

“I knew I was pregnant the minute it happened. My periods were always regular and I was at Hennessy Artistry last December and I just felt unwell.

“I told everyone I was feeling ill and wanted to go home. When Freddie asked me what was wrong I said, ‘My period is very late so I think I am pregnant.’”

Natasha was right. The Wednesday of the same week she visited her personal physician Dr Chatwani, who confirmed it.

There was one foetus present, and Natasha begged the doctor to check again if there was another because she wanted twins to seal the deal.

“I knew this was it. It was now or never. So let me have my two, but it was only one still when we checked back weeks later,” she said, chuckling.

Natasha is now waiting for August to see baby Arriana, and so is everyone else.

“I had to get sutured to keep her in there but everything is fine now. I didn’t have any complications, no morning sickness. My only issue is finding a perfect sleeping position and my cravings for pickles and salad with blue cheese . . . .  I even ran a 5K.”

Natasha said her partner worries more than she does and as soon as she says she isn’t feeling on top of it he wants to go to the doctor.

“I am a disciplinarian. I can see him spoiling her.”

Freddie, who is already a dad, says he just wants a smooth delivery and a healthy baby.

“She has to have a C-section because of the first surgery. I am just happy she has passed the worst,” he said. (NS)

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