I have met some incredible mother’s in my life – especially since starting Mommi and trying to make the world of prenatal nutrition better. I have heard a lot of inspirational and heartbreaking stories and Marisa is one of the most touching. Infertility is one of the most difficult things women go through in their journey to motherhood, but combine that with losing triplets at 20 weeks and I think most of us wouldn’t know how to carry on. Despite these difficult challenges, Marisa has had the most amazing strength. On the hardest day I think of what she has been through, and the pregnancy she is half-way through now and I keep going because I know everything is going to be OK. Marisa – thank you for sharing your story with us. It has helped me with my perspective on life and I know it will affect many other’s positively as well. You are an exceptional mother and woman!
Mommi: When did you first know that you wanted to become a mother?
Marisa: I can’t remember a particular moment that I first realized I wanted to become a mother. My husband and I always looked forward to having kids one day when we both finally finished up with school and could finally settle down, buy a house, and start our careers. In my job as a nurse anesthetist working with little kids in which I would put them under anesthesia for medical procedures, it often did spark even more excitement about one day having my own baby to love.
Mommi: Tell us about your first pregnancy and the unique challenges that you faced.
Marisa: When my husband and I were ready to have kids, we sought out infertility treatment since I have never had a natural menstrual cycle my entire life. When we saw the infertility doctor he discovered I have polycyctic/polyfollicular ovaries, therefore I never produced a mature egg on my own. We went on to complete a cycle of hormonal injections which resulted in a triplet pregnancy. Although the doctor warned us about his concerns with a triplet pregnancy and the chances of ending up without any babies in some cases, we continued anyway with the pregnancy. From our perspective each of the babies were perfect and how in the world could we pick one or two to “reduce” in order to possibly end up with one or two healthy babies? The pregnancy was going completely fine. I had cervical checks every week, and from the info provided, my cervix remained relatively unchanged, yet only from a vaginal exam, which can be subject to error I am sure.
One day I woke up at 20 weeks and 2 days, and what appeared to be the mucous plug had come out. I freaked out, called the doctor and immediately went to the doctor’s office. The doctor examined me and found my cervix to be “long and closed”. I went home, and hours later, was apparently in labor, with only signs of hip pain and difficulty urinating. Of course eventually, there was blood, and I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Ultimately, I labored all night and delivered all three babies by the next morning. Two were born alive and died in our hands, and one had already passed away due to the labor trauma. Their names are Drake, Shane, and Shayla, and we miss them every day but look forward to meeting them in heaven one day.
Mommi: What advice would you give to mothers that have difficulties in their pregnancies, fertility, labor, etc.
Marisa: My advice for other mothers who have had difficulties in pregnancy, fertility, labor, etc. would be to above all, trust in God and know that the plans He has for you are better then those you have for yourself. After we lost our triplets the biggest question I had was “why??” As time went on the only thing I could believe was that God knew that had we not lost them when we did something worse may have happened in our future, whether it would be having three micro-premie babies who would have a very difficult life, or maybe a significant strain on our marriage, or maybe I myself could have seen my own life at risk as well. Regardless, I have to believe that God’s plans are better for me than anything I could want for myself. In my current pregnancy I choose to believe that the vasa previa that developed was possibly God’s way of ensuring that this pregnancy would be highly monitored and that I will be safe in the hospital by 26 weeks. As scary as it can be, any fear I have reminds me that I am not trusting God as much as I should, and I stop and pray and present my concerns to God. In all aspects of pregnancy and fertility, if I remember that God is always with me, I feel much better.
Mommi: More about my background.
Marisa: I currently live in Murrieta, CA with my best friend and husband Nathen Horst. We have been together since high school, and with all we have been through we are stronger together then I could ever imagine. I work as a certified registered nurse anesthetist at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and I absolutely love what I do. My husband Nathen is a Chiropractor, and through our experience he has developed a special interest in managing women during pregnancy, in addition to his passion for athletes. Prior to infertility treatment, I have always been a runner and athlete, which I can’t wait to get into once this pregnancy is safely completed. We have an adorable little dog named Thor and he has been especially therapeutic and supportive for us throughout our infertility journey, our loss, and the current pregnancy.
Mommi: How far along are you and how is your pregnancy going?
Marisa: In my current pregnancy, I am 20 weeks and 3 days along, one day further then the triplet pregnancy, so it feels like am important day for me. We are excited that we are having a baby girl, but having lost two boys and a girl, we would have been thrilled if it was a boy or a girl. We intend to name her Faith, which was going to be our triplet daughter’s middle name.
When we went in for the anatomy scan, they discovered some significant abnormalities with the placenta, including an abnormal placement of umbilical cord insertion and a vasa previa, which means an unprotected fetal blood vessel runs in front of the cervix. When diagnosed, chances of survival and a good outcome are high when a C-section is performed prior to the onset of labor. In cases where it is not found, fatality can be extremely high because at the onset of labor, the fetal blood vessel ruptures and the baby can bleed to death. We are extremely glad that ours was identified early. In order to ensure things go well, we are taking a very conservative route, and I will be hanging out relaxing at home by 22 weeks, and in the hospital at 26 weeks. In order to avoid labor, they will be monitoring me closely to ensure no contractions are occurring, and hopefully getting me to 34 or 35 weeks at which time they will do a C-section. Overall, we feel we will be in good hands with the doctors, and hope to meet our adorable baby girl in the next several months.
Mommi: What are you looking forward to the most in welcoming your little one into the world?
Marisa: I am so overwhelmingly excited to get this baby here safely. I will be eternally grateful to God for seeing us through this scary experience. I cannot wait to finally feel what it means to love our own baby and watch her grow up. When we lost our triplets we most definitely held our babies and felt was it was like to love something more than I could have ever imagined. This time I just cannot wait to have a baby in my arms who I get to love every day here on earth. Until she is here, I just pray every moment for her safe delivery.
Mommi: What is your favorite Mommi 3-in-1 shake?
Marisa: I just love the chocolate Mommi 3-in-1 shake. Every morning I blend it up with 10 oz of the milk that comes from a fresh local dairy where I live, and its sooooo tasty! Its very filling, and it keeps me going for hours, so it’s been perfect before work. And soon when I am taking it easy at home, I will continue to use it to get all the nourishment I need for myself and the baby.