Darline Turner is the owner and founder of Mamas On Bed Rest, an online information, support, referral base and resource for pregnant women on prescribed bed rest.
She is also the founder of DSpeaks, an online portal for discussions on women’s health, relationships, sexuality and culture and society.
Please give us some background about yourself
My name is Darline Turner, I am a 47 y.o. mama of 2 (a 10 year old and a 7 year old).
I support high risk pregnant women on prescribed bed rest online and in their homes (locally).
When did you realize that you were having trouble conceiving? Did you share this with your family or friends?
I was 29 when I was told that I would not carry a pregnancy to term because I had large fibroid tumors in my uterus. I was devastated.
I wasn’t dating at the time and knew that I wanted to have a baby sometime in the future. I was simply crushed.
I shared this with family and friends and they were supportive, but honestly, I felt all alone and broken as a woman.
I did eventually become pregnant (obviously) but did suffer 2 miscarriages. I would not have made it had it not been for the support of women I found online in a chat group for women with fibroids having difficulty getting pregnant.
We are still friends today and I am happy to report that we all have children.
What have you done to improve your chances of getting pregnant? Did you follow a particular treatment?
When I was first told that I would never carry a pregnancy to term, I was told to have a hysterectomy. Luckily I consulted with a specialist who completely refuted that suggestion.
I tried several different hormone treatments, was offered a myomectomy to remove the fibroids (but I couldn’t afford to take the 8-12 weeks off work that the surgery required at that time) and eventually managed my bleeding, cramping and pain with herbs and acupuncture.
This also regulated my periods so that I ovulated. I got married 6 years after the initial diagnosis and treatments and while I did get pregnant, I lost that child. I then had the myomectomy to remove the fibroids.
Have you been able to get pregnant? How long did it take? Any side effects?
I got pregnant 3 weeks after I had the myomectomy with my daughter, now 10 years old.
I had a second pregnancy 2 years later which ended in miscarriage, and then got pregnant with my son the following year. He is now 7.
How did you feel when you got pregnant? How did people react?
I was thrilled but terrified when I got and stayed pregnant. I told my family but waited to tell other people until I was in my second trimester.
Most people who knew me and my journey were thrilled for me and very supportive.
I was high risk with both pregnancies, had some bleeding and preterm contractions with my daughter and delivered her at 36 weeks, 6 days.
My son was a very uncomplicated pregnancy. However I was 40 when I had him. He was a term baby.
Advice for others: What should others trying to get pregnant do? And do’s and dont’s?
I personally say, “don’t give up!” If I had given up when I was 29 and listened to my doctor, I never would have had my children who are my heart.
It was a long, hard, difficult, frustrating, sad, insane time trying to get pregnant.
Again, stick with it. It’s just when you can’t believe you’ll get pregnant (i.e. immediately after surgery!!) that you do.
In the meantime, do all that you can to strengthen your body. Eat very well. Take a very high grade multi/prenatal vitamin, avoid caffeine, refined sugars.
Quit smoking (if you do). Limit Alcohol intake. Exercise. Lose any and all excess weight.
Get any chronic medical conditions in tight control. The stronger and more “stable” your body is, the better you will fare when you do become pregnant.