Brandi Bunda: A Second Chance at Motherhood

I grew up in a single-parent home with an incarcerated father, which brought about its own set of challenges and hardships. I was a typical little girl, playing house, pretending to be a mom, and caring for my life-like babies. I was naturally the nurturing type. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never imagined it would happen at such a young age. Shockingly, I was in junior high when I became pregnant after having sex for the very first time. I was 14 years old.
Figuring out how to raise and financially support another human was scary, daunting, and, honestly, didn’t seem possible. Without any support from my family, there was no way I could do it on my own, so my mom drove me to a clinic in a neighboring state, and I had an abortion. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I have a hole in my heart that only that baby can fill, and the pain, shame, and guilt still haunt me today.
I know my life would have been so different as a teen mom. Around the same time, I got to witness the struggle and sacrifice first-hand when one of my closest friends also became pregnant. She had the support of her family, went through with her pregnancy, and raised her baby. Walking that journey alongside her was a constant reminder of what I had done and the baby I didn’t have.
I graduated high school with honors and headed off to college, where I met my husband. We dated for 5 years before getting married. Shortly after we got married in 2010, I embarked on somewhat of a wellness journey when I started working for a holistic supplement company in the animal health industry. I became inundated with learning about preventative health and natural wellness, for both pets and people.
After waiting a year and a half, we wanted to start a family, I was 29 at the time. So, I stopped taking birth control, ditched the Adderall, cut out soda, and started taking a prenatal vitamin daily.
Sadly, five months into my fertility journey, my dad got diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I became his primary caregiver and together we made dietary and lifestyle changes to improve our health. We started buying more organic meats and veggies, choosing non-GMO products, eating less packaged food, and cutting down on processed sugar. We were more intentional with taking our supplements every day and were introduced to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.
Surprisingly, two weeks after my dad finished his last day of treatment, we found out we were pregnant! We were ecstatic and over the moon with excitement! Having just gone through one of the toughest seasons of our entire lives, this news was such a blessing. We quickly made a doctor’s appointment to get confirmation, and the day we heard the heartbeat for the very first time, I experienced a wave of unexplainable joy and gratitude. I thanked Jesus repeatedly for hearing and answering our prayers.
We went out to eat with some family members to celebrate, but our celebration was short-lived. Not long after getting home from the restaurant, I started cramping and passing small blood clots in our bathroom. I had never experienced a miscarriage before, so I was unsure if that’s what was happening. I retrieved the clots from the toilet and we rushed to the hospital. After being admitted, an ultrasound confirmed there was no heartbeat. I was sent home to rest, get comfortable, and wait for my body to stop bleeding, which could take at least a week or more. The thought of having a miscarriage never really crossed my mind. We were completely devastated and with broken hearts, we buried our baby under the old bodark tree, not far from our dog, Bit-Bit, who had passed away earlier that year. It was a sad and difficult time, to say the least. If I’m being really honest, at that moment, I questioned whether I was even worthy of being a mom…

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