May 04, 2021
It took nine years, five pregnancies and a minimally invasive but technically challenging medical procedure for Cherise Butler to deliver her first "miracle baby" with husband Yorick Butler Sr.
Each pregnancy conceived naturally, two years apart, was a roller coaster ride of hope and heartache. As her body – time and time again – rejected the baby she dreamt of having, Butler slipped further into depression. At her lowest point, she attempted suicide before learning to cope and ultimately welcoming two-year-old Yorick Jr. and five-month-old Cheyanne into the world.
During this month honoring motherhood, she shared her journey to give courage to those who have endured the loss of a baby.
“My first two pregnancies ended in miscarriages. I was unsure of what the problem was until my third pregnancy.
I found out that I had a cervix problem. I had a procedure done to get my womb stitched and I was on bed rest for about 12 weeks. The very day I went back to work, my stitches popped and pulled apart. I was 24 weeks at that time. I was rushed to the hospital where the doctor, he restitched me. Afterwards, I stayed in the Rand
Memorial for about two days,” the 33-year-old recalled.
The transvaginal cervical stitch, known as a cerclage, continued to pull apart. Fearing she might lose the baby, doctors rushed the patient to Florida’s Jacksonville Memorial. She was hospitalized for about four days before the baby arrived.
“It literally felt like my womb was pulling apart and the baby was pushing down on it. Whilst my womb was contracting, they had to cut the stitches, so I was in severe pain.”
Weighing in at a pound, little Lavado was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for urgent medical care. He died two weeks later.
“I was happy I got to spend the time with him [but] after that experience, I was depressed. I was devastated.
I couldn’t sleep,” Butler recalled.
Two weeks after cremating her son, she remained in a state of depression.
“I was tired. I took all the sleeping pills I had and took some type of alcohol and attempted suicide. I was ready to give up. My husband’s grandmother found me. I ended up in the hospital and had my stomach pumped.”
Following Lavardo’s birth, Butler’s doctors discovered a large cyst on her ovary, which had to be removed. Two years later, she was able to conceive again. This time, the fetus was lodged in a fallopian tube. Since tissues outside the uterus cannot provide the necessary blood supply and support, ultimately the fetus did not survive, and a portion of the tube had to be removed.
Recognizing she had to lift herself out of a downward spiral, Butler began to chart her course to mental wellness. She went through counseling, got closer to God and strengthened her resolve not to give up on life or her hopes of becoming a mother. Exploring all her options, Butler contemplated having her children through in vitro fertilization (IVF), using a friend as a surrogate.
“I remember her sister telling me, ‘Cherise, God said you are going to carry your kids.’ From then I believed, and I found a way. I found Dr. [Shamanique] Bodie-Williams.”
Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian