One Size Does Not Fit All: Pregnancy & Childbirth

     A lot of women dream about how their pregnancy and delivery are going to go. I know that I was one of them. Before getting pregnant with my first I had all of these different ideas about how it was all going to go. I was going to have a super easy pregnancy, no morning sickness (that one luckily came true), look adorable at all times, eat whatever I want since I’m eating for two and have the world’s simplest labor & delivery! But life had a very different plan! So to all of you out there who had a completely different outcome than what you had imagined…I feel your pain. And to all of you blissfully unaware pregnant or soon to be pregnant ladies out there…pay attention…I have a story and some advice to share with you.

     My husband and I had been married for over 2 years when we decided to have a baby. We had the house and 2 dogs already, we figured…it’s time. Well because I have PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)it took close to a year and some different medicines but eventually I got pregnant. After that we figured it should be a breeze! Oh how very naïve we truly were. If I could go back I would slap some sense into us for being totally unprepared about everything that could go wrong!

     My pregnancy started out pretty awesome. I only got sick once and I swear that was just my body telling me to pee on that little stick! Yeah it sucked giving up my caffeine. I had to just go cold turkey since I consume enough each day to probably jump start a car. But even that wasn’t so bad…until I realized no sushi or subs. I was beginning to get a little pissy about the things that I could no longer enjoy. Yet I just kept telling myself that the cute little human in me would make it all worth it!

    Lets fast forward to the 20 week mark. Now I had been feeling really crappy for awhile. Headaches that wouldn’t go away, dizziness and very lethargic. Everyone kept telling that it’s normal in pregnancy. I didn’t think so but hey it was my first pregnancy so I figured everyone else must be right. Wrong! If you think something is not right definitely get it checked out! Went to the doctors for my usual appointment and mentioned some of my symptoms. The nurse took my blood pressure (already had peed in that awesome little cup that makes it damn near impossible not to pee on yourself) and immediately went to get the doctor. I thought it was odd but hey maybe she’s just thorough. Yeah she was thoroughly concerned about how high my blood pressure was! So after the doctor came in and rechecked it, I was sent to the hospital to be admitted…first of many!

     So after that I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. It’s a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in your urine. If it’s monitored correctly it isn’t too bad…until it is. I was admitted several times for the rest of my pregnancy. We would find a blood pressure medicine that would work for awhile and then stop. It was just a never ending cycle of how long I will be home until I have to go back for another hospital stay. I was even put on disability from work early since I had to be on bed rest.

     At around 32/33 weeks I was once again…surprise surprise…admitted to the hospital. What I didn’t realize was that this would be the last time. My blood pressure just kept getting worse and worse. Nothing seemed to help it at all! At this point I started to get steroid injections to help my sons lungs develop. They knew that he was going to have to come out sooner rather than later. A few days later the doctor told me that they were going to induce me because I went from having pre-eclampsia to severe eclampsia. My blood pressure was so high that I was at risk for a seizure and stroke. Even the magnesium sulfate (which makes you feel like you’re on fire from the inside out) wasn’t going to be much help.

     So the next day I was induced. That’s not really a ball of laughes either but not horrible, just some medicine. Unfortunately because my blood pressure was so high I had the migraine to end all migraines. I had to have a towel over my eyes, even with the blindes closed, and the noise from the hallway sounded like it was sent straight from hell just to torture me! In reality it probably wasn’t very loud but I wasn’t exactly at my best during that time. So 19 hours later and I was only at like 3cm. My blood pressure kept getting higher and the doctor decided that if they didn’t take him out both of us might not survive. Hands down the scariest thing that I have ever heard and felt!

     The c-section wasn’t bad once I was numb and I have a really great doctor was a amazing at comforting me. She even hugged me tight while I cried getting the epidural…don’t judge…I was a mess emotionally! And in like 10 minutes Andrew James was brought into this world at 5lbs 11oz. And miraculously the migraine from hell disappeared the minute he was out of me! Although I was not out of the woods yet…and neither was Andrew.

     At 34 weeks he was born with a hole in his lung and was rush to the NICU. I was on a serious cocktail of medicines for my blood pressure and to prevent a stroke. I wasn’t even able to see Andrew until 2 days later, at which time I got to hold him once before they took him in for surgery to place a chest tube in him! Talk about not what I had planned when I thought about the first time I would hold my son!

     I was released a week later and 2 weeks after that Andrew got to come home. There is a lot that happened in that time that I will tell you about another time. Recovery was pretty good and I was feeling like my normal self at around 4 or 5 weeks after the surgery. Although there was definitely some things that I was not expecting…numbness by the scar is still there. But all things considered we were both extremely lucky.

     After all of that I learned that no matter how much you plan or hope for something it is not always going to go the way that you want it to…and that’s okay. I may have had a difficult pregnancy and birth but I ended up with an amazing little boy. The whole thing taught me to really appreciate the good things in life and to learn from the hard ones. That as long as you and your baby end up healthy and happy…that’s really the only thing that matters! Well that and the fact that after going through childbirth, you should treat yourself to the biggest serving of your guilty pleasure that you can find!

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