Posts tagged pregnancy complications

What the baby books don’t tell you

Warning, lengthy post ahead.
It has taken me a long time to share this story and this is only part of it.

life rearranged

What the baby books don’t tell you …… I think I could write about four blog posts dedicated to this statement alone. However I will focus on just one part. Probably the part the was the most traumatic for me.

THE PREGNANCY

I mean everyone talks about PPD, (Postpartum Depression), because it is common. How about the depressed prego mama’s? I am getting a bit ahead of myself though. Let’s get to the why.

I thought that people just got pregnant and had babies. That’s it, cut and dry. I know/knew people had miscarriages, but the weight of it didn’t hit me, didn’t make sense.

I didn’t know there could be REAL problems, real complications. Never mind more than one in a single pregnancy.

Enter roller coaster pregnancy #1. I was healthy and fit. I mean, I went to the gym 5-7 times a week, and ate super healthy (little did I know that was the end of that). Apparently too fit. Who ever heard of problems from being IN shape? At 4 weeks I found out I was pregnant, because I was in a great amount of pain. Apparently most people don’t know that soon, so no dr wanted to see me. They decided verbally that I needed to go to the ER, because they thought I was having an ectopic pregnancy.

A what?!

Again I just thought people got pregnant and had babies. During my visit to the ER the nurses shared that I was likely just having a miscarriage and that 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage. Really? That many? I hate how casually they said it too. I only knew one person to have had a miscarriage at that time. The ER visit turned out to be $900 and 3 hours of time wasted. They were “inconclusive”. It also resulted in a blood draw every day for 4 days and a dr’s appointment every other day for an ultrasound. This would become the beginning point of my ultrasound flip book for my daughter.

It took about a week to determine that I was pregnant, it was not ectopic, and I was not miscarrying. Yay for not accepting a shot that would have flushed out my baby.

The baby books tell you to carefully select your doctor. I was forced into a doctor, because of the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor hated men. Let me rewrite that, the doctor hated men. What that means is every appointment that S went to, the Dr was rude, rushed, and unfriendly. We didn’t change DR’s because I was changing medical insurance in the new year which was at about 19ish weeks along. So we sucked it up and waited it out. S felt cheated out of hearing our daughters heartbeat for the first time, because the DR was in such a rush she caught the sound, and moved right on, super quick.

Then next 10-12 weeks went by great. That WAS in the baby books. I still lifted grills, didn’t tell co-workers about my coming baby, met people in the soon to be extended family, snowboarded (yes pregnant), purposely didn’t talk about names, you know the normal stuff.

Then came the insurance change. A new DR. We actually saw a mid wife. They exist? That was what I thought. She was great. Detailed doesn’t begin to cover it. We were excited because we had not had a real ultrasound yet. You know, where you get to decide if you want to know what your having? That type. We thought that was coming next. Nope. Not. So. Much. Go to the ER. Go directly to labor and delivery. Do not go home. Do not stop for lunch. Go straight to the hospital. Really? I mean AGAIN? I had to work at 2, was it that important?

The midwife thought that I had a thin cervix. She said that she might be wrong, but better to check.
She was not wrong. Even with the L&D doctor saying how someone shouldn’t be pressing on my cervix, and, why did she do that? She was right. It was thin, very thin. Do not go to work today, or the next two days, come back and see us again, kind of thin. They said I needed to be on bed rest. Bed rest? Like take the day off from work and hang out at home? Okay.

By this point I was beginning to understand that some people, Do Not, just get pregnant and have babies. For some people it is a lot of work.

Two days later they admitted me to the hospital, where it took them two days to decide that they could and should place a cerclage. A what?

Baby books tell you to beware the epidural. What does that say about a spinal? A spinal which is necessary to just give my baby a chance to live. A spinal that does not guaranty life, just the chance. A spinal that does not guaranty health, just a chance for life.

After being offered a shot “that would flush out an ectopic pregnancy”, and refusing, choosing to wait it out and see ….. I was going to choose the cerclage, even if it was scary. Who thought that pregnancy was scary? I didn’t. I thought it was a happy time. I had yet to be excited about my baby.

I felt like an alien, carrying an alien, who was very problematic. Next came bed rest. No no, real bed rest. Only get up to go pee, not up for more than five minutes at a time. Don’t cook, don’t clean, don’t do anything other than sleep, eat, and be pregnant. I was so sad. I dreamt that I was gonna be that pregnant lady who worked until they were in labor. Nope, not. so. much.

Six weeks of bed rest, 4 doctors appointments, and several 4 hour shifts of monitoring later I was hospitalized again. At 26 weeks they found that I was contracting. What an overwhelming day. A neonatal nurse came in to tell me all of the problems my baby would have. Being born blind, eye surgery that may or may not work, cerebral palsey, unable to keep warm ….. nothing, any book prepared me for.

Next came flu shot, H1N1, and steroid shots, because now they were certain my baby would be premature. Everything they were trying was just to cook her longer. I’m pretty sure this was my breaking point. I cried every day, more than once a day for the next two weeks while they kept me on hospital bed rest.

If you ever know someone stuck in the hospital for more than one day … GO. Visit. Them. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Stop. By. They will appreciate it, trust me.

They found I was contracting and gave me stuff to stop it. Kept me there to “be sure it was working”. At 28 weeks I went home to continue bed rest. I just wanna say I didn’t “cheat” on my bed rest. The lady in the bed next to me went out to go to the bank and pay bills and such ……. Me? I just layed there. All. day. Every. day.

By this point on my roller coaster I was afraid of going to my doctors appointments. Why? Because they kept me, every time. Mostly for 4 hours of monitoring, and lastly being hospitalized. At my 33 week appointment I was tachycardic. That meant no more terbutaline ….. the pill that was stopping the contractions. It also mean time for NST’s.Which means two more appointments a week.

At the first NST, two days later they saw that I was contracting, but chose not to do anything about it. I had another appointment two days later.

I didn’t go to another appointment.

After 14 weeks of bed rest my water broke and my baby came. NICU nurses were waiting to whisk her away.

Baby books don’t set you up for the possibility of not wanting to hold your baby. Of looking at her seeing her coughing/choking and wondering why the doctor hasn’t taken her back yet. The 10 seconds I held her I was afraid she was going to die in my arms.

No I’m not lying. I couldn’t make that up.

It wasn’t until 12 hours later when I got to see her that I felt like it would all be worth it. I mean up until that wheelchair ride down to NICU this whole pregnancy was pretty crappy. It wasn’t until she was crying in my arms, and suddenly stopped, laid her head down on my chest and looked up at me, and just stared, that I knew it was worth the depression, stress, and worry.

But these, these are what a friend of mine would call “First world problems” ….

There are mothers out there who cry, because all they have to feed their babies, is dirty water. Can you imagine? I mean, we walk to a faucet, and get clean water, no worry, no questions, it is just there. That is why Jeannett at Liferearranged started a fundraiser to build a well, or wells. So that babies can have clean water, so that their mama’s can save their tears for another worry. Please stop by and drop in a dollar or two, just to help out a few mama’s in need.

Thanks for reading

Gwen

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