(I apologize in advance, this is a long post so brace yourselves)
Here is my story:
My husband and I were married for 3 years at the time, I was 33yo, he was 31… We weren’t necessarily focused 100% on me getting pregnant but it was time to get to work. I wasn’t getting any younger. We had discussed this before and came to the conclusion if it happened it happened. Whatever is meant to be will be. This went on for a couple of months.
I was at work on a Friday afternoon, I worked as a medical biller in an Ophthalmology office, and someone had sprayed a lemon air freshener that instantly made me nauseous. My coworker Mary Ellen said “You’re definitely pregnant” and laughed, but I thought nothing of it. She was always the type to say things like that in a jokingly way so it didn’t even register. Then I thought to myself “Hmm.. Could I be?” “When was my last period?” and it just so happened I was a week late. I didn’t feel pregnant. I had cramps, my boobs were tender. I figured I’d pick up a pregnancy test after work being that I was going to Rite Aid anyways to get hair dye. Random I know, but I was in the mood to dye my hair, I needed a change. Here’s the thing though, if I was pregnant I’d have to return the hair dye because you cannot inhale those chemicals so early on in pregnancy and they’re just not good in general to have that stuff absorb into your scalp but anyways I got it along with the pregnancy test just in case.. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and I really didn’t even think I was.
I got home around 6pm, my husband was still working, mind you he didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. I went into the bathroom and I took the test. Now if you have ever taken a pregnancy test, you do know those 2 minutes you have to wait for the results feel like an eternity… Finally the two minutes were up…
and there it was…
POSITIVE — “Holy Sh*t!” I thought to myself… I was so frigin excited but you can’t ALWAYS rely on these tests so I waited a bit and took another test (just in case again, didn’t want to get my hopes up). Now I don’t know about everyone else but when something exciting happens I can’t wait to tell my husband. There is no planning a surprise “Hey I’m pregnant” escapade or showing him the test in a surprise box he opens. He wouldn’t even be shocked like those husbands on youtube that jump up and down or start crying. He’s that type of guy that would just remain calm as I jump for joy, crying l0l not fun but hey I love him! So back to my moment of truth… another POSITIVE test. WooHoo! So I called him… I know I know I could’ve waited until he at least got home but nope I was that excited (don’t judge me). The conversation went like this:
Me: Hi Babe
Husband: Hi whats going on?
Me: Are you sitting down? — (Stupid Question being that at that time he worked in an office and just answered the phone at his desk)
Husband: Um.. yea. Whats wrong?
Me: Sooooooo (and right there and then he knows immediately that either I need him to go to the supermarket after work, something is going to cost him $$$ or just in general he’ll get annoyed) … I took a pregnancy test because (and I told him I was late && what happened at work with the lemon scent)
Me: We’re pregnant!!!!!
… I could actually feel my husbands excitement through the phone just by his voice. Now if anyone knows my husband, again he is not the type to get all gitty and sappy. I was actually quite shocked about his reaction. We couldn’t believe it really because after a couple of months that pass, you start to give up to some extent and just think that it’s not going to happen.
Now being that I was a week late would put me around 5 weeks pregnant so I called my OBGYN. They had me come in the following Monday for a pregnancy test and blood work. Test came back positive and on Tuesday they called me and confirmed my HCG levels increased so that was a plus. Now on Friday of that week I was feeling uncomfortable, with pain in my abdomen area… I really can’t remember which side but it was either the left side or the right. I forgot to mention that my doctor’s office was literally right next door to my job. Good for me, not for them…. They probably wanted to drink every time I came in for something. Anyways – I had called the OBGYN and they sent me too another office where they had a more detailed ultrasound because they wanted to make sure I wasn’t having a ectopic pregnancy. By this time I was about 6 weeks so the ultrasound technician had checked me then called in the supervisor and as he was checking me… he said “well I do see the baby, everything looks fine there but I do not see a heartbeat and at 6 weeks I would’ve liked to see one”… My heart dropped, instantly I felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t going to freak out right there and then because I was just numb but I felt my heart ache. He suggested I get blood work again to check my HCG levels and to go back to my OBGYN next week, possibly things will change by then. I left the office and cried in my car. “God why?” I never imagined all of the things that could go wrong during pregnancy, and it was only the beginning… I went back to the OBGYN office so they could draw blood and then we waited.
The whole weekend was a fog, I was so worried about what would be next week when the blood work came back, a million things cross your mind: am I miscarrying? Did I lose the baby? Was it me? Was it something I did? I know it was still early in the pregnancy but still, this quote is so true “A woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, a man becomes a father when he sees his baby.”, and there is nothing that can change a mothers love.
Monday morning came around, felt like the longest couple of days of my life… and the blood work came back that my levels were still in fact increasing, thank you god! Now we waited to see the doctor on Tuesday for my appointment. My husband came with me to the appointment.. worried, patiently waiting in silence. When I got called in, it felt like my legs were going to collapse. I was nervous and scared it would confirm a permanent heartache. My doctor didn’t look nervous at all, very calm actually and he said these supervisors aren’t always right and expect things when in fact there are other conditions. He began to do the ultrasound while telling us to just relax and there it was, what a relief, our baby’s heartbeat and oh did I cry. As for my husband, he looked as if he just won the lottery.
After that big scare, thankfully everything went pretty smoothly, between blood tests and followups… Around 16 weeks I had the option to do blood work that would determine the sex of the baby. I already had the feeling I was having a girl… don’t ask me how I knew but I just felt that my firstborn would be a girl. Plus my mother always said, when I aggravated her – “I hope one day you have a little girl just.. like.. YOU.” and I knew by the grace of god I would be blessed with a little mini me just so she can in fact put me through the worry and aggravation I blessed my mother with. Ha! Back to my story – We were so excited to find out what we were having so we went for it and a week later the test came back:
IT’S A GIRL !!! I was so happy. I’m going to have a little person that will automatically become my best friend from, the minute she is born. Don’t get me wrong either way, boy or girl, we were blessed from the very start but now I can start my registry, planning her room, doing all girly things like start a pregnancy journal. Yes, I’m that girl – see my mom never did one for me and I’m not saying it made her a bad mother, she wished she had at the time… but I figured it would be nice as something to look back on for both her and I in years to come. I got this one from Amazon: My Pregnancy Journal with Sophie la girafe. It was so much fun to write in and prepare for baby girl. Theres a lot of good memories in that book.
My next big appointment was the 20 week ultrasound where they checked the anatomy of our little princess. We found out that she was breech which is not that big of a deal so early on because the baby can flip around, but if she stayed that way there was a chance I’d have to have a c-section. Now they can always do this procedure called an ECV (External cephalic version). This is when the doctor applies pressure to your stomach to flip the baby so one can give birth vaginally but there is no guarantee the baby will remain in that position and risks such as fetal distress or an emergency c-section remain a possibility. No thank you! I looked at it this way, whatever way she is in my tummy is the way things are supposed to be and I am not going to do anything to mess with that so we waited to see if she turned on her own. 15 weeks later and she remained in the same position. This time breeched but also facing my back so when I had ultrasounds performed we could not even see her face. This worried me because you always want to be reassured that the baby is doing fine in your belly and you can see the face. I had a great doctor that reassured me that everything in the anatomy scan looked great and the baby was fine but with pregnancy in general you worry no mater what.
Now because she was breech I had a scheduled c-section for 39 weeks (November 27th, 2015) because if I went to 40 weeks, there was a chance I’d go into labor, have an emergency c-section then complications could arise from there so they try to prevent anything going wrong. Also did I mention that she was a big baby, they said she’d be around 8 1/2 lbs at birth possibly. So big that I had to get a pregnancy belt because the pressure I had on my cervix was HORRIBLE – I found this maternity belt to work the best. At some points I couldn’t even stand. I swore a hand was going to pop out at any moment, well her foot being that she was breech.
On October. 24th 2015 my mother threw me a Minnie Mouse themed baby shower. It was so emotional for me because I was so excited to meet her and we were about a month away. It was such a nice shower, I received great gifts, basically everything I needed to welcome baby girl. I do remember a gift I received in the wishing well that I would never forget and will be passing on to other new mommies – paper plates – I know right now you’re probably sitting there like “WTF?” but all kidding aside they came in handy because when you have a newborn and you need to fit in breakfast, lunch and dinner, you do not want to sit there cleaning dishes. Those 10 minutes you’re using to clean up can be 10 minutes of shut eye (or laundry) that you’re trying to get.
The next month felt like 6 months… I could not wait anymore – I wanted to meet her and lets face it, the closer you get to delivery the bigger you get.
The day had finally come… Friday, November 27th, 2015. The day after Thanksgiving, what everyone who goes holiday shopping calls ‘Black Friday”. While everyone was out heading to the stores, we were on our way to meet baby girl. I was so nervous, 1. because I was having a c-section, I didn’t know what to expect… google, youtube, word of mouth, you never really know what’s going to happen.. We got to the hospital around 11:00am, they did blood work, blood pressure, monitored the babies heartbeat and TONS of paperwork, when I say tons I mean it. Then the doctors come in, tell you what to expect and the anesthesiologist as well. At 1:00pm they had my husband change into scrubs and they wheeled me into the OR to begin the epidural process – Now let me tell you that in itself was not fun. They have you tilted, hanging off the table, slouched … keep in mind I’m 39 weeks pregnant on the tip of a tiny table. I felt like a mule but the nurses were hanging onto me so I wouldn’t fall forward. When they stuck the needle in my spine, it hurt like hell but then about 5 minutes later you start to feel numb from your toes all the way up to a little below your heart. I can remember that because my anesthesiologist asked me how I was doing and I told him I was freaking out because I though my heart would go numb (Don’t ask!) but the anesthesiologist reassured me it wouldn’t go up any further and he was right. The nurses then called in my husband and he sat right next to me gripping my hand, we were both so nervous. Mind you my husband DOES NOT show his feelings, always looks like nothing at all is on his mind, basically emotionless but this day he was different. The doctors got into position, at this point I could not feel a thing, and then my doctor said “Are you ready to meet your baby?” and I said “lets do this”. He made the incision and informed me that I would feel some tugging to get her out…
At 1:37pm, Alexis Nicole at 9 lbs 21 inches, let out her first cry, instant tears to both my husband and I’s eyes (I’m tearing now writing this)… What a feeling! What a relief! – I can sit here and try to describe the feeling you have when you first hear them and lay eyes on your baby for the very first time but nothing and I mean nothing, can prepare you for that moment. Right there and then everything that seemed to matter before that baby was born doesn’t, everything you had gone through during pregnancy, no sleep, being uncomfortable, nausea, going to the bathroom every 10 minutes…. it doesn’t even matter anymore. It was all worth it, she was all worth it!
I just want to say anyone who judges a woman for having a c-section rather than a vaginal birth: Think before you talk. Everyone has their own story… a c-section is a major surgery, it is not easy in any which way, it does not cut short the 40 weeks (or in my case 39 weeks) that you are carrying the baby, watching what you eat, drinking tons of water, losing sleep, feeling exhausted constantly. Recovery is a lot longer and the pain is constant. I don’t know how it is to “push” a baby out but either way pregnancy & birth is NOT easy. As a woman we go through a lot and our bodies weaken giving life to our babies. They basically suck the life out of us, yes pregnancy is a blessing but it is brutal, it can be tough at times. There are some obstacles you may go through, but in the end when that baby is born and you see that precious little face, in your mind you’d do it all over again!
&& I did …
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PHOTO CREDIT: https://unsplash.com/photos/tslOpGXKj-c