Surprise: You’re pregnant!
To say that the pregnancy of our second child came as a surprise would be an understatement. To give a little background on the few months before I was pregnant, the springtime I had been experiencing some health problems that gradually became worse. By June 2011, I had woken up one morning and had no feeling from my stomach down. I spent the remainder of summer in the hospital and doing rehab to relearn how to use my legs again. (There was no definite diagnosis until recently where it was decided that I likely have a condition called CIDP, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy- the chronic counterpart of Guillian Barre Syndrome, similar symptoms to MS.) Upon finding out I was pregnant, my OB recommended I terminate my pregnancy. She convinced me that I wasn’t healthy, my pregnancy would be high risk and she also lectured me with “If I were in your shoes….” I knew that ending my pregnancy would not be an option. We *DID* want more children after all. And even though it wasn’t our timing, there had to be a purpose for the timing of this baby.
When I gave birth to Michaela, I was somewhat bullied into a c-section. I was given reasons why I should schedule a section, lots of negatives. And we conceded. I missed the opportunity to hold my baby until hours after her birth. We did not enjoy skin-to-skin bonding. She had difficulty nursing. Because I developed a fever, she was placed in the ICU as a precaution. I was so groggy from the narcotics post-surgery that I don’t remember much the first few days except the pain. I felt robbed of the joy a new mother should have after birthing a baby. I KNEW with my second baby that I was entitled to that joy. I knew my body was capable of more than what my original OB believed. So I left the recommendation from my OB and sought out a supportive midwife, despite my neurological issues.
Labor is hard work
I had never experienced labor before and have to say: there’s no way to really get someone to understand how intense it is. I was a few days past due, slightly dilated as per my 40w1d appointment, and ready for this little turkey to come. I had a chiropractic adjustment on Saturday around 11:30am and in the middle started feeling some cramping. It was coming in waves. Interesting. Not too painful. Manageable. So Tre, Michaela and myself went to get something to eat. 15 minutes apart at 30seconds each. Pretty good. This could be the day (Hooray! I get my Cinco baby!) BY 5:30pm we called my parents. This is it! We arrived at the hospital with our wonderful doula, Melissa, by 10pm (after stopping at Friendly’s for a quick pick-me-up.) I was humming through contractions. I thought “I can do this. Easy as pie” But the midwife examined me and said that I just wasn’t dilated much. No more than my visit two days before. Boo….We all went home hoping the contractions would cease and give me some rest overnight. (HA! Was I majorly mistaken) My parents were wonderful and still stayed overnight to watch Michaela. I was, in fact, still in labor and overnight things had picked up. My husband was working his first big event for his new job (which only started a week before) and by noon, 24 hours into labor, I was in tears. Painful. Difficult. Shower didn’t help much. My mom did her best to coach me through the waves, but I knew I needed to be at the hospital. I remember my darling 2 year old Michaela embraced my leg, and a contraction came on. First thing out of my mouth was “Don’t touch me!” (Poor thing had no idea.) Tre came home and for a moment in the car on the way there, I almost lost it with him, yelling “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THIS HURTS” (Haha!) The hospital confirmed I was dilated and was having a baby that day. 🙂 Even though I was at the hospital, I felt the pain was more manageable there. I had my doula and friend, my husband, fewer distractions than home and I was ready. I thought I was in pain. Labor progressed throughout the day but sort of stalled out by 6cm. My midwife, Joanne C, broke my water. Sadly it had meconium in it, so I could not deliver inside the bathtub. But the shower was perfectly fine with me. My wonderful birth photographer Alice was called and arrived shortly after. Well, after my water was broken, I learned a new level of maddening pain. What did I get myself into? Is this really worth it? Am I sure a c-section wouldn’t have been a better option? We later found out that the baby was in a posterior position, which means she was facing my back, hence no relief in between contractions. Baby girls heart rate stayed so strong through the whole labor and at 9:10pm it was time to push. In 15minutes, I felt her head and with one last push, she was on my chest.
Read it in it’s entirety here. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Happy Birthday, Abby!