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Pregnancy and Birth Blog for Pickle

The journey to motherhood or parenthood is an amazing process. In order for people to understand my current circumstances they first must understand the pregnancy and birth of our first born, Pickle.

Upon getting married in March of 2012, we stopped using any form of birth control and decided to let nature take it’s course. However, for those that have known me for a very long time, know that I have always had the yearning to become a mother. 

So for me, letting nature take it’s course equals me obsessing about my cycles every month and reading everything possible to try and become pregnant as soon as I possibly could. However, although the process was rather short, living through it seemed like forever.

After getting married and stopping the use of contraceptives, I thought it would be easy to become pregnant. However, I was wrong. My cycles decided to stop. I went 3 months without having a period and taking probably a thousand pregnancy tests before my period finally started again. 

In August of 2012, it stopped again. I took test after test and still nothing. I had finally decided that something was not right and that I should make an appointment with an OB/GYN to see what was going on. My appointment, because I was a new patient, was scheduled a month out for October 8, 2012. 

That month went by and I was eager to get to my appointment. Unfortunately, the day of my appointment, my doctor’s office called and said that they needed to reschedule my appointment because she was out sick that day. I wound up rescheduling my appoint for October 22, 2012. 

Later on that night of the 8th, I had been texting my mom about my period and how frustrated I was. She kept texting me back telling me to take a pregnancy test. I really did not want to waste another test (it was the last one I had at the moment) for something I felt like was not going to happen for us, at least not with my body acting the way it was. It took some convincing, but I finally gave in and took the test.

Mind you, it was nearly midnight when I took this test and my husband was fast asleep as he had to work the next day. After peeing on the stick, as I had done many many times before, I waited. If I remember correctly, the box said to wait 3 minutes for the test to be complete. I waited a minute, saw the urine go across the testing area, with nothing popping up. I was disappointed, but knew that was going to happen. 

Then I looked at it again and there was the faintest line you could ever see. I lost my cool. I started yelling for my husband to come to the bathroom because I wanted to make sure I was not seeing things. It took a good amount of yelling to get him to wake up and come to the bathroom. 

I handed him the test and asked him if he could see the line. I remember his reply, with his eyes still mostly shut saying, “I don’t see anything.” I told him he needed to open his eyes and look because I was losing my marbles. He finally opened his eyes and looked and said, “yeah, I see something.” I started wigging out, bouncing around saying “oh my God oh my God” repeatedly. I cried. 

I decided to send a picture of the test to my mom, who was still waiting for my response. She said she saw a little something too. My husband told me I needed to calm down and not to get my hopes up just yet as he did not want me to be disappointed again. 

Somehow, I managed to sleep that night and decided to hold my pee as long as I possibly could until the next day when I could take another test.

When you become a pee on a stick addict you know that the go to test is a first response. They are considered the most sensitive at home pregnancy tests. So that next morning, holding my pee, my mom and I went to the store and bought one. We went back to her house and I took the test. LOW AND BEHOLD WE HAVE A SECOND LINE! 

I was so excited I really didn’t know what to do with myself. The entire process itself was only about 7 months long ( I know for some it is much much longer). I really don’t even know how I got pregnant without having a period. It truly was a miracle. I called my doctor’s office to let them know that I did get two positive tests at home. They decided to go ahead and keep my appointment scheduled for the 22nd, but instead of a preconception consultation they would switch it to an initial pregnancy appointment.

October 22nd rolled around and it was time for the first appointment. They first did a trans-vaginal ultrasound, for dating purposes (since I didn’t have my period for 2 months). The only thing they could see was that there was sac there, measuring 5 weeks 5 days, but there was no fetal pole. So they decided to have me come back in a week to see if the pregnancy was progressing at all. 

On the 29th, we went back for the ultrasound and there was a fetal pole and a heartbeat! Baby was measuring 6 weeks 4 days with a heartbeat of 120. My official due date was June 20. I started having appointments once a month and everything was going well. 

At my 18 week appointment, they did the anatomy scan. We found out we were having a BOY! However, they also discovered that one of his kidney’s was a little enlarged and he was measuring 1-2 weeks ahead on most of his extremities. 

They said his kidney was not concerning as it was just barely considered over normal. My OB also was not going to change my due date based on his size because we did the early dating ultrasound. 

At 27 weeks I went back for an ultrasound to check on his kidney to see if it was staying the same or getting bigger. It pretty much stayed the same and they decided to go ahead and keep watching it periodically to make sure it wasn’t getting bigger. He was still measuring 2 weeks ahead and the ultrasound put his due date for June 7th.

During my pregnancy I had voiced my plans for a natural child birth; free of any pain medications. My doctor was completely on board with my plans. At my 35 week appointment the ultrasound measured him to be 7 pounds 2 ounces already. His kidney was still measuring big, but not any bigger than previous weeks. Then the week appointments started. 

At 36 weeks 6 days they did a cervical check and I was 1-2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and a negative 2 station. At my 37 week appointment they did another cervical check. I was still 1-2cm dilated, but 75% effaced and they measured him at 8 pounds 13 ounces by ultrasound. It was then things changed.

Because he was measuring “big”, my doctor decided that it was now concerning to have a vaginal delivery. She gave me a paper that talked about shoulder dystocia which basically said that the baby would get stuck in the birth canal, because of his size, and if that were to occur they would have to break his shoulders to get him out or that he could potentially suffocate to death. 

She insisted that we go ahead and schedule a cesarean section. I was very concerned about having major surgery.  I was also very disappointed that I would not get the natural birth that I had always wanted. I explained my concerns to my doctor and we had agreed that I would schedule the c-section, but if I went into labor on my own I would get to try to have him naturally.

On June 7th, around 1:30 in the afternoon, I started having some cramps. The cramps lasted throughout the day, they got a little bit stronger around 5-6pm, and then at 10pm I decided to call the hospital to let them know what was going on. The on call doctor called me back and said that I need to try and wait longer until they were “MUCH MUCH WORSE.” 

I waited until around midnight, when I decided that this was most likely the real thing and since I have a high pain tolerance I wanted to make sure I get there in time. We got the bag and went to the car, stopped at McDonald’s (because I knew they wouldn’t let me eat after arriving at Labor and Delivery). 

Around 12:30am we got to the hospital and they hooked me up to the monitors. The contractions were coming every 2 to 4 minutes and they weren’t awful, more so just uncomfortable. When we first arrived they also did a cervical check and told me that I was 3cm dilated 75% effaced and at a negative 1 station. They decided to give me IV fluids to see if that stopped the contractions. 

After about an hour they came in and checked me again. Nothing had changed. The contractions started to slow down for about 30 minutes and then suddenly came on pretty strong every 3-5 minutes. They checked me again and there was still no change. 

At this point, it was about 6am and I figured they would send me home. The nurse left and came back in with a phone. She said, “here it is your doctor”. I got on the phone and she said, “do you want to have a baby today?” I was very confused and I think, in shock, that I really didn’t know what else to say other than yes! 

She told me that she would be there in about 30 minutes and we would have a baby in the next hour. So we called immediate family to let them know. The nurses started admitting me and prepping me for a c-section.

**Side note-I was too naive and excited to say HEY WAIT THAT IS NOT WHAT WE AGREED ON!!**
As they were prepping me I felt like I had peed myself. I told them I needed to go to the bathroom. So I did. I come back and they took this little test stick to see if it was amniotic fluid or not. The test came back as not amniotic fluid (but, hello, I just went to the bathroom). Within a minute, GUSH! My water broke. 

They finished prepping me and we just had to wait for my doctor to get there. They took me to the operating room, with my husband, and we waited until we at least knew the doctor was scrubbing up. Once she was there, the anesthesiologist had me hunch over and hold onto this pillow to get the spinal block put in. As soon as it was administered, they hurried up and got me on the operating table so that I wasn’t completely numb, unable to get on it, and fall over.

Things I remember during the operation:
-I remember requesting oxygen as I had anxiety about being numb.
– I remember asking a million questions and laughing; making small talk with the doctors and anesthesiologist.
– I remember my hands and ears tingling from the spinal block.
– I remember something along the lines of me asking how long it takes to be numb, before they would start cutting me, to their reply of well we are already cutting you…
–  I remember the radio playing
– I remember asking to know if he has a lot of hair and they told me we would know in a few minutes because they were on the last layer.
– I remember my husband standing behind me getting the whole thing on video.
– I don’t really remember them holding him up so I could see him, but I do remember him crying for the first time.
– I remember the song that was playing when he was born “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore, as that was my mom’s favorite song at that time.
– I remember them saying what time he was born and me letting them know he was born at the same time I was (on a different day, month, and year though) and letting them know that it was also my grandma’s birthday that day.
– I remember watching my husband take pictures and the anesthesiologist taking a picture of my husband cutting the cord.
– I remember them finally bringing him over to me so I could see him and we just starred at him.

Recovery:
– I vaguely remember them pushing my bed down the hallway to the recovery room.
– I do remember being in recovery a little bit and seeing my mom and dad and them holding him.
From that point, until getting up to my hospital room, is a bit of a blur. I do not remember the bed ride to the room. I do remember getting to the room and the nurse paging several times for a team lift to get me from one bed to the other and no one ever coming. I had to lift myself and put myself in the other bed. Doing that completely numb and delirious was a fun task, not. However, I was finally able to stay put, for a bit, and just hold my new baby boy. 

Family came and went of course. Every 15 minutes the nurses came in to push on my belly to help get any clots out (also fun after having major surgery).
By day 2, I had enough of being at the hospital and we decided to discharge early. We finally got to go home.
-The recovery itself was not the worst thing in the world, but it was not pleasant either. Especially, when they expected you to take the baby to a doctor’s appointment within a day of going home. We lived on the third floor of an apartment at that time, try doing those stairs after a c-section. UGH.

Overall, I survived the c-section and it’s recovery and am glad we are both healthy after it all. However, next time, I will know better and I will be in charge of my health care.

Stay tuned for the posts regarding my journey to our second child, the pregnancy thus far, and eventually I will have a birth story.

-Jenn

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