After all the drama and trauma associated with my daughter, you can probably understand how big of a decision it was to make to try for another. In fact, I can chalk it up there with one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. We had always said we wanted 3 children and then we went through what we did with Elisa and I was no longer so sure. In fact, one sounded really good!
It wasn't a decision we took lightly and in fact we did a lot of research, interviewing, discussing with medical professionals, etc, before we decided to try for that second child. We learned that it was best to not try to get pregnant until 18 months after Elisa's birth. So that was our plan and with that in mind, we stopped birth control at 16 months in order to allow my body to sort of "regulate" after wards and see what sort of cycle I was going to be on. Seeing how it took almost 3 years and two miscarriages with a year between each of the three pregnancies, I didn't see it as being any sort of problem to stop 2 months early. It would give me time to see what my body was going to do.
So enter April of 2011. It was tax deadline week. And I was on another business trip. I was exHAUSTED beyond belief and just feeling off. I didn't think much of it, my chart didn't show any real ovulation shift and I'd had cold type symptoms so just thought I was run down from a cold. A friend, though, convinced me to try and test just in case. So I did just to get her off my back. :) (Love you Jen!) And it was negative. Didn't think anything of it since as far as I knew anyway, I hadn't ovulated. I went on with that week, drinking like a fish and taking over the counter cold medications to help me sleep and cope with my cold.
I fly home that Friday and get in somewhat late. I go to bed and pass out. And I do mean pass out. I haven't slept like that EVER without help. I slept in the next morning, which was unusual and even with that still needed a nap after my shower. I started thinking, this is just weird, what's going on here. So on a whim, I pull out the one test I happened to have in the house.
I about fell off my seat on the toilet when that second line popped up. 1. I didn't even show ovulation in my charting. 2. I do NOT get pregnant this easily. So I called my husband into the bathroom and showed him the cheapie test. He looks at it, looks at me with confusion on his face and says, "You aren't pregnant. The 2nd line isn't dark enough." Goober. This isn't an ovulation test, I tell him, but pregnancy and a line is a line is a line on this kind of test. I'm PREGNANT. Go get another test if you want.
And he did. And brought his brother with him. And didn't even try to buy it covertly. I could have murdered him lol. He's lucky I love him. :) Test number two.
And so began another frantic round of phone calls, blood draws, ultrasounds just to confirm that this was a viable pregnancy. At the first ultrasound, we find out that I'm actually almost 4 days behind where I thought I should have been based off of my assumed dates. Remember my chart never showed a true, strong indicator of ovulation, but here I was with a positive pregnancy test and blood work also showing pregnant and with numbers increasingly nicely. Even though I kept spotting every few days. Due date was determined as December 29, 2011. Daddy's birthday.
This child was determined to make their mark. Spotting, nausea, morning sickness, all the things I never really experienced with Elisa. Maybe that was a good thing? I promised myself I would enjoy this pregnancy. I never did with Elisa's, just too afraid of all that could go wrong and then every thing did go wrong. But this time I was going to take each day for the blessing that it was.
14 weeks I felt the first fluttery movements. 16 weeks I started P17 injections. 18 weeks we had an ultrasound to check cervix as well as anatomy. We decided to not find out again the sex of the baby and hopefully would have a term baby and a fun moment in the delivery room when we finally found out.
Baby looked great! Big, but great! Cervix was HUGE and tight. Another ultrasound at 22 weeks showed the same, so incompetent cervix was ruled out as the cause of my delivery with Elisa. Yay...so we are in the realm of the "unknown" what will happen here.
At 20 weeks I began showing signs of gestational diabetes. Sugar kept showing up in my urine at my regular check ups. Combined with the baby's growth also showing signs of GD (the size of the belly was almost 2 weeks ahead of the rest of the growth, an indicator the baby is putting on more fat than normal and an early indicator of GD.) At 23 weeks, I had my first trip to L&D with regular contractions and after a good carbohydrate full meal. Diagnosis was a UTI and I also showed, again, elevated levels of sugar in my urine. So I pushed for GD testing early and was ultimately diagnosed at 25 weeks. Well before they even begin testing for it at 27-28 weeks. I mean I failed the test miserably. Like there was no question lol.
28 weeks I ended up in L&D again with regular contractions. No UTI, but no change in my cervix so I was sent home with a prescription for anti anxiety meds that also calm the uterus. This became my best friend for the rest of the pregnancy. As I contracted a LOT from 19 weeks on. And I do mean a lot. Especially the closer it was to have another p17 shot. And if I had too much sugar.
29 weeks 1 day came and went...and I was still pregnant. I entered uncharted territory. I'd never been this pregnant before. I loved it. Baby and I played "poke" games. He would stick his foot in my ribs and kill me, I would push him out. He'd stick his foot right back in. He was always high and head down. And big. Every ultra sound we had showed he was almost 2 weeks ahead in size.
Every week that passed was a huge milestone. I loved it. I took pictures at every new week of my belly. I almost didn't, for fear of what if I didn't make it again? But back to my decision to enjoy this pregnancy for as long as I was pregnant, I went ahead and did it. My goal was 39 weeks, but I would be happy with 37.
And then, it was here. Week 37. I went into my regular appointment, for the first time not having had a p17 shot! What an odd feeling. :) I wasn't expecting much since I felt "fine." As fine as I could with my belly out as far as it was and all of those normal late pregnancy discomforts. So it was quite surprising when I went in and the nurse taking my blood pressure suddenly became very quiet. I saw her reach over and write down a number 140/105. Knowing all those that I do who had their preemies due to pre-eclampsia I went oh. That's not good. She said very quietly to lay on my left side and took it again, this time coming up with 140/100. She left me there and went and got the doctor. I thought for sure I wasn't leaving the hospital that day, what with my history. Doc came in and went over everything with me and then asked if I knew what changes to look out for with my blood pressure as high as it was. I did, but I asked her to go ahead and check my cervix, since I knew that I couldn't labor with the kind of c-section I'd had with Elisa. She did and I was 3-4 cm! I thought surely, I'm not going home, she's going to send me right over to L&D to be prepped for surgery. But she did send me home, saying I needed to be a 5 and since I wasn't feeling active labor it wasn't a concern yet.
I wasn't home for long. We had arranged a pre-planned night to send Elisa to grandma's for a date night for us. We were just getting ready to leave for dinner when suddenly, I couldn't really see. I could see but couldn't focus and it was giving me a headache trying. I texted my best friend who had pre-e and asked if this would qualify as changes in vision. Yeah, she was like umm yes. So off we went to L&D. (I snapped the picture below on my way out, realizing I hadn't done my 37 week one yet.)
Turns out my blood pressure was fine, but contractions were showing on the monitor (and I was feeling them. Not like I had with Elisa, but enough that I knew they were there and not the same as the BH I'd had all along.) Nurse checked and sure enough, I was a 5. Baby was coming! I could actually be excited. Even with the downer nurse who made it a point to say to me "you know 37 weeks is still technically pre-term." Gee, thanks lady. You just had to punch me in the gut huh?
Anyway, prepped for surgery, doc pulled baby out and he SCREAMED. And I do mean SCREAMED. I about bawled my eyes out. Husband looked over and exclaimed like a kid in the candy store "it's a boy!" We had our boy and our girl! He swallowed some amniotic fluid on delivery so needed some help breathing but he recovered nicely. I didn't get to see or hold him until I was moved to recovery, but that was still a heck of a lot quicker than I saw my daughter.
How sad is it that one of the first things I thought as I watched him in his bed was that it was strange to be the one hooked up to more wires....
Welcome to the world baby boy. You have been a challenge in a different way than your sister, but you are my world and I can't imagine it without you.