I’ve seen a few of my friends recently blog about their pregnancy/birth experiences and even though I’m not a very good writer, I think I want to write it all down before I forget it, ha.
In January 2011 my best friend, Laura, suggested that she would be trying to get an internship in New York for the summer with a fashion photographer and that she thought I should do so as well so we could go together and be roommates. I remember just thinking that this was yet another one of our hair-brained plans that wouldn’t end up panning out, but it was fun to think about. As the weeks progressed I got the feeling that she was really serious about this whole New York thing. Anthony and I had talked about trying to get pregnant before he got too busy with his job at a summer camp and this would definitely throw a wrench in those plans, but after we talked at length about it we decided that it was the best time in our lives for me to take this big risk for my career. I don’t really want to bore you all with the details of my New York experience (ask me about it sometime when you see me, I can entertain you for hours with stories!), but in August we were reunited and went on a vacation to Boston. We decided to start trying when we got home. About 2 weeks into “trying” I decided I wasn’t ready and we should wait… 3 weeks later I got a positive pregnancy test. I have to admit I was extremely reluctant about my pregnancy. I was terrified about all the changes my life was about to go through. But ready or not, we were gonna be a family of 3!
I was nauseous from about 7 weeks until 16 weeks. That was so miserable…. I wanted to throw up so many times but just couldn’t…. As soon as the nausea was gone, the pelvic pain started. It hurt so bad to do anything, walk, stand, sit, etc. I had known for a few years that when I did get pregnant I wanted to use a midwife and pursue an out of hospital birth. My wonderful midwife Terry was such an incredible blessing to me through my pregnancy/birth and she was not afraid to be hard on me (when she needed to be!) about my diet and exercise. At all of my monthly checkups I was gaining a normal amount of weight but Terry cautioned me to not get careless and make sure I was getting enough protein and to limit my sugar intake. At my 29 week checkup I had gained 9 pounds and that concerned Terry. She scheduled for me to have a glucose test the next day. I was so flippant about it, Anthony and I were so unconcerned about the results because I had been doing pretty well on my diet (not perfect, but I was pregnant!) and I was on enough Shaklee supplements for 10 people! The next week Terry called me and told me they had the results of the glucose tolerance test and it wasn’t good news. I officially had gestational diabetes. How could this be? I had gained an acceptable amount of weight! It just wasn’t fair! The fact that I had gestational diabetes meant my pregnancy was now a higher risk and if I couldn’t control it with diet alone I would be forced to see an OB instead of my midwife and most likely be put on insulin and be forced to have a hospital birth. I know these things aren’t the end of the world, lots of people get gestational diabetes and have hospital births and everything turns out perfectly fine but that just wasn’t an option for me. I immediately went on a very strict diet of NO sugar (even fruit!) and limited carbs. Anyone who knows me knows I love my soda and that was the hardest thing for me to give up! But all my hard work paid off and my blood sugar was able to be controlled with diet alone. I could still have my out of hospital birth! At my last checkup at just over 39 weeks I had an exam. I found out after I gave birth to my daughter that my midwife was immediately concerned upon doing my exam. She had discovered that I had a small pelvic opening and a hard birth canal and that she had thought I would definitely end up with a transfer to a hospital and a hospital birth. At that final checkup (on Tuesday May 29th) Terry also predicted that I would have my baby over the weekend, I was definitely okay with that, I was ready to not be pregnant anymore!
My mom had come to stay with us in preparation of the baby coming and every day that week I tried different things to get my labor started. We walked almost every day, I ate spicy food (I don’t like spicy food, so it probably wasn’t very spicy after all), I even took Castor oil (yuck!). I remember saying goodnight to my mom on Friday night and mom said that maybe I would have a baby tomorrow and I very skeptically said I wasn’t going to have my baby on my due date…. At 4:30am I woke up to use the bathroom as I usually did and noticed I had lost my mucus plug. I was in shock…. I had spent most of my pregnancy terrified I wouldn’t know when I had gone into labor because I had been having pretty serious Braxton Hicks since 20 weeks. I walked into the bedroom and woke Anthony and told him the news. We both knew the best thing for me to do at that point was to try and get some rest, after all just because I lost my plug didn’t mean I was going to go into labor right then. I laid down and almost immediately the contractions started. I tried to rest for but the contractions were too strong and I finally got up at around 6am. I went to tell mom that I was in labor only to find out she had awoken at 4:30am and felt the urge to pray. She said she didn’t know why but she did it. I called my midwife and updated her on my status. She recommended I continue to labor at home and call every couple of hours to update her. I walked around the park across the street while practicing the relaxation techniques I had learned at the birthing class we had attended and over the next few hours we determined I had a amniotic leak as well. I remember sitting on our living room sofa thinking “What?? Wait, so you mean this is for real??? I’m gonna have a baby today?” At around 2pm we decided it was time to go to the birthing center. As soon as we got there Terry checked me and was shocked when she found I was already 7 cm and fully effaced! It was time to get in the birthing tub! I was shocked and started to feel a little panicky…. This was all going so fast! I no sooner go in the birth tub that the electricity to the birth center went out! I was a little distracted at the time but it was essentially out for the rest of the day… I labored until about 7pm and then it was time to push. I pushed for 2 hours and my Edith Ann was born at 9:06pm on June 2nd, my due date. I later found out Terry had expected me to push for at least 4 hours. What can I say, I’ve always been an overachiever :-D!
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! That was way longer than I expected! I really wanted to document all the many blessing God gave me in giving us our daughter. All the odds were against us but He gave me the birth I so badly wanted. He definitely didn’t have to do things the way He did, but He wanted to show his glory in the birth of little Edie. And after all my fears and doubts, i couldn’t be happier to be the mommy of little Edie Ann :-)
It’s raining. Sweet rain everywhere. Smells like wet cement and earth. I think I want to roll in it.
me tooooo :-]