I don’t have many pictures from my pregnancy with my daughter, so I’ve included a few pictures of us over the years. I hope you enjoy!
Let’s Start at the Beginning
Every woman’s journey to motherhood is different. My journey to motherhood was rough. It began in September 2012 with an early miscarriage followed by a preemie delivery the next year. While I’m not ready to speak about the miscarriage, let me tell you what happened over the following months.
Four months after having the miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband and I waited until we heard her heartbeat before telling anyone we were pregnant. I remember laying on the table and the ultrasound tech not saying a word. I asked if there were a heartbeat. She replied yes. She realized why I was nervous and let us hear the heartbeat. What a glorious sound! That weekend, we told my immediate family and showed them the ultrasound pictures. And so our journey began.
While I was happy about a baby coming, as you can imagine, I was a nervous wreck! When you hear that you should stay off the internet when you’re pregnant, you should take heed and listen. I did not. Big mistake! I was literally afraid to lift my arm or leg for fear that I would stretch too far and break something internally. Thank you good ole internet!
Over the next few months, I worried so much that I was miserable. I began to do research on preemies. I remember even being jealous of someone whose baby was born prematurely. Insert mom guilt. I know it is terrible, but being pregnant caused so much anxiety that I was ready for her to be born already, even if it were early. I wished it at times. Well, they say be careful what you wish for.
The Day Before
At 28 weeks and 4 days, I woke up and felt a gush. (Sorry if that is too much information.) I went to the bathroom and began to immediately start crying. I am a very private person so my not caring that my husband came into the bathroom shows how terrified I was. He told me that the baby was too big to have fallen out. That made sense. I called my mom, took a shower and headed to the emergency room.
On the way, I called my OB/GYN. Mind you, I had just had an appointment with her the day before. She asked me if I still felt the baby moving to which I replied yes. She told me to head to labor and delivery because I was too far along to go to the emergency room. So to the hospital we went.
I got checked in and immediately was put on bedrest. I was 4cm dilated and told I was not leaving the hospital until I had the baby. I was put into a room and given a steroid shot, which was to be the first of two in 24 hours. I never got the second shot. I also had a visit by the neonatologist who gave me a quick overview of what to expect out of a NICU stay, including the importance of using breast milk for a preemie.
I had visitors in and out that day. I’ll never forget how my dad came and sat in a chair and did not move. He didn’t say much, but he did not move. My family hid their nervousness from me. We were in it together. Having a good support system was vital during that time.
The Birth Day
My husband spent the night and slept on the couch in my room. Around 3:30 a.m. the next morning, I felt a rush of fluid. (Sorry again if that is too much information.) I called for one of the nurses. She went out and the next thing I knew I was surrounded by nurses. I was 8cm dilated. I signed something and was headed to an emergency C-section. During that time, my husband had called my mom and my parents headed to the hospital. My husband was with me every step of the way and was by my side in the delivery room.
At 4:00 a.m., at 28 weeks and 5 days, I had my daughter. She weighed 2 lbs, 7.3 oz and was 13 inches long. I remember my husband telling me that she had hair as he could see her while sitting beside me. They wrapped her up and then let me see her briefly. No touching. No kissing. Just a quick look and she was off to the NICU where she would spend the first few weeks of her life. Even though I didn’t do anything to cause a premature labor, I’m certain that my stress contributed to her early birth.
And this, my friends, is how my journey to motherhood began. Stay tuned for the next story where I tell about the NICU stay (read it here) and the first year of her life. See you soon!