Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our Daughter's Pregnany & Birth Story

Okay, it's been almost 5 years and I've never written it out. I wonder how much I will remember. But as I sit here doing Kindergarten with her, I am amazed at how much she has grown. She changed my life the moment she was born. Her love of learning has been with her since day one and I'm not lying. I started to teach her to read a few months before she turned 3 and we were doing pre-school by age 3 and now kindergarten at age 4. I look forward to what the future holds with my little artist.

Here goes.....
One month after we were married, we learned we were expecting! It was an answer to our prayers as we really wanted a baby. I guess you can say it was a half answer to the prayer since we asked God for a boy and got a girl :)!

About 2 weeks after finding out we were expecting, I started with the first feelings of sick. It quickly got worse, to the point of me being in bed most of the day. Just about anything I ate would come back. I remember thinking that I must be a wimp since I couldn't continue on with my normal life. My husband and I were unable to go out on dinner dates, have fun with others (and for me it was getting to know the families in my new church as I had moved to North Carolina from Vermont 2 weeks before our wedding), or anything else newlyweds might do.
One thing I prayed for was that God would give me the strength to go to church every Sunday. It took me a couple of hours to get ready and I would have to eat laying down in bed, but God was kind and as far as I can remember, I don't think I missed a Sunday. But as soon as we got home, I would go to bed.

My husband did not work for the first 3 months of our marriage and he was wonderful in taking care of me and being next to me for every trip I made to the toilet to throw-up.
I remember it was around Thanksgiving time when I started to throw-up a bit less. It went from many (6+)times a day, to only a couple times a day. As the weeks went on, I would find myself going a whole day without throwing up! But I must say the nausea never fully went away and the last time I threw up was the morning our child was born.
We had chosen a free standing birth center that was just over an hour away from our house. It was one of two birth centers in the state of NC at that time and homebirth midwives had to work 'underground'. I really blame myself for not telling them how sick I was, but I didn't want them to think I was a complainer. Since I wasn't losing weight (wasn't gaining much either), I thought I must not be very sick.
Anyways, we enjoyed the more natural approach to pregnancy through our midwives and were never pushed to do anything we didn't want to - we NEVER had an ultrasound until I was 36 weeks along and I will tell you why.
At this appointment the midwife thought the baby was breach. They had recently been surprised by 2 other breach births and didn't want to take a chance with me. They set up an ultrasound appointment later that week. It was our first time in a hospital for this pregnancy, but it would not be the last.

Sure enough our baby was breach. Next step was to schedule a procedure called 'external cephalic version'. Basically they push and pull on your baby in hope of turning it. This was done at 37.5 weeks and was extreamely painful, but I knew if baby did not turn I would have to have a c-section. After what seemed like hours, they gave up. Our baby would not turn. My stomach was very sore (I had bruising that showed up later) and I was having contractions, but the baby's heart rate looked good. After a couple of hour of observation, we were sent home with a birth date of our child - he/she was to be born in 10 days, 1 week before my due date.
So we went from planning a natural childbirth to as medical of a birth you can have. This hospital was one of the largest (if not the largest) teaching hospitals in the state (UNC). The morning of our c-section came and we arrived at the hospital. With the exception of being very happy to have our baby, it would turn out to be the worst day of our lives.
It started by being lied to by the pediatricians that if we didn't give our baby the eye ointment they would have to notify CPS and start a file on us. We were planning on not vaccinating or giving the baby ANYTHING after birth. They had their "talk" with us before our midwife arrived. Later at our 2 week PP check-up she was angry to learn we were lied to.

Next my husband was not allowed in the OR until after I had my spinal placed, a procedure they started BEFORE the midwife arrived. I remember hearing the Dr. say to her when she walked in the room "I didn't realize she was your patient".  Made me wonder if they would have done anything different if they did know.

What happened next was awful. I had to listen to the anesthesiologist tell the student (that's right, a student) where to place the needle. It took 3 or 4 tries before it was placed correctly. I was screaming in pain. Looking back, I wish I would have told the anesthesiologist to do it himself! Because of all the wrong placements, I would have to endure months of horrible back pain and numbness. Pain that would not allow me to hold my daughter while standing for the first months of her life.

Finally my husband was at my head, touching me, kissing me, talking to me. It was a relief to have him there. They went on with the c-section and I remember having a 'hot spot' where I felt a lot of pain. After a lot of pulling and tugging, they got the baby out. It was said the cord was around her shoulder in such a way that she was not able to turn.

Our daughter, Eliana was born weighing in at 7lbs 9oz, 20 3/4 inches. Her eyes were wide open looking all around.
Eliana is a Hebrew word meaning "my God has answered". God had answered our prayer for a baby, it was just a long, hard 9 months to get her.
She had been breach the whole pregnancy and had what was called a 'breach head' and one leg that was very comfortable at her head as it had been in the womb.

Looking back, I now know I had a 'mild' form of HG.  I didn't lose weight, but the sickness prevented me from preforming my daily activites. All the 'morning sickness' tricks people told me did nothing to help.  I can't remember all that I tried, but it was a lot.  I never felt good during this pregnancy and little did I
  know it would be much, much worse the next time around.

No comments: