It’s been a while since I’ve had a Mommahood post and with me celebrating my first Mother’s Day I’ve decided to finally share both my pregnancy and birthing story with you; my experience finding out I was pregnant, my experience with pregnancy and my delivery were far from glamorous but, everything I endured and every tear I cried produced something beautiful. I am so happy to share my story with you!
I knew I was pregnant before I even took the pregnancy test... Seriously... I was working on an online radio show in Dallas, Tx and as the host was recording it just dawned on me that I was pregnant. I wasn’t having any symptoms, I hadn’t taken a test, somehow I just knew that there was a baby growing inside of me. As soon as the show was over I raced to Walmart to get a pregnancy test, then I went over to my then boyfriend’s (now husband) moms house and took the test. I came out of the restroom, handed him the test and laid on the floor asking him “am I tripping?” “am I seeing things?”, he laid on the bed a little too calm for my liking and replied "no". Panic immediately set in and I began to think “what would we do”, “we aren’t married”, “how will I chase my dreams with a baby?”, and “my parents are going to kill me”, as these thoughts raced through my head Lou calmly got out off the bed, put his shoes on, and said, "let's go", he wanted to go somewhere a bit more private to talk. We got in the car, I drove to the nearby Starbucks in Cedar Hill, Tx... I ran in and got a Grande White Mocha with a Slice of warmed Banana Bread (one of my go-to orders)... got back in the car, and glanced over at Lou who was beginning to finally look uneasy.
I was pretty fresh out of college and very focused on changing my career path and finding myself, Lou and I had known each other for years but had just started dating, and Lou was headed to the military so it's safe to say that a baby was not in our plans. But we had to be reasonable... we were having unprotected sex so what could we really expect? Funny thing is, the day I found out I was pregnant (March 5th, 2017 ) was the same day we were going to talk about using protection (when really we should've been talking about abstaining but that's a different conversation for a different time). After much discussion, and a lot of crying my decision was made... I was going to have a baby.
I found out on a Sunday and by that next Sunday, I'd told my parents because I saw no point in putting off the inevitable. Their reaction (mostly my moms) was to be expected... she flipped out. I felt like her response was a bit dramatic because after all, I wasn't 16 and pregnant. I was 24 with two degrees under my belt and Lou was headed to the military. Did that make things right? Probably not, nonetheless I was pregnant and the only thing to do at that point was to prepare. Lou left for BMT at the beginning of my second trimester leaving me to deal with the hormonal shifts and changes, the little flutters signaling life, and the onslaught of health issues I encountered. For some reason, I was under the impression (thanks to the news articles of happy pregnant ladies) that pregnancy was going to be a frolic through the tulips with lots of smiles and giggles however it was far from that. My pregnancy challenged my ability to be mentally and emotionally tough but most importantly it challenged my faith. Most of the time I felt like an emotional wreck, crying over not having Honey Nut Cheerios when I wanted them and feeling alone. I handled the emotional hurdles of pregnancy mostly alone because Lou at the time was away at BMT, although my parents were there for me having them wasn't the same as having your partner.
As soon as my second trimester hit I began having the most severe migraines, at the time I was working on a movie and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy, but the migraines I was having made me miss filming indefinitely. It felt like someone was taking a jackknife and drilling into my head repeatedly... I couldn't eat, I couldn't a stand to be in the light, and I also couldn't bare sound. I thought I was free and clear once the migraines subsided, however, my first round of test came back showing that Josiah could possibly have had a chromosomal disorder. My heart melted... I began googling all types of things which didn't help put my mind at ease at all until finally I went and saw a Fetal Care Specialist. After seeing a Fetal Care Specialist (who after the initial visit I continued to see weekly up until delivery) I found out that Siah didn’t have a chromosomal disorder but that I had some sort of mass on my placenta and that I was Protein S Deficient which meant that I was at risk of my blood clotting which could prove to be fatal to both myself and Josiah.
One of my Fetal Care doctors recommended that I take one baby aspirin per day midway into my second trimester to help thin my blood, once I got into my third trimester I was given injections that I had to inject into my abdomen daily. Once I started the injections I began to have frequent nosebleeds, so I eventually stopped taking the aspirin but kept doing the injections, as I neared my due date the injections changed from once daily to twice daily. It seemed like literally every week I was having my blood drawn and test run on me. I can honestly say that I never truly enjoyed my pregnancy, partly because it took over one trimester for me to accept and really grasp that I was carrying a child and because I was emotionally drained from being worried and constantly on edge. Things seemed to only get worse as I neared my induction date. My body began to prepare for delivery and Josiah started to drop, causing unbearable pain in my pelvic area which led me to at least a handful of labor and delivery emergency room visits... until finally, it was time.
My doctors thought it best to induce me because they wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t go into labor right after having an injection, which could cause my blood to be too thin and me to bleed out. I went to the hospital at 6 a.m on November 6th, 2017 with a swarm of emotions flooding my body. I was about to become a mom in a matter of what I thought would be a few hours and suddenly everything felt... real. My first nurse (her name escapes me right now) started my IV drip and it was UNCOMFORTABLE. I’m not exactly sure what she did but whatever it was caused my hand to throb for hours before finally having the IV adjusted to make it a tad more bearable. She started the IV and the first round of meds to soften my cervix, which was nowhere near ready for labor.
Before I knew it I’d taken several naps, it was well into the afternoon, I was starving, and my body was showing no signs of pushing a human out of it. I was given another round of labor-inducing medication and things started to turn up a notch. Prior to delivery, I’d heard from a few people that once you’re done with labor you don’t even remember the contractions... that's somewhat true. When my contractions began they were far apart and at least bearable when given Staydol... however, once the Staydol wore off and I was given more meds to help induce labor the real contractions started. Initially, they were a slow building intense cramp that could be dealt with by simply breathing through them... then something changed... they started to come closer together and harder and harder each time until finally, I was grabbing the bed rail trying to brace for each contraction that hit my body. The pain became so unbearable that all I could do was cry and hope that I could get an epidural sooner than later.
My OBGYN didn’t administer epidurals until you were at least 6 centimeters dilated but for me, she made an exception. Not only did I get the epi early but I also got a button that allowed me to receive more of the medication if it started to wear off. Once I got the epidural everything became somewhat of a blur, I began to sleep. The nurses shift changed and I was still laboring and sleeping, with the nurses turning me ever so often because Josiah and I’s blood pressure kept dropping. Before I knew it, it was 6 a.m and my mom was worrying... she was calm yet worried. In 20 hours I’d only dilated about 1 centimeter and things were looking... rocky. I glanced over to see a nurse bringing an emergency c-section cart into the room, soon after the nurses came back yet again to check my cervix... I still hadn't dilated so the OBGYN on duty was called in to check me (mine was in surgery) he checked my cervix, glanced at the nurses and said "how many centimeters dilated did you say she was?", they responded with about one, he checked again and said: "how about she's complete". In a matter of minutes, I'd gone from being dilated only one centimeter after laboring for 21 hours to fully dilated! The nurses shift changed again and in walked Jerry who honestly was a Godsend. She talked with the doctor and came back to tell me that once I labored down it would be time to push. As the time drew nearer she began to prep me by putting my legs in the stirrups... I distinctly remember her saying to me "let's have a baby suag" which sent an overwhelming calmness over my body. "Suag" is something my grandmother used to call me so hearing that gave me a sense of reassurance.
8 a.m rolled around and I was ready to push. With my husband, mom, and sister surrounding me, I pushed a few times before the doctor came in to literally scoop Josiah out. Everyone in the room but me was emotional at that moment. Josiah came out the womb with his cord in a knot and after he came out my placenta didn't follow as it should’ve, it was still attached. The doctor reached in and pulled it out then blood clots began to pour out of my body. According to my mom, I had hail and baseball size clots literally pouring out of me. I lost so much blood that my body went into shock causing me to shiver uncontrollably for what seemed like hours. Finally, my body calmed, my epi was removed, and I was moved to a postpartum room.
Josiah and I stayed in the hospital for four days because he was jaundiced. Once we were released I thought we were home free, but my body felt like I'd gotten hit by a mac truck and my body was all of sudden covered in a rash. Eventually, things subsided after a trip to both the Er and the family physician and I began to get into the swing of mommahood.
I carried and birthed a miracle, a blessing, a king. After surviving everything that I went through both physically and emotionally I honestly fear nothing, I feel more resilient than ever, and I feel like there is nothing that I can't do. I'm a woman. I gave life to someone who will change the world. Pregnancy for me was not at all what I expected it to be however, I can honestly say that if given the opportunity to do it all over again with the opportunity to have the "perfect" pregnancy and delivery, I wouldn't change a thing. I just celebrated my first Mother's Day and it left me feeling grateful. Josiah is healthy, happy, and growing and I am excited to see what’s next for us!