My dream was to become a wife and mother, and as of October 7, 2006, I was a wife. However, once I was married, I began to see how close I was to possibly becoming a mother. I was excited, but began to doubt if it was for me. I wondered if I really wanted to go through labour and delivery, did I want to disrupt my whole life? Would I make a good mother? Would I make mistakes? Most assuredly, but how deeply would those mistakes affect the child(ren)? I wanted to hold off on trying for children and my husband was patient.
In February, I learned that my sister-in-law had begun trying to conceive a child back around the time of our wedding, but as of yet been unsuccessful. After giving her some positive reinforcement, and encouragement, I began to rethink the idea myself. Married at 30, I don’t want to have children into my 40’s if I can help it. How do I know we won’t have problems conceiving? Just because most people in both of our families are very fertile, doesn’t mean we will be. After we talked, we both agreed that it was time to start trying.
By June, I was pregnant, due Mar 8, 2008. We were happy and excited, and I began to fight off the doubts that had addled me in October. Doubts, fears, and questioning if I could do this. I pushed these thoughts out of my mind as best as I could. I loved my job, loved my coworkers and loved my supervisor, however, my supervisor gave her notice shortly after I found out I was pregnant and a new supervisor began.
Now, you have to understand that I am a peace-keeper by nature and that often involves avoiding confrontations, and hoping things will fix themselves or get better naturally. Therefore, when my new supervisor began to harass me, I pushed past it. Instead, it escalated and began to happen in front of other staff, parents and children. I was stressed to the hilt and would be reduced to tears often. At 10 weeks gestation, I miscarried. I was and am convinced that stress was the underlying cause, yet this cannot be determined or proven.
At the loss of my baby, I was heartbroken, depressed and trying to not blame myself, obviously on sick leave to boot. Could it have been avoided had I stood up for myself? There is no way of knowing. I did decide that no job was worth the life of your child and gave notice, moving on to work in an office setting. I needed a break after working 10 years in the field, and focus on starting our own family.
By December, I was pregnant again, due August 8. 2008 – 08/08/08! I had no more doubts or fears; I knew it was a journey, but that we would take it together as a family. Labour and delivery were experienced by women every day and for centuries, I can do it too. No fears of a recurring miscarriage either, what were the chances?After Christmas, I got the flu and a low grade fever with stomach pains. Two weeks later, I miscarried at 7 weeks gestation. I was depleted and broken completely. New doubts entered my mind, were we even meant to be parents? What was wrong with me? IS there something wrong with me?
Both miscarriages began with spotting, the first one was tissue with a pink tinge (I found out later I actually had a wicked yeast infection) and the second one with one spot, about the size of a quarter. After an internal and then internal ultrasounds (no heartbeat was fount in both cases), my miscarriages began in full force. My first one began with my water breaking, fast, both with heavy bleeding and huge clots passing. Both with border-line hemeraging and ending in D&C’s (dusting and cleanings, lol).
After my second miscarriage, my doctor sent me for tests to see if something was wrong with me. I wondered if I wanted to even try again, but after the tests were done, I knew that I wanted to be a mom too badly to give up. We were given the all clear to try again and an ultrasound requisition with orders to go for one 2 weeks after a positive home test and to follow up with him.
One month later we were pregnant (due Jan 24); the tech wanted to do an internal ultrasound and was upset at my refusal, then baffled and even more upset with my request for a picture. My doctor agreed no internal ultrasounds and no intercourse, “nothing goes in”. A week later, I had another ultrasound - somewhere else – and a heartbeat was detected (156bpm) and an estimated due date of January 22, 2009.
This baby became nicknamed our little charmer, because 3rd times the charm! At 16 weeks, our doctor could not find the heartbeat with Doppler and sent us immediately for an ultrasound – we found that I had an anterior placenta, but that baby was doing well and strong. My hubby was sure he saw ‘something’ and that it was a boy. At 18 weeks, we had another ultrasound, dear hubby was right, we are having a boy. He was doing well, strong and measuring almost 2 weeks ahead of schedule. At 20 weeks I FINALLY felt movement and I was graduated to modified bed rest – short walks only. By 30 weeks, I began to have Braxton hicks, and by 34 weeks developed Edema and was put back on bed rest. An ultrasound on Jan 9 showed that baby was no longer breech, weighed approximately 8lbs 9oz, and there was an ‘echo’.
We were directed to go directly to the hospital where they did a non-stress test, our charmer passed with flying colours and the echo was deemed either mechonium (baby’s first BM) or vernix (the top layer of skin of the baby, a protective coating over the baby to protect him/her from the fluid) and we were sent home.
On January 14th, after a sleepless night, I passed my mucous plug, and continued to do so all day. At 1:30am on January 15th, my water broke – 9 days early. My mother brought me in and my hubby met us there (he works nights) and mechonium was detected in the amniotic fluid. By 3:30, labour began and I was given pit to keep it up. At 7am, I had the epidural and was fully dilated by 4pm. The doctor noticed that the baby was face up and still high up, they hoped that he would turn as I pushed him out. During labour, the baby’s heart rate often disappeared and would dip, at times as low as 80bpm. The nurses insisted that the baby was just active and that when it dipped to 80, the monitor was just picking up MY heart rate by mistake.
The epidural took away the pain, but I still felt pressure, and it was immense. I guess it was b/c he was face up, but it was so intense that it hurt; I had a death-grip in the side of my bed and breathed my way through each contraction. After 2.5 hours of pushing, our charmer had still not descended and the doctor recommended a c-section, I agreed but felt like such a failure for not being able to push him out, and was so spent and exhausted that I knew that there was no way I could continue.
Once the baby was born, the doctor was shocked at how much mechonium was present. The paediatrician looked him over and the information from the labour and stated that our son, Jonah (or JJ as he called him) was in distress during labour, that the heart rate problems were actually his distress. Jonah was put in an incubator and was observed for a few hours. He was no longer in distress within minutes and they bathed him for his feedings. I asked the doctor if he could tell why Jonah had not descended and he said it was a combination of JJ’s size, his position (face up), and the size of my pelvis. There was no way he could have descended.
Jonah is our little fighter and growing so fast. Parenthood is amazing and hard at the same time. I don’t know how I am getting by on so little sleep, but I am. The world is so different when you look at it from the eyes of a parent, and I can’t imagine how we lived without him in our lives. I missed pregnancy the moment he was born and I am already looking forward to our next baby. We just have to trust that everything will be ok, and to take it a day at a time, like we took the last one, like we are taking life as parents.
Being a parent is its own reward, and well worth the wait! Both of my hearts’ desires have now been granted to me, we are truly blessed!