Archive | Pregnancy

The Whole Story of Baby #4

june 9. 23. granola bars. baby reveal_0017_edited-1

I was right at 20 weeks in this picture. I’m now 21 weeks, 3 days.

 

‘Cause I just can’t leave you hanging like that!

We’ve gotten tons of questions (…and OMGs…and ‘Y’all are crazy’…and ‘Oh, hell no!’) from people we know so I thought I would just answer them all in one place.

  • Were you planning this?

Uhm, NO. No no no no. We’re not even really sure of my due date–we have no idea when this baby was conceived! (We think it’s November 13-21st. But because of my hereditary preeclampsia my other two bio babies were born at 37 weeks, 5 days so we’re thinking right after Halloween for this one.)

  • Did you want another baby?

C. was finished with kids. I was open to adopting again when Lawson was 3 or so, but we were mostly likely (definitely?) finished with kids. For sure we were done with having kids from my body though. 100% finished with that. (And let me assure you: C. has now taken medical steps, ahem, so that he will no longer be fathering any babies with Ms. Fertile Myrtle over here. And I’ll leave it at that.)

  • Didn’t you just have a tummy tuck last June? What’s going to happen with THAT?!

Yes, yes, I did (again, totally not planning on having another baby). I’m not so much worried about extra skin–I’m a 36 year old woman–who DOESN’T have at least a little extra skin at this age?! (I feel the same way with stretch marks–who cares!)–but I am *super* worried with how my muscle repair will hold up (not only with pregnancy but with a repeat c-section as well). I had a 5″-ab separation (y’all, that’s over the width of my hand!) that was sewn back together last June–there’s a strong chance that all the dissolvable stitches the doctor used are still there. I had to interview 19 OB-GYNs (my friend who delivered MM and Lawson has retired from delivering) to find just one that had done a c-section on a woman who had a muscle repair in the past. Thankfully this doctor has done three (and he’s been in practice over 30 years–that’s how rare this is). My plastic surgeon says my muscle repair is the strongest part of my body right now since it’s held together with stitches so something else will have to give/stretch/tear. Due to a kidney surgery I had twenty years ago I have a shredded left oblique muscle (the muscles that run along each side of your abdomen) and whenever I would eat before I got pregnant my stomach (my literal stomach) would poke out about the size of a baseball through the shredded muscle until my food digested. It was freaky and honestly kept me from eating large meals because it was uncomfortable (and gross looking now that the rest of my stomach was flat). Well, I’m 21 weeks now and it pokes out like I’ve eaten an all you can eat buffet 24/7 (like, that corner of my upper stomach is larger than my baby bump most days). I assume I will have to have a muscle repair (it can’t be stitched together because it’s shredded so I’m thinking some sort of mesh?!) on that section and I don’t even want to think about–the ab muscle repair was the worst pain of my life (hands down, no joke) and you use your obliques for everything. Yep, not even going there.

  • How far along did you find out since you weren’t planning this one?

Gosh, I guess like almost 9 weeks?! It was crazy! I’ve mentioned before that I have PCOS and two of the side effects of that is crazy periods and cysts. And the older I get the more my cycles get off (#closertomenopause) so it didn’t really concern me that I hadn’t had a period in six weeks…or eight weeks. The only reason I even tested was because I could tell I had a rather large cyst and I knew I needed to call my doctor and get a prescription for Provera which would force my body to have a period and “fix”/restart my hormones/cycle and would get rid of the cyst. But before my doctor will ever call in a prescription she makes me take a pregnancy test (which was always salt in a wound when we were trying so hard for baby #2 for FORTY-NINE cycles, ahem) so on a random Tuesday afternoon I grabbed a $3 test at Target so I could test real quick and get a prescription called in.

Imagine my utter shock/disbelief/amazement when the thing turned positive before I even put the cap back on (we’re talking less than 5 seconds!). For years I have stared at pregnancy tests wondering “Is that a line?” because I would test before my period was due. Well, y’all, when your period is five weeks late that second line appears REAL QUICK.

  • Why are you fertile now and weren’t for almost ten years?

Weight loss and low carb. There is NO question in my mind that Keto (low carb) and the subsequent weight loss gave me my fertility back. I’m having two babies in two years without trying at all (at all!) because I found a way of eating that works for this body that has PCOS with insulin resistance. If you have PCOS and are trying for a baby I can’t tell you enough how much I recommend Keto. It’s worked for me…twice.

  • Do you know the gender? What’s the name? Are you doing a nursery theme?

Well, for that you’ll have to wait until Friday. 😉

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I’m Still “Infertile Myrtle”, Baby or Not

I have realized lately that you can give an infertile woman a baby but she will still feel barren. I’ve had my period twice since I had Mary Margaret 14 weeks ago and each time I realize that it’s “that time” my heart sinks and I get really sad.

Why??

We’re not ready for another child (or the possibility another awful pregnancy) and we’re even using birth control.  But that old heartbreaking feeling returns each month because it’s what I associate with my period.  Period = no baby = crying Natalie over no baby.

Since I was 15 I was anxious about my fertility.  As soon as I lost that one ovary 50% of my eggs were gone.  And then at 24 when I had another large cyst and almost lost my last remaining ovary, I almost became panicked.  C. & I weren’t ready for kids at that point since we’d just been married four months, but I remember getting anxious every month after that just the same.  And then when we did start trying and nothing happened…and nothing happened…and nothing happened, well, it became devastating.

And then miracles of miracles, I became pregnant.  And my HcG numbers doubled like they were supposed to.  And we saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks and heard it at 9.  I felt her kick at 23 weeks.  And because of my complications I got to see her twice a week on an ultrasound.  But until they laid her in my arms I thought it was too good to be true.  Like it was some big joke being played on me–how could I, the infertile, barren woman that I was, carry a child?

And now as the weeks tick by since I’ve been pregnant–it feels almost like the pregnancy was a dream itself–the old panicky feelings have returned.  It’s really amazing how your mind can play tricks on you like that.

That infertility thing is one tough cookie.

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I Need to Write this Down so I’ll Remember It

The one thing I needed someone to tell me during pregnancy that no one did was this:

 You will get your body back after pregnancy…but even better: YOU *WILL* FEEL LIKE YOURSELF AGAIN!

 Towards the end of my pregnancy–okay, okay, the last eleven weeks or so–I thought I would never, ever, EVER feel “normal” again.  I thought for the rest of my life I would be excessively swollen, extremely tired, clammy, sweaty, and have a racing heart.

I knew I felt that way because of the Preeclampsia and the Gestational Diabetes, but I honestly didn’t think I would ever get better.  I thought for the rest of my life I would feel trapped within my own body.

But here I am five and half weeks postpartum and I am back to my normal self.  Not only have I lost the weight and then some, but the swelling and headaches are gone and so are all the symptoms of my diabetes–the cold sweats, the anxious feeling 24/7, and the constant dizziness.  I now have the energy to take a walk or do laundry and not feel like I’m going to pass out or have a heart attack. 

I need to write this down so if I do ever decide to get pregnant again and God forbid get those two complications, I’ll at least know I’ll come out feeling okay.  And that’s pretty nice to know!

…now, if only those stretch marks on my stomach would go away! 

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Trying to Find the Words

I sit here in my hospital bed on this rainy Saturday evening with the computer on my lap.  To my left is my daughter laying in her bassinet, just 53 hours old, to my right is my husband, the most wonderful man on earth, laying on the couch watching both of us.The love I feel for both of them overwhelms me.  Just trying to write this makes me cry thinking about how much they mean to me and the new feelings that have awoken inside of me that I never knew existed until I saw her–covered in gook and crying being lifted above the screen by unknown hands.

Thursday had such a surreal feel to it.  From the moment I woke up I was consumed with the thought that I was going to become a mom that day.  We arrived at the hospital around 11am and were fairly quickly shown to a labor and delivery operation room suite and hooked up to the monitors.  An IV was started and I began my antibiotics.  On the wall across from the bed was a clock and for an hour and a half we stared at it as various nurses and doctors came in to talk with us and check my vitals.

At exactly 12:30 the nurse came in and told me it was time.  She helped me off the bed and we walked down the hall to the operating room.  They told C. to sit in a chair outside the door while they got me set up.I was sat on a metal table and my back was prepped for the epidural.  

The anesthesiologist arrived and about five minutes later I was numb from mid-chest down.  They made me lay down and me doctor arrived.  After hooking me up to monitors I was strapped to the table and they put in the catheter.  An oxygen mask was put on my face, a drape was raised, and they brought C. in.  During all this it felt so surreal.  I’ve had many surgeries in my life and have never been awake during the pre-op preparations.

The doctor told me I would feel pressure and tugging.  The first thing I noticed a clicking notice as they opened my abdomen.  The surgery itself was for lack of a better word–gory–I bleed excessively to the point where a nurse slipped and fell in my blood and my blood pressure reached 240/170.  Thankfully I was closely monitored and they had been ready for me and had extra nurses and the right medicines on hand for my complications.  

After twelve minutes the doctor told C. to look over the curtain and he watched as MM came out.  He snapped a picture and sat back down beside my head and started crying.  He told me she was beautiful and a moment later we heard a high pitch cry.  A nurse took MM to a corner of the operating room to assess her.  After a few minutes I told C. to go look at her and make sure she was okay.  He came back in a few minutes with tears streaming down his face and showed me the pictures he had taken.  It was obvious that our beautiful baby was a carbon copy of my C.  It took about forty-five minutes to sew me up and we received good news that MM scored an 8/9 on her APGAR and her blood sugar looked good at 68.  They said I would get to see her in the recovery room and she would need no NICU time.  

After the surgery they monitored my blood pressure for about fifteen minutes until it went down to 110/60 and they brought MM in and a nurse placed her in my arms.  It was the strangest experience holding her–I couldn’t believe this little baby had been living inside me for the past nine months.  I read before delivery that many mothers don’t bond with their babies instantly–that sometimes it’s hours or even days before they feel a connection.  With MM though I instantly felt such a strong, uncontrollable connection to her I barely could breath.  I cried the happiest tears of my life.

And that is Mary Margaret’s birth story.  I can’t believe it’s already been a week.  Time has flown already and my angel baby continues to grow and change everyday.  I love her with all that I have and I can’t even imagine my life without her.

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A Picture Post (M.M.’s First 72 Hours)

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, right?   

A picture my doctor took of C. before the surgery in his scrubs and “doctor pose”.

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 In the operating room

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 She’s here!  12:54pm.

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 All cleaned up and ready to meet Mom and Dad.

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 Holding her Daddy’s finger for the first time.

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 Daddy bringing her to meet her mama for the first time.

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 The first time I got to hold her–in the recovery room.

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 Getting settled in to our room (Thursday – Saturday).

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 Getting ready to go home on Sunday morning.

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 We’re Home!

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 And that’s where we are right now.  I’m sitting here on the couch, M.M. is in bouncy seat sleeping away on the ottoman (with Coco keeping a watchful look from her basket), and C. sitting in his chair asking us every few minutes, ‘Are you okay?  Is she okay?’.  Life is amazingly good right now.

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The Most Wonderful Day of My Life

Introducing Mary Margaret Eleanor C.Born today, Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm.  Weighing 8 pounds, 0 ounces and measuring exactly 21″ long.  

There are so many emotions… yet I am at a loss for words.  My heart is more full than I can ever describe and when I look into this precious angel’s eyes I am filled with a love like I’ve never felt before.  I am so very, very blessed. 

On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night whispered, “Life will never be the same.” ~On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman

(For some reason I can’t upload pictures at the hospital.  I will try again tomorrow though it may be Saturday or Sunday.  So sorry!)

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Same Old, Same Old

I could elaborate, but here’s a run down of my day in bullets:

  •  Finished organizing house.  Double checked hospital bags.
  • Went to lunch with mother and grandmother.
  • Had an ultrasound.  Mary Margaret is *still* 96 percentile with an estimated weight of 8 pounds, 4 ounces and around 20.5″ long.  AFI = 21.  8/8 (i.e. very healthy) on her biophysical profile.
  • Had doctor’s appointment.  High-fived on my sugar levels (no increase in insulin since December 22nd!) by doctor.  Blood pressure 150/102 after laying down fifteen minutes.  Laid down for 15 more minutes and it went to 158/112.
  • Went to my second home (aka triage at labor and delivery).  Spent four hours there for blood work, a non-stress test, and blood pressure monitoring.  It took so long because my blood pressure never got below 140s/90s and sometimes as high as 164/102.  
  • Nurses talked with my doctor (who was not on call like I thought…she was at home) and she decided to let me go home around 7:45pm.  I’m actually really bummed/frustrated about this as we all know she is ready to come out.  Even the nurses at my doctor’s office AND the nurses in L&D thought I was there to stay.  Oh well!
  • Pre-Op on Wednesday.  C-section still on for 12:30pm on Thursday.  63.5 hours ’til we meet our little one.

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Pearls of Wisdom

At one of my bridal showers each guest wrote marriage advice on a small piece of paper.  You know things like Never go to bed angry  or Always kiss goodnight.  I treasure those little tidbits of wisdom and keep them in a special box.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any sage advice at my baby showers and I would love to hear yours.  So, dear readers, if you were to give me advice on raising a child, what would you say? 

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Save the Drama for Your Mama…but Not *This* Mama

Oh, why can’t things just ever be as easy as they seem??

Yesterday I had one of my twice weekly doctor’s appointments (only one left!) and I should have known something was going to go wrong when as soon as the ultrasound tech put the wand on my belly and zoomed in we saw Mary Margaret being very naughty.  The ultrasound tech said in all her fifteen years she had never seen a baby do this.  Yep, our darling, innocent, little baby girl was FLICKING US OFF.  For at least two minutes.  Everyone started laughing and then, as if right on cue, she started crying, no make that BAWLING…all in utero.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  She was pitching a crying fit (fists pumping, mouth in a screaming position, chest going up and down very fast) and the tech said, ‘Well, you’ve got a spitfire on your hands right here!  Just wait until next week when you have her!’ So we get all the measurements we need (we get an official growth scan next Monday) and off to my doctor’s appointment I go.  

I get weighed–officially 30 pounds gained, measured–right at 36 weeks–where is this huge 43-week sized baby hiding in there?!, gave a urine sample, and then laid down on the table for fifteen minutes so they could take my blood pressure.  Same old, same old.  Right?

Well, the nurse takes my blood pressure and it’s 156/108.  I knew this was not good.  See, *my* doctor was on vacation so I was seeing a more “conservative” doctor in the practice.  And sure enough, she starts poking my feet for swelling (of course they’re swollen!), asking about spots in front of my eyes, does my liver hurt, etc.  I can already tell where this is headed…

Then she gets out a form I’m all too familiar with–the labor and delivery admittance form.  ‘No!’, I wanted to scream, ‘It’s New Year’s Eve!  She’s coming on the 8th!  Just let us go home!’…but no such luck.

The next four hours are spent in triage at the hospital being monitored–M.M. having a blast kicking the NST belt around my belly, watching the screen as I have minor-ish contractions every ten minutes or so, giving blood for tests, and watching a Judge Judy marathon.  Blood results came back “good enough” and we got to come home around 8pm.  

I talked to my doctor on the phone–I love how she is a friend and I can call her on her cell whenever I need her–and she said we’re still shooting for next Thursday, but since I’ll be 37 weeks on Saturday *and* I’ll be seeing another doctor in the practice on Monday (she’s on-call at the hospital) to bring my bag just in case.  She knows how frustrated I am (and the fact that this pregnancy is draining my body) and says if another doctor wants to admit me again she’ll just go ahead and deliver me on Monday.  

And you know what I’m most worried about?  (warning: I’m going to sound very fickle)  I ordered the grandmothers sterling silver picture frames engraved with Mary Margaret’s name and birth date already.  What if her birthday is January 5th instead of the 8th?!  I know it may not sound like a big deal, but trust me–these crazy pregnancy hormones make it a HUGE deal and I started crying when I got off the phone.  C. thought I had lost my mind.  

Haha, I just read what I wrote and I sound like a looney.  I can’t wait to not only get my body back…but also my mind!  This pregnancy thing does *very* strange things to your head!   I mean, come on!, I was freaking out about two pictures frames.  Maybe I AM crazy afterall!

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One of the Most Embarassing Moments of My Life

In all my excitement on Monday I forgot to tell you what I said at the doctor’s office that made me feel like such a moron.  I think this is a casebook example of Pregnancy Brain, which really means “mind turning to mush as baby develops”.

After my doctor and I decide on a date to deliver she takes me down to the scheduler’s office and tells me that this lady will take it from here and that she’ll call the hospital and arrange an exact time for the delivery, etc.  She leaves and I’m sitting in a chair beside the scheduler’s desk as she talks on the phone to the hospital.  Our brief conversation goes a little something like this:

Her:  Okay, let me ask her.  (Holds her hand over the phone) Honey, why do you need a c-section?

Me: (Said very matter of factly) To give birth.

Her: (She looks at me for a second and starts kind of giggling) I know that, sweetie.  What’s the *medical* reason for a c-section?

Me: (All of a sudden realizing what I just said and that I’m a complete and utter moron because one, I’m hugely pregnant so it’s obvious a birth is imminent and two, what other reason is there for a c-section?!) Uhm, well, oh, uh, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes!

And then she finishes getting everything set up and the whole time I’m sitting there red faced and feeling like an idiot.  She was really sweet about it, but still–“to give birth”–come on, Natalie!  Get it together, woman, you’re about to be responsible for another human life–get your head out of the clouds! 

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