My (First) Pregnancy Story
This is the HARDEST blog post I have ever written.
Notice how a lot of my blog posts start with a rant for backstory? This one is partially for backstory, and partially because I am just totally stalling writing.
Trying to put words to something I still have trouble dealing with is such a difficult thing. My heart aches when I think about my pregnancy with Isabel. It’s torn between the pain and suffering I went through, and the joy and just pure magic that I experienced.
I have written and rewritten this blog post so many times, but I am hoping now I am finally in a good enough place where I can try to explain my thoughts and feelings during those nine months. And to be completely honest, I don’t remember half of my pregnancy because it was such a traumatic experience for me.
I don’t want to be silenced from telling my story because I am too worried about sounding “needy” and “emotional”. I feel that it is important to talk about things which is why I am an advocate for mental health and seeking help from professionals when needed!
I am writing this for any mamas out there who have tough pregnancies. I want you to know that you are not alone and that if you ever need anyone to talk to - I am here for you!
Keep in mind, writing 9 months of life into one blog post would be such a difficult thing to do, so I will be leaving things out of this blog post that I will touch on in future posts that I will write. So just remember that this is not EVERYTHING that happened…
So, to finally get into the blog post I will start with right after I found out I was pregnant!
I found out I was pregnant on October 24, 2016.
Collin and I were only 3 months (to the day) into our marriage and were in no way planning this pregnancy. Without being too detailed for family members who may not want to know, it happened the one time we didn’t use anything to prevent it. Izzy was definitely meant to be!
I was so excited, but pretty anxious considering I had just put in my two-week notice at work… and we had just moved into a new home... we had also just put a deposit down on a puppy and I was planning on nannying part-time and pursuing my dream of being a doula. I didn’t even have medical insurance until the beginning of January. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed!
I had so many questions about life. Should I keep my job? Should we not get the puppy? How are we going to pay for a baby?
We ultimately decided that I should still quit my job to nanny. That I wouldn’t pursue being a doula because I couldn’t make that commitment with a baby. We would get the puppy and I would train him when I am home and pregnant (so he is ready for the baby). We would figure out how to get me into the doctor without insurance. And we will figure out how to pay for the baby when the time comes.
After Collin and I got over the initial shock, we were both ecstatic!
The first couple weeks after discovering I was pregnant were very exciting. I had no symptoms – other than fatigue. I already had a part-time nanny job lined up and was looking for another, and we were just preparing to pick up our puppy! I was very scared though; constantly worried about having a miscarriage or doing something that would hurt the human growing inside me.
Mid November I went to go pick up our Basset Hound puppy, Cooper. You can see pictures of him all over my Instagram… Enough of the shameless plug, now back to the story. Again, here I am trying to distract myself.
The day we picked up our puppy was supposed to be an amazing day. This was our first dog we would get together, and he was STINKIN’ CUTE! But the day we picked him up, my morning sickness began.
I don’t want to go too into detail because it is very hard to think about, but I was vomiting more than the average pregnant woman. Women always say “morning sickness is more like all day sickness” and BOY, did I know!
I was throwing up 20+ times a day. I couldn’t keep down water or food. I was so dehydrated and hungry that I was moaning in pain and agony. I was so fatigued from throwing up that I would pass out from exhaustion. There were times I tried to wet my lips with an ice cube because they were so chapped (from me being dehydrated) but I would vomit the second the ice cube would hit my lips.
I was suffering. This is extremely hard for me to admit, even to myself, but I feel it is necessary so you know where I am coming from… Most days I just wished I would die. I wished I would have a miscarriage. I wished I was pro-choice so I could just get an abortion. And THANK GOD none of these wishes came true.
When I was losing weight, and contained to the couch I went to the doctors and they gave me Zofran for my nausea. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which apparently my mother had with all four of her pregnancies and I had no idea. I had always heard she was really sick, but I had no idea the extent of it. She even had an IV with me her entire pregnancy and a nurse would come to the house and give her a new IV every day. So crazy to think about!
After I first started taking Zofran, I was still vomiting; but eventually the nausea completely subsided and I only threw up a few more times in my pregnancy (until my labor that is).
You may be asking yourself, What happened to Cooper when you were this sick?
I will go more in depth about this during a future blog post, but Cooper was tied up to the couch where I lay. He was giving me emotional support by just being there for me when I was sick. Again, this is so hard for me to admit, but for some reason I took out my emotions on him and I grew to hate him. I finally love that dog to bits, but it was a long and bumpy road for me. But he has really put up with me through my worst and truly shown me the unconditional love of a dog.
But that is for another blog post.
You also may be wondering, “What happened to your nanny job?”
I went every day. Which was usually only Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. so it wasn’t like I was working all day. I tried my best to hold in my puke when the kids were around. Keep in mind, anytime I went anywhere during my pregnancy I had to bring a puke bucket... An ACTUAL trash can that I would puke in. Nice, I know.
But to be completely honest, I was not a very good nanny when I was so sick. The family I worked for had older children and they were extremely defiant and just flat-out rude at times. I had no patience for their children’s nonsense.
My mental health really hit rock bottom (well the lowest it had ever been at that point) during my pregnancy. I developed a fear of throwing up and being nauseous. To this day if I get nauseous I start to panic and I revert back to pregnant me laying on the couch, clutching the puke bucket, and just praying for some relief.
Obviously more things happened during my pregnancy, but I just want to stick to the highlights; so at 20 weeks we got an echo for Izzy’s heart, as some heart conditions run in Collin’s family. We ended up having to get 2 echos for her, and the specialist diagnosed Izzy with an Atrial Septal Aneurysm, which thankfully closed on its own before she was born.
To be honest, I am not quite sure what would have happened if it hadn’t closed. The specialist refused to tell me and she told me to not look anything up online. I did a little bit of searching, but after I read the word surgery, I decided I didn’t want to read any more.
I will probably write a more in-depth blog post on that some day, too. But it was such an important part of the pregnancy I had to add it in here!
Skipping forward to 32 weeks, I started having consistent Braxton hicks. They would be about 45 seconds to a minute long in duration and they would usually come at three-minute intervals. Thankfully I wasn’t dilating, but they still put me on pelvic rest and told me that if I got these contractions I had to lay down and if they lasted more than a hour I had to go in.
It was a daily thing for me to get them though, and I really couldn’t do anything without getting contractions so I was confined to the bed or the couch most of the day. I had to go in a few times though when they would last more than 5 hours, and once they had to give me medicine to stop them but the other times, they just sent me home because I wasn’t making any progress.
And in case you were wondering, it wasn’t from dehydration or exercise or any other reason that people get Braxton hicks; they just happened out of nowhere.
And if you have read my blog post on my labor and delivery with Izzy, you probably already know that I started dilating at 36 weeks. At 36 weeks I was 1 cm, 37 weeks I was 2 cm, 38 weeks I was 3 cm, and 39 weeks (well, 38 weeks and 6 days) I was 4 cm! I lost my entire mucus plug almost 2 weeks before Izzy was born and I had bloody show forthree full days before giving birth.
But my beautiful baby girl was born at exactly 39 weeks. 7 pounds and 1 ounce and 19.5 inches of pure love!
I don’t want this entire post to sound like me complaining and whining. Even though I went through a lot of pain and hardship, I would go through it a million times over to get my baby girl. She was worth everything!
And I do want to add… even though this feels good to get off my chest, I still have a lot of emotions reliving this. As I type this out, I feel deep anxiety and I don’t even want to write or post this anymore. But I know this will be helpful to someone out there.
If you know someone who went through a difficult experience (of any kind), let them tell you their story. Learn from them and be sympathetic to their emotions. Sometimes the best way to get closure on something is by putting it out into the world. I am hoping once this is up and posted, I can finally be at peace with some of the hardships I faced!
Thank you if you made it to this point! You are a true friend if you did!