I have never really thought about writing a blog before. I used to journal rather inconsistently throughout childhood and into college. However, I always looked back upon what I had written and was terribly embarrassed. I wrote about the boys I liked, the school age drama I had with my friends, and the frustrations/worries that made me feel like my world was crashing down on me. How silly it seems now to look back and think that a poor grade on a test felt like the end of the world.
But I digress. 🙂 I have decided that the time is ripe for a new blog. As I enter a new phase in my life, I need a way to remember all the fun, happy, exciting, frustrating, terrifying things that come my way. You see, I am a new mom. My beautiful little girl was born on 9/11/2011 at 2:58am. My life now revolves around diapers, feedings, naps, tears (both mine and Madi’s) and I could not be happier about it. But….I think all of that will come at a later blog post. Before Madi and I get too wrapped up in our new life together, I want to take a moment to record the events of my pregnancy with her.
Let me also take a quick moment to say this….I will not be spending time proof-reading, organizing my thoughts, finding the perfect word, etc. For me, that is not what this blog is about. If that bothers you, you might as well stop reading now. This blog is about finding a way for me to remember, reflect, and think ahead. So….the fact is, I am going to simply write the words that come to my head. I can guarantee that there will be misspellings, disorganized thoughts, etc. I don’t care. 🙂
I found out I was pregnant on January 19th. I woke up just not really feeling right. I suddenly realized that I wasn’t sure when I had last had a period. So somewhat on a whim, I decided to take a pregnancy test. Well….that little “+” sign showed up pretty much immediately. There was certainly no need to wait the full 2 minutes. Although this was an unexpected surprise, I was so excited!
For the first 14 weeks or so, I was so terribly sick. I was throwing up what felt like non-stop. I even remember driving to a client’s house while talking to my mom on the phone. I quickly knew I had better pull over and pull over fast. I maybe should have apologized to the people in whose front yard I lost my breakfast. I was so relieved when my morning sickness lifted. If only I would have known what was in store for me after that, I would have been glad to continue dealing with that morning sickness!
Somewhere around 15 or 16 weeks, I woke up one morning in excruciating pain. I had all sorts of shooting pains all over. Upon getting up and using the restroom, I found out that I was bleeding. I was immediately terrified. I called my doctor and they told me to come in immediately. However, as I was trying to get ready to go in, the pain intensified, I started to feel dizzy, and my vision kept going out. So, I decided I better call a friend and get a ride. So, my friend Tamina came to the rescue. By the time she arrived at my apartment, I had to crawl to the door to let her in because I was so dizzy. She pretty much had to carry me up the stairs as I was in so much pain and was unable to see much of anything. We decided that we better head straight to the hospital. I was trying desperately to remain calm throughout a completely terrifying situation. Honestly, I just wanted my mom and couldn’t wait for her to get to the hospital.
Upon arrival at the hospital, the doctors did an ultrasound and I was so relieved to see a little heart beating strong and regularly. The doctor’s thought that I was probably just dehydrated. They weren’t sure what was causing the bleeding but were sure it was nothing important as the baby seemed to be doing just fine. They sent me home with instructions to follow-up with my doctor if the bleeding did not subside.
Unfortunately, the bleeding did not subside. I had 4 or 5 doctors appointments within a few weeks. I was so relieved that my mom had decided to stay with me until things were resolved. The doctors informed me that I was to remain on bedrest until the bleeding resolved and/or they found out what was going on. At 16.5 weeks, the doctors sent me for an early anatomy scan to see if they could determine the cause of the bleeding. It was at that ultrasound that they discovered a subchorionic hematoma. In other words, I had a blood clot in my uterus.
Hematomas are actually quite common in pregnancy and are often responsible for spotting in the first trimester. However, they are often quite small and resolve in the first trimester (or may be responsible for some early miscarriages). My situation was unique in that I was already in my second trimester and the hematoma was quite large. If normal hematomas are the size of a pea, mine was about the size of a pancake.
No one really knew what to do at this point. I was to remain on bedrest until the hematoma resolved…but no one was really sure if it would. Basically there were a few possibilities: the hematoma would resolve and everything would be fine, the hematoma would crowd out the baby and I would go in to very premature labor and the baby wouldn’t make it, the hematoma would not resolve but both it and the baby would remain in there until the baby was born. So we were pretty much in a holding pattern.
I went on medical leave from my job and moved back to Kalamazoo from Detroit to stay with my mom. Without a job, I was unable to pay the rent on my apartment, etc. Plus, seeing as I was on bedrest, I was not supposed to do much of anything. So, with the help of some friends, my mom, Roger, and my uncle, my apartment was packed up and my belongings were stored in my mom’s basement and I moved in to the guest room.
I continued to get regular ultrasounds and was always relieved to see that the little one was continuing to grow despite the space issues. I also saw a high-risk doctor who was relatively pessimistic about the outcome of this pregnancy. In fact, I found out later that he actually apologized to my mom and basically said that things did not look good. Also, during one of those 6 or so ultrasounds, I found out that we were having a girl. I could not have been more excited. There were still times that I was paralyzed by the fear that labor could begin at any moment and she was still just too little to make it. I clung to the hope that she would just remain an inside baby until at least 30 weeks. I figured that if we could just make it to that point, she would at least have a fighting chance of making it.
I did somehow remain mostly positive throughout the pregnancy but in the back of my head, I was terribly afraid that she just wouldn’t make it. In fact, I refused to think of a name for her for the longest time because I just thought that that would make it harder for me when she didn’t make it. It took a heart-to-heart with my mom for her to convince me to not only think of names but to shop for her, plan life with her, etc.
Well, 30 weeks came and went. And not only did this little girl stay inside and continue to develop, but the hematoma actually resolved. I did end up having a few other complications including gestational diabetes..but they weren’t really a big deal. The diabetes was diet controlled and did not pose any additional risk to the baby.
In fact, it wasn’t until 9/11 that Miss Madison actually made her arrival. Just 10 days early. 10 days! She was full-term! I may be exaggerating or blowing things out of proportion, but I really do consider her my miracle baby. In fact, I could not be happier that I have had to stop and start this blog 3 times. That I had to clean up some explosive poop this morning or that I have a big spit up spot on my shirt. That doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated, that I don’t miss sleep, or that I have loved every second of being a mom. Let’s get real. But my life is so different now with a baby in it. And it is a change that I absolutely love.