July 3rd, My Independence Day

While America is celebrating it’s 241st birthday, I’m celebrating my 2nd. July 3, 2015 was the day of my rebirth. My second coming. That is the day that I became a mom. As a person that vowed to never have children, I’m so much happier as a parent. Sometimes life gives you blessings, wrapped in tragedy.

I found out that I was pregnant at 27 weeks. How the hell did I make it 27 weeks without knowing that I was pregnant?!

Let me answer all of the FAQ:

Was I on birth control? Yes. I used the birth control patch faithfully.

What about missed periods? There were not missed periods. I had my normal menstrual cycle until I removed the patch.

Did you not have morning sickness? Uh no. I medicate daily so I never experienced any of the nausea, vomiting, etc. that comes with pregnancy.

Don’t worry. There is only a 1% chance of this happening to you. I was that 1%. For the first and only time in my life I was in the 1%. Yay me! The only symptom that I had was weight gain. I attributed this to my love for a good joint and munchies. My SO and I were in the gym as much as my new found plus sized body would allow. I went as far as taking laxatives because I was constipated, explaining the extra belly weight.

I don’t know how far I would have made it had I not woke up wet in the middle of the night. I thought that I had pee’d myself, so I rushed to the bathroom. As I removed my bottoms I smelled semen. Ladies, you know that smell. The liquid that was dripping from me smelled like semen, with a consistency more slippery than water. No matter that I did, I could not get the dripping to stop. I thought that my bladder was malfunctioning so I pushed with all my might, forcing a stream of water out. The dripping continued. I put on a pad and went back to bed.

The next morning I made a appointment with my gynecologist. There weren’t any appointments until Friday and it was Monday. By Wednesday, I knew something wasn’t right. I was going through about 12 pads per day. My best friend had done research on the mysterious fluid but kept coming back with amniotic fluid. How could it be amniotic fluid?

“You are most definitely pregnant. Let’s check the babies heart beat…”

As my gynecologist stepped out of the room to retrieve his utensil, my brain completely stopped. PREGNANT?! I’m planning a trip to Las Vegas in a few months, how can I be pregnant?! It was too farfetched for me to comprehend until I heard the strong heart beat coming from my uterus. Woah.

“Not sure of how far along you are but if the measurements are correct, you are about 27 weeks. I’m going to send you to a specialist since you are having this leaking.”

That was not what I wanted to hear AT ALL. I remember driving home, crying to my best friend over the Bluetooth, telling her how my life was over. There was a part of me that was excited but mostly I was shocked and scared. My SO is seven years older than me but I felt that he too was not ready for a baby; how wrong I was. He was beyond elated! His entire family was ecstatic. That’s when I remembered, my mom and dad.

Even though I was 24 years old, I was terrified to tell my parents. They noticed that I’d gained a lot of weight but thought I was just over eating. My dad questioned me about being pregnant on separate occasions but I never took it seriously.

I met with the specialist 4 days after finding out that I was pregnant. My SO and mother-in-law went to the appointment with me. It was so nerve wrecking watching the doctor take measurements of my baby on a ultrasound. This would give me the actual factuals. Was the baby healthy? How far along am I? Is it a boy or girl? The doctor finished the exam after 20 minutes of clicking buttons and turning knobs.

“Let’s start with the easy part: it’s a girl. You are 27 weeks and 5 days. However, you have a hole in your amniotic sack so your amniotic fluid is very low. The good thing is you are holding some fluid and as long as the baby is still making it everything is fine. But we have to admit you to the hospital.”

“Admit me? Can I go home first?”

“If you don’t go straight to the hospital from here, you must sign a waiver stating if anything happens to you or the baby we are not responsible.”

This was serious. We immediately drove to Cedars Sinai to admit me to labor and delivery. It didn’t click that I would be staying until that evening. The head nurse came to explain our plan for the next 7 weeks. Ideally, our little bundle of joy needed to make it in the womb at least 35 weeks. BUT should she come early, we were hoping it would be after 30 weeks. At 30 weeks, the brain is fully developed which is vital.

The days went by slow. Sitting in a hospital bed, watching hospital T.V, eating hospital food, isn’t as glamourous as it seems. Besides the nurses coming to put me on a fetal monitor every three hours, it was quiet. My naps were frequent and long. It wasn’t until around 7pm, after a long days work, that my SO would show up to stay the evening with me. This was our routine.

My first night I started having terrible back spasms. When I was 10, I broke my tailbone. Those hospital beds are not for people with back injuries. It got so bad that they had to give me Norco (pills that are stronger than Vicodin) twice!

On July 1st, my back spasms were particularly bad. I found myself pacing at 2am because the spasms kept me from laying in bed more than a few seconds.  The next morning, my doctor gave the green light for me to have Norco for the second time. It made me feel like crap. I just wanted to curl up into a ball. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was MISERABLE. Suddenly a wave of nausea swept over me, causing me to jump from bed and rush to the bath room. I squatted and strained against my the toilet as my stomach heaved, empty. When I stood up, there was a huge pool of amniotic fluid on the floor. I was constantly leaking so I assumed this was okay.

I crawled back into bed just as the nurse entered.

“You don’t look like yourself. How are you feeling?”

“I think the Norco made me sick. I’ll feel better once my boyfriend gets here.”

It was Wednesday so we were planning to watch the Fox tv show Wayward Pines. The baby had other plans. Around 9pm, as the show was starting, I couldn’t take it anymore. The pain was at a 10. I thought that maybe it was because I was constipated from all of the prenatal vitamins.

“I’m going to try to poop. Maybe my back will feel better.” I scuffled to the bathroom.

As soon as I sat on the toilet and pulled my hospital issued mesh undies down, blood streamed into the toilet. There was blood everywhere.

I could hear my obstetrician, “If you see blood, tell the nurses. You are going into labor.” I was going into labor. I took a deep breath before reentering the room.

“Babe, get the nurse. I think I’m going into labor.”

“DON’T SAY THAT! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!”

“BECAUSE I’M FULL OF BLOOD! LOOK!” I lifted my hospital gown to reveal the horror scene underneath. He didn’t say much of anything after that. Just rushed to get the nurses who immediately came to examine me.

“You are most definitely in labor….3cm dilated.”

As I was wheeled out of the room, I looked up at the board where we would count the weeks and days. 29 weeks, 5 days. Missed 30 weeks by 2 days. You’re killing me smalls!

Seven hours and 20 minutes later I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl; all 2 lbs 15oz of her.

This changed my life forever. I found a new appreciation for life as I entered a new chapter of my own: Premie Mom. Spending 46 days in the NICU was the hardest time of my life. Never knowing if my child would be okay from one day to the next. Waiting on brain scan results. Learning to breastfeed. At the end of my experience I was a new woman and mom.

 

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